From The Small Business Owner’s 2022 Economic Relief Guide
Before you try anything else, you might want to look into applying for financial assistance through grants. The extra cash will be able to help get you through the difficult economy and invest it in the areas you need it most.
There are many different types of grants that provide free money for start-ups and existing businesses. We have provided a long list to help get you started.
Additionally, you may also be able to get some tax credits due to the ongoing effects of the pandemic. We have provided information about this as well in this article.
We will be updating this regularly, so keep checking it to discover new opportunities!
Recently Announced Grants
Atlanta-based Businesses: In August 2022, Atlanta Mayor Andrew Dickens announced a $3.5 million grant program for the city’s small businesses and property owners. Through the Commercial Property Improvement Grant Program (CPIG), small business owners can apply for grants up to $50,000 for exterior and interior enhancements to their business. Awardees must provide a match of at least 10% of the grant award and hold a current City of Atlanta Business License.
If you’re based in Atlanta, it’s worth checking out the city’s website for other grant opportunities, like their Creative Industries Grant Fund or Small Business Improvement Grants.
Service-Disabled Veterans: The U.S. Small Business Administration has a new funding opportunity for non-profit organizations, state and local government agencies, private sector firms, and institutions of higher learning to provide entrepreneurship training to service-disabled veterans. SDVTEP for short, recipients can use the money to market or deliver training programs for veterans who intend to start or expand a small business. For specific instructions, visit www.grants.gov and search SB-OVSD-22-001. Submissions are due August 18.
Federal Small Business Grants
Government agencies are some of the most prolific providers of grants for small businesses. It may take some time and effort to apply, but they can really help in times of need or when you are focused on growing your business.
Grants.gov: Grants.gov is a database of small business grants run by different government agencies, such as the Departments of Education and Veterans Affairs. This is the main portal for finding and applying for federal grants.
Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Programs: The SBIR and the STTR grant programs award funding to businesses willing to explore their technological potential and invest in research, innovation, and development to help ultimately build a stronger economy. These programs also foster and encourage entrepreneurship by women and other socially or economically disadvantaged people. To qualify, you must operate a for-profit business, have no more than 500 employees and meet other eligibility requirements.
USDA Rural Business Development Grants: The U.S. Department of Agriculture leads the Rural Business Development Grant Program, which provides funding to small businesses in rural communities. Businesses must have fewer than 50 new employees, less than $1 million in gross revenue and be located in an eligible rural area to qualify. Applications are accepted through the USDA Rural Development’s local or state offices.
State and Regional Small Business Grants
Economic Development Administration (EDA): The EDA focuses on providing funding and resources for small businesses across the U.S in order to stimulate job growth and build durable regional economies throughout the nation. Based on the principle that sustainable economic development should be locally-driven, EDA works directly with communities and regions to help meet their needs. You can contact your regional office for more information here.
Small Business Development Centers (SBDC): Small Business Development Centers, located in every state, provide assistance to small businesses — including start-ups and companies looking to expand. SBDCs can help connect you with grants, financing opportunities, counseling, training, technical assistance and more. You can look up your local SBDC by zip code here.
Minority Business Development Agency Centers (MBDA): The MBDA is the only federal agency solely dedicated to assisting minority businesses. With a national network of centers, the MBDA offers programs that include customized business development and industry-focused services. Their clients are U.S. Minority Business Enterprises owned and operated by: African Americans, Asian Americans, Hasidic Jews, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, and Pacific Islanders. You can search for the center nearest to you on their website.
State Trade Expansion Program (STEP): The STEP program specifically helps businesses enter international markets through grants. STEP also helps businesses learn to export, design international marketing products and campaigns, participate in export trade show exhibits and more.
Community Navigator Pilot Program: The Community Navigator Pilot Program supports a network of organizations committed to serving small businesses and entrepreneurs in underserved communities. They offer a comprehensive spreadsheet that lists all the organizations that offer different types of assistance for small businesses.
Corporate Small Business Grants
National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE) (NEXT DEADLINE SEPTEMBER 2022): NASE is the largest nonprofit, nonpartisan association of its kind in the U.S. They help support entrepreneurs and microbusinesses through funding, benefits, and training that have typically only been available to large corporations. Only members of NASE can apply for small business grants up to $4,000, and please note that their membership is fee-based. The grants are awarded throughout the year. The next round of grant applications will be reviewed in October.
Startup Business Grants
Hello Alice Grant Platform: Hello Alice was founded to help small businesses discover direct paths to success. They partner with different companies, like DoorDash, to provide grants for small businesses. By signing up on their website, you can receive notifications on new funding opportunities.
Amber Grant for Women: WomensNet awards two $10,000 Amber Grants every month and two of their monthly winners also get an additional $25,000 at the end of the year. Businesses that are women-owned are eligible. They also give out monthly tips on their website on how to get a grant.
COVID-19 Small Business Grants
There are still some options available for small businesses that need assistance due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
State and local coronavirus small-business grants: Some state governments are still running grant programs related to COVID-19 relief. Small businesses in New York can receive free financing up to $50,000 by applying for the New York State COVID-19 Pandemic Small Business Recovery Grant Program. In California, microbusinesses can receive grants of $2,500 by applying for the California Microbusiness COVID-19 Relief Grant Program. To see if your local area has assistance programs, visit your department of economic development, secretary of state, or other state government websites. We’ve included some state-specific grants below for residents of California, Texas, New York and Florida.
Main Street America’s Inclusive Backing Grant Program: Main Street America is a nonprofit organization that has continued to offer its Inclusive Backing Grant Program to help small businesses recover from the pandemic. They partner with American Express to award grants of $5,000 to businesses impacted by the pandemic. Preference is given to businesses owned by underrepresented groups, including members of the LGBTQ+ community, people with disabilities, veterans, women, and people of color.
Specialty Small Business Grants
Your small business may qualify for a specialty grant that focuses on assisting minority groups and underprivileged communities. See below:
- Small-business grants for women.
- Small-business grants for veterans.
- Small-business grants for minority groups.
- Small-business grants for Black women.
California Small Business Grants
California Dream Fund: Run in coordination with the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) and the Office of the Small Business Advocate (CalOSBA), the California Dream Fund helps ensure all aspiring and current small business owners and entrepreneurs have the opportunity to access funding, markets, and connect to the networks and resources they need to succeed. After completing an intensive training and consulting program, new businesses will be eligible to apply for a micro-grant up to $10,000. You can view all participating centers and access an interactive map here.
Oakland Black Business Fund (OBBF): This organization provides grants for Black-owned small businesses located in Oakland, CA. The grants are provided through a network of core service providers and professional partners. You can apply here.
Founders First Job Creators Quest Grant (DEADLINE IS NOVEMBER 30, 2022): Founders First is an organization dedicated to increasing the number of premium-wage jobs. A total of $100,000 will be awarded to 30 small businesses in Southern California in order to spur growth in the workforce. To qualify, your business must be located in the Los Angeles, Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Imperial, or San Diego regions and have a current staff of 2-20 employees, and be a for-profit company with annual revenues between $100k and $3 million. Your company must also identify as one of the following: woman, military/veteran, Latinx, Black, Asian, LGBTQIA+ or be located in a low-to-moderate income area.
Florida Small Business Grants
Prospera Business Grants: Prospera, located in Orlando, FL, is a nonprofit organization that provides support to Hispanic entrepreneurs. Small business owners can apply and receive free development services, including QuickBooks consulting, branding development, marketing, sales planning, accounting assessments and more. The grants are given based on individual needs.
Miami-Dade County Mom and Pop Small-Business Grants: This program offers funding opportunities for small “mom and pop” businesses to help them purchase equipment, inventory, supplies, insurance, advertising/marketing, and make minor renovations. To be eligible, you must be located in Miami-Dade County, be a for-profit business, not be part of a national chain, and must have a physical address (can be home-based).
City of Orlando Business Assistance Program (BAP): BAP promotes expansion and redevelopment in Orlando, FL by matching 50% of the fees associated with small business improvement projects. BAP will award funds up to $20,000 for projects including, but not limited to, water and sewer line construction, street lighting, sidewalk repairs, curb, gutter, and street improvements. Eligibility is dependent on operating in certain industries and acquiring proper city permits for the project.
New York Small Business Grants
Global NY Fund Grant Program: Are you a small or medium-size business in New York that wants to export internationally? The Global NY Fund Grant Program provides grants and loans to businesses who are seeking to expand outside of the U.S. The grants are up to $25,000 and will reimburse up to 50% of total project costs, like trade shows, workshops, and market customizations. Your business must also have 500 employees or less in order to qualify.
City of Rochester Neighborhood Commercial Assistance Program: Businesses located in the city of Rochester, NY can apply to receive reimbursement grants for common expenses, such as advertising, equipment, furniture, computers, security systems, and signage. To be eligible, you must provide proper cost documentation.
Existing businesses (12 months or more in business) can receive up to $8,000 and new businesses (up to 12 months in business) can receive up to $5,000.
Wayne County Microburst Grant Program: If you are an entrepreneur in Wayne County, NY, you can apply for a grant through the Kick Start initiative. Grants range from $5,000 to $20,000 to fund startups. Microbusinesses that have less than five employees can also qualify to receive assistance for specific projects that will cover 10% of the total cost. Small-business owners must be in business for less than one year and take SCORE business classes in order to apply.
CitizensNYC Neighborhood Business Grants: Over the past 47 years, CitizensNYC has been awarding micro-grants to community-building projects, which are funded by corporate sponsors, individual donations, and private foundations. The Neighborhood Business Grant gives up to $10,000 to support many needs of a small business, like technical upgrades, marketing, training and more. Additionally, the All In Neighborhood Grant provides up to $5,000 for projects that address key issues and improve life in the community. Businesses owned by people of color, immigrants, or women are prioritized.
Texas Small Business Grants
Texas Workforce Commission Skills for Small Business Program: Businesses with fewer than 100 employees who need help training staff can receive a grant of up to $1,800 for each new employee and $900 for existing employees in a 12-month period. The training must be run by a public community college, technical college, or Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service.
Texas State Trade Expansion Program Grant: This grant focuses on helping small businesses start or expand in the area of exporting. To be eligible, you must meet their definition of a small business, be located in Texas, must have been in business for at least one year, be in good standing with the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, and have a product or service that is created in Texas.
Amegy Bank Small Business Boost Program (NOMINATIONS OPEN UNTIL OCTOBER 31, 2022): This program supports small businesses by awarding them grants to help with the growing community of Houston. Businesses must have under 500 employees, be independently owned and operated, and operate primarily in the Houston area to qualify. This year, 5 recipients will be selected.
Dayton Community Development Corporation Grant Programs: The purpose of this grant is to help with the growth and revitalization of the Downtown District in Dayton, TX by providing funds to small businesses that will be used for interior or exterior renovations, signage, parking lot improvements, and landscaping projects. Murals are funded in a separate grant. To qualify, your business must exist within city limits and you must receive approval for the proposed project. Grant funds are awarded on a 50-50 match basis and do not exceed $25,000.
The Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) can greatly help businesses that suffered a drop in revenue from COVID.
The ERTC is an IRS tax credit designed to help small businesses that retained employees despite suffering revenue losses due to COVID. It credits (aka refunds) payroll costs you’ve already spent.
To claim the ERTC, you need to demonstrate that your business’s gross receipts declined 50% or more in over a declared quarter in 2020 or a 20% decline over any declared quarter in 2021.
You don’t have to pay back the ERTC — it’s similar to the stimulus check that the everyday taxpayer received, but for businesses. Any business with fewer than 500 employees can qualify for this tax credit, including non-profits and start-ups.
And don’t worry: even if you applied and received a PPP loan, you can still claim the ERTC.
Although the ERTC has expired, eligible employers can still claim this credit for their 2020 or 2021 taxes by amending their returns. You can take the ERTC’s quick quiz to see if you’re eligible.