Fuel Your Growth: Funding Guide for Small Businesses!
Business Templates, Contracts and Agreements
Finding the right funding can be a big hurdle for small businesses, whether they are just planning to start a new business or looking to expand.
This is how you can find the right funding for your company:
Do your research: Start with Grants.gov for a comprehensive list of federal grants. These grants cater to a broad range of businesses and can vary widely in purpose and scope.
Dig deeper: Explore Local and State Opportunities. Often, funds from the federal government are distributed through state and local entities, which then offer grants or technical assistance to small businesses.
Here are the most important state grants you should know about:
- The Blueprint Medtech Small Business Translator Grant supports medical device development for nervous system disorders, offering funding and expert guidance for FDA approval processes.
- The Employee Retention Credit offers a refundable tax credit to businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, helping to offset employment costs.
- Illinois Infrastructure Grants are part of a larger initiative to bolster the state's infrastructure, with funds available for business projects that contribute to local community benefits.
- The Innovation Corps at NIH Program focuses on accelerating commercialization of medical technologies, providing entrepreneurship training and support for small businesses.
- The Minnesota Emerging Entrepreneur Loan Program supports minority, low-income, women, veteran, and disabled-owned businesses with loans through nonprofit lenders.
- National Institute of Health Grants are available for COVID-19 related biomedical research.
- The NIDILRR's SBIR program offers grants for technology and research that improve the lives of individuals with disabilities.
- In San Francisco, a grant program helps small businesses enhance accessibility, covering costs up to $10,000 for various improvements.
- The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Programs provide funding for businesses involved in federal research and development with commercial potential.
- The State Small Business Credit Initiative includes a program offering up to $10 million per applicant for technical assistance to underserved businesses.
- The Texas Enterprise Fund provides performance-based grants for companies creating jobs and investing in Texas.
- The U.S. Department of Agriculture offers various programs to support rural business development.
- Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) provides targeted support for minority-owned businesses.
- The U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Small Business Administration State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) offer grants for education-related initiatives and export-oriented small businesses, respectively.
- The U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) supports projects that contribute to regional and national economic development with a range of funding opportunities.
Tip: Get informed, make better choices, and equip your business with the knowledge it needs to succeed! In addition to government funding, find out about alternative lending.
Securing funding and navigating government contracts can be complex, involving meticulous paperwork and compliance. Here’s a simplified overview to help small business owners understand their options and where to focus their efforts:
Government Grants and Contracts
Applying for Government Grants requires careful attention to eligibility, legal, and administrative requirements, plus ongoing reporting.
Government Contract Assistance includes programs aimed at leveling the playing field for small businesses in the competitive bidding for federal contracts. Key initiatives include:
- Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business Program targets at least 3% of federal contracting dollars to businesses owned by service-disabled veterans.
- Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) Federal Contracting Program aims to allocate at least 5% of federal contracting dollars to women-owned small businesses.
- 8(a) Business Development Program assists disadvantaged small businesses to compete for government contracts.
- HUBZone Program boosts businesses in underutilized zones to win government contracts, offering set-aside contracts and a 10% price preference.
Natural Resource Sales Assistance Program reserves a portion of government sales of natural resources and surplus property for small businesses, including five categories:
- Timber and related forest products.
- Strategic materials.
- Royalty oil.
- Leases involving rights to minerals, coil, oil and gas.
- Surplus real and personal property.
Non-Governmental Funding Opportunities
This guide condenses crucial funding and assistance options for small business owners, highlighting government programs, natural resource sales, and grants from non-governmental entities:
- 500 Global Flagship Accelerator Program provides a four-month accelerator and $150,000 investment to startups and small businesses on a rolling basis.
- Awesome Foundation Grants offers $1,000 monthly to innovative projects, including those from small businesses.
- Business Warrior Small Business Loans provides loans between $5,000 and $50,000 to small businesses, aiming to offer better terms than traditional cash advances.
- FedEx Small Business Grant awards over $230,000 in grants and services to 10 small businesses annually, with applications opening in spring.
- The Freed Fellowship Grant gives monthly $500 grants and a chance for an end-of-year $2,500 grant to qualifying U.S. business owners.
- GoFundMe Small Business Relief Fund matches $500 grants for businesses affected by COVID-19 that raise funds through their platform.
- Incfile Entrepreneur Grant supports aspiring entrepreneurs with two grants, each offering $2,500 and additional resources for starting or growing a business.
- Skip Monthly Grants provides monthly grants, typically $1,000, to small business owners and entrepreneurs based on Skip’s YouTube revenue.
- Small Business Digital Readiness Program by Verizon and National ACE offers a digital readiness curriculum and a chance for a $10,000 grant.
- Small Business Readiness for Resiliency Program by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and FedEx assists in disaster preparedness and emergency funding.
Navigating the landscape of small business grants, programs and financial support reveals a wealth of opportunities tailored to specific demographics and industries.
Targeted Demographic and Industry Programs
Here’s a concise guide to some specialized funding sources and assistance programs aimed at supporting diverse entrepreneurs and sector-specific ventures:
- Accion Opportunity Fund offers loans ($5,000-$250,000), educational resources, and support to diverse small business owners, emphasizing mentorship and financial assistance.
- Amazon’s Black Business Accelerator provides financial support, mentorship, and business advice to Black entrepreneurs selling on Amazon, including grants and advertising credits.
- Amber Grant Foundation awards various grants to women entrepreneurs, including monthly and annual grants, to support female-led startups across different categories.
- America’s Seed Fund, backed by the NSF, provides up to $2 million for startups developing innovative technology, with a rolling application process.
- Beyond Open Small Business Grants offer financial support to diverse-owned businesses in Charlotte, NC, focusing on capital assets improvement.
- Binc Foundation Emergency Financial Assistance helps bookstore and comic store personnel in financial distress due to unforeseen events.
- Casper Accelerate Grant Program supports blockchain technology adoption through funding for app development on the Casper network.
- Cartier Women's Initiative awards financial support and business coaching to women impact entrepreneurs globally, focusing on sustainability.
- Center For Economic Inclusion Vanguard Accelerator grants $50,000 to Latina and Black women-owned businesses in Minneapolis and St. Paul for educational programs and potential forgivable loans.
- The Emerging Technology Fund (ETF) offers small business loans to Massachusetts tech companies for expansion and innovation, with a focus on strong management and market demand.
- Etsy Emergency Relief Fund provides relief funding to Etsy sellers affected by natural disasters, in partnership with CERF+.
- Foundation for a Just Society Grants supports organizations advocating for the rights of women, girls, and LGBTQI individuals, with quarterly grant issuance.
- Galaxy Grants aims to empower women and minority entrepreneurs with a $2,750 grant giveaway, emphasizing quick and accessible funding.
- The Halstead Grant supports emerging silver jewelry entrepreneurs with a business-focused competition and cash grant.
- HerRise MicroGrant offers financial aid to businesses owned by women of color, focusing on innovative community solutions.
- Hivers and Strivers Investment Program funds veteran-owned businesses, offering substantial capital for qualified projects.
- IFundWomen Universal Grant Application provides female entrepreneurs with access to grants and resources, through partnerships with major brands.
- The Kitty Fund awards grants to mother-owned small businesses, focusing on those with modest revenues and employee counts.
- Kubota Hometown Proud Grant supports community projects nationwide, with a focus on local development and nonprofit initiatives.
- #MomsMeanBusiness by ZenBusiness covers business formation costs for mothers stepping into entrepreneurship.
- The National Black Business Pitch is a competition that connects Black-owned businesses with corporations to diversify supply chains and foster sustainable growth.
- The Navigate Program by REI supports underrepresented outdoor industry entrepreneurs with grants and access to REI’s expertise.
- NASE Growth Grants offer up to $4,000 for member small businesses to assist with various operational costs, requiring membership tenure before application.
- Patagonia Corporate Grant Program funds environmental nonprofits with missions aligned with conservation and sustainability.
- Rebuild The Block supports Black entrepreneurs with grants to overcome challenges posed by COVID-19 and social unrest.
- RTC Women in Tech Fund provides financial assistance to women in tech education, aiming to disrupt gender and racial disparities in the sector.
- Sage “Invest in Progress” Grant Program supports Black women entrepreneurs with funding to tackle barriers and encourage business scalability.
- SheaMoisture Grant Programs commit $1 million annually to support small Black-owned businesses, with multiple grant options aimed at fostering growth and development.
- StartOut Scholarship Program offers memberships to LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs to enhance representation and support in the business community.
- The Wish Local Empowerment Program dedicates funds to support Black-owned small businesses, offering financial assistance and partnership opportunities through the Wish platform.