88 Small Business Grants for 2020

While the overall economic climate is not the most robust at the time of this writing, the grant industry has never been bigger. While applying for grants used to be reserved for niche operations, it is now something that all businesses should consider. Below, we’ll outline the best small business grants so you can get the finance that you need without wasting any time on redundant applications. 

A small business grant is a form of financial remuneration awarded once the applicant meets the criteria of the grant. The difference between a loan and a grant is that a grant does not have to be repaid, while a loan does. There are grants available for every possible field that you can think of. Typically, they are granted to people in disadvantaged areas or from specific groups – veterans, women, Hispanics, African Americans, etc.

Many grants are also industry-specific. If your business is involved in assisting a minority group in some way, or in helping the environment, then there are certainly going to be grants available. Keep in mind that there are local, state, and federal grants. Many grant programs are available for those doing business in rural areas.

It takes a long time to submit a relevant grant application. Do your research beforehand and make sure that you are applying to the right program. Federal grants are listed at Grants.Gov, and you can even track these grants on IOS and Android applications. However, there is no Federal grant for the simple growth of a business unless you are a minority group or hoping to solve a very specific problem.

How to Find a Grant for a Small Business

For Federal grants, the place to look is Grants.Gov. It is the chief repository of Federal grants. To apply for federal grants, you typically need to have something special to offer in comparison to state or local grants. You’ll also need to register through this online portal and submit the application form.

The SBA offers a number of State & Federal grant programs, and this is also an excellent place to look for eligible grants. Veterans, minority groups, and women-owned businesses should look on the SBA grant list page to see the available options. You can also find the eligibility criteria through the same site. Other places to spot State and Federal grants include:

How to Apply for (and Win) a Business Grant?

#1 – Find the Grant(s)
Many grants will have similar application procedures. Search Local, State, and Federal grant databases of all grants that you are applicable for. Once this is done, compile a spreadsheet of relevant grants. It’s best to apply for a number of grants at the same time to increase your chances of success. But each grant should be well-researched and given the utmost attention. Make your proposal as strong as possible for each.

#2 – Read the Criteria
A significant amount of grant applications are a complete waste, as the applicants do not meet the minimum eligibility criteria. Before you go ahead and apply for a grant, ensure that you read over (twice, preferably) all the conditions upon which the financial compensation is to be awarded.

#3 – Choose Your Grants
Where possible, review how many people applied to each grant last year, and how many prize winners there were. If there were 20,000 applicants for a single prize fund of $5,000, it may not be worth it unless you have a particularly strong application. Try to gauge your chances of success and narrow down to the grants that are really worth applying for. It’s definitely a good idea to investigate what kind of businesses have won in the past and see if yours is a match.

#4 – Request Forms and Information
For state grants, you will need to contact the relevant agency and ask to be sent the application forms. For local and commercial grants, the information is readily available and the forms can be downloaded from the website.

If you happen to be applying for a Federal grant, you will first need to register as a member on their website. You will be given a username and password, submitting the information through the Federal online portal.

#5 – Have a Clearly Defined Business Plan
A business plan is something that all businesses (large or small) should engage in. The plan does not have to be long or comprehensive. But it has to be precise, concise, and coherent. It should outline who you are, what you care about, what the problem is, and how your company intends to solve the problem. You can submit this plan along with your application in many instances.

#6 – Write the Grant Proposal
To a large extent, the business plan should sum up your business and can constitution much of the grant proposal. The business plan defines what your business really does. But it will need to be tailored to each grant you are applying to.

Grant proposal writing is a niche area, and you can hire a skilled grant writer if you are going after larger grants. The proposal should detail why your business is best suited to the grant, how it intends to assist, what the numbers and statistics are, the skills of the people running the company, and best policies to tackle unforeseen events.

#7 – Fill Out Additional Forms
While this is not mandatory, all information that you can supply to the reviewers will increase your chances of success. If there are any question marks over your business, then it leaves room for doubt. Increased transparency is always preferred.

#8 – Review
Missing information will reduce your chances of success. Read over the application to ensure that all data is correct. Once you have submitted the application, all you have to do is wait for the results. You will typically be notified by email. For Federal grants, you will be given a tracking number to monitor your application.

#9 – Reapply
If you did not qualify for a particular grant in a specific year, then don’t get too frustrated or doubtful about the process. You are against many applicants. Apply to the same grants next year, and mention in your proposal that you got declined last year, but have done much good in the interim period despite the odds. Grant writing is a skill – the more you do it, the better you get. You could be leaving money on the table if you avoid this industry completely.

Best Small Business Grants for 2020 (by Categories)

If you’re looking for a shortcut on grant applications, we’ve listed the best grants per category to shorten down on the research time needed. But keep in mind that the more popular a grant is, the more applications it will tend to receive – and the better your application will need to be. 

Best General Small Business Grants

1. Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Grant Global Challenge

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Grant Global Challenge

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation global grant challenge is mainly awarded to non-profit organizations created under 501(C)(3) of the IRS tax code. However, this grant is only available to non-profit organizations. The main stipulation is that your business is orientated towards solving health issues. There are a large number of grants available depending on what problem needs to be resolved. The grant prizes vary, but some of the problems include mental health issues in Africa, hormonal health, economic opportunity, child welfare in impoverished communities, etc.

Read more at: https://www.finimpact.com/

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I Allegedly

This is absolutely amazing. Here’s a $20,000 small business grant and three $5000 grants that you can get for your small business. Good luck. #grants#smallbusiness#stimulus#iAllegedly Here are the four links to all the grants in this video. Good luck to you and your family. Share these with your friends and colleagues as well. https://crf.alabama.gov/default.aspxhttps://dced.pa.gov/programs/covid-19…http://www.seattle.gov/office-of-econ…https://portal.ct.gov/DECD/Content/Co… Please join our email list. We will send you news as it happens. https://bit.ly/2Y21C19 Please send mail, donations and cards to Dan at iAllegedly PO Box 564 Tustin, CA 92781 Please connect with us on social media. https://www.facebook.com/iallegedly ; https://twitter.com/iallegedlyhttps://www.instagram.com/iallegedly/ iAllegedly@gmail.com Email

What Black Business Owners Need Most Right Now

The day Hello Alice launched in 2017, we committed that our primary focus would be the New Majority of business owners, which includes Black business owners. We did this because we saw the major opportunity to work with some of the fastest growing companies in the country, while also closing gaps faced by entrepreneurs of color. 

In our continued commitment to Black-owned businesses, our company partnered with the business support organizations Black & Brown Founders, DivInc, and Digital Undivided to compile anonymous owner data and publish a new Impact Report on our Black-Owned Business Resource Center that analyzes challenges that the Black business community is facing right now. Based on responses from more than 28,000 Black owners, 77 percent told us that they need emergency grants immediately. 

One of the owners asking for funds was Bridgette Baker, the owner of Sunshine Remodeling, a New Orleans-based property company. Nobody in her family had been landlords, and everyone told her she didn’t have the knowledge, let alone the money, to remodel and rent out real estate. But after years of repairing her credit, watching countless home improvement videos, and building some literal sweat equity alongside her husband, Baker now owns and manages a multi-family unit and a single-family home. The difficult journey was all worth it, she says, because of what it means for her daughter’s future.

“As an African American female, I wanted our daughter to know you can do anything you set your mind to with determination and a zeal to achieve your goals,” she says. “I wanted to put myself in a position to create generational wealth and a legacy for our daughter.”

The term generational wealth might be the key to unlocking the unique challenges facing Black business owners. Talent and hard work are not always enough to overcome a persistent racial wealth gap that puts Black entrepreneurs at a disadvantage when starting a small business. Combine that reality with the challenges of COVID-19, and certain estimates project that more than 40 percent of Black businesses are in danger of closing forever.

While Black entrepreneurs overwhelmingly said in the survey that access to capital is their number one need right now, it’s certainly not the group’s first time facing this issue. Deldelp Medina and Aniyia L. Williams of Black & Brown Founders put it best in the report’s opening letter: “You can’t fix what you don’t even consider counting.” In other words, just because you haven’t been paying attention doesn’t mean these problems are new.

Many business leaders continue to lack a basic understanding of the historical obstacles facing Black business owners because they haven’t taken the time to gather information on the community. We must all gather specific data and educate ourselves on the longstanding institutional barriers standing in the way of success for all New Majority business owners, but particularly the Black community.

Collaborate with organizations that promote entrepreneurs of color. 

DivInc CEO Preston James implores in the report that business leaders can proactively engage in collaborative partnerships with organizations, such as ones like DivInc, BlckVCBlack Woman Talk Tech, and Black Innovation Alliance which help promote underrepresented entrepreneurs and build profitable, high-growth companies. 

Business owners and consumers themselves can also open pocket books and seek out collaboration. A great example is the My Black Receipt, a campaign led by The Black Upstart and Kezia M. Williams, which quantifies collective purchases from Black-owned businesses, and has so far driven nearly $10 million in sales to Black-owned small businesses.

Finally, community leaders can harness their power and influence. If you hold any sway with governments, foundations, the VC community, or other groups, remember that Black business owners often need access to social capital as much as financial capital. A simple introduction or mentor relationship might change the course of an entrepreneur’s life.

Enterprise has a role to play as well.

As Robert F. Smith of Vista Equity Partners points out, “Nowhere is structural racism more apparent than in corporate America.  If you think about structural racism and access to capital, 70 percent of African American communities don’t even have a branch bank of any type.”

Black business owners overwhelmingly requested access to funding, with 81 percent of respondents to our survey reporting that they need less than $100,000 to stay in business. Part of this means continuing the call for rent relief, tax deferrals, and tax waivers that business owners are asking for. It’s also about pressuring government leaders to extend emergency funding programs.

In response, Smith is pushing an initiative that urges the nation’s enterprise leaders to invest 2 percent of net income over the next decade into minority communities as a small step toward restoring equity and economic mobility in America.

Tackling these problems will be hard, yes, but leaders who ignore the Black community will do so at their own peril. Black women are already the most educated group in this country and comprise the fastest growing group of people creating businesses. What could Black entrepreneurs accomplish with the proper support and resources? What incredible innovations, experiences, and generational wealth do we forfeit if we continue to neglect this community?

As for Baker, the Sunshine Remodeling owner, I’m happy to report that she was one of the recipients of the COVID-19 Business for All Emergency Grants. During the crisis she’s been waiving late fees, extending rental due dates, and assisting tenants with their utility payments. Baker embodies the best of entrepreneurship in our country. Join us in investing time, money, and resources into the Black business community for years to come.

By Elizabeth Gore, President and chairwoman, HelloAlice.com

Patagonia’s Billionaire Founder To Give Away The Millions His Company Saved From Trump’s Tax Cuts To Save The Planet – Angel Au-Yeung

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Yvon Chouinard, billionaire founder of outdoor apparel firm Patagonia, has traditionally shied away from politics. But things have changed for the rock-climbing, fly-fishing outdoorsman since Donald Trump moved into the Oval Office. On Wednesday, Patagonia announced it has an additional $10 million in profits on its books for 2018 as a result of Trump’s “irresponsible tax cut” last year, which lowered the corporate tax rate from 35% to 21%. Instead of investing the additional dollars back into its business, Patagonia said it would give $10 million to grassroot groups fighting climate change, including organizations that work in regenerative organic agriculture to help reverse global warming.

 

 

 

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Rockflowerpaper Saved $200K Per Year Switching from Symphony Commerce

rockflowerpaper Saved $200K Per Year Switching from Symphony Commerce

It was 2017, and Katie Smith — then 58, a lifelong businesswoman, 35-year veteran of international trade, a company founder and owner — was stuck.

Nearly ten years had passed since she began her own business, rockflowerpaper, a California purveyor of bright, colorful clothing and accessories that had become a hit in the elite American coastal communities like Nantucket, near Cape Cod in Massachusetts, and Kiawah Island, off the shores of South Carolina.

rockflowerpaper products were available in 4,000 stores across the United States, mostly in high-net worth zip codes down each coast of the nation. Retail was winning.

But ecommerce was holding this company back.

In 2015, rockflowerpaper signed up with Symphony Commerce. It was no rushed decision.

Smith had labored over the choice, settling on Symphony because it could build her site quickly, but also because it offered what appeared as a competitive advantage. Symphony could handle the warehousing needed for her business, and it advertised competitive rates on freight, which was attractive to rockflowerpaper’s business.

It all seemed so good.

But as it scaled larger and larger, combined online revenue surging toward $2.5 million annually, its partnership was not built to last.

rockflowerpaper found itself looking elsewhere for help with its ecommerce experience.

‘There’s no metric that’s performing worse’

In 2017, Smith reached out to other companies like hers that were operating on Shopify Plus. Waiting for her there was a migration process Smith and Matteo Tunioli, rockflowerpaper’s ecommerce manager, would later lay superlatives upon. “Onboarding was absolutely incredible,” says Tunioli.

Smith was thrilled that, upon joining Shopify Plus, the platform was able to plug into her same warehousing operation, which she had grown to trust.

rockflowerpaper began to save $200,000 per year immediately on its ecommerce operations through Shopify Plus

These were all well and good – a smooth replatforming, the creature comforts of a strong warehousing relationship brought along with them. But Smith had not reached this point in more than three decades in business without knowing it all mattered little unless the bottom line was improved.

It happened, even to her eyes, faster than she might’ve thought.

The metrics were striking. On Shopify Plus, rockflowerpaper immediately enjoyed …

  • Savings of more than $200,000 per year
  • A conversion rate bump of more than half a percent
  • Average order value expanding by up to $10
  • An abandon cart rate that plummeted as much as 10%

“There’s no metric that is performing worse,” Smith says. “We keep acquiring customers, and we keep growing our ecommerce business. We’re just in a much healthier spot financially.”

Tunioli has relished the tech support he now has. “There’s support now 24/7, whether that’s on chat or you calling,” he says. “I can be active right then and there. I can talk to a developer. There’s support research. There’s a much bigger knowledge base online for me to learn myself. You’d be surprised with how important that is for ecommerce operations.”

A backend that better supports this scaling business has afforded it a new perspective. Savings of more than $200,000 per year is nothing to sneeze at, and rockflowerpaper has grown by giving itself the boost it needed.

“It allows us to invest in our business,” says Smith. “It allows us to grow our ecommerce business to another level.”

‘Faster, less expensive, easier’

Removed from its ecommerce headaches, rockflowerpaper isn’t one to look back. There is so much more to do in this market, a loyal customer base to appease, higher planes to take this brand toward.

But there is no mistaking relief. With Shopify Plus, Smith says rockflowerpaper’s ecommerce operations instantly became “faster, less expensive, easier.”

“We made the right decision,” says Tunioli. “We just wish we had made it sooner.”

By Jason Buckland, Case Study

 

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Source: How to Optimize Your Google My Business Listing | Local SEO for local businesses

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