Is there such a thing as FREE MONEY? How about funding your small business with programs that offer zero repayment terms? Yes, they do exist; they are called Business Grants, and they are hot commodities!
We’re talking; no interest, no monthly payments, no fees, no points, and no personal guarantees? If you qualify, this could be an incredible way to launch your startup or fund your existing small business.
If you meet the requirements, it is money you do not have to pay back; that is what Business Grants can do for you.
The drawback is – grants, although plentiful, are not that simple to find or get approved. Nonetheless, once you discover where to search and how to submit the applications, you could successfully obtain funds for your small business.
It is vitally important to understand the requirements set forth by the grantors before you invest any time, money, or energy in applying.
The primary foundational question you want to ask and answer is, “Do I qualify for this grant? Carefully examine their requirements to determine whether your business and set of circumstances qualify.
Business Grant Repayment
Unlike traditional funding, there are no repayment terms; you do not have to provide collateral or make any personal guarantees. Neither will you be required to pay any application fees, processing fees, or any interest.
Grant recipients do not have to worry about reimbursement; these grantors’ mission is to help small businesses and non-profits achieve success.
Business Grants Rules
Although grants are awarded, some do come with restrictions on how you can allocate the funds. For instance, let’s say you receive funding to purchase equipment to expand your screen-printing business, but you decide to take a faster, more lucrative path after receiving the cash.
Instead of following the requirements, you spend the money on PPC ads, a revamped website, SEO services, plus additional merchandise. Even if you make a ton of money, you may have to repay those funds because you did not meet the specified stipulations.
Additionally, there is a possibility that you could face fraud charges depending on the organization that granted you the funds. Consequently, if you receive a small business grant that comes with stipulations or restrictions, it is imperative that you satisfy the grantor’s requirements and guidelines.
Who Is Providing Business Grants?
As of October 2020, numerous grants are funded by the United States federal government. That stated, there are progressively more grantors from all aspects of the business sphere with grant funds available.
Philanthropic wealthy people fund some; non-profits fund others, still others by companies who see the intrinsic value investing in our future. You want to find grants that fit your company profile, which brings us to my next point.
When it pertains to grants, be ready to do your homework and perform your due diligence. If research is not your strong point, seeking a grant is most likely not an option for you.
Here is a classic example of why research is crucial; let’s say your company is into coding, developing, and the digital economy; there is currently a grant upwards of $20 Million that is part of the Foreign Assistance for Programs.
Your company fits the profile for this grant, but you would never have known about it unless you performed your due diligence.
When you find potential grants, the next step is exploring the requirements and then understanding the application process. Please take note of this list of grantors and grants. We did not include links because this list changes regularly.
Current List of Grantors
- 3D Elevation Grant
- ActivityHero Business Grant
- Amazon Neighborhood Small Business Relief Fund
- Arizona Commerce Authority
- Arkansas Infrastructure Grant Program
- Asian Women Giving Circle
- Ben Franklin Technology Partners
- Centers for Advanced Technology Grants in the Buffalo Niagara Region
- Chicago Small Business Improvement Fund
- Cleveland Department of Economic Development
- Colorado Export Development Grant
- Comcast Innovations 4 Entrepreneurs
- Corporate Business Grants
- Denver Economic Development and Opportunity Relief Package
- Department of Defense
- Department of Education
- Department of Energy
- Department of Transportation
- Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant
- Economic Development Administration
- Environmental Protection Agency
- Facebook Business Grants Program
- FedEx Small Business Grant
- FedEx Small Business Grant Contest
- Homeland Security
- Idaho State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) Grant
- Illinois Recycling Expansion and Modernization Program
- Iowa Business Development Grant Recycling
- James Beard Foundation Relief Fund
- Job Creation Tax Abatements
- Kansas Job Creation Fund
- Kuvio Creative
- Land, Health, Community Grant
- Louisiana Community Development Block Grant
- Maryland Child Care Quality Incentive Grant Program
- Maryland Economic Development Assistance Authority and Fund
- Maryland ExportMD Program
- Miami Mom and Pop Small Business Grant
- Michigan Small Business Relief Program
- Minnesota Crop Research Grant Program
- Minnesota Dairy Business Planning Grant
- Minnesota DEED Small Business Relief Grant Program
- Minnesota Innovation Voucher Award Program
- Minnesota Job Creation Fund
- Minnesota REETAIN
- Minority Business Development Agency
- Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA)
- National Association for the Self-Employed
- National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE)
- National Institutes of Health
- National Minority Supplier Development Council
- National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
- National Science Foundation
- Nebraska Child Care Grant
- New Mexico True Coop Program
- New York City Commute Enhancement Grant
- New York City Fashion Manufacturing Initiative
- North Carolina IDEA
- North Carolina Recycling Business Development Grants
- NYC Small Business Continuity Loan Fund
- Operation Hope Small-Business Empowerment Program
- Orlando Downtown Commercial and Residential Building Improvement Program
- Research and Development
- Rural Energy for America Program
- Salt Lake City River District Gardens Facade Improvement Grant
- Seattle Business Stabilization Fund
- Southeast Michigan Resilience Fund
- State Agencies
- Tech Delta Grant Program
- Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development
- USDA Rural Business Development Grants
- USDA Rural Business Enterprise Grant Program
- Value-Added Producer Grant
- Visa Everywhere Initiative
- Wells Fargo Community Investment
- Wisconsin Small Business 20/20 Program
- Yelp Support
Business Grants for Startups
- 4.0 Schools Fellowships
- ActivityHero Business Grant
- Fundera's Zach Grant
- Jack Daniel's Pitch Distilled
SBA Based Grants
- (STEP) State Trade Expansion Program
- 7(j) Management and Technical Assistance Services
- 8(a) Business Development Program
- Boots to Business (B2B) Funding Opportunity
- Federal and State Technology (FAST) Partnership Program
- Portable Assistance Program
- Program for Investors in Microentrepreneurs (PRIME)
- SBDC Northeast California
- SBDC Pennsylvania
- Service-Disabled Veteran Entrepreneurship Training Program (SDVETP)
- Veteran Federal Procurement Entrepreneur Training Program (VFPETP)
- Veterans Business Outreach Centers Cooperative Agreement
- Women Veteran Entrepreneurship Training Program (WVETP)
You can use any one of the above names or grants as search terms as a jumping-off exploration point. In addition to those, your research should include these three organizations and expand from there.
Of those three organizations, Grants.gov has proven to be the number one resource for everything grants. You can search the site for an assortment of possibilities.
They offer a dynamic learning center that yields a thorough education concerning securing grants. They cover grants 101, policies, eligibility terms, agencies, and systems; Grants.gov also includes grant writing tips.
As a part of the application process, you might be required to provide your organization’s financial data as well as a summary of your proposed performance.
If you are not sure how to proceed, don’t hesitate to seek advice from experts like your accountant, business mentor, Brainstorm Team, and any team members who may have the ability to assist with the application process.
Either way, be sure to conform to the grantor’s guidelines; never leave any unanswered questions; if so, your application may be rejected.
Another option for help and support is finding seminars, networking events, conferences, and workshops that help businesses navigate the grant process. Within that community, you will connect with grant writers, researchers, and funders who will furnish you with priceless insights and invaluable information.
You can always take grant writing classes or hire a qualified grant writer to prepare your application. Irrespective of the strategy you use to tackle the process, Business Grants are well worth the time, energy, and effort.