Are you thinking to run or start a business? If yes, then nothing sounds better than “free money”. Unlike business loans, here you don’t have to repay small business grants, as such, there’s nothing to worry over refinancing, interest rates or over term length. Rather you only have to apply, quality and boom.

Now, to help you with caveats, you can find here some pre-compiled list of verified startup grants and small business grants for you to check out. This is in a categorized form so that you can figure out which grant is best for you to begin. Get to know more about application process, timelines, eligibility criteria and more for each grant.

How to get Grant for a Small Business loan

A quick Google search will pull up millions of result for business grants. You can find a lot many possibilities that will seem impossible to narrow down the prospects. You can find certain resources that will not only help you find the right grants, rather also assist in application procedures. These will in-turn help you determine grant opportunities that cannot be missed.

Grants.gov

Everybody would want free money from the government. Now, Grant.gov is the federal govt. landing page for the entire federal govt. grants across agencies. This is a great resource to find grant opportunities, however you will find small businesses that are disappointed to find many grants closed to them. This website include grants for nonprofits, individuals, local governments, schools system, and so you’ll have to sift through to fine one that is best fit for you.

You can receive a business grant particularly a govt. funded one. This is tricky and so get to know some of the needs and general guidelines that the federal govt. uses to identify business grant eligibility.

  • Grants are not given to start a business
  • Grant money is not for business to pay-off debt or cover operational expenses
  • Local and state grants maybe awarded to organization that assists with economic development

Small Business Development Centers

After you have done lot many trials for federal govt. business grants, the forward thing to consider here is state and local business grants. Here, you can hit and find some on your own, but you can also be funded by government grants that will help you out.

One crucial aspect where this grants can help is by navigating the grant process. You can get an appointment to make while searching for small business grants.

SCORE.org

This is a nonprofit organization backed by small business administration that promotes mentoring and free tools for small business owners. They serve as free resource for entrepreneurs seeking for expertise having many local experts that you can connect with.

Your Local Librarian

With so many things alongside, local libraries do render for free at lower cost to business owners in finding grants. The librarians are trained researchers and have access to hundreds of databases. As such they can help you in narrowing down the search. As they work in conjunction with local chambers, they know the local pay of the land and will help you find business grants that are particular to your community.

How to Apply for a Small Business Grant

One best way to go through this is by working smart and hard. So, instead of filling out an individual grant application, you can create a resume for your business that outlines your answers to common queries business grant givers. Here, certain applications will vary based on what is needed. For instance, a local govt. grant will need an explanation of how the business growth and development will gain local commerce directly.

Some common assets you might need to provide while applying for a business grant are:

  • Time in business, number of employees, monthly revenue, how the funds will be used, your business elevator pitch, your employer identification number, your social media handles, a photo, a business plan,

Federal small-business grants for women

There are certain federal govt. grants for small business owners who are designated for particular purpose like the research and development projects for rural and business regions. These grants are used for day to day expenses and other startup costs.

1. Grants.gov

This is a database of federally sponsored grants that includes grants for small businesses. In order to apply for it, you must have a unique identification number and register to do business with the govt. in website. It will be only then where you can create an account at grants.gov.

2. Transfer programs for Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology

The small business administration facilitates two competitive programs, that render grants to small businesses to contribute into federal research and development. The federal agencies including the health and human services, defense, department of agriculture, post grant opportunities on their websites. You can search for current grant opportunities on their site. Here, to qualify for it, you should operate a for-profit business with no more than 500 employees and meet other eligibility criteria’s.

3. The Girlboss Foundation Grant

Here, each grant recipient receives funding that are exclusive to female business owners working in arts, music, fashion and design. The selections are judged by innovation and creativity, demonstration, business acumen and planning of a financial need.

State and local small-business grants

Since federal small business grants are limited in number and even very competitive, you can seek for grants at the municipal and state levels. All you have to do is research and pin point particular grant programs in your regions.

4. Women’s Business Centers

The small business administration sponsors women nationwide designed to help female entrepreneurs with business development and access to capital. Some lend money directly while other help find small business grants and loans that you may qualify for.

5. Economic development administration

Many cities and states have economic development resources focused to promote strong local economics. For instance, you can find cities and states having several economic development districts that render financing to local entrepreneurs.

6. Small Business Development Centers

There are numerous small business administration sponsored centres around the country usually housed at colleges and universities. You can find one on one business consulting that including helping with developing finding financing, researching markets and developing business plans.

Private small-business grants for women

There are certain businesses and private organizations that offer national grant programs for women small business owners.

Best Alternatives to Small Business Grants

Small business grants have one main benefit over business loan as you don’t have to pay back a grant. Here, a loan has to be paid with interest and can be tough on new businesses with flow struggles. Here, qualifying for grant is hard and in case thing doesn’t plan out for you; you can find traditional financing option as the best option.

Given here are some loan options you can seek in case you don’t qualify for grant

Micro loans

Micro loans usually have reasonable interest rates and easy eligibility criteria. Many organizations that render grants like govt. organizations and nonprofits, also provide micro loans. So, if you don’t qualify for a grant, you can ask the organization if they give loan.

Crowd funding

There are a range of crowd funding websites where your business can access funding. Here, you have to create an account, pitch your product/service and wait for people to donate to your organization. In exchange for money, you can render prizes like a free product or coupon. So, if you’re opting for crowd funding, you must ensure to read all the rules as this platform takes a small cut of your capital.

SBA Loans

SBA loans are another alternative in case you don’t qualify for grant, mostly a federal govt. grant. This guarantee small business administration loans and works with banks to get them in hands of small business owners. You can find any local bank and check whether they give sba loans.

Business Credit Cards

Even if you don’t think of business credit cards as a financing option, these are very convenient way to finance start-up costs and other business expenses. Business credit cards usually have high credit limits and other perks and so you must make sure to use them wisely without trying to carry a big balance months after months.