grants for small business

How to Get a Grant for Small Businesses

11 min read

There is no such thing as a free lunch. At least, that’s how the saying goes. But that’s not always the case with business grants. Grants for small businesses are free money made available for business owners on certain occasions or under specific circumstances. With grants, business owners do not have to repay the funds they receive. There are countless organizations, both private and public, that offer business grants.

These grant-giving organizations are an ideal solution for business owners, whether you’re an idea for a startup or have a fledgling existing company that needs additional capital to boost their business. The key to understanding grants is using them as a boost to your business model, not a fountain of free sustainable income.  That is, not as a primary source of capital for the business, but rather as an additional amount to get you off your feet.

While the thought of scoring some free money for business needs can feel like a lightning strike, its application and acquisition often require a lot of work. Thus, if you think you can benefit from a grant, you will need the requisite knowledge of the right grant provider and other necessary details to make the application.

More so, integrating the business with a reputable ecommerce solution like Ecwid will foster your ability to secure the company with the funds. And ensuring that it is committed to the future of delivering excellent services and products at all times.

Keep reading to learn more about how you can get grants for your small business and everything there is to know.

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What are Business Grants?

Business grants are the sum of money offered by private or public organizations. Examples are the government, foundations, or others. Business grants aim to lend a helping hand to businesses, especially at the early stage. In addition, the grants will lend business owners a handful of leverage to start and grow their operations as they desire.

Grants are essentially desirable because the conditions with other types of funding are not the same. In other words, as you have with loans, you do not have to pay grants back. A business grant serves as a complementary source of income for which you do not have to give up your equity for the funds given by the funder.

Grants for small businesses can be available for startups in the form of monetary funding provided by an organization or the government to help your business- whether a small company or nonprofit- achieve success in building and growing the business.

Grants for Small Businesses

Money for your business? Sounds like a dream, right? But it’s important to realize that this money doesn’t fall from the sky. In order to successfully obtain a grant, you need to know where to look to secure this funding and be able to meet the criteria for one that suits your business.

One great thing about grants is that there is also no need to put up any form of collateral. Neither would you be required to pay any interest or fee. Meanwhile, there may be rules that pertain to ways to spend the fund upon receiving it.

For instance, if you applied for a grant to improve the technology in your business for more efficient production and delivery. You may have to pay back the money if you plan to use it for something other than buying new equipment and technology.

The reason being that it may be seen as fraud could spark unwanted legal issues. Bear in mind that upon receipt of a small business grant, you will have to meet the accounting guidelines of the funder to ensure that the money is used specifically for what you stated that it would be used for, and nothing else.

Sources of Small Business Grants

Although there are many options to secure a business grant, they are classified under three general sources which include:

  • Nonprofits: Nonprofits grants are typically for some underrepresented demographics. Women entrepreneurs, business owners of color, and veteran proprietors can get funds from these sources for their businesses.
  • Government agencies: Grants could come from a local, state, or federal government. However, you stand a little chance of securing a grant from this source because they are usually provided for businesses in the agriculture, technology, energy, and science industries that can directly spur growth in the community.
  • For-profit organizations: Grants from for-profit organizations come from institutions such as banks. You stand a high chance in this category as these grants are given on merit.

Who Qualifies for a Grant for Small Business?

Government business grants are not usually given to pay off debt, start up a business, or cover expenses in your business operation. Therefore, it may be hard to get government grants, especially if your business is in the nonprofit sector, or is launching into project-related areas including education, government, medical research, or technology. Having said that, you can secure business grants for your startup if you are any of the following:

  • Green businesses
  • Innovators
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Rural businesses
  • Veteran, women, or minority-owned businesses

Looking up “startup small business grants” in the search engine won’t provide you with the necessary details you need. You will not get an up-to-date list of the available grants, but there are certain websites you can visit for reliable information.

Applying for Small Business Grant: Step-by-step Guide

There can be intense competition for grants. The reason for this is not far-fetched. There are hundreds of businesses making similar applications for a particular grant at the same time. This is why if you expect to win, you need to take your application very seriously. In this section, we’ll look at some of the important things you can do to stand a better chance of winning grants.

  • Have a schedule: Many grants are open for applications at a particular time of the year. Once you have identified the grant that suits you, create time to put your application together ahead of time.
  • Do your research: One critical aspect of a grant for businesses is to do your research. You need to know the companies that have received grants from the source in the past. This will help you determine which grants you can apply for and be granted without any hassles. If you observe that the fund-givers had at some point funded businesses similar to yours, it’s a positive sign that you could get the fund too.
  • Create a solid business plan: Many grant-providing organizations will ask you for a business plan. They will want to see how the grant money can help your business. A great, detailed business plan which highlights your strategies, profits, and specificities are difficult to ignore.
  • Spend time on relevant grants: You cannot apply for all grants. There are many grants out there that you stand zero chance of winning. Be specific, and spend time on relevant grants. That way, you will avoid spreading yourself thin and end up with lower-quality applications on too many irrelevant grants.

Conclusion

Business grants are available for small business owners, and other eligible organizations to facilitate their operations and promote entrepreneurship. For a startup, grants may not be required for expanding a business. And from whatever source you can land the funding, the primary goal is to tailor it towards supporting entrepreneurship.

Public and private entities give grants to small businesses. Your business stands a high chance of winning if you know the right one to apply for. You also have an advantage if you know where to look for the grant, and what to do. Bear in mind that applying for a grant can take time. And you may be asked to meet some eligibility requirements before you secure the grant. Irrespective of what it takes, grants for small businesses are available and they are real.

Landing a business grant is one thing, but it might be a lot easier to take your business to new levels with an ecommerce platform in place. For this, we recommend checking out Ecwid for your ecommerce needs, and to thoroughly research how to leverage the offers available for your small business, whatever it is.

Do you want to learn more about starting a small business?

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About the author

Max has been working in the ecommerce industry for the last six years helping brands to establish and level-up content marketing and SEO. Despite that, he has experience with entrepreneurship. He is a fiction writer in his free time.

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