Emergency Financial Assistance

Binc helps bookstore owners, booksellers, and comic store employees and owners with unforeseen emergency financial needs. The Foundation assesses each request to determine how best to provide relief. If approved, grants are typically paid to third-party vendors.

Call 1-866-733-9064 or fill out our inquiry form. We will be in touch within two business days.

Example Qualifying Events

  • domestic violence
  • funeral
  • natural disaster (fire, flood, earthquake, etc.)
  • man-made disaster (blackout, brownout)
  • mental health
  • housing stability
  • loss of household income due to caregiving
  • loss of household income due to death in the family
  • loss of household income due to disability
  • loss of household income due to disruption of business
  • loss of household income due to partner/spouse/household wage earner job loss
  • serious medical expense
  • utility shut-off and utility shut-off prevention
  • other (not sure if your situation qualifies? Please get in touch)

We also offer Matching Grants which expand our assistance options. Read more about Matching Grants here.

Assistance Inquiry

Please click here → to apply directly for our Mental Health Wellness Program.

Please use this inquiry form to tell us about your situation. This is not an application. Someone from Binc will be in touch with you as soon as possible.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • must be a regular full- or part-time bookseller or comic employee/owner at a brick-and-mortar, mobile, or pop-up, bookstore or comic shop in the United States, Puerto Rico, The U.S. Virgin Islands, or Guam
  • must have been employed for a minimum of 90 days
  • OR an employee of a bookstore or comic store closed within the past 12 months (employee must have a minimum of 12 months tenure)
  • OR were employed by Borders Group in the year 2011
  • OR are the immediate family member of a deceased bookseller
  • AND are experiencing an unforeseen financial hardship resulting from a specific, qualifying life event.

Email us if you have any questions

The Binc Foundation strives to be fair, consistent, objective and professional when reviewing requests and making decisions. The employee is asked to complete a financial assistance application and to provide documentation related to their situation, including proof of their current monthly household income, expenses, and the specific qualifying event. This information is used to verify the financial emergency, and details are kept confidential.

Assistance is meant to help ameliorate a problem and move the individual back to financial equilibrium.

How Binc’s Assistance Process Works


“The Binc Foundation provided critical information and potentially-life-saving monetary assistance. How does one thank someone for that? I will keep my bookstore running strong, put my renewed strength into growing its reach, bringing books, ideas, words of insight and imagination to more and more people. That’s how I will try to express my profound gratitude.”

—The Booksmith

“I had a great experience with Binc. The organization was able to cover my lost wages due to some extenuating circumstances at our small independent bookstore. The process was quick and the approval process happened in the blink of an eye. I’ll forever be grateful for the funds and assistance that Binc provided us.”


“So grateful to Binc for helping me with an emergency dental surgery on such short notice! They even were able to compensate me for work missed for recovery. I would not have been able to have this procedure done and keep my apartment if it weren’t for BINC. Thank you!!”


“On the night of September 9, 2019 my beautiful bookstore burned to the ground along with the entire aisle I was in at The Market of Marion. My husband’s job was also lost since he managed a store across from me. This was devastating and frightening. The Indie Bookseller Group on Facebook told me about Binc. They addressed my concerns immediately and have already paid some urgent bills for us. I cannot thank them enough.”

—Janet Cucharo, The Bookstore


Why does Binc provide these grants?

Often an unforeseen setback can derail a life. Binc’s philosophy is to help booksellers, comic shop employees, and comic/bookstore owners so that they can keep doing the work they love.

Does my store have to be a member for me to get help?

NO. Binc is here to help any qualified bookstore or comic shop owner or employee in the US.

What if I am not sure I qualify?

Always call Binc at 866-733-9064 or submit an inquiry form as a first step. A program manager will be in touch to talk through your situation.

What if I have a colleague that needs help, but won’t call Binc?

You can submit a referral inquiry on their behalf. You can even remain anonymous.

Who will know my information?

All applications and inquiries are completely confidential, only the program manager working on your request will see your information.

Do I have to pay the money back?

NO. Financial assistance and scholarships are grants, not loans. You do not have to pay them back.

Does Binc pay me directly for the bills I owe?

In the majority of cases, Binc pays someone else like a landlord or utility company on your behalf.

Do I have to pay taxes on a grant from Binc?

In most cases, where Binc pays a bill on your behalf, there is no taxable event.

Do I need to have past-due bills before I can apply?

NO. Binc encourages you to apply before your bills are in arrears, a shut-off notice is issued, eviction has begun, or bills are sent to collections.

Do I need to spend down my retirement funds before I’m eligible?

NO. Binc encourages you to contact us before you have spent your retirement and savings to $0.

The Book Industry Charitable Foundation
3135 S. State Street, Suite 203
Ann Arbor, MI 48108
Toll Free: 1-866-733-9064
Tax ID#: 38-3279018
© 2021 Book Industry Charitable Foundation
Privacy Policy