Starting a small business is a great idea. However, the hassle might come when you need the funding. As always, no business can run without cash flow. Therefore, even existing businesses need financing to carry out their operations smoothly. So, you might be wondering about the possible places where you can get the money in case you are tight on cash flow If you are in such a position with your business, there is some good news; free money. Read on to find out where you can obtain small-business grants.
Small-Business Grants; What Are They?
These are free money offered to startups or businesses already in existence. They even aid businesses that have been hit hard by the ongoing pandemic; COVID-19. The good news is that with these small business grants, your business doesn’t have to pay back. Moreover, the issuer of the grant may not need your creditworthiness and you don’t have to pledge any of your assets.
If you want your business to benefit from such funding, you need to research what programs are offering the same. As you research, find out the grants for which your business is eligible. Once you are done, apply for the free money. As much as you need to spare time and put in some effort, the results are worth it in the end when you manage to secure the grants.
Importantly, keep in mind that every business has its own unique needs. So, ensure you compare the available financing options available and opt for one which best satisfies the needs of your small business. Besides, most grants have tight requirements for small businesses to fulfill, and your business may not qualify for some grants. A business’ qualification for a grant solely depends on the particular organization giving out the free money. Some organizations offering small business grants require the businesses to keep meeting certain requirements even after receiving the free money.
Remember, if you have a business in the rural areas, or any other low-income location, your small business may be a priority. Other small businesses with greater chances of receiving grants are those which are run by women.
So, where exactly can you obtain free money for your business?
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Where Can You Get Small-Business Grants?
A small business can get grants from government agencies, and private corporations. What’s more, there are grants to help small businesses cope with the ongoing pandemic. Therefore, ensure you are on the lookout for such opportunities when your business is in need. The following are some of the programs offering federal small-business grants;
The US Small Business Administration (SBA) Grants
This government agency supports small businesses and aims at enhancing economic growth. Below are some of the funding programs under SBA;
- The State Trade Expansion program; offers grants to help in the global expansion of the businesses based in the US. The funds help in trade shows and market expansion across the borders.
- The HUBZone program; It assists in the growth of small businesses, especially in the underutilized zones.
- Veteran assistance programs; Aim at funding businesses owned by veterans.
- The Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contracting Program; The program aims at empowering women in the US, hence offering grants to small businesses that are run by women.
The Non-SBA Grants
The US government offers non-SBA grants through the following programs;
- The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR); The programs fund small businesses in the technological research space. The grants are an endorsement of high-tech innovation and scientific research. If you want your business to qualify for these grants, it has to be for-profit and with over 500 employees among other requirements.
- The National Institutes of Health; offers grants to businesses dealing in biomedical research.
- The US Department of Agriculture (USDA); Small businesses in the agriculture or food services sector can get their grants.
- The US Department of Commerce Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA); grants help minority-owned businesses grow and develop countrywide. They help business owners get access to capital and get contracts. Nonetheless, it helps foster their competition in emerging markets. You can check with your local MBDA centre if there is room for application for financing. They even have annual grant competitions featuring small businesses.
- The US Economic Development Administration (EDA); this department of commerce has grant programs that aim at enhancing economic growth in communities in different regions. Their assistance also helps encourage an entrepreneurial and innovative culture
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Here, we have corporate small-business grants offered by different corporations and large companies. Some of the corporations offer grants to non-profit businesses while others offer to for-profit businesses only.
The following are examples of corporations that offer small-business grants;
- FedEx; Their grants are up to $50,000. This company holds an annual grant competition that awards 10 small businesses.
- Walmart; The grants are from $250 to $250,000.
- Patagonia; Grants aim at addressing the root cause of climate change and fighting environmental injustice. Therefore, if your small business strives and advocates for the preservation and protection of the environment you can apply for their grants which are anywhere between $5,000 and $20,000.
- National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE); Their grants are up to $4,000 and are offered to small businesses with growth potential.
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Grants For Small Businesses Owned by Women
Women entrepreneurs can get grants from the following programs;
- The Amber Grant Foundation; Offers $1,000 monthly and $10,000 yearly to women in small businesses.
- The Women Who Tech Grants Program; Funds women in the tech industry in a bid to reduce the gender gap.
- The Cartier Women’s Initiative Regional Awards program; Women in business can receive their annual grants.
Now that You Know, Get Going!
When you have a startup or an already running business that is tight on cash flow, you might get relief and additional stability from small business grants. The good news is that you don’t have to pay back, and neither do you have to pledge any assets. Moreover, there are speciality small-business grants that aim at supporting specific groups of individuals to spread success in the business world and promote entrepreneurial culture across different demographics. These include grants for women, veterans, minority groups, and even black women. However, keep in mind that you need to put time and effort to receive the grants, and at times, you might even miss the offer.
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