Businesses can find grants through various channels and methods:
- Government Websites: Explore government websites at local, state, and federal levels. Sites like Grants.gov (for U.S.-based organizations) offer a comprehensive database of available grants. Grants.gov: This is a comprehensive database of grants offered by federal agencies in the United States. It covers various sectors, including small business grants. SBA.gov: The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) website provides information on grants, loans, and funding programs available for small businesses. While the SBA itself does not typically offer grants to start or expand small businesses, it provides resources and information on grants offered by other entities. Local Government Websites: Local government websites often provide information on grants and funding programs available for small businesses within their jurisdictions.
- State Economic Development Agencies. State Economic Development Agencies: State economic development agencies often have information on grants, loans, and incentives available for small businesses within their states.
- Industry-Specific Organizations: Many industries have associations or organizations that offer grants. These can be found by networking within the industry or through online searches.
- Corporate Grants: Some corporations offer grants or funding opportunities for businesses, especially if they align with their corporate social responsibility (CSR) goals. FedEx: Through programs like the FedEx Small Business Grant Contest, FedEx offers grants and resources to small businesses to help them grow and expand their operations. Visa: Visa has programs like the Visa Everywhere Initiative that support startups and small businesses through grants, mentorship, and access to Visa's network. Walmart: Walmart has initiatives like the Walmart Foundation's Community Grant Program, which provides funding to small businesses and nonprofits focused on community development. Google: Google supports small businesses through programs like Google for Startups and various initiatives aimed at fostering innovation, providing mentorship, and sometimes offering financial support. Chase Bank: Chase offers the Mission Main Street Grants program, providing financial support and resources to small businesses. Verizon: Verizon has programs like the Verizon Small Business Recovery Fund that provided grants to small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. American Express: American Express offers grants and resources through programs like the American Express OPEN for Government Contracts program, supporting small businesses looking to secure government contracts. Coca-Cola: Coca-Cola Foundation often supports small businesses and entrepreneurs through various programs, including grants and mentorship initiatives. Comcast NBCUniversal: Comcast has initiatives like the Comcast RISE program, which supports small businesses owned by people of color with grants, marketing resources, and technology upgrades. Amazon: Amazon has programs like the Amazon Small Business Grants, offering financial assistance to small businesses selling on Amazon's platform.
- Online Grant Databases and Directories: Websites like Foundation Center, GrantWatch, or Candid offer extensive databases of grants available for various types of businesses.
- Networking and Conferences: Attending industry-specific conferences, workshops, or networking events may offer insights into potential grant opportunities.
- Chambers of Commerce and Local Business Support Groups: These organizations often have information about grants or funding available for local businesses.
- Crowdfunding Platforms: While not traditional grants, crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter or Indiegogo can sometimes act as a source of funding for business projects.
- Professional Advisors: Consultants, financial advisors, or grant writers may have information about available grants or funding sources.
Social Media and Newsletters: Following grant-giving organizations, government agencies, and industry-specific pages on social media or subscribing to newsletters can provide regular updates on available grants. @smallbusinessgrants: This account focuses on sharing various grant opportunities, funding sources, and resources for small businesses. @grantsforbusinesses: Offers updates and information on grants available for small businesses, highlighting different opportunities across sectors. @smallbizgrantsguide: Shares tips, guides, and updates on grants and funding opportunities for small businesses. Hello Alice: Hello Alice, the first machine learning technology to help business owners find their path by matching them to personalized opportunities and resources. Founders Carolyn Rodz and Elizabeth Gore realized that they could multiply the positive impact on underrepresented business owners through technology. Startups.com Newsletter: This newsletter often includes information on grants, funding opportunities, and resources for startups and small businesses. Nav Small Business Grant Newsletter: Nav occasionally sends newsletters with updates and information on small business grants and funding sources. GrantsWatch Newsletter: GrantsWatch occasionally sends newsletters featuring grant opportunities for businesses, nonprofits, and individuals.
Regularly conducting online research and staying updated on funding opportunities can help identify new grant programs that might be suitable for a business. When seeking grants, it's essential to thoroughly review the eligibility criteria, deadlines, and requirements for each grant program before applying. Additionally, having a well-prepared grant application that aligns with the grant's objectives and guidelines is crucial for success.
About the author
Dr. Melissa-Sue John is a professor of psychology at the University of Saint Joseph, the CEO of Lauren Simone Publishing House, a diversity, equity and inclusion officer, a winner of several awards, business accelerators, and grants including Citizen's Bank, CT Next, Girls for Technology, Goldman Sachs, Hayvn Hatch, ICCC, Realist Ventures, reSET, Urban Hope, and a WBDC Women Rising award recipient.