No black businesses left behind! Finding free money for your business can be hard to do, especially at times like these. But don’t worry, we’ve done the work so you don’t have to. We’ve curated a list of first-class grants, loans, and resources for small businesses (including our own) that you can take advantage of. Best of all, you can keep your “social distancing” strong and utilize them from the comfort of your home.
*PRO TIP: Make sure to bookmark this article because it’s consistently being updated with more free money opportunities and resources for entrepreneurs*
Small Business Grants
TSP Small Biz Grant
The Traffic Sales and Profit Small Business Grant Program aims to support black businesses in our community affected by the global COVID-19 pandemic. Along with the other components of our full TSP Stimulus package, we will be giving away $1,000 grants to businesses in need starting April 1, 2020. Updates and details will roll out in our Facebook group so make sure you’re tuned in.
Eligibility: Any small business in our Facebook community
Application guidelines: Join our FB group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/TrafficSalesProfit/
Facebook Small Business Grants Program
Facebook rolled out a massive $100M dollar program to support its community members all across the globe. With the mission to “support small businesses affected by the outbreak of COVID-19”, the social networking platform promises to aid in the form of both grants and ad spend on the platform. Any business is eligible and should regularly check the page for updates as the program rolls out.
Eligibility: Any small business that utilizes Facebook
Application guidelines: https://www.facebook.com/business/boost/grants
FedEx Small Business Grant Contest
Though the application period has passed for this year’s contest, the FedEx Small Business Grant Contest has been supporting small businesses in a big way since 2013. With the short application window for the coveted $25,000 grants, it’s important to keep this contest on your radar so you can dominate the competition in 2021.
Eligibility: Any small business
Application guidelines: https://smallbusinessgrant.fedex.com/
National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE) Growth Grants
The National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE) offers $4000 grants offered to members looking to take their business to the next level. Becoming a member is a bit of a process but in addition to the grant opportunities, you’ll have access to a wealth of resources and colleagues that are just as passionate about entrepreneurship as you are.
Eligibility: Any small business owner that is a NASE member
Application guidelines: https://www.nase.org/become-a-member/grants-and-scholarships/BusinessDevelopmentGrants.aspx
The StreetShares Foundation Veteran Business Grant
Unique in its service area, the StreetShares Veteran Business Grant is open to veterans, active-duty members, or the spouse of a military veteran or active duty member. These awards can go up to $15,000 and involve a pitch contest for finalists.
Eligibility: Veterans, active-duty military and their family members
Application guidelines: https://streetsharesfoundation.org/the-veteran-small-business-award
Nav’s “Legitify Your Small Business” Grant
Nav is offering small businesses a chance to win up to $10,000 in grants that will be awarded to “the most deserving business that applies”. All you have to do is share your business, it’s challenges, and what you’d do with the money on your business social media page. Submit a form and it’s simple as that–just be yourself!
Eligibility: Any existing small business
Application guidelines: https://www.nav.com/business-grant-contest/
Small Business Innovation Research Program
This grant is geared towards small businesses engaged in research and development that have commercial potential. Eleven government agencies participate in the program, and each creates their own eligibility guidelines, research and development topics, and reviews applications. Grants start at $150,000, but if your business shows promise, then you can receive additional small business grants of up to $1 million – via sbir.gov
Eligibility: Varies depending on grant
Application guidelines: https://www.sbir.gov/about/about-sbir
Shea Moisture’s Community Commerce Fund
The popular natural hair care brand announced its $1M Fund to support women of color entrepreneurs and small minority businesses that have been adversely affected by the outbreak of COVID-19. The grant and other supportive measures provided by the brand aims to “highlight the power of small businesses and how they help communities, while also minimizing the financial disruptions many are experiencing from the global outbreak”.
Eligibility: Women of color entrepreneurs and small minority businesses
Application guidelines: https://www.sheamoisturefund.com/
For Female Entrepreneurs
VISA X iFundWomen Grant
The VISA x iFundWomen grant works “in support of women entrepreneurs who are ready to fund, run and grow their small businesses”. The contest is a rigorous but rewarding one. Female entrepreneurs should prepare an unforgettable application and pitch because winners will be eligible to participate in a pitch contest during National Small Business Week in Washington D.C.
Eligibility: Female entrepreneurs
Application guidelines: https://ifundwomen.com/visa?fbclid=IwAR3sj3m2FXPbI5RgkzcXnzfReIRS7bvSLj4kho4Afy9PeygALDBfF88VIQw
Eileen Fisher Grant Program
One of the biggest grants in the game, the Eileen Fisher Grant Program has supported women business owners with the environment in mind from its inception. All grants exceed $10,000 and are awarded to up to 10 applicants each year. Businesses must have been in operation for a minimum of three years to meet all application requirements.
Eligibility: Female, small-business, impact-focused
Application guidelines: https://www.eileenfisher.com/grants-overview?country=US¤cy=USD
The Amber Grant Program
The Amber Grant Program is great for women just starting out in business. A $500 grant is awarded to qualifying female entrepreneurs each month and then, at the end of the year, monthly grant recipients will have the opportunity to win an additional $2,500 grant
Eligibility: Female, small-business in the start-up/expansion stages
Application guidelines: https://ambergrantsforwomen.com/get-an-amber-grant/
InnovateHER Women Business Challenge
This grant contest’s focus is to empower women with a business plan for an innovative product or service. Getting in isn’t very easy–aspiring applicants must find a local Challenge to compete in hosted by a local organization. From the local challenges, one winner is selected to advance to the semi-final round. Finalists will then be invited to the SBA’s national InnovateHER business challenge where they will pitch their ideas to a panel of judges. The top three businesses receive awards of up to $40,000
Eligibility: Female, small-businesses with impacts on women
The Girlboss Foundation Grant
The Girlboss Foundation is an innovative and inclusive network for boss women from all walks of life. The foundation awards grant twice a year to female and female-identifying entrepreneurs in select industries. Each grant recipient receives funding of $15,000.
Eligibility: Female, small-businesses in design, fashion, music and the arts
ESSENCE + Pine-Sol™ Your Legacy Contest
ESSENCE + Pine-Sol™ are partnering to offer a $100,000 Legacy Award to help champion Black women and the entrepreneurial spirit. All that’s required is a quick video, documentation of your business plan and investment plan for the money, and successful completion of the application. Only registered businesses may apply and the deadline for this year’s application is April 15th.
Eligibility: Black female entrepreneurs
Application guidelines: https://www.essence.com/yourlegacy/
Small Businesses Loans
Invest Atlanta’s Business Continuity Loan Fund
The City of Atlanta has capitalized a $1.5m loan fund to support small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 economic disruption. The fund offers zero-interest loans with payments deferred for 6 to 12-months. Only businesses located in the Greater Atlanta area are eligible.
SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program
The SBA is working with state and local governments to provide targeted, low-interest loans to small businesses and non-profits that have been severely impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million that can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing – via sba.gov
JPMorgan Chase Repayable Loan
The firm will deploy $5 million in the U.S., to support vulnerable and underserved Black, Hispanic and Asian Pacific Islander owned small businesses adversely affected by world events. Loan terms may vary based on eligibility and need.
General Business Resources
Small Business Administration Grants
The SBA is always working to help businesses find funding to help their bottom line. From funding programs and loans to one-on-one business counseling, you can find a wealth of opportunity and resources to help you stay on your feet on the grant portal website.
Square is refunding all software subscription fees for the month of March for existing sellers who currently use Square Appointments, Retail, Restaurants, Loyalty, Team Management, Payroll, Marketing, and Square Online Store. In addition, they’ll be rolling out more information and tools to help sustain small businesses on their immediate support response page
Struggling to get your team together remotely? Google is offering free access to their advanced Hangouts Meet video-conferencing capabilities, as you’re coping with new and existing work-from-home policies in response to COVID-19.⠀
Premier Lessons by Google
A tool for any entrepreneur’s arsenal. Primer is a free mobile app from Google that offers bite-sized, easy-to-understand lessons from industry experts on business growth, scaling, and digital marketing. Download it here.
5 Ways to Retain Your Customers during the Coronavirus Outbreak
The US Chamber published this gem of an article that’s not only full of practical tips to get in front of your customers in the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak, it also provides downloadable guides, flyers, and additional information that’s sure to help any business–big or small–make it through this unpredictable season.
Gusto has compiled a comprehensive list of public and private loans, grants, and financial support programs aimed at small businesses. Check out that and more on their blog.
Shea Moisture’s Women of Color E-Lab
“Under SheaMoisture’s $1Million Community Commerce Fund, the brand will create an e-learning platform for women of color entrepreneurs to continue to gain education, access to resources, mentorship, and advice on how to prepare for the economic downturn.
The eLab will enable entrepreneurs to learn and chat with speakers from Sundial Brands and its business community, including Unilever, Dartmouth College Tuck School of Business, retail partners, and others who are creating tools to help manage what’s now and next for small businesses”
Registration for the E-Lab will be available starting April 8, 2020.
Make sure to bookmark this list and check back periodically for updates as we discover more resources and funding opportunities to support your small businesses. In the meantime, connect with us on Facebook for countless tips, additional tools, and most importantly a supporting community.
TSP Facebook Group: https://bit.ly/35ybwKs
TSP Instagram: https://bit.ly/3diGclx
TSP YouTube Channel: https://bit.ly/2L6pzxg