It’s like a scholarship for your business!
- The Grants.gov website (and app) provides a vast database of grants from a variety of sources and industries. You should also consult your local council/chamber of commerce.
- Some large companies or industry organizations offer grants and other helpful resources to grow your business.
What do business loans, lines of credit, and small business credit cards have in common? They need to be rewarded.
If your small business needs capital but doesn’t want debt tangled up on your books, a grant might be a good option. Grants usually do not need to be repaid and can even come with additional costs such as tutoring or mentoring.
Similar to educational scholarships, small business grants come in all shapes and sizes. You can find grants for industry-specific businesses that develop specific products, help underserved communities, or have owners from different backgrounds. Here are some grant resources worth checking out.
This vast database features thousands of funding opportunities across industries. It also provides tools and advice on how to find, apply for and use grants for your business. If you don’t know where to start, this is a great place to start.
More information: www.grants.gov website
2. Local Chamber of Commerce
It’s not just the federal government that offers grants to small businesses; your state and local governments may also offer funding opportunities. Your local chamber of commerce can also help you find potential grants from local businesses and even local universities.
More information: Chamber of Commerce Directory
3. SBA Research and Technology Grants
The US Small Business Administration has several funding programs for businesses engaged in scientific research and technology development: the Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR) and the Small Business Technology Transfer Program (STTR). Your small business needs to meet specific industry requirements, and these grants are competitive.
More information: SBA.gov website
4. NASE Growth Grant
The National Association of Self-Employed Employers (NASE) is an industry organization that provides growth grants to eligible small businesses. Note that you need to have been a member of NASE for at least 90 days to apply for their funding.
More information: NASE.org
5. FedEx Small Business Grant
If your business involves shipping goods, you may be eligible for the FedEx Small Business Grant. It is open to small businesses that have a FedEx shipping number and have been in continuous operation for at least six months. Only businesses with fewer than 99 employees are eligible.
More information: FedEx Grant
6. Fast breakout for small businesses
The Fast Break for Small Business program is the result of a partnership between Accion Opportunity Fund and LegalZoom.com. They provide grants and free LegalZoom products to eligible businesses each year during the NBA season. Your business needs to be at least six months old and have less than $1 million in annual revenue.
More information: fast break plan
7. Amber Grant
An organization that helps women realize their business dreams, WomensNet distributes dozens of Amber Grants each year in memory of 19-year-old Amber Wigdahl, who passed away before she could achieve her business goals. Grant frequency and amount vary, but grants are awarded monthly, quarterly and annually.
More information: amber grant
Check the dates and read the fine print
The most important thing to do when applying for a grant is to make sure you meet all the criteria – including submitting your application by the deadline. Read all the fine print and requirements so you don’t miss out.
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