America is a country powered by small business. In fact, 89% of businesses in the USA have less than 20 employees, and 98% have less than 100.
Small business spreads across every industry – from baking bread to writing security software. Despite their many differences, one factor unites them all; they all need money to sustain, improve and grow. Whether you’re a small business, a tech startup or even in the medical research field, there are many small business grants available to help your business thrive.
How to get free money from the government to start a business? Unlike business loans, business grants don’t need to be repaid. If you have an innovative goal and a strong vision, government grants can help lift your new or expanding business to a new level.
Government grants are easier to obtain than ever before. And most grants can be applied for directly through the relevant department’s website.
Grant Programs for Childcare Operators
There are several grant programs available for daycare facility operators. Typically, grants that are funded by federal or state governments where there is a particular need for high-quality childcare programs, such as low-income towns and ethnically diverse neighborhoods; however, grants may also be funded by nonprofit or private organizations.
We’ve compiled 7 grants to start a business
1. US Department of Education (DoED)
There is a range of grants available to fund innovation and develop commercial products within the US education system.
The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program provides funding of up to $1.1 million over a 2 year period. These grants help to develop products which address problems within the general and special education fields.
The scheme funds the development of new educational technologies such as games, assessments, virtual reality software, and artificial intelligence (AI) tutoring.
Previous recipients of the federal grant have gone on to win industry awards for technology and innovation.
2. US Department of Agriculture (USDA)
USDA is the national body that supports research and development in the areas of farming, forestry and food.
Through their Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, grants of up to $700,000 are available over a 2 year period. USDA offers grants to businesses making technological advances which lead to significant public and environmental benefits.
Areas of business that meet funding requirements include forestry, animal protection, aqua-culture, biofuels, small-to-mid size farms as well as food science.
In addition, the SBIR grant scheme specifically aims to encourage female-owned as well as socially or economically disadvantaged small businesses.
3. National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST)
NIST promotes innovation and global competitiveness in measurement science, standards and technology. It is especially involved in areas regarding economic security.
NIST provides federally funded grants for small businesses developing technology in areas including software, energy, manufacturing, healthcare and cyber-security. The aim of the grants to foster the growth of these technologies into the commercial space.
Funding of up to $400,000 is available over a 2-phase period. In 2018, 80% of grants were awarded to companies with less than 20 employees.
4. National Institute of Health (NIH)
The NIH is the world’s largest funder of biomedical research, investing over $32 billion per year. This government body exists specifically to improve the health and well being of all Americans.
Various grants are available to allow businesses to commercialize innovative medical technologies and to fund research and development.
This government funding enables new medical research, the development of better technology and the creation of life-saving drugs.
With grants from the NIH, small businesses can also break into the federal R&D arena and stimulate economic growth.
5. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
The EPA‘s aim is to protect human life and the environment.
Via the EPA’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, grants are awarded to science and technology companies developing new green energy programs.
Previously grants were available for cleanup technologies and containment systems. The EPA now aims grants at green technologies which reduce pollution in the first place.
These areas include wastewater management, chemical reduction technologies, development of safer manufacturing and building materials, and green tech for improving air quality.
Grants of up to $400,000 are available as part of a 2-phase program. Phase 1 allows new businesses to provide ‘proof of concept’, whilst phase 2 allows further development and commercialization of the technology.
6. New York City Commute Enhancement Grant (NYC only)
The largest city in the US, New York faces commuting challenges greater than almost anywhere else in the world.
The NY Commute Enhancement Grant (NYCCE) is available for up to $10,000 for existing businesses or startups that can help to ease the city’s commuter burden.
The grant has previously been used to fund ‘bike to work’ programs for NY businesses. Bikes were provided for employee commutes and secure bike storage was installed at the workplace.
The grant also encourages businesses to promote ride-sharing or carpooling, as well as incentives to promote greener forms of transport.
7. Texas Young Farmer Grant (Texas only)
The 2nd most populous state in the US, Texas is also home to one of the largest farming and agricultural communities.
The Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) offers grants that help to benefit operators as well as the greater community.
The Young Farmer Grant is open to anyone between the ages of 18 and 46 and has two rounds of funding per year. Known as a ‘dollar for dollar’ grant, it helps foster the growth and output of farming and agriculture properties.
Funding ranges between $5,000 and $20,000 and can be used to create new or expand existing farming and operations.