- Government grants are free federal, state and locally funded programs offered to help launch or grow small businesses.
- Only apply for grants that you are eligible for and can meet all the conditions of the grantor.
- Look to your local government for coronavirus-relief programs specific to your community.
- This article is for new or existing small business owners who want to secure a government grant to help them launch or grow their organizations.
Launching and expanding a small business is expensive, and there are several financial routes you can take to secure funding. For many small business owners, government grants are a desirable option. Several grants are provided by federal, state, and local governments to help small businesses launch, grow, and develop their companies. Learn what the best government grants in 2020 are, how to apply and five tips to help your business get one.
What is a small business grant?
A small business grant is essentially free money given to a small business owner to help them launch, develop or expand their organization. Grants, unlike a loan, do not have to be paid back, but they often come with restrictions on how the money can be spent.
Just because a grant is free money, doesn’t mean it is easy to get. It takes a lot of time and preparation to apply for a grant, and they are highly competitive, so small businesses should only apply for grants they are eligible for.
The SBIR and STTR programs are some of the best government grants available to for-profit small businesses innovating in science and technology. They are highly competitive and incentivize small businesses to conduct research and development, in hopes to eventually commercialize their product.
In addition to funding, these programs also offer opportunities for small businesses to work with nonprofit organizations. To be eligible, you must operate a U.S.-based small business that is more than 50% U.S.-citizen owned and has less than 500 employees.
These programs are broken down into three phases: