Easy Grants For Small Business

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Look For Grants Within Your Industry

Easy Grants to Apply For | $2500, $5000, $20000 GRANTS Apply Now

A lot of small business grants are industry specific, so it can help narrow down your search if you focus on organizations and research institutions within your particular industry. Focusing on one industry also builds buzz around your business, and can help build connections with industry figures who may be able to offer guidance and investment opportunities.

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:

  • Almost all grants are for existing businesses if you havent started your company, its almost impossible to win a grant. Look for a loan instead.
  • 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 small business owners .

    One thing they can help with, for example, is creating a business plan that can help you create an exciting vision for your company, and a compelling pitch on how youll use the grant money. They may also be able to help you navigate federal small business grants.

    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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    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 small business grant programs 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.

    Small Business Innovation Research Program

    Finding Grants is Easy! [Video] in 2021

    SBIR is a competitive grant program that encourages small businesses in the U.S. to engage in research and development for federal agencies. Itâs an awards-based program for high-tech innovation with the potential for commercialization, overseen by the U.S. Small Business Administration . To qualify, you must operate a for-profit business with less than 500 employees and fulfill all eligibility requirements. One notable SBIR grant is run by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research which provides ten grants of up to $100,000 for research and innovation in the field of accessibility.

    Browse “solicitations” posted by federal agencies and filter by program, agency, or phase. Click any headline for further details on how to apply.

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    Dont Miss The Opportunity

    There are many small business grants out there if youre willing to work for them.

    If you want to win them, youll need to take it seriously and beat out the competition. Dont be afraid to apply to smaller ones, because they will often have less competition than the grants for high awards.

    I strongly encourage you to also visit local small business associations, and pursue other means of small business financing if you need money urgently.

    If you still have any questions about grants, please leave a comment and Ill try to answer them.

    Small Business Technology Transfer Program

    The STTR program is another competitive grant program that expands funding opportunities for federal research and development. Both the SBIR and the STTR programs encourage research partnerships, but STTR requires each applicant to collaborate with a non-profit research institution during the first two phases of the program. To qualify, you must operate a for-profit business with less than 500 employees and fulfill all eligibility requirements.

    You can also find SBIR and STTR programs offered through the Department of Energy and Department of Defense.

    See a list of solicitations posted by federal agencies and filter by program, agency, or phase. Click any headline for further details on how to apply.

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    Tory Burch Foundation Fellowship Grant

    Designer Tory Burch has a fund with the goal of mentoring and uplifting women entrepreneurs across all walks of life.

    • Award amount: $5,000
    • How to apply: Visit the website for details on the fellowship program and the foundation itself.

    In addition to a monetary grant, the Fellowship program offers a year-long education model with mentorship tailored to your needs. The foundation also offers a peer network of other recipients and a trip to Burch’s New York office.

    Read The Eligibility Requirements Carefully


    It sounds obvious, but its not hard to overlook aspects of grant eligibility requirements and end up putting a ton of effort into applying for a grant youre ineligible for. Read the requirements carefully and evaluate whether you qualify for the grant. If youre unsure whether you qualify, contact someone from the organization and ask.

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    Specialty Small Business Grants

    Some organizations set aside funds for certain groups of business owners who face unique challenges, including minorities, veterans and women.

    • Black Founder Startup Grant: SoGal Foundation, along with its partners, offer several cash grants that range from $5,000 to $10,000 to Black women and nonbinary entrepreneurs. To qualify, you must have a legally registered business, identify as a Black woman or Black nonbinary person and plan to seek investor funding to scale.
    • The Veteran Small Business Award: The Street Shares Foundation hosts a pitch contest each year for veteran-owned businesses that have a social impact on the military community. If you qualify, you must create a pitch video and submit an online application. Applications are closed for 2021.
    • The Amber Grant Foundation: The Amber Grant foundation awards $14,000 each month and $25,000 in December to women-owned businesses. While applying for this small business grant is easyyou only have to fill out a short formthe application fee is $15.

    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.

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    Our Top Business Grants For 202:

  • The Small Business Innovation Research program offers the best federal small business grants for tech companies. The SBIR program is a highly competitive grant program that provides funding for qualifying small businesses to engage in technological research and innovation.
  • The US Economic Development Administration offers the best state small business grant for innovation. EDA grants are state-level funding awarded to small businesses that prioritize entrepreneurship and innovation to stimulate economic growth.
  • The FedEx Small Business Grant Contest offers the best corporate small business grant for growth. FedEx awards $25,000 in grants to 12 qualified applicants as well as additional services each year through their small business grant contest.
  • The Amber Grant is the best small business grant for women. The Amber Grant is awarded monthly with one of the monthly winners receiving additional funding annually as well.
  • The Minority Business Development Agency offers the best small business grant for minorities. The MBDA currently offers three ongoing grants for minority-owned businesses.
  • The National Association for the Self-Employed Growth Grant offers the best business grant for startups. NASE provides grants for established startups that are seeking funding to take their business to the next level.
  • Small Business Grants: Where To Find Funds

    Fast, easy funding for your business. We make things simple. Get the ...

    A small business grant is funding offered by a federal, state or local government, or a private entity like a corporation or foundation. The best part? It doesnt need to be paid back the way a business loan would. While the business grants below usually wont cover every business expense, they can provide needed capital without putting your company in debt. But because its such a sweet deal, theres plenty of competition and some limits grants may only be open to certain types of businesses or available in specific regions. Learn here where you should look and how to apply for a small business grant.

    LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site . LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

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    How To Use A Small Business Grant Wisely

    Many small business owners believe that grant money is free money. However, this is not always the case. While it is true that many organizations award grants that do not require repayment, there are often strings attached to the grant program.

    For example, the grant may need to be used for a specific purpose, such as hiring new employees, technical assistance, or purchasing new equipment. In addition, grant recipients may be required to provide reports or documentation detailing how the money was used.

    As a result, it is important to carefully consider how to use the money before accepting an award. By doing so, you can ensure that the grant is used in a way that benefits your business and meets the requirements of the grant-giving organization.

    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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    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.

    What Can You Do With A Small Business Grant

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    It can offer several benefits to small business owners seeking grant money. Grant money is effectively free money for small businesses that meet certain criteria to thrive and grow without the stress of repaying a loan. Small company grants can be utilized for a variety of purposes, including:

    • Small business innovation research, or scientific research
    • Investing in research and development
    • Program for business innovation research
    • Small rural enterprises can expand and prosper with the help of local incentives.
    • Technology upgrades in the workplace
    • Grants for certain sectors and industries

    There are also specific awards for small enterprises only available for a limited time. Grants from the federal government, such as Coronavirus Small Business Grants and Shuttered Venue Operators Grants, can be used in this way.

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    Competitive Small Business Grants

    The following grants are super competitive as many people apply for them. It is no doubt that winning these grants is tough, but the grant money makes it worth competing.

    1. FedEx Small Business Grant Contest

    The grand prize winner of the FedEx Small Business Grant Contest gets $50,000, plus $7,500 in FedEx Office print services.

    2. Visa Everywhere Initiative

    Visa Everywhere Initiative offers business grants that can shine existing businesses more. The regional and global finals receive validation, exposure, and monetary benefits.

    Economic Development Administration Grants

    The Build to Scale Program seeks to build regional economies by funding scalable startups through various grant competitions. Total funding stands in the millions, with $45 million in federal funds available to startups in 2022.

    • Award amount: Varies
    • How to apply: Visit the website for details on grant competitions.

    The B2S program accepts applications for three different competitions: Venture Challenge, Capital Challenge, and Industry Challenge.

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    Where To Get Free Money To Start A Small Business

    Money moves a small business growth engine. But finding a business loan is not easy when you have just a business idea. In such a situation, you often think how do I get free money to start a business?

    The good news is you can get free money to start a small business. Many organizations, government and private, offer business grants to help people realize their dream of running a business.

    Whether youre thinking about starting a new business or youre already running one, these business grants can help you get going in the time of a cash crunch.

    Lets dive in:

    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.

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    Best Business Grant For Veterans: Streetshares Foundation Veteran Small Business Award

    Grant amount: $4,000-$15,000

    The StreetShares Foundation is a 501 nonprofit organization that provides grants and other funding opportunities for veterans and their families to support and maintain their small businesses. The mission of this organization is to educate, support, and encourage veteran entrepreneurship by providing the resources that may be challenging for this community to secure.

    This is a terrific resource for veteran entrepreneurs because of its exceptional grant program as well as its access to tools and mentorship.

    To apply for a StreetShares Foundation grant, you need to meet the following criteria/eligibility requirements:

    • Applicants must be a veteran, reserve, or transitioning active duty member .
    • Applicants must own at least 51% of the business entity that is applying.
    • Applicants must be low-income or lack financial resources to grow or support their business.

    When You Can Apply For Small Business Grants

    The timing for applying to business grants varies, but typically you need to be established in some way before you can give it a go.

    Some grants evaluate businesses on a rolling basis others have set deadlines each year. Either way, youll need to determine your eligibility on a grant-by-grant basis, as some require that youre already making a certain amount of revenue or have a certain size customer base. Others are the opposite, with the deciding factors more focused on the ceiling of what your business could become.

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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:

  • Time in business
  • How the funds will be used
  • Your businesss elevator pitch
  • Your Employer Identification Number
  • Your social media handles
  • A photo of you . Tip: A professional photo can go a long way, especially for companies looking to use your image on their site when announcing awards.
  • A business plan. You should already have one, but if you dont, talking to an SBDC adviser or your accountant can help you figure out the numbers, projections, and stats that reflect the current health of your business and where you can go down the road.
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