Types Of Small Business Grants
There are several types of grants, and you may only be eligible for certain ones. Grants generally come from the following sources:
- Federal state or local governments
Government grants are often the most involved, while grants made by businesses may include a competition aspect.
Here weve rounded up examples of some popular grants in these categories. However, dont limit your search to just these grants. Weve also included several research tools you can use to find grants that may be a fit for your business.
Finding The Best Startup Business Grant For Your Small Business
Australia is home to more than 2.3 million small businesses. It should come as no surprise, then, that there are plenty of grants to support SMEs.
Startup business grants are funding programs that provide businesses with much-needed capital to realise an idea. There is a wide range of options, including government funding grants and industry-specific grants. However, knowing which ones are available and which to apply for can be challenging.
In this post, we look at the best small business grants out there, from government grants to private funding.
What Is A Startup Small Business Grant
A startup small business grant is monetary funding from the government or an organization that is given in order to help small companies and nonprofits succeed in building and growing their business. Unlike loans, you dont have to pay this money back. Theres no collateral that youre required to put up, and you wont need to pay fees or interest. The best part about grants is that the money is yours to keep, and youll never have to pay it back after using it for your startup.
While grant money is awarded to you, it may come with rules that dictate how you can spend it. For example, lets say you apply for a grant that is to be used to advance the technology in your business so that you and your team can work faster and produce more of your product. If you were to use that money to pay your team instead of to buy new technology and equipment, you may have to pay the funds back. You may be guilty of fraud, too, which could cause legal issues for you and your business.
If you do receive a small business startup grant, its imperative that you meet the funders accounting and reporting guidelines and that you spend the money on what the grant covers and nothing else.
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Government Grants For Startups Vs Business Loans
Government grants are very different than a loan. Firstly loans needed to be repaid, typically with interest. Grants, on the other hand have no interest, and dont get repaid. The ideas is that your business will repay the nation with its services and value it adds rather than repaying with money. Government grants for startups and small business encourage meaningful impact on the community, and this is how a business repays their grant.
One important thing to consider is how quickly you need the money. Government grants, due to their competitive nature, tend to take much longer to get. You also need to decide whether you are able to repay a loan. In the case you cannot repay a loan, a government grant is your only option.
Self-funding your business is the best option. However, thats not always possible, and waiting around for funding can come organically can take years. Below is a pros vs cons of government grants vs loans to help you make the best choice for your business:
|Pros of Government Grants|
|Loans put company in debt|
|Not repaying debt can lead to bankruptcy of your business|
Pros vs Cons of Business Loans
What Grants Are Available For
Grants are normally available to do specific things, for example to develop a new product.
You’ll need to apply for a grant before your project has started.
Grants should only be used as an additional source of funding not to fund an entire project.
The grants available to help your idea or business will depend on:
- the kind of idea or business you have sometimes called your business ‘sector’
- the potential of your idea or size of your business
- what you intend to spend the grant on
- where your business is based
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Small Enterprise Development Agency
Seda supports the growth of small business. People can go to Seda for help to start a business or, if they already have a business, to make it stronger and more profitable. There is a Seda branch in each district municipality. These branches offer:
- information, advice and referrals
- business assessments and business mentoring
- technical support
- business linkages
In addition to helping individuals in business, Seda has a special focus on co-operative enterprises, where a group of entrepreneurs share the profits and responsibility of a business.
Contact Seda: 012 441 1000Business Information Centre: 0860 103 703Website: www.seda.org.za
How to write a business plan
The first thing you need to do is state clearly and specifically what your business idea is. Very simply, you need to say what you intend doing, how you plan on doing it, when you plan to do it and why you believe you will succeed. In the process of doing that, you need to do some research into whether your idea and your plan will really work. Your business plan should cover four main areas:
- Work out how big your market is .
- Is the market growing or not?
- List all the factors about your business that will bring you success .
Look carefully at your situation and make a list of the following:
Grants Loans And Programs To Benefit Your Small Business
When you know where to look, help for your small business is there for the taking.
There are many grant programs available to small businesses, depending on a variety of qualifying factors.
Times are tough for small business, but help is available, from both the governmentfederal, state or localand the private sector. It may be in the form of a grant, a loan or a leg up competing in a difficult business environment. Heres a breakdown to help you sort through whats available.
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Centers For Advanced Technology Grants In The Buffalo Niagara Region
These small business grants are given out in the Buffalo Niagara region of New York to businesses that partner with a college or university on a research and development project that helps commercialize a technology and bring it closer to market. There are multiple grants available across the state.
Whats The Difference Between A Small Business Grant And A Loan
A small business loan is money for your business youll have to pay back within an agreed timescale. This is different to a small business grant, which you wont be expected to pay back.
Some grants will be offered on the basis that you must also invest the equivalent amount in your business. For example, if youre given a £10,000 grant, youll need to have £10,000 to invest too.
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Proof Of Concept Grant Fund
This Proof of Concept Grant Fund from Techstart is a pre-commercial grant awarding fund. It supports entrepreneurs in Northern Ireland with grants to explore the viability and commercial potential of an innovative concept.
Techstart gives out concept grants of either up to £10,000 or a concept plus grant of up to £35,000. Concept Grants are awarded on a quarterly basis while Concept Plus Grants are awarded every four months.
Premises Improvement Grants Pendle
At present, theres only one grant available through Pendle Borough Council: Premises Improvement Grants.
These grants provide assistance of up to 50 per cent of eligible costs, up to a maximum of £3,000 . It applies to eligible buildings which are occupied by commercial users and are located within Pendle and town centre boundaries. It also covers redundant commercial properties within and immediately adjacent to the town centre planning boundaries.
The UK Seafood Fund is a £100m fund set up to support the long term future and sustainability of the UK fisheries and seafood sector.
The fund is managed by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs .
The UK Seafood Fund consists of a number of schemes that come under 3 areas of funding:
- Science and innovation
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Small Business Grants In Northern Ireland
The Established SMEs Funding section of Enterprise Ireland lists several ways you can get financial help for your small business if its already up and running and youre based in Northern Ireland.
It also offers High Potential Start-up Funding if your business idea has the potential to develop an innovative product or service for sale on international markets and the potential to create 10 jobs and 1m in sales within three years of starting up.
Ben Franklin Technology Partners
Ben Franklin Technology Partners has been investing in startups in central and northern Pennsylvania for more than 30 years. Tech startups can potentially receive up to four yearly infusions of cash totaling around $500,000. Small manufacturers may be eligible for a one-time investment of up to $250,000. To learn more about eligibility, check out their website.
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Orkney Islands New Business Start Up Grant
Orkney Islands Council fund the New Business Start Up Grant and can give you £500-£1,500. The main condition is that applicants must be developing a new start-up business and build a full-time sustainable enterprise.
The council is looking to target tourism, food and drink, renewable energy, lifeline local service providers and community-based social enterprise companies. Franchise businesses are also eligible.
How Do You Qualify For A Small Business Grant
When you read about qualifying for a small business grant, most people are talking about eligibility.
Each individual grant specifies which businesses are eligible to win it. Anyone can apply for a grant, but if you dont meet the eligibility criteria, you have zero chance to get it.
Of the grants listed on this page, almost every small business can apply for the grants in the government and corporate grant sections.
If youre a woman, you have several grant opportunities on top of that.
The majority of the rest of the grants I included here are for a specific type of business, so youll need to look at them individually and see if your small business is eligible.
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Other Government Funding Options For Your Business
These federal and state programs can also help finance your business:
- Small Business Investment Company Program – The SBA partners with private investment funds licensed as SBICs to provide growth capital to small businesses. Find out if SBIC financing is right for your business.
- Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer Programs – The SBIR/STTR programs are competitive and awards-based. They encourage small businesses to pursue federal research or research and development projects. While exploring their technological potential, businesses can profit from commercialization. Learn how to apply.
- State and Local Business Assistance – Find out about state and local business financial assistance where you live. This includes financing for business expansion, state credit initiatives, and more.
The Supplier Skills Programme
Part-funded by the European Social Fund and managed by Birmingham City Council , the Supplier Skills Programme is aimed at existingsmall to medium sized enterprises seeking to upskill new and existing employees.
SSP responds directly to the skills and training needs identified by SMEs for their employees, thereby offering SMEs what they want and at the time they need It, in order to implement their skills and growth plans.
Training grants of between £500 to a maximum of £18,000 per SME are available and training will be funded 50 per cent by the SME and 50 per cent by the European Social Fund grant.
SSP operates on a funding round basis, with rounds being held every quarter until programme closure in March 2023 .
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Us Department Of Agriculture Grants
USDA grants focus on agricultural development in rural areas. Some of the government grants offered include:
- Rural Economic Development Loan & Grant Program
- Rural Energy for America Program Renewable Energy Systems & Energy Efficiency Improvement Guaranteed Loans & Grants
- Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program
Big House Elevator Grant
SMEs in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire can apply for Elevator grants to support business growth. They must be in creative or digital industries , though.
Theyll put 30 per cent towards the project spend, between £1,050 and £2,250. You must be able to stump up the cash for your side of the deal and you cant use any additional loans or grants to pay for your project.
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Wait To See If You Get The Grant
While we know you want to hear back about your application right away, you probably wont get an answer for a while.
Most grants get quite a few applicants. And the more broad the grant requirements, the more applicants theyre likely to get.
Because so many business owners apply, it can take a long time to find out whether or not you won the grant. After all, someone has to review all those applications.
So settle in for a long wait. But do make sure you check your email and voicemail regularly to make sure you dont miss any important communications about the grantlike telling you that you won.
Focus Your Pitch On Innovation And Expansion
Organizations that issue small business grants typically favor business that they see as innovative, forward thinking, and on a path to growth. Focus your pitch on how you plan to scale, any new technologies you might be developing, and what your business can do to help the organization with its mission.
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Small Business Grants: Here Are 23 You Can Apply For In 2022
Its a difficult time for small businesses affected by the coronavirus outbreak. However, governments at the local, state, and federal levels, as well as private companies may give out grants. Researching and applying for funding requires time and effort, but if you are successful in getting a grant, everything is worthwhile. Here is a breakdown of small business grants to get you started.
Author: Dale Cudmore
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Who doesnt like free money? Thats what small business grants are, right?
It could help you pay salaries, buy stock, or reach new customers.
While grants are free in the sense that you dont have to pay them back, theyre not handouts.
You cant just go to a website and ask for one small business grant please, and expect to get it.
You must apply for a grant, which can take a decent amount of work and effort. Then, youre up against other small businesses that also want the grant. Its common for even small grants to get hundreds of applicants. That said, a list of small business grants is a good starting point.
Ive compiled a list of 23 small business grants, but before I get to that, there are 3 more things you should understand:
The National Lottery Heritage Fund
This fund supports heritage projects ranging from designed landscapes to cultural traditions. The National Lottery Grants for Heritage 2022-23 is prioritising projects that promote inclusion, boost the local economy, encourage skills development and job creation, and support wellbeing.
Theres also the Innovate UK grant and R& D tax reliefs from the government, as we mentioned earlier.
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Retail Improvement Grant Scheme
The Retail Improvement Grant Scheme can offer small grants of up to £4,000 aimed at supporting businesses in making key improvements to their premises and retail operations. Eligible projects could include, but are not limited to: lighting and decoration improvements minor building works shop-front enhancements display equipment and payment system improvements, but does not include salaries, overheads, rent or stock.
To apply for the grant, you must meet the following requirements:
- Be able to commit 25 per cent of the project value in match funding
- Must have engaged in the West Sussex Retail Hub virtual learning programme
- Registered with HMRC/Companies House
- Have a physical shop premises in Crawley borough
- Be a small, independent businesses maximum 50 employees and not part of a regional, national, or international chain or franchise
Applying for a Retail Improvement Grant is simple. Visit the Grant Approval website, create or sign in to an account, and complete the application form: Retail Improvement Grant.
You will be asked to provide background information on your business, some detail about the proposed retail improvement project you are applying for and some supporting evidence.
The University of Derby supplies loans between £15,000 and £250,000 to support private businesses across the East Midlands to innovate, grow and create jobs. The following objectives will be prioritised:
South African Women In Construction
Sawic is a national association of women enterprises or professionals and technical staff in all areas of construction, from the skilled trades to business ownership, with international affiliation to the National association of Women in Construction . Sawic administers, facilitates, advocates and lobbies all the Departments of Public Works for the empowerment of its members.
Contact Sawic: 012 337-2400/2174
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