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Finding The Best Startup Business Grant For Your Small Business

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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.

Isle Of Wight Rural Sme Fund

Provided by Solent Local Enterprise Partnership, the Isle of Wight Rural SME Fund supports SMEs with potential for economic growth, leveraging in private sector investment, creating or protecting jobs and helping the rural sector.

Grants are available for capital expenditure between £2,500 and £50,000 but 50 per cent of the costs must be matched by private funds.

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:

  • It will create new jobs or safeguard existing positions in your company
  • It will increase the scope or scale of your company activity
  • It will improve the companys performance
  • It has not commenced and will not be achievable in the timescales proposed without Invest to Grow support

You must be able to create jobs that can be sustained for at least three years businesses that create higher-skilled jobs are preferred. The following sectors are also preferred:

  • Manufacturing
  • Life sciences

If your business is based in Maidstone and your apprentice is aged 16-24, you could be entitled to a £1,500 apprenticeship grant.

The amount you get will depend on the apprentice.

  • If theyre aged 16-18, you can get all their course costs up to advanced level apprenticeship qualifications
  • You can get half course costs if theyre aged 19-23
  • You may only receive a contribution if theyre 24-years-old or older

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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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

Where Do I Get Money For Starting A Business

Small business: GREAT ambition

One of the most important decisions youll make when starting out on your business adventure is deciding on how youll fund it. Your first thought may be to head to a bank for a business loan, but high interest rates and strict terms and conditions can make this an expensive option in the long-term.

Thankfully, theres plenty of alternative routes you can take to raise that all-important capital to get your business off the ground.

Has one of these routes caught your attention? Find out more about these funding options and more with our guide to alternative funding for small businesses to help you decide on the path thats right for you.

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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.

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.

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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.

Where To Find Business Grants

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Below is a list of some of the most robust resources for finding grants that can aid your business:

  • is one of the top places to search for grants. The government site is filled with various grant and financing opportunities.
  • is the ultimate database for federal grants. You can search for grants by funding type, eligibility, category and agency. Be forewarned: Sorting through the database will require some effort, but the potential payoff is that you may find a grant opportunity that is perfect for your company.

In the wake of the coronavirus, there are resources, including federal and private funding sources, that are helping businesses cope with the drastic economic contraction that is affecting the world.

  • Economic Injury Disaster Loans are administered by the SBA and can provide businesses with working capital to pay employees, rent and other expenses.
  • In addition to government loans, companies like Verizon have created funds that provide grants to small businesses.

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Government Help For Business Owners During Covid

Heres your at-a-glance guide to federal support

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The federal government rolled out a massive aid package for businesses affected by Covid-19, including billions in wage subsidies and credit.

See the table below for a summary of programs that continue to be available to business owners during the pandemic.

The Canada Emergency Business Account and loan programs listed are part of the governments Business Credit Availability Program that provides direct lending to small and medium-sized businesses. BCAP is administered by Export Development Canada and the Business Development Bank of Canada , with loans co-ordinated through banks or other financial institutions.

Also note that the government extended layoff periods in response to Covid-19 to allow employers more time to recall laid-off employees.

For targeted business funding, including support for Indigenous and Black-led businesses, businesses in the territories and certain sectors, and women and youth entrepreneurs, see the governments economic response plan for Covid-19.

Greater Lincolnshire Growth Fund

Greater Lincolnshire LEP can offer between £150,000 and £500,000 in capital grant funding with the provision of between 70 per cent and 80 per cent match funding from you. Projects must be able to start within 12 months of the funding award.

The priority sectors are agri-food, manufacturing, health and care, ports and logistics, visitor economy, low carbon and digital.

Successful applicants will need to pay a due diligence fee of up to £10,000 if they wish to proceed with the funding process.

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Outdoor Service Enhancement Scheme

The OutdoorService Enhancement Scheme will give qualifying businesses in thehospitality sector, a payment of up to 4,000 to help enhance their outdoorseating capacity and weatherproof service areas. Details of the scheme areexpected soon.

The law hasbeen updated to allow licensed premises to sell alcohol for consumption intheir outdoor seating areas .

Relondon Circular Pilot Grants

We want to know how Government can help you and your ...

With funding from the London Mayors Green New Deal Fund, the ReLondon Circular pilot grants have launched for SMEs in the capital. The scheme aims to support small businesses with circular economy projects as part of their Covid-19 recovery plan. Successful applicants will receive a grant of between £10,000 and £15,000 and may get 12 hours of additional support from an ReLondon business advisor to design and deliver the pilot.

Applications will be open until 23:59 on July 18, 2021.

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Digital High Street Fund Elmbridge

The Elmbridge Digital High Street Fund offers grants to help independent high street retailers to establish or upgrade e-commerce websites.

Funding of up to 90 per cent of eligible costs, up to a maximum of £2,000, is available to independent high street retailers located within the defined primary or secondary frontage of Elmbridge town centres and high streets.

Harborough Business Grant For Apprenticeships

Grants of up to £750 are available to help businesses in the Harborough district take on new apprentices. Your business must have fewer than 150 employees and must not have taken on an apprentice for at least two years, though there could be flexibility on the latter depending on the circumstances.

The RDPE is as it sounds: a programme to develop agricultural and forestry sectors. Within the programme, there are a number of grants for farming ammonia reduction, countryside productivity and rural broadband.

Business Grants Wales

The main providers of grants in Wales are the Welsh Government, the UK Government, the EU, local authorities and charities.

The finance locator on the Business Wales website is a great starting point for looking at the grants and other types of funding available in Wales, allowing you to filter and sort your results by funding type, source, geographic area, application status and so on to see the most relevant options for your business.

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Economic Injury Disaster Loans

An Economic Injury Disaster Loan helps small businesses and nonprofits that are losing money during the coronavirus pandemic and that need funds for financial obligations and operating expenses.

SBA is accepting applications for EIDLs until December 31, 2021.

Adur And Worthing Small Business Grants

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Adur council is offering a growth grant and an apprenticeship grant. The Small Business Growth Grant is open to micro businesses with up to ten employees to encourage growth and expansion of the local economy. Theres a grant of up to £2,500 available, with a 50 per cent match funding contribution required.

The Apprenticeship Grants are available to individual businesses of up to 50 employees and pays out £1,000 per apprentice. Each individual business can apply for up to two grants.

The Worthing grant fund is now fully committed and not accepting new applications.

These grants are ideal if youre based in the west of England and need of a business coach. Grants of between £1,000 and £5,000 are available to businesses to help with cost of coaching in the following areas:

  • Business/Executive coaching

And to help businesses with COVID-19 recovery, theyve expanded their scope to the following areas:

  • Resilience planning
  • Planning for recovery
  • Repurposing manufacturing capacity

Grants are available to businesses looking to invest between £4,000 and £20,000 in one of the above areas over a course of ten months maximum. Your company must have between seven and 250 employees and have had at least two years of sustained growth.

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Broadland District Enterprise Grant

This one is open to small businesses trading in the Broadland district with fewer than ten employees who can apply for a grant of up to £750. The only condition is that youre expanding and developing opportunities.

You can also get a start-up grant of £750 if youre starting up a new business but you must apply before you start trading. The grant is payable once you start trading.

Broadland District Council will need to see business accounts and quotes for the work or equipment that the grant will be covering.

Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund

Small and micro businesses can apply for the Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund. To be eligible for this, you have to not be eligible for the grants mentioned above.

Its intended to help with fixed property costs for English businesses, so youll need to be operating out of a premises.

Grants up to £25,000 are available.

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Business Growth And Digital Growth Grants

Business Lincolnshire is awarding grants to SMEs looking to increase turnover or create jobs. It can contribute between 40 per cent and 50 per cent of your overall costs, ranging from £1,000 to £5,000. Your firm must be based in the Greater Lincolnshire area and your grant activity proposal must be agreed with a Business Lincolnshire adviser.

Applications can be for a capital or revenue grant.

Theyre available through:

Lincolnshire Growth Hub Business Growth Grant

For purchasing equipment, software and specialist consultancy support.

Lincolnshire Growth Hub SME Digital Growth Grant

For funding the implementation of internal ICT solutions like cloud data storage or ecommerce platforms as well as digital systems. Its a fixed grant of £1,000 with an intervention rate of 50 per cent.

The Business Innovation Fund supports businesses from a wide range of sectors to help develop innovative projects and products that not only fulfil market demand, but also deliver industrial growth.

  • Grants of £20,000 or £50,000 to invest in innovation
  • Support and guidance to move from concept to commercialisation
  • Collaborate with our regions leading research institutions
  • Advice on intellectual property, testing and research and development roadmaps
  • Development of a bespoke research, development and innovation action plan for your business

You can apply if:

Small Business Development Centers

Government grants and incentives

Once youve exhausted your searches for grants from federal agencies, the next stop on your list should be local and state business grants. You may be able to hit paydirt and find some of these on your own, but theres a free, local resource that may help.

Small Business Development Centers are a business owners best friend. Local, regional, state, and national offices mentor small business owners and help them understand business financing options, craft marketing strategies, and connect to other local business owners .

One thing they can help with is navigating the grant process. Very few people have as much visibility as SBDC advisors do on the local business grant scene. Its the one appointment you cant afford not to make when searching for small business grants.

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How Do I Qualify For A Small Business Grant

Each grant has specific qualifications youll need to meet in order to apply. Its important to review these first so you dont waste your time applying for grants you arent eligible for.

Some may require you to be in a certain industry. Others may require you to be in business a certain amount of time or be generating a certain revenue. You may have restrictions on how you use the funds.

Blaenau Gwent Kick Start Plus

A joint initiative funded by UK Steel Enterprise and administered by Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council. The grant is aimed at supporting new businesses trading from six months up to three years old, to develop and expand. The maximum grant award for business is £1,000 and applicants must be able to fund 50 per cent of the total funding required.

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Target Services Available For Your Small Business

Every city, province or state has a small business office or economic development department. Staff there can refer you to local business incubators, networking events and financing programs. Often, these offices offer free business consulting services they will also help you to navigate complex government regulations.

Are you investing in research and development or building a new facility? Do you want to participate in an International Trade Mission? Tell the small business office about your expansion plans and they will direct you to the appropriate assistance that you need. Find your local small business office in Canada or in the U.S.

Low Carbon Innovation Grants Warwickshire

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Low Carbon Innovation Grants helps companies to develop a low carbon product or invest in low carbon technology. Again, the council will cover 40 per cent of improvements, providing funding between £1,000 and £50,000. Its intended for energy efficient upgrades and putting eco-friendly waste management systems in place.

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Government Grants For Small Businesses: Grant And Loan Support To Help Your Business

Keir is Sages dedicated expert in the small business and accountant fields. With over two decades of experience as a journalist and small business owner, he cares passionately about the issues facing businesses worldwide.

Funding your business can be difficult, whether thats getting it off the ground, or growing a successful enterprise.

A variety of government grants and loans are available to address just this need, and should be investigated by all businesses. Read this article to learn about the financial support thats available to your business.

Here are the topics that are covered in this article:

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 .

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