Starting a business can be exciting, but without small business grants, it can be difficult.
Most times, these first-time business owners don’t have adequate resources.
As a result, they are never confident about taking the plunge.
In the current economic condition, the business can be a great way to generate income.
If you see the new job creations across United States, over 90% is from small businesses.
Increasingly entrepreneurs are exploring ways to become self-reliant.
Perhaps this is the reason that small business grants in United States are in demand now.
Overall, there are close to 60 small business grants in USA
These grants are geared to facilitate the development of businesses across the USA.
Encouraging businesses to grow and expand is one of the key objectives.
This is exactly why there are grants for women, veterans and minority communities.
The idea is to bring about a holistic and inclusive growth.
This aims to include participants from every strata of society.
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Small Business Grants a Necessity
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The current economic situation also makes small business grants a necessity.
The unemployment rate has shot up in the past decade due to the recession.
People lost jobs in hordes, and their lives took a topsy-turvy turn suddenly.
This also triggered a greater consciousness for self-sufficiency.
As a result, starting a business became a necessity.
Often the lack of experience and sufficient monetary resource can limit your funding needs.
In fact, business funding is one of the key problem areas.
In the aftermath of the Lehman crisis, most banks observe a strict credit control.
Availability of funds has become difficult across United States.
This is exactly where small business grants can make a huge difference.
It empowers entrepreneurs and gives wing to their aspirations.
It provides the much-needed startup capital to fund your capital needs.
But the question is how to apply for these small business grants in United States.
Well, most times, there are clear conditions in the grant provisions.
There are different types of small business grants in United States.
As a sharp entrepreneur, you have to make an informed choice.
You will have to go through various options and then choose the most relevant ones.
Need to Expand & Diversify Business
But starting a new business is not the only trigger for small business grants.
There are several small business grants in United States that help expand your business.
Whether it is starting a fresh subsidiary or branching out in a new city, you can use the capital.
You can even use these funds to diversify your interest.
Let’s say you are current in automobile business but want a piece of the commodity up move.
You can easily apply for these special grants to fund this diversification.
So, in short, the funds help you address all types of business requirements.
The advantage of the grant is it helps add credibility to your business.
Once you receive a grant, it can also help you service more customers in one go.
So the small business grants empower you to achieve a higher degree of efficiency.
Who All Are Eligible for Small Business Grants in USA?
Small business grants in United States are open for all interested entrepreneurs.
However, if you are interested, you need to look for relevant grants program.
In fact, these small business grants are available for a wide range of business.
The options include:
- Health Care
- Child Care
- Counseling services
- Fitness & Massage Facilities
- Transport Business
Moreover, these grants are available for all types of entrepreneurs.
Your race, gender or kind of service does not make a huge difference.
All that is required is a sound business plan and appropriate eligibility norms.
Most important, these grants encourage even the disabled and those living in rural areas.
Even they can look at eking out a decent livelihood pursuing their dreams.
These grants also support novel innovation.
Let’s say the small business model you follow supports environmental consciousness.
Perhaps you are promoting some green initiatives.
Even these types of business opportunities are eligible for special grants.
In fact, there are millions of dollars waiting to be allocated annually.
But make sure you understand the requirements of these funding agencies.
The advantage is you don’t have to run pillar to post looking for bank loans.
You can easily apply for these loans and get the money you need.
How to Get Started with Small Business Grants in USA
So now, you have identified your need for funding.
You have even done your research and know that you qualify for the grant.
The question is how you will go ahead with it?
A bulk of the necessary information is freely available online.
But in case you feel very overwhelmed, you can also seek assistance.
Most Government organizations in USA that offer grants help grant seekers.
They also help applicants to go through the entire process.
You can even look at help from experts to find the relevant grants.
Given the wide range of funding alternatives, these experts can help find relevant options.
This also decreases the prospects of rejection.
Most times, inadequate understanding about the criterion affects your application.
Therefore the best option is to make sure you are eligible for these.
US Small Business Administration Grants
This is invariably one of the most common types of small business grants in USA.
They offer billions of dollars in grants for public welfare.
The core idea is to encourage new projects and provide initial capital.
It helps entrepreneurs to start their independent projects in a meaningful way.
This is exactly why there is a huge range of grants addressing different types of initiatives.
1. Small Business Innovation Research Program
This grant aims to stimulate technological research for sustained profitability.
It is a highly competitive grant program.
This aims to include small business in the R&D area as well.
SBIR believes that entrepreneurs can drive sustained innovation in a lasting manner.
But the huge funding that is required often deters them from that path.
SBIR, in that context, empowers them.
This grant aims to bring small businesses at par with a larger business house.
It encourages startups in development stages to formulate successful growth triggers.
2. Small Business Technology Transfer Program
As the name indicates, this grant helps to expand innovation initiatives.
It helps in bringing about joint ventures with premier research institutes.
This partnership helps small businesses expand their business efficiency.
It enables them to access a higher degree of technological advancement.
This helps businesses to embrace the challenges of the 21st century with greater ease.
That apart, every separate department has a certain amount of grant allocation.
From commerce to agriculture, these grants aim to encourage small businesses in that field.
Statistics indicate that the availability of funds often hit profitability.
These small business grants target maintaining profitability.
They empower these entrepreneurs with money power to improve productivity.
How to Apply for Small Business Grants Offered by SBA?
The eligibility criterion is most important.
Most times entrepreneurs are unsure about how to apply for these grants.
This is because they are not very clear if they are eligible for it.
Most times the application process is rather time-consuming.
It also involves quite a bit of money.
But after all, if you realize you are not eligible, it is a waste of money and energy.
The first step is to be very clear the kind of organization you lead.
The SBA websites clearly specify the different types of eligibility norms.
Also, you need to be careful about applying on behalf of your organization or as an individual.
There are different sets of requirement different categories.
Pay careful attention to the specific guidelines before filling the application form.
US Agency for International Development
Also known as the USAID, this is an independent federal agency in United States.
They predominantly offer humanitarian aid to over 100 countries.
Their primary target is to create better-living conditions.
So the question is if your business addresses the requirements, you can apply for it.
The beauty of small business grants is it is dependent more on the business model.
So look out for the various eligibility criterions.
They support faith-based and community initiatives.
Child health and education abroad are other key sectors they operate in.
They also undertake many innovation-based development projects.
So if you have a solution that change lives the world over, it can get a grant from them.
They also work for many other deep-rooted developmental challenges like poverty, nutrition.
Science and technological advances also offer small business grant opportunities.
Their Ocean Freight Reimbursement program is one of the longest-running projects.
In this, they offer grants to over 50 Private Voluntary Organizations annually.
This grant is primarily for covering the transportation cost.
Normally donated commodities are transported to needy locations.
So, the idea is to cover the overall ocean freight charges.
It can also cover transport cost for medicines or real estate related items.
Corporation for National & Community Services
This is perhaps one of USA’s largest grant-funding organizations.
In many ways, it offers most citizens across USA a chance to contribute.
It engages over 5 million people every year.
It plays a very critical role in strengthening the non-profit segment in United States.
Some of their most important grant programs include
They engage over 80,000 people every year. The target is to achieve consistent community service through meaningful engagement.
So you can get a small business grant in this segment if it somehow achieves this end.
2. Senior Corps
This one harnesses the talent and experience of the senior citizens.
This pool of resource is primarily used to tackle community challenges.
So your small business grants in United States can be sourced from here if it addresses this objective.
3. Social Innovation Fund
This is seen as a novel approach for sustained solution to long-term community challenges.
They target millions of dollars every year in both private and public fund.
The idea is to formulate effective solutions.
They primarily operate in youth-related issues, supporting schools, addressing health concerns and reviving economic agendas.
Now you have to see how your initiative addresses these.
If they do address these concerns, you can eligible for small business grants in this segment.
4. Volunteer Generation Fund
This fund targets volunteer management practices.
So they work towards recruiting more volunteers and retaining the existing ones for a longer period.
Any innovation or business idea that can help achieve this end can technically qualify for grant under this fund.
These are again human resource heavy agendas.
If you want to file your application for them, it is advisable to pay attention to all related details in this context.
Grant to a USA Nonprofit, For-Profit, IHE, or Agency for Research on Health Care in Rural Areas
This small business grant is specially designed to encourage rural development.
As the name indicates, any rural healthcare agency can apply for this.
The idea is to provide impetus and incentive to rural healthcare.
Basically, it funds all types of data analysis and research to improve healthcare facility.
The main goal is to support all types of rural healthcare initiatives.
So if your small business satisfies this criterion, you can apply for this.
But remember that the application process is often quite time-consuming.
You should pay attention to the deadlines to yield maximum benefit.
Grants to For-Profits, USA Nonprofits, IHEs, and Government Agencies
As you can understand this type of small business grant is meant for the agriculture sector.
Small businesses in this segment often suffer due to lack of adequate innovation.
This grant aims to bring farmers and ranchers across United States at par.
This is created with the aim to provide them the requisite educational advantage.
Opportunities in the agriculture sector are evolving continuously.
Small businesses suffer due to the lack of sufficient know-how.
This small business grant in USA aims to address exactly this problem.
Even for the smallest business in this segment, it can be beneficial.
The government agencies work in collaboration with farmers and ranchers.
They help in educating, mentoring and provide technical assistance.
These can help smaller farmers operate on a level playing field.
Yet again the eligibility criterion is crucial.
Your application needs to conform to the various regulations to be accepted.
Otherwise, it will be a sheer waste of money and resources.
In certain cases, it is better to contact the relevant staff for greater clarity.
State & Local Assistance
The above few are some renowned national level grant scheme.
Though they have huge fund allocation, it can never be sufficient to address the demand.
In today’s scenario, you have an entrepreneur mushrooming at every corner of the country.
Therefore, when you are exploring small business grants in USA, look at local options.
Every state and city have their own capital allocation.
These funds are essentially used for developmental activity in the region.
So if your business is geared towards stimulating growth in your area, you can be eligible.
However, you have to go through the various provisions and norms.
Also, pay attention to the eligibility criterion.
It is very important that you are able to satisfy the list of requirements.
You can get funding for
- Expansion activities
- Furthering state’s economic prospects
- New initiatives
Almost every state’s website has a detailed list of funds that they have.
They will provide a list of business that is covered under these.
So don’t be under the misconception that state-led grants are only for non-profit organizations.
The question is how meaningful is your contribution to the state’s growth?
That alone will decide how much funding you can get.
Also, look out for special grants for women or ex-servicemen.
Many states also have special fund allocation for minority communities.
When you are looking at prospective small business grants, you need to be thorough.
That will make sure you can take advantage of all available opportunities.
Latching on to the Right Opportunity
Small business grants in United States is all about latching on to the right opportunity.
Millions of dollars are floating around in almost every government department.
The question is how resourceful you are in taking advantage of these funds.
A thorough understanding of your business concept is crucial.
This will help you to get through the most relevant options for long-standing gains.
Businesses are coming up every day, and fund crunch is a growing reality.
The point is how well you can adapt to available option.
That alone will guide you to the most meaning small business grants in United States.