Starting a small business takes a tremendous amount of work. Along with developing a product or service, you need to find workspace, hire employees, and, most importantly, come up with funding for your company. Fortunately, several organizations are in place to help with small business funding, which includes grants that you don’t need to pay back.
Small Business Administration
The Small Business Administration (SBA) helps connect people who want to start businesses with local business leaders and funding help. The SBA offers grants that do not need paying back, as well as loans, investment capital, and surety bonds. The SBA also helps minorities, women, and LGBT-owned companies get the financing they need to be successful. Here is a little bit more information about the funding help that the SBA provides.
Loans – The SBA helps entrepreneurs get guaranteed loans from participating lenders and guarantees them loans ranging from $500 to $5.5 million.
Grants – Working with a variety of organizations, the SBA helps small businesses get federal financial assistance grants for their companies. Some of the grants are specifically for businesses that do research and development, exporting, or nonprofit organizations among other industries.
Investment Capital – The SBA has an investment capital division that pairs businesses with investors to fund companies.
Surety Bonds – If your small company needs a surety bond, then the SBA can help you get one from a participating surety company.
Economic Development Administration
The Economic Development Administration is available through the United States Department of Commerce. They provide small businesses with grants, technical assistance, and other resources for their companies, and, along with small business financing, they also help secure company locations and recruit employees.
The EDA can also help struggling communities by making them EDA Opportunity Zones. In these zones, which are “economically-distressed” areas, private investments could be eligible for incentives for capital gains taxes. This program promotes economic development and job opportunities in areas of low-income.
Minority Business Development Agency
If you’re considered to be a minority and are looking to fund a business, then the Minority Business Development Agency, MBDA, may be able to help you. There are thirty-three MBDA Business Centers across the country and in Puerto Rico that offer grants, as well as other support like access to federal contracts, to businesses owned by minorities,.
Along with helping minorities find funding for their businesses, the MBDA also helps people who were incarcerated launch businesses by providing the opportunity for them to compete in grant competitions. If you have questions about support for opening a business, contact the MBDA through their website.
There are many other sources of grant money for people who wish to open a business in their communities, but small business owners should start with these three sources to get their businesses up and running. Take advantage of your minority status or locate your company in an economically disadvantaged area so that you can qualify for a grant that will help get your doors open.