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:
- Business USA
- Catalog of Federal Commercial Assistance
- State Business Incentives Database
- Small Business Innovation Research (‘SIBR’)
- Small Business Technology Transfer Programs (‘STTR’)
- IES Small Business Innovation Research
- Department of Agriculture (‘USDA’) Grants
- National Institute of Standards and Technology (‘NIST’) Grants
- Department of Education Grants
- Environmental Protection Agency Grants
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
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/
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