The key to applying for small business grants is to work smarter, not harder.
Instead of filling out each application one-by-one, create a resume as you would if you were applying for a new job. There are common questions amongst all business grant-givers, so keeping a list of answers prepared can give you a lot more time back, allowing you to fill out more applications. Depending on the grant, what exactly is required varies from company to company.
For example, a local government grant will likely require an explanation of how your business’s growth and development will benefit local commerce directly, while a grant from a private company like FedEx may require a video essay.
Take a look at a few common questions grant-givers ask for when applying for a business grant:
- Business Name and Address
- Amount of Time in Business
- Number of Employees, if any
- Monthly Revenue
- How Will the Funds Will Be Used
- Your Business’s “Elevator Pitch”
- Your Employer Identification Number (EIN)
- Your Social Media Handles (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.)
- A photo of you (and, if applicable, your partners or offices). Tip: A professional photo can go a long way, especially for companies looking to use your image across their site when announcing awards.
- A business plan.
DID YOU KNOW? Grants Are Taxable Income. The IRS considers business grants as income for tax purposes. How your business is structured and how you report income to the IRS will determine what impact this will have on you come tax time, but generally, expect a chunk of any grant money will go to Uncle Sam. You can head off this potential business grant downside by planning ahead and asking your accountant or tax professional to factor any grant money you’re awarded into your quarterly estimated payments (if applicable) or to help you estimate owed taxes and set aside those funds so you don’t have a larger-than-expected bill come tax time. Loans, however, are not considered income in the eyes of the IRS. - Nav
Where to Find Grants
Below are a list of grants for small businessowners, women and minorities:
- Grants.gov - The #1 source for the majority of all grants
- Minority Business Development Agency - Grants and loans for minorities
- USDA Grant - For minorities
- National Minority Supplier Development Council
- SBA 8(A) Business Development Program - For socially and economically disadvantaged small business owners
- Operation Hope Small-Business Empowerment Program - For entrepreneurs in low wealth neighborhoods
- FedEx Small Business Grant - $25,000
- Etsy Makers Cities Grant
- Chase Mission Main Street Grant - $150,000
- Visa Everywhere Initiative - $50,000
- National Association for the Employed (NASE) - $5,000
- LendingTree - $50,000
- Walmart Global Women Economic Empowerment Initiative
- The Amber Grant - For women only
- American Association of University Women Career Development Grant
- InnovateHER Women Business Challenge
- The GirlBoss Foundation Grant
- Eileen Fisher Women-Owned Businss Grant - To be eligible, women must make up at least 51% of your business’s ownership and leadership, your business must have been in operation for at least three years, earn less than $1 million in annual revenue, and be focused on environmental or social change.
- Women Business Centers
- Open Meadows - For women only
- The Halstead Grant - For businesses selling jewelry
- Huggies Mominspired - $15,000
- Idea Cafe
- DC Small and Local Business Grant - They tend to offer the most grants to retail businesses that are revitalizing downtown neighborhoods in Washington DC
- Kansas Job Creation Fund
- Miami Mom and Pop Small Business Grant
- Seed Chicago
- Detroit NEIdeas Grants
- Intuit NASE Grant