Small-Business Grants: Where to Find Free Money

Small-business grants provide free money for startups and existing businesses, including those impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

It takes time and effort to research and apply for funding, but the payoff can be worth it if you secure a grant for your small business. To help you get started, here’s a list of federal, state and private small-business grants and resources.

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Federal small-business grants

Government agencies are among the biggest distributors of business grants, supporting a range of enterprises from environmental conservation to child care services. Applying may seem intimidating, but federal grants are great opportunities for small-business owners looking to grow.

Grants.gov: Grants.gov is a comprehensive examination database of grants administered by assorted politics agencies, such as the departments of Education and Veterans Affairs .Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs: The SBIR and the STTR grant programs focus on research and development for technology invention and scientific inquiry. The programs help connect small businesses with federal grants and contracts from 11 politics agencies . To qualify, you must operate a for-profit business, have no more than 500 employees and meet other eligibility requirements USDA Rural Business Development Grants: The U.S. Department of Agriculture administers the rural Business Development Grant broadcast, which provides finance to strengthen and grow little businesses in rural communities . Businesses must have fewer than 50 newfangled employees, less than $ 1 million in megascopic gross and be located in an eligible rural area to qualify. Applications are accepted through the USDA Rural Development ’ s local anesthetic or state offices .

State and regional small-business grants

Economic Development Administration: This U.S. Department of Commerce agency provides grants, resources and technical aid for communities to support economic growth and encourage entrepreneurship and invention . Each state of matter ’ s agency helps businesses find finance ( including express or regional grants ), fasten locations and recruit employees. You can search the economic development directory for regional offices and local resources .Small Business Development Centers: Your local SBDC provides corroborate for small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs. They ’ re frequently associated with local universities or a state ’ mho economic development agency, and many can help connect you with small-business grants, a well as other business financing opportunities — plus, counseling, train and technical aid .Minority Business Development Agency Centers: The MBDA runs a national net of business centers dedicated to growing and promoting minority-owned small businesses. These centers help business owners access capital, guarantee contracts and compete in emerging markets . Your local MBDA center can help you apply for debt-based financing american samoa well as union, state and local business grants. The means normally holds an annual small-business grant rival and provides updates on this contest on its web site

Corporate small-business grants

Many corporations and large companies have a philanthropic component that includes small-business grants. While some provide grants to nonprofits servicing specific industries only, some also give to for-profit companies.

FedEx Small Business Grant Contest: The party ’ s annual grant competition awards over $ 250,000 to 10 small businesses, including a $ 50,000 grant and $ 4,000 in FedEx print and occupation services to its three grand pry winners. The 2022 contest is closed and voting began March 22. Winners will be announced May 4. The contest is for U.S.-based for-profit belittled businesses that have been operating at least six months, with no more than 99 employees .National Association for the Self-Employed: NASE members can apply for monthly small-business grants worth up to $ 4,000, equally well as an annual $ 3,000 college eruditeness for members ’ dependents. Grants are awarded year-round, with completed applications reviewed quarterly in January, April, July and October .Fast Break for Small Business: LegalZoom, the NBA, WNBA and NBA G League have partnered with Accion Opportunity Fund to offer $ 10,000 grants and up to $ 500 in LegalZoom services for small-business owners. This broadcast focuses on helping businesses in underserved and underrepresented communities. Applications are exposed twice a class .Patagonia Corporate Grants Program: Nonprofits striving to preserve and protect the environment can apply for a small-business grant through the Patagonia Corporate Grants Program. The retailer looks for advanced businesses with nominate projects that are quantifiable and have particular goals, objectives and carry through plans. These nonprofit grants typically fall between $ 5,000 and $ 20,000 .Visa Everywhere Initiative: The Visa Everywhere Initiative is a award rival that offers funding to tech-forward startups across five unlike regions around the ball. Applicants must show how they ’ ve developed a merchandise or serve that creatively involves Visa ’ randomness products.

Visa will select the top five finalists in each region — and these businesses will move forward to a global finals event. The overall winner of the competition is awarded a $100,000 small-business grant. Additional grants are awarded to second- and third-place finalists, audience favorites, as well as regional and local winners.

COVID-19 small-business grants

Although many federal, state and secret allow programs have stopped accepting applications, there are still a handful of options available for small businesses that need relief as a leave of the COVID-19 pandemic. here ’ s what you need to know :

SBA small-business grants:

COVID-19 relief grant programs administered by the U.S. Small Business Administration — including the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant and the Restaurant Revitalization Fund — are closed and no longer accepting new applications. Similarly, the period to apply for the $10,000 Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance, or grant, has also expired.

State and local coronavirus small-business grants:

Some state and local governments are still running grant programs that are specific to COVID-19 relief. For example, small businesses in New York can access free financing up to $50,000 through the New York State COVID-19 Pandemic Small Business Recovery Grant Program.

In Sonoma County, California, microbusinesses can apply for grants of $2,500 through the California Microbusiness COVID-19 Relief Grant Program. You can visit your secretary of state, department of economic development or other official government websites in your area to see what options may be available for your business.

Corporate COVID-19 small-business grants:

Although some private companies have closed coronavirus relief grant programs, you may be able to find a few options that are still accepting applications.

The nonprofit organization Main Street America, for exemplify, continues to offer its Inclusive Backing Grant Program in collaboration with American Express. This plan is presently awarding COVID-19 relief grants to brick-and-mortar businesses owned by women, nonbinary people and veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces .

Specialty small-business grants

To help spread entrepreneurial success across demographics, many organizations focus funding efforts on specific communities.

We’ve put together lists of:

Alternatives to small-business grants

Finding and applying for the right grants for your small business can be difficult, as well as time-consuming. If you don’t qualify for certain grants, there are other ways to fund your business. Here are some avenues to explore:

  • Best small-business loans: Compare loan options — including bank loans, SBA loans, business lines of credit, term loans and equipment financing — plus, learn how to choose the right financing for your needs.
  • Small-business credit cards: Explore dozens of cards and find the best choice for funding your everyday business purchases — and earn rewards in the process.
  • Crowdfunding for business: Raise money for your small business by tapping into the power of the internet and promoting your product or service through a crowdfunding campaign.

Frequently Asked Questions

You can find small-business grants at government agencies, state organizations and private corporations. A few good places to start your search include the government database Grants.gov, your local Small Business Development Center and nonprofits such as the Local Initiatives Support Corp.

Grant qualifications will depend on the awarding organization. Priority may be given to businesses in rural or low-income locations or those run by women or minority groups, for example. Read a grant’s complete eligibility criteria before applying to understand if your business qualifies.

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