A $30 billion Small Business Loan Fund was created in 2010 in order to encourage more accessible bank loans for small business. Some big banks have been accused of misusing these funds but don't be discouraged. If you are trying to obtain a small business loan and your revenues are less than $50 million annually, try contacting smaller community banks in your area. See if they are promoting new small business loans. It just may be the case because they are being encouraged to help stimulate small businesses. Business suffering? Learn how Recovery.gov may help.
Need some new ideas? Get the facts about Grants For Small Business. If you want to explore opportunities offered by non-government groups, there's great information in our article about Small Business Financing Opportunities.
The Small Business Administration does not give grants or loans directly to individuals but they do help subsidize bank loans for small business. They are a great place to start looking for financing.
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As a result of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act or Recovery Act, Grant-makers are specifying Recovery Act-related grants. These opportunities are accessible online by clicking “View All Opportunities” in the large Recovery.GOV box at the top of the opening page for Grants.gov. Though the Act was passed in 2010, there are still opportunities available. Per Recovery.gov, 92% of $787 billion in authorized funds has been made available. Of the $787 billion, $275 billion was designated for contracts, grants and loans and over $104 Billion remains to be awarded! You can also search over 26,000 active federal opportunities at the Federal Business Opportunities website.
Check out some innovative ideas for getting started in Grants To Start A Business. Individual states are also an important place to look for business financing and other support. Each state has their own funds and programs to stimulate their economy and promote job creation. See our state-specific articles for California, Florida, Illinois, New York and Texas if you live in one of those states. And stay tuned as we add new states on a regular basis.
Regardless what state you're in you should keep informed about your state's grants and other programs to stimulate business. Here's a good example: California’s State Treasurer’s Office provides around $5 billion not directly to businesses but to local community banks. The banks — who know their own area and are closer to potential borrowers — then loan that money to “Main Street” businesses. It’s called the Time Deposit Program and is funded with investments made with money generated within the state. This may be happening in your state as well, so be sure to cultivate a good relationship with your local community bank – they can be excellent lenders.
Looking for women's business funding? Be sure to read our latest articles on Grants For Women-Owned Business and Small Business Grants for Women. And take a look at Small Business Ideas to see how yours measures up — and maybe get some new ideas about starting your business on a shoestring!
The national health care reforms which became law in March of 2010 included a federal program that helps some biotech firms create new therapies. A total of $1 billion was available in the form of grants or tax credits. The deadline has passed, but be sure to check back often to see what else is new — and check the bottom of each page of this site for real-time, late-breaking news about grant opportunities.
Need a roadmap for starting and financing for your business? You can find it in the highly rated Start Your Own Business - Fifth Edition by the staff of Entrepreneur Media. It is a nuts and bolts guide to everything related to this topic. This is a valuable reference book you will turn to again and again for thorough information on any aspect of starting and running your business.
Attention: FedEx Grant Application Period Starts Now (May 2016)
Federal Express is advertising that its Opportunity Knocks Small Business Grants Contest is open now! From May 3 to May 30 you may submit the story of your business: how you happened to start it, what your business philosophy is, the goals you are trying to achieve, and what a grant would mean to what you will be able to accomplish. There will be one grants prize of $25,000, one grant for $15,000 and eight grants each worth $7500. The voting takes place from May 17 to June 13 and the top 100 finalists will be announced June 20. On July 11 the winners will be announced. Check out Fed Ex’s web site to get information on past winners, see a sample of an entry, read the contest rules and get your entry submitted!
Back to Small Business Grants: While there are many misconceptions about the availability of grants for small businesses owners, that doesn't mean that no grants are out there. The U.S. Small Business Administration does no direct funding of small businesses. On its website the SBA states that although if doesn't directly provide grants to small companies to help them grow their busines or to start a new one, it does offer grants to groups that provide a variety of services to small businesses. Those services include financial support as well as aid related to technical needs and management consulting.
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The SBA does provide support to other organizations which give financial assistance in the form of grants. These grants are usually (if not always) limited to applicants which fall into categories such as those owned by women, minorities, veterans or those with disabilities; those with special qualifications to conduct research or handle specific projects; those located in specific geographic areas; and those needing training or other services rather than financial support. So if you are a business that is owned by women, minorities, vererans, or those with disabilities, you should definitely check out what grants may be available to you!
Small Business Organizations: Some private groups and non-profits operate in support of entrepreneurs and small business owners. An organization that focuses on supporting the self employed is the National Association for the Self Employed. They provide lots of information, resources and support to members. They also provide “growth grants” based on applications from members. These grants are awarded quarterly in response to the information provided by applicants. To apply you must be a member, answer a number of questions about your business, provide proof of your business status, and explain what how you will spend the award money. Worth checking out if you are looking for a grant that looks to be in the area of around $5000. They do require quite a bit of information to compete your application but it could be worth it.
The SBA is still your best place to start when looking for business grants. They maintain information about what money is available for small businesses and what organizations are providing those funds Check their Federal Grants Resources portal to find a list of other agencies offering grants. You can also check the GSA (U.S. General Services Administration) for a list of financial and other assistance available to small businesses, which they arrange by category so you can easily track down grants targeted at specific groups (e.g. women, minorities). Best yet, just fill out the SBA's short online questionnaire with basic information about yourself and your business or business idea, hit Search, and get a list of Loan Programs, Seed & Venture Capital, and Grants for which you may be eligible.
Grants.gov is also an excellent source. You may not find a grant specifically meant to help you grow a small business, but there could be one that offers to fund an area of expertise that is relevant to what your business does. For example, the U.S. Department of Agriculture offers “small-business grants for research into ‘problems facing American agriculture’ in areas ranging from nutrition to marketing.” High-tech initiatives are sometimes provided by the government’s Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs, which you can also find by searching the listings at grants.gov.