Small companies usually depend on external financing to keep the business structure safe and confirm the efficiency of services and products. Small business grants are provided by specific agencies, including governmental and private organizations, which choose the purpose of lending them money for free. The common reasons include financing the innovative investigation, helping new brands to become recognizable, or even establishing cooperation with a potentially profitable partner.
Getting grants for small businesses starts with filling in the application form with the specific facts about your brand:
- Enumeration of the sources of financing which will support the activities (loans, sponsorship, crowdfunding, etc.)
- Business model definition, explaining the primary activities and their purpose.
- Revenue description and discussing the products, price, and practical benefits.
- Business pitch, which includes a short interview of the applicant, tells about what problems may be solved with the grant and how to spend the money properly.
- Branding elements, including the logo, social media accounts, website, etc.
After choosing the project or setting up aims for financing, the company’s owner should create a business plan and represent it to the grant organization. When all the general rules and conditions are discovered, choosing a suitable grant program is time.
Best Small Business Grants
There is a high priority for social projects, the healthcare industry, ecology, etc. So, let’s discover which best small business startup grants are available nowadays and how they support the brand’s activities.
SBIR & STTR
It is an American program that aims to support companies’ technological improvement (R&Ds), revealing their research potential. America’s Seed Fund doubts that financing the growing and prospective business will strengthen the economy of the US and open new possibilities in entrepreneurship.
STTR established more strict rules for the grant than SBIR – establishing the intellectual property contract between the company and the partner institution and the legal employment of the primary investigator. Overall, there are three stages of the SBIR/STTR small business grant program:
- Understanding the investigation’s merit, actuality, and objective profit: the company gets $50,000-250,000 for 1 year (SBIR) or half-a-year (STTR).
- Those companies which proved their efficiency might get extra financing of $750,000 for 2 years.
- The last stage aims at leading the company to the commercialization or development of the products, which may be used by the government (SBIR/STTR doesn’t finance the stage).
Suppose your company is a nonprofit research organization, R&D center, college, or university. It can participate in the small business grant (if it is registered and located in the US).
National Association for Self-Employed Grant
NASE is an American organization that grants $4,000 for business development. The selection is usually provided four times a year for those who registered and filled in the application form outlining the business model facts. The applicants will see the result a month after NASE gets the required application documents. Veterans, silver and gold NASE community members also have privileges for the small business grant.
Rural Energy for America Program Grant
USDA grants rural agricultural businesses established in the US and provide activities in the locality with no less than 50,000 residents. The primary purpose is to acquire additional financing for energy systems, such as solar pumps, electric motors, HVACs, etc. There is a $2,500-500,000 small business grant for renewable systems and up to $250,000 for energy efficiency systems.
FedEx Small Business Grant
FedEx provides a specific competition for choosing the best brands to give $50,000 for 3 winners and $20,000 for 7. An extra prize is an annual subscription for the company’s tools and a specific website audit. The participant’s criteria include being a citizen of the US, having a commercial business with no more than 99 employees, registering a FedEx account, etc.
It is a small business grant for women with a reward of $10,000. The grant was founded to honor the young woman, Amber Wigdahl, who passed away young, and hasn’t implemented her entrepreneurship ideas. The applicant should fill in the form describing themselves and their business dreams (everybody should pay $15 to participate in the program).
Wells Fargo Community Investment Grant
Wells Fargo fund grants different social initiatives such as ecological justice, affordability of housing for the citizens, small business growth, and others. It is essential to have tax-exempt status for applicants and be an owner of a socially valuable brand. Individuals, religious organizations, and commercial companies cannot participate in the program. National priority, gender, and race equality are the primary principles for Wells Fargo’s small business grant.
It is a grant that offers a maximum of $10,000 to small businesses suffering from COVID-19. It is one of the relatively new grants for small businesses; with its help, one can get $10,000 if the following conditions are met:
- The company has three hundred employees (or less).
- The organization is located in a community with low income.
- There is a more than 30% reduction in revenue.
Even smaller businesses can get $15,000.
MBDA is a division of the US Department of Commerce. It receives applications for small business grants from businesses owned by ethnic minorities.
In addition, this organization helps small business owners connect with other grants provided by the government. The minus is that grant processing takes more than six months, and, in some cases, it may be longer. The amount of the grant varies depending on the type of business.
Walmart Foundation provides funding for projects directly related to their philanthropic strategies and regional focus. Through this $250,000 to $5,000 small business grant, small businesses can receive funds from Walmart. Businesses that can apply include nonprofit organizations with programs that benefit communities within the service area of Sam’s Club, Walmart store, or Logistics facility. It is one of the most desirable grants for small business owners: everyone wants to cooperate with such a retail giant as Walmart.
NIST goes for the National Institute of Standards and technology. It is one of the best options for those interested in small business start-up grants. The options offered include Measurement Science and Engineering Research Grant Programs, NIST MEP Competitive Awards Program, NIST MEP Disaster Assessment Program, NIST Standards Services Curricula Development Cooperative Agreement Program, and more.
It is not the full list of small business grants. The sums of money may vary.
To Sum Up
Most small business grants are free, and newly established startups can apply for extra financing contests. The central aspect is that the brand should convince the grant agency of practicality and service efficiency and perfectly represent the perspectives acquired with the financing.