How to Apply for Small Business Grant – Before You Start
Small businesses often need a boost of finance to get on par with the competition. Every bank in the US offers business loans.
However, not all business owners may qualify for an affordable commercial loan. To remedy this, there are several sources where you can receive small business grants.
If you are eligible for these grants, then you are liable to receive a significant amount for investment into your business.
The grant is considered to be financial aid and the recipient does not need to worry about repaying the amount, as opposed to a loan.
If you are unsure of how to apply for small business grants, then you’ve come to the right place.
In this article, we shall take a closer look at some of the most popular sources for business grants and learn how to apply for small business grants in the US.
Sources for Government Business Grants
First up, we will take a detailed look at some of the most efficient and convenient ways to secure governments grants for business development.
1 – Start a SUD Startup Challenge
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) sponsors the annual $100,000 for starting a SUD Startup Challenge. Under this initiative, NIDA supports research for new startups with a focus on preventing drug abuse.
The organization offers a US$ 10,000 price to 10 selected applicants each year. Once you receive this grant, then you also become eligible for the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) and the NIDA Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grants.
For detailed information on eligibility criteria and application process, you can visit the organization’s official website at – https://www.challenge.gov/challenge/2021-start-a-sud-startup-challenge/.
2 – Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program
The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) initiative offers grants to small businesses. This grant is aimed at helping small businesses to participate in federal-funded research and development (R&D) programs with commercialization potential.
This is a highly competitive awards-centric program that assists business owners to achieve commendable technological innovations and scientific excellence.
To qualify for the SBIR grant, you should be the owner of a for-profit company and fulfill other specific eligibility criteria.
To know more about the eligibility criteria and application process for the SBIR program, you can visit the official website at – https://www.sbir.gov/about.
3 – Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Program
The STTR (Small Business Technology Transfer) program is quite similar to the SBIR initiative. Under this program, the funding is aimed to facilitate better research in the R&D field.
In contrast to SBIR, the STTR initiative requires the applicant to have a formal collaboration with a research institution.
To be eligible for this grant, you need to be the owner of a for-profit company and fulfill other criteria too. For details on specific criteria and application process, feel free to visit their official website at – https://www.sbir.gov/about.
Sources for Government Contract Assistance and Grants
Let’s take a look at some of the latest initiatives from the government that supports the growth of small businesses.
The federal government spends tens of millions of dollars on improving goods and services every year. The majority of the funding is disbursed through competitive bidding.
Several programs assist small business owners with this process. This gives small businesses a better chance to compete for larger federal funding initiatives.
1 – Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business Program
The Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business Program is awarded by the federal government. This grant consists of 3% of the annual federal contracting budget for small business growth.
This initiative has helped hundreds of small businesses to get a clear edge over their bigger competitors in the market.
Under this initiative, the federal government offers assistance to small business owners who are classified as service-disabled veterans under federal law.
The eligibility criteria for this grant dictate that the applicant should be a service-disabled veteran who owns a small business.
The small business should be controlled or owned over 50% by service-disabled veteran(s). They should be engaged in daily operations and make long-term business decisions.
For additional details of this program, feel free to visit their official website at – https://www.sba.gov/federal-contracting/contracting-assistance-programs/veteran-assistance-programs.
2 – Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) Federal Contracting Program
The Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) Federal Contracting Program awards around 5% of the federal contracting budget to small businesses owned exclusively by women, every year.
This SBA-supported program in collaboration with the Office of Women’s Business Ownership offers eligible women entrepreneurs professional training, counseling, access to federal capital and credit as well as offers federal contracts to them.
The main aim of this grants program is to ensure equal opportunities for women in business within the United States.
To know more details of eligibility criteria and application process, feel free to visit their official website at – https://www.sba.gov/federal-contracting/contracting-assistance-programs/women-owned-small-business-federal-contracting-program.
3 – HUBZone Program
The HUBZone Program helps businesses in underutilized areas by boosting their competitiveness with government contracts. If you are a member of the HUBZone program, you can bid for set-aside contracts and also receive preference on others.
This also includes receiving a 10% price evaluation preference during open-contract biddings.
To know more about this initiative, such as eligibility criteria and application process, you can choose to visit their official website at – https://www.sba.gov/federal-contracting/contracting-assistance-programs/hubzone-program.
These are just the top 6 sources to receive small business grants from federal and state sources. There are numerous non-profit organizations and angel investment groups in the US that also offer aid to growing businesses.