Small-business grants can offer free money for startups, existing businesses, and those affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Although the process is time-consuming and takes effort to research and apply for funding, but if you secure a grant for your small business, the money is worth your time and effort.
To help you get started, below are a few resources that offer federal small-business grants.
#1. Federal Small-Business Grants
Government agencies support a range of enterprises from environmental conservation to childcare services, and are the biggest distributors of business grants. However, Applying may seem intimidating, but they are great to develop your small business.
Grants.gov is an extensive database of government-based small-business grants issued by various federal agencies, such as the department of Education and Veterans Affairs.
#3. Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs
The SBIR and the STTR grant programs mainly focus on R&D for scientific research and technology innovation. These programs help you connect with federal grants and contracts from 11 government agencies.
In order to qualify, you must manage a for-profit business, with a maximum strength of 500 employees, where 50% of equity should belong to a permanent citizen of the U.S or other for-profit business owner.
#4. USDA Rural Business Development Grants
The U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA) issues the Rural Business Development Grant program, which offers finance to small businesses in rural communities. For qualifying, the businesses must have less than 50 new employees, a maximum of $1 million gross revenue, and located in an eligible rural area.
#5. Program for Investors in Microentrepreneurs (PRIME)
Small Business Administration (SBA) does not offer grants directly. However, the PRIME program offers federal grants to microenterprise development organizations (private non-profits, or run by state, local or tribal governments) so that they can further aid disadvantaged microentrepreneurs. Organizations such as the Nebraska Enterprise Fund and the Micro Enterprise Services of Oregon were awarded funding in 2021.
Finding and applying for the right grants can be intimidating and time-consuming. However, if you don’t qualify for certain grants, you can always opt for other alternatives like crowdfunding, SBA loans, or small business credit card loans. So, with the right R&D, you can get the money you need to start your business in no time.