It takes money to make money and a grant can be just the thing your business needs to get going. From government grants to private organizations and investors, there are a lot of ways to fuel your business with capital. Does your business qualify for grant money? Check out this list of grants for small businesses in 2018.
Federal Grant Programs
From agriculture to manufacturing to research and beyond, the federal government offers grant programs in just about every industry.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture runs a grant program not only for agriculture-based businesses but small businesses in rural areas. If your business operates in a sparsely-populated area, a USDA grant can be an excellent starting point. If your business is centered around R&D, consider applying for a grant with the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR), an agency that looks for business to conduct innovative research and development with commercial potential. In a similar vein, the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) licenses products or resources so that businesses can transition into commercial endeavors. Both programs provide funding in phases depending on the nature of the business and the success of the venture.
The federal government often hosts challenges that award grant money to the winners. These contests range from architectural design to public awareness and outreach to solving various issues in engineering and city planning. You can find many of these contests at challenge.gov.
State and Local Government Grants
Exploring grant options at the state and local level is a must for small businesses, particularly startups. Financial assistance options range from small business loans to grants aimed at bolstering employment and strengthening the local economy.
Search federal and state government websites for information about state and territory grants for small business. Grant programs vary by state, but you may stumble upon the ideal program to support your business goals. The State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) regularly awards grants to help small businesses grow and expand operations. A quick web search for STEP grants in your state will guide you to an office that can provide more information. In fact, just running a general search for “small business grants” followed by the name of your state can reveal surprising grant opportunities. Universities, community organizations, and other local entities often offer small business grant programs.
A variety of private businesses and investors provide grants for small business. Corporations, small business communities, and nonprofit organizations can help you expand operations, innovate, and set the stage for long-term growth and profitability.
Many brands such as FedEx and Miller Lite host competitions that award winners with cash, business services, and other prizes to aid in their business ventures. You can find niche grant programs that help out entrepreneurs, and many community grant organizations geared toward specific groups such as women business owners, web developers, writers, current and former military and their spouses, etc. A search for grant providers in your industry can provide more information.
Whether you’re looking for a small grant to get things moving for 2018, or more substantial capital funding to help your business make big moves, it pays to explore your options and put your best foot forward.