It’s like a scholarship for your business!
- The Grants.gov website (and app) offers a huge database of grants from a variety of sources and industries. You should also check with your local government/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 must be repaid.
If you need financing for your small business, but don’t want that debt to haunt your books, a grant may be the answer. Grants usually don’t need to be repaid and they can even come with extras like coaching or mentoring.
Similar to scholarships, small business grants come in all shapes and sizes. You can find grants for businesses in specific industries, that aim to develop specific products, that help underserved communities, or that have owners from diverse backgrounds. Here are some grant resources worth checking out.
This massive database hosts thousands of grant opportunities across all sectors. It also offers tools and tips on how to find, apply for, and use grants for your business. It’s a good place to go if you don’t know where to start.
More information: Grants.gov
2. Local Chamber of Commerce
It’s not just the federal government that provides small business grants; 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: Directory of chambers of commerce
3. SBA Research and Technology Grants
The US Small Business Administration offers a few grant programs for companies 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 will need to meet specific industry requirements and these grants are competitive.
More information: SBA.gov
4. NASE Growth Grants
The National Association of the Self-Employed (NASE) is an industry organization that offers grow grants to eligible small businesses. Note that you will need to be a NASE member for at least 90 days to apply for their grants.
More information: NASE.org
5. FedEx Small Business Grants
If your business involves shipping goods, you may be eligible for a FedEx Small Business grant. It’s open to small businesses that have had a continuously operating FedEx shipping number for at least six months. Only companies with less than 99 employees will be eligible.
More information: FedEx Grants
6. Quick Break for Small Business
The Fast Break for Small Business program is the result of a partnership between Accion Opportunity Fund and LegalZoom.com. They offer free LegalZoom grants and products to eligible businesses each year during the NBA season. Your business must be at least six months old and have annual sales of less than $1 million.
More information: Quick break program
7. Amber Grants
An organization dedicated to helping women achieve their business dreams, WomensNet distributes dozens of Amber Grants each year in honor of Amber Wigdahl, a 19-year-old who died before achieving her own business goals. The frequency and amount of grants vary, but grants are awarded on a monthly, quarterly, and annual basis.
More information: Amber Grants
Check the dates and read the fine print
The most important thing when applying for a grant is to ensure that you have met all the qualifications, including submitting your application before the deadline. Read all the fine print and requirements so you don’t miss a thing.
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