Let’s get you funded!
Small businesses are the heart and soul of America; they keep this whole thing going, and any good corporation does its best to stay connected to them. However, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, less than 20% of all U.S. businesses are minority-owned. More concerning, most of these businesses' biggest issue is access to capital.
Recently, corporations and private funders have been stepping up to make sure they give back to Black-owned businesses, doubling down on their efforts throughout the pandemic months. In 2020, Magic Johnson pledged $100 million in loans to small businesses owned by women and people of color running businesses in underserved communities. Later that year, Beyonce teamed up with the NAACP to donate $1 million to helping Black-owned businesses. Several other influencers and corporations have also begun thinking of innovative ways to continuously give back, UPS partnering with Pharrell’s “Black Ambition” initiative this summer to give away grant money to budding Black entrepreneurs.
Whatever the method or means, funding is needed and will make or break a business, which is one reason why the Small Business Administration just formed a strategic alliance with Black fraternities and sororities this year to help ensure Black-owned businesses have access to adequate funding and resources. Despite all of the myriad ways to obtain funding, it is still hard for Black-owned businesses to secure much-needed capital. To help you out, here are 9 grants for every small Black-owned business that needs funding, courtesy of Forbes and NerdWallet:
“Grants.gov allows grant seekers to find and apply for federal funding opportunities. It contains information on more than 1,000 grant programs across federal grant-making agencies, including the Department of Commerce and the U.S. Small Business Administration.
To apply for federal grants, you must obtain a DUNS number from Dun & Bradstreet (a unique nine-digit identification number) for your business; register to do business with the U.S. government through its System Award Management website, and create an account at Grants.gov.”
USDA Rural Business Development Grants
“The USDA Rural Business Development Grant (RBDG) is another federal resource that provides small rural businesses with funding, technical assistance and training. While there is no maximum grant amount, $10,000 to $500,000 is the standard RBDG award range.
To be eligible for this USDA grant, you must own a small rural business that earns less than $1 million per year (gross revenue) and has 50 new workers or less. If you believe your business may be eligible for funding, you can visit the USDA website for information on how to speak with a Business Program Specialist in your state. The specialist can give you guidance regarding the forms and applications you will need to complete.”
FedEx Small Business Grant
“The FedEx Small Business annual grant contest awards 12 small businesses with grants of up to $50,000. Any for-profit small business with a shipping need is eligible to enter, provided it has been operating for at least six months and has fewer than 99 employees when the annual contest starts.”
The Coalition to Back Black Businesses
“The Coalition to Back Black Businesses is a partnership of several brands that have come together with the goal of empowering Black-owned businesses.
The Coalition is supplying $14 million in minority grants, resources and training over a span of four years through 2023 that is meant to help small businesses recover from pandemic-related setbacks. The Coalition includes American Express, ADP, AIG Foundation, Altice USA, Dow and the S&P Global Foundation.
Select businesses will qualify for grants in the amount of $5,000 each fall, in combination with training and mentorship benefits. When the summer arrives, a few initial grant recipients will receive additional $25,000 enhancement grants as a means of additional funding and support.
Eligible businesses must be Black-owned enterprises located in economically distressed communities. You can apply on the Coalition’s website in the fall when the application process opens. The grant committee will select 400 or more eligible applicants at random to receive cash awards and other benefits.”
National Black MBA Association Scale-Up Pitch Challenge
“If you have an idea for a Black-owned startup that is scalable, it might benefit you to research the National Black MBA Association (NBMBAA) Scale-Up Pitch Challenge. NBMBAA designed a competition to “Make Big Ideas Bigger.” The competition aims to give eligible startups the opportunity to connect with venture capitalists and other early-stage investors.
NBMBAA’s judges will also select three finalists to receive cash awards. The grand prize is a small business grant worth $50,000.
When the application process is live, eligible businesses can make a virtual pitch to a panel of judges by sharing their business idea. Finalists will later have the chance to make a live, three-minute pitch to the judges explaining why their product or service should be considered for the grant.”
The National Association for the Self-Employed Growth Grants
“The National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE) has awarded close to $1 million in grants to small business members through its Growth Grants program. Eligible small businesses can receive grants worth as much as $4,000 through the program—awarded on a quarterly basis.
You must become a member of NASE before you can apply for the Growth Grant program. Once you join, you will have the opportunity to apply for the small business grants on a quarterly basis, according to the schedule below:
January to March
April to June
July to September
October to December
The grant committee reviews all applications the month after the quarterly submission deadline ends. Recipients must demonstrate an identifiable business need, explain how they would use the grant to satisfy that need, and show a potential for growth and success should their business receive the funds.”
Fast Break for Small Business
“Black-owned and diverse businesses can seek grant funding through the Fast Break for Small Business program, which is sponsored by LegalZoom as well as the NBA, WNBA and NBA. The program aims to distribute grants to more than 5,000 small businesses for a total of $6 million in cash awards. Grants come in $10,000 increments, and winners will also receive $500 in LegalZoom services.
The next round of grant applications opens in the spring of 2022. You can sign up online for updates regarding future funding opportunities.”
SBA 8(a) Business Development Program
“Socially or economically disadvantaged small-business owners are eligible to receive help through this SBA 8(a) program, which provides business development assistance, training, and management and technical guidance.
To qualify, a small business must be at least 51% owned and controlled by a citizen who has been subjected to cultural bias or prejudice and placed at an economic disadvantage because of race or ethnicity. Here is a list of eligibility requirements.”
Minority Business Development Agency
“This development agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce promotes the growth of minority-run small businesses by connecting owners to financing resources, federal contracts and market opportunities. You can contact a local MBDA business center for more information.”
We hope this helps family. Stay focused and apply!
Here are 9 grants for every small Black-owned business that needs funding. Photo Courtesy of The Black Wall Street Times