+100 Grants to Fund Your Business
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Small Business Innovation Research Program
The SBIR encourages small businesses engaged in research and development that has commercial potential. Like the second grant below, the SBIR aims to stimulate technological innovation and scientific entrepreneurship.
Small Business Grants: Federal
Small Business Technology Transfer Program
The STTR has similar goals, but requires its small business applicants to collaborate with a research institution. Federal agencies with R&D departments have to set aside a bit of their budget to work with small businesses, and that's where this small business grant comes into play. Let's take a quick look at the five main federal agencies that participate in the SBIR and STTR programs.
Small Business Grants: Federal
National Science Foundation
The NSF accepts proposals in any area of engineering or science, though specific topics change from year to year. They even have a YouTube channel to help you get your application in order.
Small Business Grants: Federal
What's cooler than collaborating with NASA? Getting paid to collaborate with NASA. Plenty of technology sectors are important to develop for NASA, but they're especially interested in energy efficiency or alternative and renewable energy. 3, 2, 1, lift-off.
Small Business Grants: Federal
National Institutes of Health
The National Institutes of Health, a subset of the Department of Health & Human Services, offers small business grants to companies researching and developing commercially innovative biomedical technologies. Sound like you? Save some money while you're saving lives.
https://sbir.nih.gov/Small Business Grants: Federal
Department of Energy
The Energy Department's Office of Science also participates in these two small business grants. Check out their hour-long program overview webinar , and save your green while going green.
Small Business Grants: Federal
Department of Defense
Whether your technology R&D is meant for the Army, Navy, Air Force, or DARPA's advanced initiatives, the Department of Defense will help you fund and commercialize your entrepreneurship. There are also a few governmental agencies that offer small business grants for the Small Business Innovation Research program only. The STTR mandates collaboration between the agency and your small business, but the SBIR does not—which could be an advantage or a disadvantage, depending on what you're looking for. Let's take a look.
Small Business Grants: Federal
National Institute of Food & Agriculture
This branch of the Department of Agriculture supports research and development in the agricultural field specifically. Topics include forestry, food science and nutrition, aquacultural, biofuel products, animal protection, and more.
Small Business Grants: Federal
National Institute of Standards & Technology
A section of the Department of Commerce, the NIST gives small business grants to companies developing technology under topics like cybersecurity, manufacturing, software, and trade. Note that it also deals with energy, healthcare, and others—apply to some or all of these departments if you qualify for the SBIR, just in case!
Small Business Grants: Federal
Environmental Protection Agency
The EPA rewards businesses looking to advance green technology and sustainable scientific developments.
Small Business Grants: Federal
The Department of Transportation's transportation systems center, Volpe, accepts solicitations for aid in developing technology regarding aviation, railroads, and highways primarily, but make sure to check their updated topic listings before you apply.
Small Business Grants: Federal
Homeland Security
The Department of Homeland Security covers topics like border and maritime security, chemical and biological defense, cyber security, explosives, and first responder group technology.
Small Business Grants: Federal
Department of Education
The Department of Education's SBIR grant topics are listed under its National Center for Education Research branch, and range from pre-reading and pre-writing technology developments to research that deals with STEM skills, language learning, and behavioral learning patterns.
Small Business Grants: Federal
National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration
The Technology Partnerships Office of NOAA offers small business grants for developments and research in coastline communities and economies, healthy ocean monitoring, climate adaptation and mitigation, and much more. Beyond these two major research and development initiatives, the Federal government also offers some (extremely) specific grants to small businesses. We've trawled through a few databases of Federal small business grants and pulled a handful—but make sure to search yourself, especially if your small business is involved in agriculture, public health, or sustainable development!
Small Business Grants: Federal
Rural Energy for America Program
This grant program, run by the Department of Agriculture, centers on small businesses in eligible rural areas looking to purchase, construct, or install renewable energy systems or energy efficiency improvement technologies. You can partner it with a loan guaranty program as well, and together they'll back up to 75% of your eligible project costs.
Small Business Grants: Federal
Value Added Producer Grants
If you're an agricultural producer, the VAPG program could help with working capital expenses, ranging from processing, to marketing and advertising, to inventory and salary expenses.
Small Business Grants: Federal
Farmers' Market Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
If your small business is health food-oriented, then you might qualify for this support grant. It provides funding for your business to participate in SNAP outreach and education, which assists low-income individuals, families, and communities with accessing healthy food.
Small Business Grants: Federal
Wood Utilization Assistance
Do you deal in wood, forestry, or biofuel production? If so, the WUI grant can help you develop or showcase your products.
Small Business Grants: Federal
Enhance Safety of Children Affected by Substance Abuse
This program offers money to small businesses that provide services and programs that help children in out-of-home placement, or at risk of it, due to a caretaker's substance abuse.
Small Business Grants: Federal
Oral Diseases and Disorders Research
Do you perform research, training, or education regarding oral health? If yes, you may qualify for this National Institutes of Health grant.
Small Business Grants: Federal
Arizona Commerce Authority
The Arizona Commerce Authority is a great resource for small business owners in AZ. Check back throughout the year for new competitions and grant options.
Small Business Grants: State
Arkansas Technology Transfer Assistance Grant Program
Funded by the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, the TTAG program offers grants to small businesses that develop, improve, and implement technology responding to industry-driven issues.
Small Business Grants: State
Colorado Export Development Grant
Located in Colorado and looking to export your products? Look into the CEDG, which gives up to $4,500 for travel expenses, trade shows, business development, and more.
Small Business Grants: State
The Department of Small and Local Business has multiple open grant opportunities for businesses in particular "wards" of the city. You can keep track of the ongoing grant opportunities on their Current Solicitations & Opportunities site.
Small Business Grants: State
Idaho STEP
Many states actually have a STEP program, Idaho included. However, they each have individual application processes and qualification criteria, so make sure you double-check what you need to do to apply!
Small Business Grants: State
Illinois Recycling Expansion and Modernization Program
Recycling-oriented small businesses in Illinois (and other states) should look no further than the REM program. Note that this is a matching grant program, so you'll have to put up your own cash to receive the government's—budget well in advance if you're aiming for this opportunity.
Small Business Grants: State
Kansas Job Creation Fund
JCF gives grants to businesses looking for help establishing themselves in Kansas. The fund typically disburses the grant money to recipients over three years as their company reaches certain investment and employment benchmarks.
Small Business Grants: State
Kansas Attraction Development Grants
Run by the Tourism Division, this grant program assists small businesses developing new tourist attractions or updating old ones.
Small Business Grants: State
Louisiana Community Development Block Grant
The Office of Community Development aims to improve the living environments and economic opportunities for Louisiana's low income residents. While small businesses can't apply directly, contact the state or local government branches most relevant to your business's function and see if you can receive that funding to do community work.
Small Business Grants: State
Maryland Child Care Quality Incentive Grant Program
The Division of Early Childhood Development recently reopened its CCQIG program for childcare facilities, which is awarded quarterly.
Small Business Grants: State
ExportMD Program
For those especially enterprising small businesses: if you're looking to market internationally, then this program could help you cut down costs.
Small Business Grants: State
Maryland Economic Development Assistance Authority & Fund
Although we happen to be listing a lot of Maryland initiatives, many states carry the same or similar programs in their own boundaries as well. In this case, the MEDAAF is an unusually broad small business grant and loan opportunity for Maryland small business owners, so don't miss it.
Small Business Grants: State
Minnesota Dairy Business Planning Grant
On the other side of the spectrum, this program covers a narrow sliver of Minnesota's small businesses—but that means low competition. If you manage a dairy farm or are developing environmental technologies related to dairy farming, look into the DBPG.
Small Business Grants: State
Minnesota REETAIN
REETAIN, or Retaining Early Educators Through Attaining Incentives Now, is a bit of a mouthful, but it may just come with a pocketful—of cash! If you're a child care professional in Minnesota, this could be that extra cash you need.
Small Business Grants: State
Minnesota Crop Research Grant Program
Again, most state's agriculture departments have small business grants that are some variation on the CRGP. If your business researches agricultural product quality, quantity, or value, search for grants no more.
Small Business Grants: State
Minnesota Emerald Ash Borer Community Preparedness
The full title of this grant program? Minnesota Emerald Ash Borer Community Preparedness Forest Protection Reserve Appropriation. Thankfully, its actual use is friendlier: if you're into pest control or environmental protection, you can score a substantial amount of capital with this grant.
Small Business Grants: State
Montana Rural Community Development Small Business Grants
Specifically for rural youth organizations that conduct community development projects, this grant probably doesn't apply to your small business… But it's good to know it exists.
Small Business Grants: State
Nebraska Child Care Grant
For child care homes and centers, this program offers a number of smaller grants for you to apply to.
Small Business Grants: State
New York City Commute Enhancement Grant
Up to $10,000, the NYCCE grant can apply to a number of initiatives related to city commuting. If you're a New York small business with a toe in transportation, applying here is a must.
Small Business Grants: State
North Carolina Recycling Business Development Grants
The Recycling Business Assistance Center aims to encourage sustainability and reduce waste with this grant program.
Small Business Grants: State
North Carolina IDEA
Looking for startup grants? IDEA gives out grants of up to $50,000 and has sponsored nearly 100 high-tech companies with growth potential.
Small Business Grants: State
Tennessee Department of Economic & Community Development
With small business grants for companies that are expanding, offering training initiatives, or improving public infrastructure, the Tennessee DoECD isn't one to skip if you're located in the right place.
Small Business Grants: State
Texas Young Farmer Grant
For residents between 18 and 46 years of age, this grant funds projects that support Texas' agricultural production and community.
Small Business Grants: State
Cleveland Department of Economic Development
Many cities—including Cleveland, which we'll use as an example for this section—will have a number of small business grants and initiatives to foster entrepreneurship.  For example…
Small Business Grants: Local
Cleveland Job Creation Tax Abatements
Your small business might be in an Enterprise Zone (as Ohio terms it), or a similar type of area, and accordingly  be offered tax incentives for projects or operations that create jobs. Maybe these aren't technically small business grants, but they function pretty much the same way!
Small Business Grants: Local
Cleveland Green Technology Business Grant Program
Environmental sustainability initiatives exist on every level of the government, so consider going green to save with your small business.
Small Business Grants: Local
Cleveland Technology Business Grant Program
Similarly, plenty of small business grants encourage new technology developments, and the local level proves no exception. Unlike the Federal programs, however, local grants are more interested in job creation than in commercialization of groundbreaking new developments, generally speaking. But why not do both?
Small Business Grants: Local
Cleveland Job Creation Incentive Program
Cleveland's eligibility requirements for this grant? Create five or more new jobs within your first year, or demonstrate substantial job creation if you've been in business for longer.
Small Business Grants: Local
Ben Franklin Technology Partners, Big Idea Contest
Continuing the trend of encouraging research and development, this contest presented a challenge to companies in Central and Northern Pennsylvania and awarded a sizeable grant—alongside $50,000 in cash, a $100,000 low-interest loan, special service access and consultation.
Small Business Grants: Local
Ben Franklin Innovation Partnership
The Ben Franklin Technology Partnership partially funds the Innovation Partnership, which is a local grant program centered around helping Pennsylvanian small businesses afford those SBIR and STTR Federal research and development grant programs we looked at way back when. Though this is statewide, we're including it under the local category because it's actually a consolidation of microloan programs throughout the region.
Small Business Grants: Local
Chicago IncentOvate
This project awarded $400,000 to six cultural projects in the city of Chicago. While it's unclear whether this grant will be repeated in future years, it's a reflection of grants you should be looking for in your own city! You don't need to be running a research and development business or a green technology-oriented farm to get small business grants, after all.
Small Business Grants: Local
Chicago Small Business Improvement Fund
The SBIF supports small businesses repairing or remodeling their location, whether by updating windows and floors, replacing signage, or purchasing nearby property to expand into. Note that you'd receive this grant after completing and paying for your remodeling, so be cautious—plenty of other businesses are likely competing for small business grants like these.
Small Business Grants: Local
Miami Mom & Pop Small Business Grant
If you're in Miami and have been in business for at least a year, make sure to apply to this program meant to "bridge the gap between local government and small owned and operated businesses."
Small Business Grants: Local
New York City Fashion Manufacturing Initiative
The FMI offers grants to New York City fashion companies who need to purchase equipment, make upgrades, or train their employees.
Small Business Grants: Local
New York City Job Creation and Retention Program
Is your small business new to Lower Manhattan, and can you commit to creating at least 75 new jobs in the area? If so, look to the JCRP grant.
Small Business Grants: Local
New York City Hurricane Sandy Grants
While this grant program no longer applies to businesses today, it shows that you can and should look for small business grants in case of natural disasters that may have affected a large number of local businesses.
Small Business Grants: Local
Orlando Downtown Facade & Building Stabilization Program
This program provides grants between $5,000 and $40,000 to small businesses that own their buildings in downtown Orlando and improve their stability or appearance. Part infrastructural, part city beautification, this program incentivizes the small business owning residents of Orlando to contribute to their city's well-being in a few different ways.
Small Business Grants: Local
Detroit NEIdeas Grants
Aimed at fostering economic growth and entrepreneurial spirit in Detroit (alongside a few other cities), the NEIdeas grant program gives out $10,000 and $100,000 grants to businesses—as well as exposure and free resources.
Small Business Grants: Local
Roseburg, Oregon Tourism Grant
Local townships and cities, as well as states, give tourism grants to businesses that promote travel. This particular grant also weighs whether your business is promoting tourism during season or off-season, which is something to consider.
Small Business Grants: Local
Salt Lake City River District Gardens Facade Improvement Grant
Another beautification program, this grant applies only to businesses within a certain district of the city. Again, though not a lot of money, small business grants like these are uncompetitive and low in effort to apply for—who's going to turn down free cash?
Small Business Grants: Local
Intuit Small Business Local Buzz
Intuit, the tax preparation software company, gives 15 small businesses $5,000 apiece in marketing prizes with its Small Business Local Buzz program, previously called Love Our Local Business —and they still have their blog.
Small Business Grants: Corporate
FedEx Small Business Grant
FedEx annually awards grants of up to $25,000 to ten small businesses, nationwide, with its Small Business Grant Contest. You can check out past winners—and hear their words of wisdom and warning—and the FedEx site.
Small Business Grants: Corporate
West Elm Small Business Grant
If you're a maker of furniture, ceramics, fabrics, toiletries, art—or anything else that west elm offers—then check out their small business grant contest. The first place winner receives $25,000, and each runner-up gets featured in west elm's catalog of local shops and items.
Small Business Grants: Corporate
Chase Mission Main Street Grants
Each year, Chase Bank puts aside $3 million to split between 20 small businesses—that's $150,000 each. You'll have to answer a few essay questions regarding your business, its story, and its community impact, and then winners are decided by a panel of small business experts and senior executives. You'll also get a free trip to Google for a small business marketing workshop, and more.
Small Business Grants: Corporate
Visa Everywhere Initiative
Visa's Everywhere Initiative looks for startups with innovative fixes and offered $50,000 to the final three winners.
Small Business Grants: Corporate
Marriott International's Canvas
Canvas is a "food and drink concept lab" maintained by Marriott International—so if you're an aspiring restaurateur in need of money, space, or advice, look no further. Unlike many small business grants, this funding opportunity is for the concept stage only.
Small Business Grants: Corporate
Miller Lite Tap the Future
This business pitch competition offers $200,000, plus seminars and additional resources, to startups.
Small Business Grants: Corporate
Sam's Club Grant Program
Now, this grant program doesn't directly assist small businesses—instead, it offers funding to nonprofit organizations that support small business owners. So while you can't apply, you should keep tabs on the program and its recipients, in case any wind up in your neck of the woods.
Small Business Grants: Corporate
Wells Fargo Community Investment
Offering grants in nearly every state, the Wells Fargo Community Investment program focuses mainly on nonprofits—but small businesses with the right criteria can qualify, too.
Small Business Grants: Corporate
Walmart Foundation
Walmart has a number of different grant programs, again mostly aimed towards nonprofits. Similar to the Sam's Club program, you should apply if you can, but keep tabs on relevant nonprofits who might want to sponsor you in turn.
Small Business Grants: Corporate
ExxonMobile Foundation
This philanthropic arm of Exxon Mobile focuses on funding sources concerned with eliminating malaria, increasing math and science education, and investing in women's economic opportunities.
Small Business Grants: Corporate
Coca-Cola Foundation
Similarly, Coca-Cola's community-giving branch centers around empowering women, improving access to clean water, and fostering healthy living and youth development. If your small business doesn't qualify under the mostly charity-centric criteria, then try to see if you can contract or cater for the nonprofit that does.
Small Business Grants: Corporate
National Association for the Self-Employed
NASE offers small business grants of up to $5,000. Just register and see if you're eligible!
Small Business Grants: Corporate
This is the inaugural year for LendingTree's Small Business Grant Contest. The winning small business will receive $50,000 to fund the needs of their growing business!
Small Business Grants: Corporate
Eileen Fisher Program
Awarding $100,000 in grant money to up to 10 recipients, this initiative is geared towards small businesses interested in creating environmental and social change—and, of course, companies owned and run by women.
Small Business Grants for Women
Zions Bank Smart Women Grants
Zions Bank offers $18,000 across six categories, including child and elder care, arts and culture, and teacher support.
Small Business Grants for Women
Walmart Global Women's Economic Empowerment Initiative
Though an international program, Walmart's GWEEI should still be on your list if you're a female business owner: they've pledged to support women-owned businesses with over $100 million in grants.
Small Business Grants for Women
The Amber Grant
With a number of different grant initiatives for women, WomensNet's Amber Grant program is a great place to look for assistance with your business, especially at an early stage.
Small Business Grants for Women
Huggies MomInspired
This initiative provides up to $15,000 grants to 12 "mompreneurs," alongside business counsel and networking opportunities.
Small Business Grants for Women
American Association of University Women Career Development Grant
If you're a woman who holds a B.A. and is looking to advance or change careers, the AAUW's career development program can help you fund that major life shift!
Small Business Grants for Women
Women's Business Centers
This isn't a direct grant provider, but rather a database of Small Business Administration-sponsored centers. Some will give small business grants themselves, while others will simply help you find local corporations or foundations that do so. Either way, make sure to check yours out.
Small Business Grants for Women
InnovateHER Women Business Challenge
Co-hosted by the SBA, this competition offers $70,000 in grant money across its first, second, and third prize winners. It's only a part of the InnovateHER: Innovating for Women Business Summit, sponsored by Microsoft as well.
Small Business Grants for Women
Open Meadows Foundation
Open Meadows funds projects with $2,000 grants, so long as they're designed and led by women.
Small Business Grants for Women
The Halstead Grant
This funding opportunity is for women business owners who make and sell jewelry. You'll receive $7,500 in cash, a $1,000 gift certificate to Halstead, and a variety of social media and public relations spotlights—as well as a trip to Arizona. The top ten runners-up receive prizes as well, so don't let anything hold you back from entering!
Small Business Grants for Women
New Media Women Entrepreneurs
This program, offered by NMWE, gives $14,000 to women who engage in startup entrepreneurial efforts relating to news and information. Their project mission is unique, but definitely worth investigating if your small business is young and news-oriented.
Small Business Grants for Women
Minerals and Mining on Indian Lands
This Department of the Interiors grant provides funding to both tribes and individual mineral owners seeking to make use of those resources on Indian lands.
Small Business Grants for Minorities
Community Programs to Improve Minority Health Grant Program
If you own a health-related small business, you can use this grant to spread information and awareness of health and healthcare for minorities.
Small Business Grants for Minorities
President Obama began the Partnerships for Opportunity, Workforce, and Economic Revitalization Initiative to help communities hurt by the changing power industry. Look into the block grants the federal government awarded to state and local institutions, and if you're nearby, see if you can snag a contracting opportunity or second-hand grant from them!
Small Business Grants for Minorities
Rural Business Enterprise Grants
Available to small businesses, the RBEG program offers funds for rural development—including, by not limited to, infrastructural development, working capital for startup businesses, purchasing equipment, and real estate development. Smaller requests are actually given higher priority, and grants usually range between $10,000 and $50,000.
Small Business Grants for Minorities
Rural Business Opportunity Grants
Similarly, the RBOG program gives up to $100,000 to support training for business development, in order to stimulate the economies of rural communities.
Small Business Grants for Minorities
Community Connect Grants
If you live or operate in a rural area lacking an Internet broadband speed of 3 Mbps or more, and are looking to fix that, then check to see whether you're eligible for this Department of Agriculture grant. We've included this and the previous grants under the "Minorities" category because the government also often groups them together—it's all about enfranchising the disadvantaged. Indian tribes are also a major target demographic for these programs.
Small Business Grants for Minorities
Water & Waste Disposal Loan & Grant Program
Though not explicitly targeted towards small businesses, this grant initiative—like many others—includes Federally-recognized tribes among its eligible applicants. If you're a business owner operating in recognized tribal lands, and you'd like to invest in water or waste disposal, this cash could help out.
Small Business Grants for Minorities
Minority Business Development Agency
The MBDA has regular grant competitions for minority business owners, alongside a long list of other resources for you to learn from.
Small Business Grants for Minorities
First Nations Development Institute Grant
The Native Arts Capacity Building Initiative gives up to six grants of $30,000 each to Native American institutions supporting arts and culture. However, to qualify you must already have programs in place supporting this goal. The program is also limited to those initiatives that support Native American artists in Minnesota, North Dakota, south Dakota, and Wisconsin, although if you have a strong case, make it!
Small Business Grants for Minorities
Tribal Energy Development Capacity Grant
This program gives Federally-recognized tribes more resources to improve the economic influence of energy development in their areas. While this grant doesn't provide directly to small businesses, look for the "trickle down" approach of funneling this government money into your business by securing the right contracts.
Small Business Grants for Minorities
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