If you're just starting out or looking for additional funding, small business grants are a great resource for capital. While grants are the best option—no interest rates, no repayments—it can be difficult to find applicable grants for your small business, and even more difficult to apply for and receive them.
Grants provide you with working capital that you can use to cover all your expenses, including renting an office space, buying new supplies or hiring workers. The type of grants available for small businesses are typically hyper-specific for your industry, but can be categorized into the following sectors:
Private grants are one type of grant you can apply for as a business owner. They are typically provided by larger organizations or corporations that award grants based on certain qualifications, like geography or demographics. For example, private grants for women business owners are increasing each year.
Private grants are also offered by wealthy, public figures (like Oprah Winfrey and Bill Gates) to businesses operating or opening in specific industries in which they have a keen interest.
Small businesses also have the opportunity to find grants that are specific to their industry. These grants can be either private or public, but are geared to businesses in certain fields. There are also grants available in this category that look to back companies and businesses that are advancing their industry. Health care organizations offer several grants for companies who want to implement wellness programs that directly improve employee health, like smoking cessation programs or weight loss challenges. The technology industry offers grants to businesses working on new innovations that will make life easier for others.
For example, North Carolina businesses can apply for grants in the science and technology sector.
Corporations offer grants for small businesses through a rigorous application process. The likes of Microsoft, Ford, FedEx and others allow small companies to apply for grants annually, typically with a detailed business plan, revenue forecasts, marketing strategies and more.
Government grants are available for small businesses through state and local organizations. City or county governments offer grants for small business owners to stimulate the local economy and develop their communities, since small businesses will bring in revenue from the locals and tourists, and build jobs on top of that. Government grants are also available for agriculture, education and other sectors.
The type of small business grant you choose to apply for will likely be directed by your location and industry. Finding a solid grant can help your business grow without the stress of loan repayments. Get started by finding applicable grants in your area and industry.