Where Can I Find Out About Startup And Small Business Grants
Government website GOV.UK is a good place to start if you want to find out what small business grants or startup business grants you can apply for.
Local business support organisations
You could contact your local council, enterprise partnership , chamber of commerce or other local business support organisation for information about small business grants or start up business grants available to you or your business.
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.
Retail Hospitality And Leisure Grant Fund
The Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund, which offers a one-off grant of up to £25,000, applies only to retail, hospitality and leisure businesses.
Eligibility depends on which country youre in:
- In England, your business needs to have a rateable value between £15,001 and £51,000 to be eligible.
- In Scotland, your business needs to have a rateable value between £18,000 and £51,000.
- In Wales, your business needs to have a rateable value between £12,001 and £51,000.
- While in Northern Ireland, your business needs to have a rateable value up to £51,000.
For both grants, your local authority shouldve already contacted you if youre eligible. You might want to check their website if you havent received anything.
In particular, theyll need your up-to-date bank details in order to make the payment, so you might want to get in touch to check.
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How To Apply For Small Business Grants
The application process will vary depending on the grant youre applying for, however here are some general tips to get you started:
- talk to the body awarding the grant find out what theyre looking for and tailor your application to the objectives
- write a thorough business plan
- explain how youll use the money be specific here and show how the funding will help you grow your business
- apply early some grants have a limited pot of money so its always worth getting your application in as early as possible
- create a cashflow forecast this is useful for managing your business finance and is sometimes needed when applying for finance
Just starting out as a small business owner? Make sure you read our guide to starting a business and dont forget to organise business insurance.
Federal Business Grants For Small Business
Although there are plenty of federal business grants for small businesses, they are primarily open to companies in the science, technology, or health fields. If your business is involved in research and development or in scientific initiativesâincluding environmental and climate initiativesâthen federal grant programs might be able to cover some of your expenses and help with your small business funding.
Here are the top federal business grants for small business:
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Natural Sciences And Engineering Research Council Of Canada Alliance
The NSERC Alliance Program supports 1-5 year research projects performed collaboratively between a Canadian university and innovation partner. Administered by Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada , Alliance grants are not awarded directly to the partner, and instead directly offset a portion of university research fees to reduce the contributions required from a participating organization.
- Amount: Up to 66% or up to 50% to a maximum $1 million/project/year OR Up to 90%-100% of eligible project costs to a maximum of $100,000/year.
- Eligibility: Public, private, and non-profit organizations that can collaborate on research activities, use the projects research results and achieve its desired outcomes, and mobilize the research findings upon project completion.
The Interactive Digital Media Fund is an Ontario government grant that offsets a portion of costs directly related to concept definition and production projects. Through this program, digital media developers can leverage government funding to accelerate their growth.
- Amount: Up to 50% of expenses to a maximum $250,000 non-repayable grant.
- Eligibility: Be based in Ontario and Canadian-owned, have at least one owner or full-time employee with a minimum 3 years of experience in the creation or distribution of interactive digital media content, and be in a stable financial situation and have financial documentation to support claims.
Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme
Youll have heard of this scheme. It helps start-ups to raise money for their business. You get a maximum of £150,000 including state aid awarded in the three years running up to the date of investment.
Make sure you meet the conditions so investors can claim and keep SEIS tax reliefs relating to their shares. Said tax reliefs will be withheld or withdrawn if you dont meet these conditions for three years after the investment. The money must be spent within three years of the share issue.
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How To Get Small Business Grant Programs With Grantsgov
How can you get government grant funding opportunities? Its a step-by-step process to submit your grant application. If at some point in the grant process you need technical assistance, that is just a few clicks away.
There are three main phases that are part of applying for grants. Within each phase of the grant process, there may be certain tasks youll need to complete:
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Learn More About Small Business Government Grants And How To Apply
This list of Canadian government grants is intended for small to medium-sized businesses that have been incorporated for at least 3 years, create at least $500,000 in annual revenue, have 15 or more employees, and perform research and development or produce a product in Canada. If you do not meet these qualifications, please visit our source for Canadian Startup Business Resources.
Looking to get started on accessing small business government grants? Connect with a member of the Mentor Works team to learn which grant could be the best fit for your business, and make sure to subscribe to our Weekly Funding Newsletter to stay informed on the latest government funding news and updates.
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National Black Mba Association Scale
The National Black MBA Association Scale-Up Pitch Challenge may benefit you if you have an idea for a scalable Black-owned startup. NBMBAA has launched a competition called Make Big Ideas Bigger. through this competition, eligible startups will have the chance to connect with venture capitalists and other early-stage investors.
As a part of the competition, the NBMBAAs judges will also select and award cash prizes to three finalists. Eligible businesses will hold a virtual pitching session via the application process by sharing their business ideas with a panel of judges when the application process is live. The finalist companies will then have the opportunity to pitch visually and verbally to the judges in a live, three-minute presentation, explaining why they should consider their product or service for this grant.
Capital One Business Grant Program
The Capital One Business grant program is being launched in partnership with the Association for Enterprise Opportunity. Capital One provides free resources in its Business Hub and grants to Black-owned businesses. This program has been officially launched in the spring and will award grants on a rolling basis as applications come in.
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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 don’t get repaid. The ideas is that your business will repay the nation with it’s 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, that’s 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
Do You Have To Pay Back Small Business Grants
No! Thats what makes them grants.
Unlike loans, grants do not require you to be paid back, and can be used for just about anything business-related.
Some grants do require you to report back how the grants were used and how they helped, but thats usually for them to get more publicity or to try and help you further.
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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.
Government Sources For Small Business Grants
There are a wide variety of grants from the government from both the federal and state level.
Grants.gov: The first place all small businesses should go to look for a federal grant. Its a database of thousands of grants with powerful filters that will help you quickly narrow down the results to grants that you have a good chance of getting.
Small Business Administration Grants: The SBA mainly helps small businesses find conventional means of funding .
But they also have a few grant programs, targeted specifically at businesses involved with research or exporting.
Here are the primary grants they sponsor:
Some are focused on rural businesses, but not all of them are. Check the eligibility requirements for each program youre interested in to see if you qualify.
National Institute of Standards and Technology Grants: This is where the NIST lists their grants. They are intended for small businesses involved with science or technology in some way. You can either find the currently active grants here, or through Grants.gov.
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Rural Business Investment Scheme Derry City And Strabane District Council
The fund supplies capital grants for non-agricultural micro, small and social enterprises in rural parts of Derry City and Strabane Council.
Potential applicants must go to a mandatory pre-funding workshop and be investment ready that means having a business plan, planning permission, match funding and quotations or tenders in place for capital grants before you apply.
The support includes 50 per cent funding and grants between £500 and £90,000 depending on the size or activity of the business and marketing grants from £500-£5,000 .
Business Finance in Northern Ireland
In addition to the grants mentioned above, we should also mention that there are a number of government managed SME funding available operated under the aegis of Invest NI, Northern Irelands inward investment agency. The agency oversees £186 million worth of debt and equity funding, beginning with seed stage through to Series A and, ultimately, equity funding. The main funds are:
Small Business Loan Fund
The NI Small Business Loan Fund gives loans between £10,000 and £100,000 to small businesses in Northern Ireland.
Growth Loan Fund II
A £30m loan fund designed to support export-focused Northern Ireland SMEs demonstrating growth or strong growth potential.
Growth Finance Fund
A £30m loan fund designed to support export-focused NI SMEs demonstrating growth or strong growth potential.
Clarendon Fund Managers manages the £17.7m Co-Fund II on behalf of Invest NI.
The Supplier Skills Programme
Part-funded by the European Social Fund and managed by Birmingham City Council , the Supplier Skills Programme is aimed at existing small 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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How Do I Apply For A Small Business Grant
Swoop has a list of accessible grants you can apply for, whether youre an established business or a start-up. You can view the many options available to you by signing up here. Theres a wide range of grants available across several sectors including grants for manufacturing, tech businesses, transport, energy, information and communication technologies, security, climate, aerospace, food, health, environment, and more.
How Do I Apply For A Government Business Grant
Each scheme is different, but check you meet the general terms and criteria before you get too far into the application process. Most grants are very specialist, such as creating a specific type of business or building a business that will help regenerate a local community. Here are our tips of successfully applying for a new business grant.
Talk to the grant body talk to the grant awards body to assess your chances of making a successful application.
Read the grant objectives take time to learn why this grant is being awarded and what it aims to achieve, such as hiring staff from a local community or developing environmentally friendly products. Write your application referring to the objectives as closely as possible to stand the best chance.
Have a great business plan as with other types of funding, the awards body for the grant will expect to see a professional business plan and, if youve started trading, examples of your business position and balance sheet.
Focus on the grant use grants are usually awarded for a specific project, such as buying IT equipment or funding broadband installation. Use the application to show how this will help grow your business and benefit others, rather than on the IT equipment itself.
Check your funding most grants will look to match the amount youre willing to invest, so if youre seeking a grant of £10,000 then make sure youve a matching amount available.
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The Truth About Small Business Grants
In reality, small business grants are few and far between and competition is fierce. For various reasons, applications are not always successful, although there are many things you can do to increase your chances of approval.
In some cases, small business grants might only cover a proportion of costs, for example, if they are given for projects. So, you may need to work out whether your business can come up with the rest of the funding and work out how this will affect your cash-flow. You may not receive a grant until a project nears completion.
Applying for grants takes time and effort, which creates a cost implication for your startup or small business. But you should never rush the process and your research must be thorough. You should apply in good faith and not include any information that isnt truthful or accurate, otherwise, you may be asked to repay a grant.
Those who administer grant funding could ask to see a project or business plan as part of your application. Small business or franchise grants are normally only made available before a project starts, not after you start, so your timing is key. You need to manage your time well if you are to get your application in before the deadline.
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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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Fast Break For Small Business
Small and diverse businesses belonging to Black and ethnic minority communities may be eligible for grant funding through the Fast Break for Small Business program, sponsored by LegalZoom and the NBA, WNBA, and NHL. Over 5,000 small businesses are expected to benefit from the program, resulting in $6 million in grants in cash awards. There will be three $10,000 grants, and each winner will receive a $500 LegalZoom service award.
Applicants should submit their grant applications in the spring of 2022. If you are interested in receiving updated information during the process, please register online.