6 Free Loans, Grants, and Programs for Small Businesses

Mr Terry John
Tuesday, July 5, 2022 | views Last Updated 2023-07-09T20:38:45Z


  • The government offers plenty of small business grants, for a variety of qualifying reasons.
  • Corporations and non-profits also have a large amount of financial
    assistance available for small businesses, especially those seeking
    pandemic relief.
  • Minority business owners may have a leg-up on receiving grants or
    low-cost loans, as many cater to the BIPOC, Latinx, LGBTQ2+, or Native
    American communities.

We have great news for any small business owner or budding
entrepreneur that wants to grow their business. There are multiple
low-cost — or free — loans, grants, and other government assistance
programs available right now. You might be able to take advantage of
these programs to inject some cash into your small business. Searching
online for federal stimulus programs or government grants is a great
place to start.

Even if you’re not looking to expand your small business, some of
these programs are designed to help offset the financial losses you
probably suffered during the pandemic. Regardless, it’s definitely worth
applying for these, since they usually don’t require any sort of
repayment. While there may be some conditions on how you spend the
money, you never want to turn down free money. You should conduct an
online search for what loan or grant programs your small business might
qualify for.

Federal Stimulus Aid

You probably already received this one. President Biden signed
a historic $1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief package into law back in March
2021. It would send direct payments of up to $1,400 to individuals. It
also extended unemployment insurance supplements by $300 a week. The
package also funded vaccine rollouts in the U.S., plus earmarked funds
for rental and utility relief.

Technically, the Federal Stimulus package wasn’t targeting small
businesses. However, there was no rule saying what you had to use the
money for. You were more than welcome to use it as an investment in

If you didn’t receive the payments in 2021, you should look into why via your account. You may still be able to claim it.

Government Grants

There a good number of government grants that target certain segments
of the population. For example, if you were formally incarcerated, are a
female person of color, live in an inner-city, or are a part of an
other minority, there may be opportunities for you. Some grants are
designed to help out small businesses, while others focus on education.

Like most grants, you don’t have to pay these back. The government
considers it an investment in the citizens, hoping your small business
grows and stimulates your local economy. You can find out more
information right here, so start searching online for grants in your state, specific to your own industry or personal situation. The official will also help you search out the right grant to apply for.

Government Contract Assistance

The federal government spends billions every year. A lot of that
spending is on goods and services contracted out to third-party
companies. For example, they hire construction contractors to build
federal buildings. On a smaller scale, they hire local contractors for
political meetings and conventions. Small businesses can bid on these
contracts, but are often priced out by larger, more efficient outfits.

Luckily, the government offers some programs to even the playing
field a bit. For example, the federal government awards 3% of all their
contracting to businesses owned by service-disabled veterans.
They have similar programs for women-owned small businesses and
companies owned by socially or economically disadvantaged people.

Natural Resource Sales Assistance Program

If your business deals with natural resources in any way, you can get
some of that federal money. The five categories included in the Small
Business Association Natural Resource Sales Assistance Program are:

  1. Timber and other forest products;
  2. Strategic materials;
  3. Royalty oil;
  4. Leases involving rights to minerals, coal, oil, and gas, and;
  5. Surplus real and personal property.

This program uses set-asides to make sure small businesses get their
fair share of government sales or leases. Small businesses get to bid on
set-asides first, before the major conglomerates come in on the open
market. The website has more details about whether your business qualifies, and how to take advantage of this program.

General Small Business Grants

It’s not just the government that offers grants. Non-profit
organizations and traditional corporations also dole out money to small
businesses that meet specific criteria. For example, the Business Warrior Small Business Loans
programs provides loans of $5,000 to $50,000, with really cheap rates
to small companies who struggle to get loans from traditional banks.

There’s also the:

The grants or prizes range from $25o to $25,000 for most of these
programs. In order to apply, all you need to do is perform a few
qualifying tasks, such as fill out a form or take an online course.

Industry-Specific and Diversity Small Business Grants

Some grants cater to specific industries or demographic minorities.
For example, maybe you have an online craft store on Etsy that suffered
during the pandemic. You could apply to the Etsy Emergency Relief Fund, set up by CERF+, a non-profit dedicated to helping artists.

Annother example is Amazon’s Black Business Accelerator Program,
geared towards helping black Amazon sellers. It offers financial
support, grants, mentorship, advertising credits, and promotional

There are also specific non-profit grants for:

No matter what your small business does or your personal background
is, it’s worth searching around the web for grants or low-cost cost
loans that can help you business reach the next level.

Rido / Shutterstock

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