Small Business Development Centers
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.
Colorado Export Development Grant
Colorado regularly ranks as one of the best states for startups and entrepreneurship, and the state government is helping to make sure that innovation continues in this state. Colorado offers government grants for many types of small and medium-sized businesses, especially businesses that are interested in international development or that are involved in advanced industries like robotics.
Good For: Community Businesses
The Caleb Brown Venture Capital and Consulting Project hosts a $1,000 grant aimed at promoting and nurturing young urban entrepreneurs with vision who plan to rebuild local blocks, neighborhoods, and communities by providing training and jobs to the next generation. The grant is open to startups and young businesses in urban areas. This contest is run every monthsubmit your application by the 15th to enter.
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A Business Development Program
The federal government offers a fantastic business development program for minority and women owned enterprises. Becoming an 8A certified company allows tremendous advantage in obtaining federal contracts and working with major corporations. While most people may not have heard of it, this certification can truly transform your business. Visit SBA.gov.
Small Business Technology Transfer Program
The STTR program is similar to the SBIR but the emphasis is more on establishing public and private sector partnerships in research and development. This government grant for small businesses creates opportunities for small businesses to collaborate on joint ventures with the nations leading nonprofit organizations. The products produced are commercialized and some, or all, of the profits given to the small business. Like the SBIR program, any small business that receives the grant must complete three phases to receive the full grant award.
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.
Manitoba Industrial Opportunities Program
MIOP provides low-interest repayable funding contributions to attract investment from small and medium-sized businesses. Funds provide a critical pathway to securing large-scale investments from businesses who are established or looking to begin operations in Manitoba. Read More
- Amount: Repayable funding contributions ranging from $500,000 to $5,000,000. Five- to- seven-year repayment period at RBC prime + 2%.
- Eligibility: Established or commercially viable businesses in Manitoba. Must provide minimum 20% project costs.
WRAPP offers Manitoba government grants to help businesses, municipalities, non-profits, and educational institutions move towards more sustainable waste management/pollution prevention practices. Read More
- Amount: Grants typically up to $25,000 per project innovative projects may receive up to $50,000.
- Eligibility: For-profit and non-profits, local governments and First Nations, academic institutions.
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Libraries often work in conjunction with local Chambers of Commerce or business organizations already and may be able to connect you with experts who know the local lay of the land and help you find business grants specific to your community.
Dine & Discover Nsw Voucher Scheme
The NSW Government’s Dine & Discover Voucher scheme supports hospitality, arts and tourism businesses.
Four vouchers, worth $25 each, are available to every NSW resident. They can be used for:
- dining in at restaurants, cafes, bars, wineries, pubs and clubs
- takeaway meals
- entertainment and recreation, including cultural institutions, live music and arts venues.
Vouchers are valid until June 2022.
Eligible businesses can register now for the scheme. For more information, visit Dine & Discover NSW.
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Government Grants For Small Businesses
Government grants are a desirable source of funding for many small businesses. Well-known sources for government grants include agencies like Grants.gov, Challenge.gov, the U.S. Small Business Administration , and the U.S. Economic Development Administration , but small businesses should look to every tier of the government to find the best grant for their business.
If this is a funding option you are considering, check out these government grants for small businesses.
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.
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State Small Business Grants
Federal small business grants are limited by industry and in number, and theyâre often very competitive. Donât feel discouragedâlook for grants at a state or municipal level for access to a wider variety of lesser-known opportunities. Below are some places to start looking, but we recommend doing a deep dive into what your own state and local area can offer.
How To Find A Grant For A Small Business
A quick Google search will pull up millions of results for business grants. So many possibilities are out there that it can seem impossible to narrow down the prospects. But there are a few resources that can not only help you find the right grants for your business, but even assist in the application process, and help you identify grant opportunities that cant be missed.
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How To Apply For A Small Business Grant
Work smart AND hard. Instead of filling out an individual grant application, do what every job applicant does and create a resume for your business that outlines your answers to the common questions business grant-givers ask of their applicants. While grants are technically free money, that doesnt mean they come without hard work on your part.
Some applications will vary based on whats required. For example, a local government grant will likely require an explanation of how your businesss growth and development will benefit local commerce directly, while a grant from a private company like FedEx may require a persuasive video.
Here are a few common details you may need to provide when applying for a business grant:
Consider Hiring A Grant Writer
Grant writing is an art, so consider hiring a grant writer if possible. A grant writer will know what kind of language to use to make your application stand out, which can make quite the impact when you’re competing.
It’s worth noting that grant writers can be rather expensive, so if you’re strapped for cash you may want to hold off and consider taking some free grant writing courses instead.
Instead of taking out loans you’ll have to pay back, grants offer you the opportunity to earn money without going into debt. Before you start applying to grant programs, ensure you’ve covered all your business’s legal bases.
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The Different Types Of Small Business Grants
There are two main types of grants: government and private.
To find federal and state grants, you can browse government databases based on your location and industry. But these are often paid services that are poorly organized and outdated.
Corporations provide grants to small businesses as well. These private grants usually have less rigorous application requirements, but more competition for funds.
You can also apply for a foundation grant. This is another kind of private grant, but instead of a corporation, youâll receive grant money from a charitable foundation.
Unfortunately, the internet hasnât invented a one-stop database where you can search for every kind of grant. So weâve compiled a list of the top government and private grant databases, complete with quick navigation links.
Shuttered Venue Operators Grants
The Shuttered Venue Operator Grant program has closed, but the SBA says that it will open the program for supplemental SVOGs for 50% of the original award amount, capped at a total of $10 million.
Those eligible businesses include:
- Live performing arts organization operators
- Relevant museum operators, zoos and aquariums who meet specific criteria
- Motion picture theater operators, or
- Talent representatives
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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.
Top Government Grants For Small Business
- . This popular program provides funding of up to $1 million to help small businesses innovate, grow and compete in the market. SMEs can also access expert advice and additional incentives through the program.
- Austrade Landing Pad. These grants help startups take their business global in key markets, including Shanghai, Berlin and Singapore. SMEs get access to global innovation hubs, introductions to local business networks, and advice to help them succeed in a new market.
- Export Market Development Grant. Designed to encourage SMEs to develop export markets, this grant is a financial assistance program for current and new exporters. In response to COVID-19, the EMDG export performance requirements for 202021 have been waived and the Initial Payment Ceiling Amount is $100,000.
- Accelerating Commercialisation. This grant provides SMEs with up to $1 million in project funding to commercialise a novel product, process or service. Eligible applicants need to be exploring commercialisation opportunities in different states or territories from their state of business.
- State government grants. Each state has its own small business grants to support startups and scale-ups. The following are a few examples:
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Jack Daniels Pitch Distilled
Jack Daniels hosts an annual pitch competition with the goal of inspiring entrepreneurs to surface the next big idea. Small business startups can apply and if accepted, theyll pitch their ideas at the Pitch Distilled event to a group of business owners. The winner of this pitch contest will win a $5,000 prize, plus advice and guidance from the panel of judges to help make their idea a reality.
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.
State And Regional Small
Economic Development Administration: This U.S. Department of Commerce agency provides grants, resources and technical assistance to communities to support economic growth and encourage entrepreneurship and innovation.
Each states agency helps businesses find financing , secure locations and recruit employees. You can search the economic development directory for regional offices and local resources.
Small Business Development Centers: Your local SBDC provides support for small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs. Theyre often associated with local universities or the states economic development agency, and many can help connect business owners with financing opportunities, as well as counseling, training and technical assistance.
First Nations Development Institute Grants
The First Nations Development Institute is a nonprofit organization that has successfully provided over $29 million total grant money to projects that help Native Americans, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians.
If youâve given up hope that thereâs a grant out there for you, donât worry. There are lots of other small business funding optionsâlike SBA loans, or a traditional bank loan. If you want to know how long your grant will sustain your business operations, consider tracking your burn rate.
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Sydney Cbd Friday Voucher Program
The NSW Government has announced a new voucher program to encourage the community back into the Sydney CBD and support businesses impacted by COVID-19.
The program will offer 500,000 NSW residents 4 x $25 vouchers to spend at dining and entertainment venues in the Sydney CBD on Fridays.
Eligible COVID-Safe dining and entertainment businesses in the 2000 postcode will be able to register for the program in late 2021.
We’ll have more information available soon.
Rural Energy For America Program
This grant program, run by the Department of Agriculture, centers on small businesses in eligible rural areas looking to purchase, construct, or install renewable energy systems or energy efficiency improvement technologies. You can partner one of these federal business grants with a USDA loan guaranty as well, and together theyâll back up to 75% of your eligible project costs.
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Where To Find Government Grants For New Businesses
Government grants are available for UK businesses, as well as via the Welsh and Northern Ireland Assemblies, and from the Scottish Parliament. If youre starting a UK business, begin with the useful Business Finance Support Finder. The Welsh government has access to a similar list of grants at its Business Grants website. Enterprise Ireland has access to funding for small businesses up to larger enterprises, while the Scottish governments Funding Opportunities website provides access to over 600 grants and funding options.
Operation Hope Small Business Empowerment Program
Operation Hope Small Business Empowerment Program understands the struggle to seek funding and valuable resources for startup businesses. To advocate for minority entrepreneurs, they offer an 8- and 12-week entrepreneurship training program with funding opportunities. This program helps small businesses learn new tools and skills to develop their practice.
- Program benefits: Entrepreneurship training programs in 8- and 12-week courses.
- Where to apply: For more information, visit their website.
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Find Out How You Can Take Advantage Of These Government Grants To Start Or Grow Your Business
- Government grants are free federal, state and locally funded programs offered to help launch or grow small businesses.
- Only apply for grants that you are eligible for and can meet all the conditions of the grantor.
- Look to your local government for coronavirus-relief programs specific to your community.
- This article is for new or existing small business owners who want to secure a government grant to help them launch or grow their organizations.
Launching and expanding a small business is expensive, and there are several financial routes you can take to secure funding. For many small business owners, government grants are a desirable option. Several grants are provided by federal, state, and local governments to help small businesses launch, grow, and develop their companies. Learn what the best government grants in 2020 are, how to apply and five tips to help your business get one.
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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