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Grants for small businesses can provide funding to help cover a variety of your businesses needs, such as equipment purchases, marketing, training, and expansion. However, grants can be competitive and not all businesses may be eligible to receive them. If you’re seeking information about how to get a small business grant, you’re in the right place. Grants can help small businesses grow, but more funding may be necessary for a business to maximize opportunity. In such cases, inventory financing can be a helpful alternative funding option. 

The bottom line for small businesses is critical, therefore, financing needs to be affordable to make sense. As you may know, financing options are not always designed for CPG small businesses. From strict requirements to high costs you may be wondering how to reach the next level as a small business owner. While grants can help, Kickfurther can too. At Kickfurther, you can access funding up to 100% of your inventory costs at flexible payment terms that YOU control. Plus, we’d never ask you to give up equity or take on debt in exchange for help. To our fellow entrepreneurs we see you and relate. At Kickfurther take advantage of the following benefits:

  • No immediate repayments
  • Non-dilutive
  • Not a debt
  • Upfront capital 

Consider the possibility of accessing a small business grant combined with funding for inventory – thus allowing you to free up cash flow for other activities. New business owners, keep reading to learn more about how to access grants and funding to grow your business.

What is a small business grant?

Grants are available for small businesses, and are generally offered exclusively for certain types of businesses. For example, a grant may be exclusive for small businesses in the sports, specifically baseball industry. Grants are offered by government agencies, non-profit organizations, and some private entities. In summary, they are a financial award that does not require repayment, separating it from a loan. Some grants may be funded as a lump sum for any business related activities while others may specify uses. 

Small business grants are usually competitive, and the application process may require detailed information about the business and its operations. Who can apply for grants can get pretty specific as well so make sure it’s worth your time before applying. Funding amounts can vary depending on the program, but typically ranges from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars.

Small business grants are intended to support the growth and development of small businesses, particularly those that are underrepresented or facing significant challenges. If you can qualify for a grant, it can be a valuable resource, but it’s likely not the only funding solution your business will need. Getting a grant can require patience, so breathe and enjoy the process. 

How small business grants work

Small business grants work by providing financial support to small businesses that meet certain criteria, such as being a certain size, belonging to a particular industry, or serving a specific community. The specific requirements and application process for small business grants can vary depending on the organization offering the grant.

Typically, a small business grant application will require detailed information about the business, its operations, and its financial needs. The application may also require the submission of a business plan or other documentation to demonstrate the feasibility and impact of the business.

Common uses of small business grants

Small business grants can be used for a variety of purposes depending on the specific requirements of the grant and the needs of the business. Here are some common uses of small business grants:

  • Funding business operations: Small business grants can be used to cover general business expenses, such as rent, utilities, and payroll.
  • Purchasing equipment: Grants can be used to purchase equipment or technology that is necessary for the business operations, such as machinery, computers, or software.
  • Inventory or supplies: Small business grants can help finance the purchase of inventory or supplies needed to produce or sell products or services.
  • Marketing and advertising: Grants can be used to finance marketing and advertising campaigns to promote the business, its products or services.
  • Research and development: Small business grants can be used to fund research and development activities, such as new product or service development, market research, or prototyping.
  • Hiring and training Employees: Grants can be used to fund employee training programs or to hire new employees to support business growth.
  • Business expansion: Small business grants can help finance expansion efforts, such as opening a new location or expanding the current space.

It’s important to note that the specific use of small business grants can depend on the requirements and restrictions of the grant program. Before applying for a grant, business owners should carefully review the guidelines and ensure that they can meet the eligibility criteria and use the funding in accordance with the terms of the grant.

Types of government small business grants

There are various types of government small business grants available at the federal, state, and local levels, including:  

  • Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grants: Funded by the federal government, these grants are designed to support small businesses in conducting research and development activities. As with most grants, businesses will need to meet the requirements, such as having fewer than 500 employees and conducting research in specific areas.
  • Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program: Funded by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), these grants are exclusively available to businesses located in low-to-moderate income areas. These grants aim to help businesses succeed while helping communities grow. Business owners can use funds for a  range of business activities, such as real estate development, infrastructure improvements, and job creation.
  • Rural Business Enterprise Grant (RBEG) program: Funded by the Department of Agriculture (USDA), these grants are designed to support small businesses located in rural areas. Funds can be used to support a range of business operations.
  • Economic Development Administration (EDA) grants: Funded by the federal government, these grants are designed to support economic development activities in distressed communities. Similar to CDBG grants, these grants aim to improve businesses and communities. Funds should be used for activities such as infrastructure improvements, workforce development, and business planning.
  • Small Business Administration (SBA) grants: The SBA offers several grant programs for small businesses, including the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program and the Service Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business Program. These programs have specific eligibility requirements and guidelines.

Types of corporate small business grants

Corporate small business grants are offered by private corporations and can vary widely in their focus areas and eligibility requirements. Here are some of the most common types of corporate small business grants:

  • Small Business Grants for Women and Minorities
  • Environmental and Sustainability Grants
  • Community Development Grants
  • Education and Workforce Development Grants:
  • Innovation and Technology Grants
  • Social Impact Grants
  • Grants that support diversity in small business

Some grants may require applicants to meet certain diversity criteria in order to be considered for funding. In a world that embraces diversity, there are a number of grants that support diversity in small businesses, such as: 

  • Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) Grants: The MBDA offers grants to support minority-owned small businesses. These grants can be used for a range of activities, such as business development, marketing, and training.
  • National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE) Growth Grants: The NASE offers grants to support small businesses owned by women, minorities, and veterans. These grants can be used to support a range of business activities, such as marketing, hiring, and equipment purchases.
  • Small Business Administration (SBA) Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs): SBDCs provide resources and support for small businesses, including those owned by women and minorities. They offer training, counseling, and access to funding opportunities.
  • Business for All Grants: Business for All is a program that offers grants to small businesses owned by women, people of color, and members of the LGBTQ+ community. These grants can be used for a range of business activities, such as equipment purchases, marketing, and hiring.
  • Rise of the Rest Grants: The Rise of the Rest Seed Fund offers grants to small businesses located in cities outside of traditional startup hubs. They aim to support businesses that are owned by women, minorities, and veterans.

How to qualify for a small business grant

Qualifying for a small business grant can vary depending on the specific grant program and the funding organization’s requirements. However, here are some general steps that may help you qualify for a small business grant: 

  • Identify grant opportunities
  • Determine eligibility
  • Gather required documentation
  • Create a strong grant proposal
  • Submit your application

Competition for small business grants can be fierce, and not all applicants will be successful in receiving funding. As a business owner you should  also consider alternative funding options, such as small business inventory financing to support your immediate business needs. 

What to do when you can’t qualify for a grant

If your small business can’t qualify for a grant (or doesn’t have the time), there are other funding options you can explore. Here are some alternative funding options:

  • Small business loans
  • Crowdfunding
  • Small business credit cards
  • Angel investors and venture capitalists.
  • Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs).
  • Small business inventory financing

Each funding option has its own set pros and cons, and may not be suitable for every business. We encourage you to indulge in learning about all options available. The Kickfurther community has a series of blogs that can help educate small business owners on how to grow their business. 

Closing thoughts

Small business grants offer businesses funds that don’t need to be repaid. This is a dream for most business owners, and for some becomes a reality if selected for a grant. However, the reality is that grants can take time to apply for and more time to be selected for. Time is one of the most valuable resources for business owners so while you should explore small business grants, you may want to explore other options simultaneously. 

How Kickfurther can help

Offering inventory on consignment, Kickfurther can cover your largest expense – inventory. Kickfurther funds up to 100% of your inventory costs on flexible payment terms that you control. Kickfurther’s unique funding platform can fund your entire order(s) each time you need more inventory, so you can put your capital on hand to work growing your business without adding debt or giving up equity.

Interested in getting funded at Kickfurther? Here are 3 easy steps to get started:

#1. Create a free business account

#2. Complete the online application 

#3. Review a potential deal with one of our account reps & get funded in minutes

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