Small business owners still have options available for support through government grant programs. From COVID-19 relief programs like the SBA’s Targeted Emergency Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Advance and the Community Navigator Pilot program to other programs like the Rural Innovation Stronger Economy Grant and the America’s Seed Fund, you can find the funding and support you need as we work to recover from the pandemic.
Here’s a breakdown of small-business grants now available:
Targeted Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Advance Grants
If your business is located in a low-income neighborhood hit hard by COVID-19, this might be the grant for you, offering $10,000 to small business owners. The smallest businesses may also be eligible for an additional $5,000 grant through the SBA’s supplemental advance.
Despite having $30 billion for the targeted advance, the agency has awarded just more than $2 billion, leaving plenty of funds available to qualifying businesses. The Small Business Administration (SBA) opened up the Targeted EIDL Advance to all eligible businesses on June 14.
To qualify: small business owners must apply for an economic injury disaster loan. You do not have to accept the loan once approved. Interested applicants can find more details here.
Shuttered Venue Operators Grants
This grant program is available to businesses that operate or promote live venues, such as movie theaters, museums or talent representatives. As of early July, it has received 14,884 applications for about $11.7 billion in funding, leaving approximately $4.3 billion in funding available to eligible businesses. Eligible applicants may qualify for grants equal to 45% of their gross earned revenue, with the maximum amount available for a single grant award of $10 million.
America’s Seed Fund, powered by the National Science Foundation
Early-stage companies that need to prove their technology and explore market potential may qualify for this grant. It funds roughly 400 companies every year in fields such as robotics, advanced materials, cloud computing, digital health, semiconductors and artificial intelligence. Applicants are quickly screened about their initial idea, then participate a subsequent competitive process. If their concept is chosen as the winning entry, they could receive an initial grant of up to $256,000, with the possibility of more than $1 million in follow-up funding to help commercialize the idea.
Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs
These grant programs are highly competitive, and encourage American small businesses to participate in federal research with the intent to commercialize their products. These grants are for qualified small businesses that are majority-owned by just one person and have fewer than 500 employees. Each year, there are 5,000 new awards, with initial grants ranging from $50,000 to $250,000. Larger grants are also available in later stages to help build prototypes.
To apply: small business owners can find more information on how to apply, and with which federal agencies, here.
Do you know of another grant or funding program available to small and medium businesses? Share it in the comments below.