Alternatives To Business Grants
Business grants may not always be available or suitable for your business. But the good news is that there are alternatives to business grants out there, such as:
Equity finance This is when you sell a share of your business in return for finance. Some equity finance schemes, such as the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme, offer up to a 50% reduction in income tax on investments made in new businesses up to £100,000. Businesses have to be less than two years old and have fewer than 25 employees.
Soft loan These are similar to grants, but are actually loans with lower interest rates and more generous terms than can be found via other lending routes. Backed by the government, the Start Up Loans scheme offers personal loans of up to £25,000 with a 6% interest rate and access to free business support and mentoring.
What Is A Small Business Grant
A small business grant is essentially free money given to a small business owner to help them launch, develop or expand their organization. Grants, unlike a loan, do not have to be paid back, but they often come with restrictions on how the money can be spent.
Just because a grant is free money, doesn’t mean it is easy to get. It takes a lot of time and preparation to apply for a grant, and they are highly competitive, so small businesses should only apply for grants they are eligible for.
Entrepreneurs and small business owners can seek a variety of grants, like private grants from corporations and government grants from federal, state, and local governments. Grants are also available for specific industries and demographics for example, if you are a minority business owner, there are several minority-owned business grants specifically geared toward you.
Key takeaway: Small business grants are free money given to small businesses by private corporations or federal, state, or local government.
Editor’s note: Looking for the right loan for your business? Fill out the below questionnaire to have our vendor partners contact you about your needs.
Good For: Technology Companies
The federal research SBIR grant program is for entrepreneurs focused on innovations in technology that have the potential for commercialization. You can check its funding opportunities here. Focus areas from the past include clean and safe water, homeland security, land revitalization, green construction, advancement of health care, and more.
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What Is A Business Grant
A grant is financial assistance that is given to a person, business, nonprofit, or corporation from federal, state, county, or local governments, or private businesses or corporations. There are a number of companies, nonprofits, and government agencies providing essentially free money to small business owners in the form of a small business grant. And the best part? Grants do not require repayment of any kind.
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Grants can be formed to target businesses based on a variety of factors, including minority-owned businesses, specific for-profit businesses as well as non-profit organizations, veteran-owned businesses, grants for women, and more.
You dont have to make your pitch on Shark Tank, refinance your home, or take out small business loans to take the next step in your entrepreneurial journey business grants may help you get there, if you know where to look and how to apply.
And right now, with so many small businesses struggling through the pandemic, these grants can provide much-needed financial support that could be the difference between thriving or closing your doors.
Weve pulled together numerous resources for business owners searching for small business grant opportunities. The majority of these have broad grant application requirements, meaning many businesses qualify.
Corporate Small Business Grants
Government grants for small businesses are great, but the requirements are often hyper-specific, or the funding amounts arent that large. Big corporations, on the other hand, will often provide small business grants to contest winners. For you, its money to grow your business. For them, itâs a PR win, netting loyal corporate customers and a lot of goodwill.
The difference here is that many corporate-sponsored small business grants involve pitch competitions or something similar. Not all do, of course, but youâll want to be aware that applying to a corporate grant might involve more work. With that, though, comes the potential for publicityâand for runner-up prizes if you dont win first prize.
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Take Advantage Of Available Opportunities
Taking part in the SR& ED Tax credit program gives you access to tax credits, which is a form of free money that can fund your business. The best part about this program is that you dont have to prepare a proposal and wait for approval to be a part of the project.
You can start the project and make your tax claim. However, most businesses do not know if this kind of program exists.
Us Economic Development Administration
The EDA is mandated to foster economic development in all US communities. Grant money is part of the solution and can be viewed on the EDA website, which is constantly being updated to reflect recent funding opportunities. For example, the most recent funding opportunity listed is the Fiscal Year 2020 Public Works and Economic Adjustment Assistance Programs. This grant provides $587 million in funding opportunities for small businesses affected by natural disasters in 2018. Clicking the link redirects you to the Grants.gov website, where you can view details about the grant.
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Vacant Commercial Floor Space Grant Newport
The first year in business can be tricky and Newport want to help with your first years rent in a commercial space or premises. Its open to individuals, independent retailers and franchisees.
The grant will cover 50 per cent of your costs up to the value of £6,000. Have a business plan ready with a one-year cash flow forecast with profit and loss projections included. The grant will be paid directly to your landlord.
Leicester Business Growth Grant
This grant project supports small and medium-sized enterprises that have been trading business-to-business for at least 24 months in Leicester and Leicestershire who are looking to grow or develop their business. Grants from £2,000 up to £25,000 are available providing 35 per cent towards the cost of capital projects . A business adviser is provided to support applicants throughout the process.
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Reopening And Operating Safely
Weve provided resources to help you understand the requirements and best practices for workplace safety. These actions can help you comply with the rules and keep operating safely.
Access the Workplace PPE Supplier Directory to find supplies for your business.
Questions about impacts to your business?
Call the Stop the Spread Business Information line at .
Before Applying For A Grant
Each year, government agencies distribute millions of dollars in grants to eligible businesses. Successful grant applications are backed by detailed research and solid preparation.
Before making a commitment to apply for a grant, make sure you can dedicate enough time and resources to the task. While there is no magic formula for writing a grant application, there are some basic principles you need to follow.
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Funding Sources For Businesses During The Covid
National grants and schemes available to small businesses and the self-employed during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This guide was last updated on 21 December 2021. It contains information regarding national grants and schemes available to small businesses and the self-employed.Grants and funding are also available at local authority level to help support businesses through the COVID-19 crisis. To find out what help and support is available in your area, we strongly recommend you contact your local council.
This information is updated regularly and is correct to the date shown above. We always recommend checking with your local authority for sources of local funding in addition to those mentioned here.
FSB members should log into their dashboard to find details of their local FSB contacts, who can outline local support available.
New support measures were announced by the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, on 21 December 2021, including the return of the national COVID statutory sick pay rebate and £1 billion of new grants for businesses in England. Read FSB’s response here. The Government has stated that grants will be administered to eligible businesses by local authorities and will be available in the coming weeks.
Available in: England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland
Deadline: Ended 30 September 2021
Available in: England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme ended on 30 September 2021.
Are Federal Small Business Grants Better Than Small Business Loans
It depends. Small business grants and small business loans each have their place in small business financing. Your choice depends on:
- How quickly you need the funds
- Whether you are working on a single project or multiple projects
- Ability to repay the loan
In an ideal world, a small business would be fully self-funded and self-sustained. In fact, this is the recommendation for startup businesses. However, there may come a point at which additional funding is needed to facilitate business growth. The table below explains the pros and cons of small business grants from federal agencies and small business loans, so you can determine which funding option makes most sense for your business.
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Canadian Government Grant Loan And Funding Programs Mentor Works Can Write For Your Business
Canadian government funding programs can support small businesses, large corporations, non-profits and post-secondary research institutions. However, the key to accessing these programs is knowing which ones provide the best fit for your organization and upcoming projects.
Mentor Works team of Canadian government grant & loan application writers have an average success rate of 86% across all government funding programs and provide our clients with an average of 95% time savings. Speak with a member of our team to find out what programs your business may be eligible for by calling us at or visiting our Get Funding Help page.
Grants And Help For Your New Business
If youve launched a new business or become self-employed, help is at hand. Government support such as grants, low-cost business advice and mentoring will help you get off the ground.
Help from the government shouldnt be mistaken for free money. If your business is still young, most government assistance focuses on building your skills and knowledge, and linking you with advisors and networks.
There are many free or low-cost opportunities available if youre in the early stage of business.
The more fully formed your business idea is, the more help youll be able to get. Whether youre self-employed, own or run a business, its a good idea to do some business planning before you approach any advisors, mentors and funding officers.
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The Top Four Places To Look For Small Business Grants
Who Can Get A Grant
The federal government awards grants to organizations including:
State and local governments
The intent of most grants is to fund projects that will benefit specific parts of the population or the community as a whole. What you might see about grants online or in the media may not be true. The federal government does not offer grants or free money to individuals to start a business or cover personal expenses. For personal financial assistance, the government offers federal benefit programs. These programs help individuals and families become financially self-sufficient or lower their expenses.
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Grants For Particular People And Places
You can access grants to small business program northwest territories. These grants are ideal for small businesses, sole proprietorships, partnerships, and cooperatives that have less than $500,000 in gross sales.
All Northwest businesses qualify for up to $15,000 a year under the SEED entrepreneur support program. The money can assist with the cost of startup, operational support, product promotion, market development, and capital assistance.
Aspiring farmers in Quebec are eligible for startup grant of up to $25000. The only catch is that they need to be between the ages of 18 and 40, and the projects need to steer sustainable development.
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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Federal Government Tax Credits
Many tax credits provided by the federal government help Ontario businesses defray the cost of hiring and research & development.
Heres a sample a federal tax credits for Ontario businesses:
- For businesses that use apprentices, the Apprenticeship Job Creation Tax Credit gives the business a tax credit when apprentices meet certain criteria while employed in an apprenticeship program.
Provincial government loans support a wide range of activities, including capital investment, green/clean tech, and more.
Heres a small sample of the business loans offered by the Ontario provincial government:
Business Grants For Minorities
There are many loans available for minorities, but few grants, just like veterans.
Minority Business Development Agency : The MBDA offers very restricted grants to all types of American minorities. The grants are only given to those interested in running one of MBDAs Minority Business Centers, and only in specific locations that they want to expand to. Youll need to offer consulting services, and help them secure financing and investments. Youll need to show that you have experience doing this, so very few people are eligible.
In addition to those grants, MBDA also occasionally runs other grant competitions. Youll have to monitor their news to find these opportunities in the future, but there are no set schedules or eligibility guidelines for them.
First Nations Development Institute Grants: Monitor this page to find grant opportunities for small businesses owned by Native Americans. This organization has given over 1,400 grants for a total of almost $30 million dollars from 1993 to 2017. There are no restrictions on the types of businesses eligible for the grants, as long as the owner is Native American. You can subscribe to their email list to be alerted to any new opportunities.
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The Smart Concept Fund Wolverhampton
Another Proof of Concept grant, this fund gives up to £16,500 at an intervention rate of up to 55 per cent to fund an approved development project. Its expected to close early 2023. You must be based in the Black Country, The Marches or Stoke on Trent and Staffordshire.
Its targeted towards businesses in the following areas:
- Transport technologies
- Building technologies/construction
What Type Of Credit Do You Need To Get A Grant
However, youll likely need decent credit to get your business up and running in the first place before you can even apply for most grants.
Additionally, most grants require that your small business be in good financial standing, meaning that you dont have any unreasonable debt that cant realistically be paid back.
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Small Innovation Grants Scheme
This grant scheme is administered by the Highlands and Islands Enterprise agency, which is based in Inverness. The agency can offer grants of up to £15,000. The award of this funding is discretionary, with priority given to innovation projects that are directly responding to the COVID-19 crisis.
This could be a health-related solution, or something that helps other businesses get back to work whether through diversification, use of technology, adapting business practices to adjust to the changing economic environment, or developing new products to continue to trade.
The CBFS is managed by Arts & Business Scotland, an independent charity. The fund offers pound for pound match funding for eligible projects of between £1,000 and £40,000 and is available across two tiers:
- Smaller funds of between £1,000 and £3,000
- Larger funds of over £3,000 and up to £40,000
Its aims are to encourage businesses to sponsor arts and heritage activity within Scotland while building new business sector partnerships over a minimum two to three-year commitment.
Covid Financial Support: Grants Funds And Rebates For Businesses Affected By Coronavirus
Simon is an award-winning journalist who writes about business and personal finance for The Times and a wide variety of other publications. He covers small businesses and self-employment.
As they embrace 2022 and look to the year ahead, leaders of small and medium-sized enterprises know they need every bit of financial support they can get to navigate the continuing financial challenges brought about by coronavirus.
Above almost every other sector, those operating in hospitality and leisure continue to be particularly hard hit by the pandemic and are in need of financial support.
In response to this ongoing demand, in December 2021, the government announced an update of national grants and other schemes intended to help those SMEs and self-employed people who have been most severely affected by the pandemic and by concerns among consumers about spending time in public spaces.
According to trade body UK Hospitality, more than half of venues reported falls of more than 40% in their revenue during the weekend before Christmas, with a fifth of businesses experiencing a drop of more than 60%.
Around 200,000 businesses are eligible for business grants, which will be administered by local authorities and are available now, with more opening up in the coming weeks. We feature details of them in this article.
Heres what we cover:
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