Monday, April 15, 2024

7 Small Business Grants That Could Help Grow Your Company.

October 27, 2020 by  
Filed under Business, Money, Opinion, Tech/Internet, Weekly Columns

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What exactly is a small business grant?

Various organizations award small business grants to companies, these are essentially funds which are allocated for specific purposes, and usually geared at business growth. Business loans require repayment, whereas grants do not need to be paid back. Regardless, certain grants have restrictions, and some determine how you are permitted to spend the money. If you’re a small business looking for a grant, make a start with these seven options.

1 . Small Business Innovation Research Program

The SBIR program is a grant scheme which gives small companies the opportunity to participate in development and research for federal operations. The grant operates as part of an awards based scheme based around high technology innovations. The program works in partnership with the U.S Small Business Administration. To be eligible, you’ll need to have under 500 staff members and run as a ‘for-profit’ company. More details of the specific requirements are available on the SBIR website.

  1. Nav’s 10,000 Business Grant

Nav is a financing marketplace for companies; they offer a $10,000 grant every quarter, and two smaller grants for second and third place. It’s simple to apply, just sign up for the account and write a social media post detailing what you’d like to use the grant for. There are no special requirements, any type of small business can make an application. The website urges candidates to get creative with their applications, and video applications are strongly encouraged!

3 . FedEx Small Business Grant Contest

The grant is designed to help small businesses in the U.S to scale and grow their company. The FedEx Small Business Grant offers a grand prize of $25,000, as well as money towards business services. The competition is available for businesses who’ve been operating for a minimum of 6 months. You’re also required to have less than 99 staff members to be eligible. To check out the other requirements, see the FedEx site.

  1. National Association For The Self Employed 

The NASE provides ‘growth grants’, these are aimed at established companies, looking to take their business to new heights. These grants are very flexible, meaning you can use them for whatever you like, whether expansion, marketing and so on. These grants are offered at $4,000, and you’ll need to be an NASE member to qualify.

  1. Eileen Fisher Women-Owned Business Grant

This grant scheme offers a sum of $100,000 in grant funding, shared between ten female-owned companies. To be eligible for the grant at least 51% of your company should be female-owned or female-led. You’ll need to have been running for three years at least and operate a business that focuses on social or environmental change. Eileen Fisher is a clothing brand with a focus on sustainability and social justice.

  1. Minority Business Development Agency

The MBDA is one of the best places to search for various types of minority grants. Currently, the MBDA grants include the ‘Inner City Hub Innovation Grant’, and the ‘Enterprising Women of Color Grant’. There’s also a ‘Formerly Incarcerated Persons Grant’. Grants are only available for the selected minority people, and more details can be found on the website.

  1. Coca-Cola Foundation

Coca Cola has offered $1 Billion plus in grants since the foundation began in 1984. These grants are usually awarded to humanitarian business goals, whether for renewable energy, educational causes, or water projects. If your small company is involved in humanitarian causes, you’ll be able to apply for one of these grants.

These are just a small number of business grants available; there are plenty more to be discovered with a little bit of research. 

Financial Tips

When you’re a small business, it can be challenging to keep on top of your finances. Applying for grants can help you to improve your financial health, and there are many other things you can do, including:

  • Rework your budget: A simple review of your budget can help you to cut costs and make savings. Take advantage of a savings calculator tool or a budgeting app, to help you to visualize your finances.
  • Go green: Eco-friendly changes can help you to save your business money. Such changes might include going paperless, working remotely, or switching to green energy providers.
  • DIY marketing: Instead of having a huge marketing budget, take advantage of free SEO tools or host your own webinars. In 2020, it’s simple to market yourself and cut business costs.

Staff Writer; Sherry Short


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