Finding grants to start or grow your business takes a little groundwork. Researching different opportunities is a good place to start. If your application is a good fit, awards can range in all different sizes.
You’ll find local, state, and federal funding, including Small Business Association (SBA) grants and funding from universities, corporations, private groups, and charities. Why give away grants? Most grantors want to create jobs, stimulate growth, serve communities, or fill unmet needs.
Applying for grants takes time, but the potential rewards can make it worth the effort. You don’t have to repay grants or give up equity in your business. However, you’re responsible for taxes, and grantors may restrict how you spend, as some require ongoing reporting and audits.
Small business help from on high
“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.“
[Matthew 10:29-31 (NIV)]
Today’s business climate can present strong headwinds for start-ups trying to get off the ground and small businesses seeking altitude. However, winds can work in your favor when you understand aerodynamics. Most pilots take off flying against the wind. Oncoming force on a plane’s wings pushes them upward so planes become airborne faster at lower speeds using less fuel.
When you navigate within God’s natural laws and trust in His providence, even headwinds can give you a lift. And in any weather, He’s still in charge. After all, He created the skies, heavens, Earth, and every creature. He rules – moment by moment – over them all (Job 38:31-35). God cares about sparrows. Whether your fledgling business gets off the ground and struggles or soars, you’re worth more than many sparrows to Him (Matthew 10:31).
Applying for grants to start a business
Grant applications for small businesses vary. Some funders require a letter of intent before greenlighting a grant proposal. Large grantors may have complex administrative and legal requirements, while smaller private organizations sometimes have simpler application processes.
Make sure you meet all eligibility requirements and can complete everything before application deadlines. Grantors may ask about:
- Why you need a grant
- How you’ll use the grant
- Your business achievements, plans and goals
- Your team and operational details
- Budget expenses, plans and projections
- How you’ll measure success
When applying for a grant, keep the funders’ interests in mind. Most just want to make sure your plans align with their priorities.
Professional grant writers can help. They know the territory and aren’t deterred by lengthy or tedious application paperwork. Rates vary depending on expertise and grant complexity.
Where to find small business grants
Check out the variety of funding sources below. You can also ask business leaders for referrals. Networking events, tradeshows, and online searches specific to your business can turn up opportunities, in addition to these go-to sources:
Federal small business grant database
You can search the Grants.gov database listing over 1,000 federal grants, from energy and education to transportation grants. Check any requirements, get education and training, and apply for grants. The site has an app, chatbot, and support center.
When you navigate within God’s natural laws and trust in His providence, even headwinds can give you a lift. And in any weather, He’s still in charge.
Public and private small business grants
In addition to the federal database, you can find public and private funding at local, state, and national levels. Government agencies, corporations, philanthropic foundations, and other organizations fund a variety of needs.
Grantors may finance businesses that serve seniors, companies that train trade-workers, or entrepreneurs who support local farmers. Check your Secretary of State office for opportunities close to home. You can also visit the U.S. Chamber of Commerce site for private and public grant listings.
Joining your local Chamber of Commerce or other business associations can also help you network with leaders. It’s a great way to learn about local, state, and private funding opportunities.
Other small business grantors
When entrepreneurs need a hand, many leaders and organizations want to help. Some grants are set aside for women, seniors, farmers, or veterans. Places to start include:
- National Association for the Self-Employed
- Small Business Administration (SBA) grants
- Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) funds
- Small business grants for veterans
- State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) grants
- U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
- U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA)
Keep the faith while seeking funding to start a business
If you’re ready to fund your business dreams, the sky’s the limit! Your challenge may be narrowing your focus, shortening your list, and completing applications. It takes time to hear back, and awards aren’t guaranteed, so most entrepreneurs rely on multiple sources.
Growing a business takes leadership, hard work, and perseverance. But when you serve the Lord and others with love, zeal, and spiritual fervor (Romans 12:9-13), He’ll give you and your plans all the lift you’ll need.
Healthcare options for small businesses?
It shouldn’t be overwhelming—or break the bank.
Learn how CHM has helped entrepreneurs with excellent, budget-friendly healthcare since 1981.