June 13, 2022

Small Business Grants 101

What is a Business Grant? A business grant is a source of funding (sometimes referred to as cash, capital, or money) that does not need to be paid back.
Business owners celebrating, small business grant recipients.

If awarded, it is typically a very low-risk option of funding. Grants have no affect on your credit score (neither positive nor negative). Some grants are awarded and can be spent on anything related to your business. Other grants have reporting requirements and the money needs to be spent on specific expenses. For example, to hire a new employee, purchase equipment, pay commercial rent, etc.

Although the money is yours once awarded, the process of getting a business grant can be difficult. Government agencies, corporations, non-profits, local community groups, and private institutions offer grants for various purposes. Business grants are sometimes created for entrepreneurs that have a more difficult time accessing other types of funding - but they can still be challenging to find and apply for. 

The main downside to business grant opportunities is the competition, as many businesses need and want grants. The granting entity usually has a certain amount to give away, and you may be competing with many other businesses applying for the same pot of money. 

Applications tend to vary in difficulty. Some are simple, with just a few questions about your business. Others can be quite daunting to apply for. Usually the difficulty level of the applications increases with the amount of money being awarded or the competitiveness of the grant. 

Lastly, make sure to check for deadlines! Grants are usually time-bound opportunities that have application deadlines. So mark your calendar and get your applications in before the due date passes. Grants come and go, so it's recommended to always be on the lookout. 

Additional Tips: 

  1. Save your answers. Many applications ask the same (or at least similar) questions so save your answers for future applications. 
  2. Review the requirements. There is no harm in applying for grants but the applications can be time consuming, so make sure your business fits the requirements before you apply. 
  3. Set reminders. Grants typically have deadlines, so make sure to submit your application on time.

If you’re interested in learning more - check out our guide: Small Business Grants vs. Small Business Loans

Ready to apply for a small business grant? Visit the Axis Helps grants page to explore what is currently available. And don’t forget to use the filters to help narrow down your search!