Grants for Small Business – Overview
Many small business owners are on the verge of filing for bankruptcy or are searching for financial aid as a last bid to save their businesses.
Fortunately, there are several sources from where small businesses can receive financial assistance and aid.
Federal, state, and local governments and several nonprofit organizations provide monetary assistance to boost businesses, especially after things began recovering from the global pandemic in 2020.
If you are a small business owner looking for a way to revive your dwindling business with monetary assistance, you’ve come to the right place.
In this article, you will learn the sources where you can apply for grants for small businesses and other relevant details.
Where to Get Grants for Small Businesses in the US?
Here’s a list of some of the top sources that offer relief to entrepreneurs with grants for small businesses in the US:
Stimulus Grants for Small Businesses
1 – Targeted Economic Injury Disaster Loan Advance Grant
The US Small Business Administration (SBA) offers an Economy Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) for an emergency cash advance of up to US$ 10,000.
This advance is turned into a grant by the SBA if you plan to use it to maintain payroll, paid leaves, rising costs, lease or mortgage payments, or other similar financial purposes.
The SBA provides targeted EIDL funds to small businesses, especially those operating in low-income communities, and suffered at least a 30% reduction in revenue from March 2, 2020.
To be eligible for the EIDL assistance, your business should have received an advance of US$ 10,000 under the initiative or applied for an EIDL advance but failed to receive it due to insufficient program funds.
You don’t have to take the initiative as the SBA reaches out to potential awardees.
If you receive an email about an SBA grant, ensure it is sent from an address ending in @sba.gov and avoid potential scams.
2 – Corporate Relief Grants
Like local, state, and federal governments, many renowned corporations, such as Verizon, offer relief grants for small businesses.
The company has committed US$ 10 million for small business grants.
As the application windows for corporate grants are pretty small, we urge you to regularly check the Local Initiatives Support Corporation website for funding opportunities.
Federal Business Grants for Small Businesses
Most federal business grants aim to boost small businesses engaged in science, technology, or healthcare.
If your business is involved in research and development programs, including environmental and climate science, a federal grant for small businesses can help you cover most expenses.
Some of the top federal-funded grants for small businesses include:
1 – Small Business Innovation Research Program
The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program is aimed at helping small businesses engage in commercially viable research and development activities.
This grant is designed to boost scientific entrepreneurship and innovation in businesses.
There are 11 government agencies currently involved in this program. Each state has its eligibility criteria, grant topics, and application reviewing process.
Under the SBIR program, small business owners can receive grants between US$ 25,000 and US$ 250,000.
However, if your business shows remarkable growth potential, you can even receive grants worth over US$ 1 million.
Visit the official SBIR website to learn specific eligibility criteria for your state and the entire application process.
2 – Small Business Technology Transfer Program
The Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program is similar to the SBIR program but requires small business owners to collaborate with research institutes.
Five federal agencies are participating in this program and offer grants ranging from US$ 25,000 to US$ 1 million.
The five agencies involved in these grants for the small business program include:
3 – National Science Foundation
The NSF accepts grant applications in areas of science, medicine, or engineering, although specific topics are subject to change every year.
To learn more about the eligibility criteria and application process, we urge you to visit the official NSF YouTube channel and learn the details.
4 – NASA
There is a process to collaborate with NASA, too. The space organization is always looking to make developments in technology sectors, especially related to energy efficiency, renewable and alternate energy sources, and finding more efficient ways to build spacecraft.
5 – National Institutes of Health
The National Institutes of Health is a sub-section of the Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS) and offers grants for small businesses to conduct research and develop innovative, commercially viable biomedical technologies and techniques.
Suppose your company is involved in research and development in the biomedical field. In that case, you can apply for the grant by logging in to the official website of the National Institutes of Health.
6 – Department of Energy
The Office of Science under the Department of Energy (DoE) also offers grants to small businesses.
If your business is involved in clean energy, environmental science, or material science research, then you can apply for this grant.
To learn more about the eligibility criteria and application process, it is best to visit the official website of the Department of Energy and check its Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) section.
7 – Department of Defense
Suppose your business aims to develop innovative technologies for the US Army, Navy, or Air Force. In that case, the Department of Defense will help you with grants for small businesses and commercialize your products.
To learn the specific eligibility criteria for this program, it is recommended to check the official website of the Department of Defense.
Numerous sources in the US are ready to provide monetary assistance to small businesses.
Many of these initiatives are part of the company’s program to boost research and development in their respective industries.
Besides, many smaller but noticeable initiatives offer grants for small businesses of all types.
Verifying the eligibility criteria and application details from their official websites is imperative to avoid scams and mistakes.
Interactive U.S. Map for Small Business Grants
Are small business grants free of charge?
Most small business grants are free of cost. However, you must research extensively to find an appropriate grant to fulfill your business requirements. Some small business grants also provide comprehensive guidance on how to use the money.
Is there any non-government grant available for small businesses?
Small business grants are available from multiple commercial firms and nonprofit organizations besides government agencies. Well-known non-governmental organizations that provide grants to small businesses include the Comcast RISE Investment Fund, Halstead Grant, and Street Shares Foundation.
Are there any grants available for women who own small businesses?
Several organizations have special programs that provide grants for women-owned small businesses. Some of these popular organizations are the Women Who Tech Grants Program, I Fund Women, Foundation for a Just Society, WomensNet, etc.
State-by-State Small Business Grants in the US
Below are state-specific small business grants in the United States