Iowa Small Business Grant – Overview
Starting a business of your own is a dream for many. Whether you wish to start a completely new business or increase the capacity of your already performing business, a business grant will help you achieve the capital required to expand and run.
Unlike traditional business loans, a business grant requires no collateral, and you don’t have to return it. Business grants are given by the government in low-income areas or distributed to less repeated communities to promote entrepreneurship.
If you live in Iowa, you will be thrilled that plenty of business grants are available to Iowa residents. Moving further, we will cover the best local and national Iowa business grants available and the best tips to follow while applying.
Top 8 Options Available for Iowa Business Grants
Finding the best Iowa business grant that suits your needs and helps fulfill your goals requires thorough research. Grants aggregate sites and local SBA business development centers are the primary places to find your best bet. Suppose you fall in the category of the minority. For women or veteran business owners, searching through category-based grants would be beneficial and a bit easy for you.
To help you choose the grants easily, we have compiled a list of top Iowa business grants after researching all the options.
1. Iowa Grantwatch
One of the best grants available to Iowa-based businesses is Iowa Grantwatch. It offers grants for businesses in every industry and sector. A great feature of Iowa Grant is that you can find grants easily for veteran business owners minority and women-owned businesses.
Iowa Grantwatch provides free and paid member account options.
2. Iowa Rural Business Development Grant
Access to grants for rural areas and households is a priority of most government and social sector organizations. If you own a small business in rural Iowa, you will be glad to know about the Iowa Rural Business Development Grant. The US Department of Agriculture and Rural Development offers a rural business development grant (RBDG) to support and improve the growth of small businesses in rural areas with limited resources.
RBDGs are offered to small businesses with less than 50 employees, generating up to $ 1 million in revenue. It can help you support staff training, purchase new equipment, and expand your business.
Managed by the Iowa Economic Development Authority and the Univerity of Northern Iowa’s Centre for Business Growth and Innovation, Iowa Sourcelink is a premier resource for aspiring entrepreneurs and business owners.
The easily searchable Resource Navigator tool helps you connect with more than 360 non-profit organizations to help you find local grants.
Apart from providing grant resources, Iowa Sourcelink also serves as a good initiative for business starting guides and supports business license search options.
4. Amber Grant for Women
First launched in 1998, Amber Grant for Women is a widely popular and easily accessible grant option for women entrepreneurs. Every month, the Amber grant opens up for women business owners of any state where a business selected duly by judges receives a $10,000 grant. Not only this, businesses chosen every month stand a chance to win an additional grant of $25,000 at year-end.
Applying for an Amber grant is quite simple and requires minimum documentation and information. You must share details about yourself, your business, and how to use the grant. A small application fee of $15 has to be paid.
An unrestricted grant tips page shares valuable information to help you apply without getting overwhelmed.
5. National Association for the Self-Employed Growth Grant
Do you need a $4000 grant to help your business move forward? That’s precisely what the National Association for the Self-Employed, aka NASE, does. It supports small businesses by awarding Growth Grants.
The Growth Grants winner receives $4000 to help the business in specific areas such as marketing, hiring, and expansion. Applying for a Growth Grant is an easy job. You need to be a good-standing member of NASE, provide proper documentation, and explain briefly why you need a grant.
6. The City of Walnut’s Small Business Startup Grants Program
If you live in Walnut, Iowa, a nutty grant awaits you. Catered towards new business owners who live in Walnut, the City of Walnut’s Small Business Startup Grant Program awards $5000 to the winner.
This grant is specifically awarded to businesses that are no more than a year old and with less than $3,50,000 gross income and should have no more than 5 employees.
7. Dream Big Grow Here Grant
Dream Big Grow Here Grant is a premium program by the University of Iowa’s Centre for Business Innovation. With the chief goal of helping entrepreneurs grow through obstacles and equipping them with the latest machinery, the Dream Big Grow Here awards up to $10,000.
Created for new and experienced entrepreneurs interested in opening a business or expanding the same are encouraged to apply. A $5000 grant is awarded to the selected owner and advances to the next round. The finalist gets a chance to win an additional sum of $10,000 as a grant.
8. The City of Marion, Iowa Business Innovation and Support Grant
With an understanding that small businesses are crucial for the local economy, The City of Marion offers Business Innovation and Support grants. It aims to provide capital for local businesses’ innovation, expansion, and growth.
The targeted small businesses of this grant are businesses with between 1-10 employees, awarding them a grant ranging between $5,500 and $15,500. The grant also provides exciting features like mandatory 5-hour business coaching by a pre-approved business coach and a 24% cash match requirement.
Successful applicants must showcase an entrepreneurial mindset of diving through the hardships of running a business and sailing successfully despite all odds.
How to Find the Right Business Iowa Grant for You
Successfully applying for a business grant is a tricky thing. The best way to apply for a business grant is clearly to understand qualifications, applying
1. Give Ample Time to Your Application
Most rejected applications have one thing in common – unseriousness. Applying for grants requires serious commitment. You need to spend ample time understanding and searching for different grants, applying with attentiveness, and making yourself stand out.
If you have decided to go ahead and apply for a grant, please get on your feet and do the job earnestly.
2. Understand the Eligibility Requirement Clearly
Many grants are targeted toward specific audiences. Make sure you read the eligibility criteria correctly. If you happen to apply for the wrong grants, you will face rejection firsthand.
3. Study Previous Grant Winners
One of the best ways to approach your grant application is by thoroughly reading previous grant winners. You do not have to copy them but try to study and understand how they described their businesses, customers, products, and services. Model the way they talk about past achievements and future goals.
4. Provide Approx Numbers
‘Right now, we earn a good income from our small store.’
Read the article aloud and tell if this will captivate you as a reader. It is vague, does not provide exciting details, and is not on-point. The human mind loves numbers. We want to know the price first. Providing approx numbers will make your application strong and make you look confident and like someone who knows his/her game.
The best bet- ‘right now, we earn approximately $5300 as net profits from our single store’.
5. Be Clear About How You Plan to Use Money
Those judging grants wish to know why you are applying for the grant and how exactly you will use the money. Here, remain on the point, provide a comprehensive action plan, and clarify your purpose. Giving vague answers will make you look like someone unserious.
Finding an Iowa business grant is no small feat. The whole process requires your full attention, without guarantee of knowing if you can make it. That’s why it is recommended to be fully aware, elaborative, and concise.
Always remember that an opportunity will be presented again, so don’t be easily disheartened. Keep your B-list ready and your eyes wide open.
Interactive US Map for Small Business Grants