Small Business Grants In Texas

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September 24, 2022

If Texas were to be declared a sovereign state, it would be the 9th largest economy in the world. Cruising right ahead of Brazil and Canada. According to the 2022 Fortune 500 list, Texas is home to fifty-three Fortune 500 companies. This makes it the only US state to have the most Fortune companies.

Such achievements speak volumes about the business-friendly climate, skilled workforce, and regulatory climate available in Texas. It is, therefore, rightfully called the “economic engine of the nation”.

To support this volume of economic activity massive small business funding is required, especially for small and medium business owners. To encourage innovation and economic growth, grants are offered to high potent businesses.

In simple words, grants are assistance, usually financial, given by one entity (government, organization, or foundation) to a business to help achieve its goals.

Grants incentivize the process and help pursue ambitious business opportunities. And, through this article, we intend to help small business owners located in Texas, to make the most of available grants.

Sounds good?

Here’s a sneak peek into what we’ll learn:

  1. Types of Small Business Grants in Texas

  2. How To Find The Best Suited Grant For Business?

  3. How Would A Grant Impact Your Business?

  4. Conclusion

Types of Small Business Grants in Texas

  1. Government Business Grants

    1. State and Regional Government Grants

      1. Small Business Development Centers (SBDC)

        Small Business Development Centers (SBDC)
        SBDC provides counseling and training to small business owners. They also help in working with Small Business Administration (SBA) to support entrepreneurs and business owners.

        SBDC even provides problem-solving business assistance and helps develop new technologies. They are often associated with state agencies to help provide grants to small business owners.

        You can learn more here

      2. State Trade Expansion Program (STEP)

        State Trade Expansion Program (STEP)
        The STEP grant helps in growing the volume and value of small business exports. STEP assists state governments, who in turn help entrepreneurs enter and expand a business into the international markets with small business funding.

        Such government business grants can be used to participate in international trade shows and enhance e-commerce capabilities.

        You can explore more here

      3. Texas Enterprise Fund (TEF)

        Companies considering shifting out of Texas, are awarded grants to make Texas an attractive location to invest in. Such businesses are required to contribute significantly and generate new employment opportunities (75% jobs in Urban and 25% in rural areas) in Texas.

        Know more

    2. Federal Government Grants

      1. Grants.gov

        Grants.gov
        It is a comprehensive resource of available government business grants. Such small business grants are administered by various federal agencies. This helps them support a wide range of businesses such as restaurants, elderly care services, and health clinics.

        Learn more about federal grants here

      2. Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer Program (STTR)

        Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer Program (STTR)
        This federal grant is powered by the Small Business Administration (SBA) and helps business owners foray into research and development of new technology. The government’s incentive is to help businesses commercialize by turning development into profits.

        Find out more

Government agencies are the biggest grant distributors. Though the application process is lengthy and the competition is fierce, there is a huge upside to receiving federal grants i.e. business growth opportunities.
  1. Corporate Business Grants

    1. Southern Smoke Emergency Relief Program

      This grant specially caters to the hospitality industry – restaurants and bars. Financial assistance helps cover unforeseen expenses not covered by insurance. Such expenses include – FEMA emergency, repair works, etc.
      Apply for the grant

    2. FedEx Small Business Grant

      FedEx Small Business Grant
      If you are a for-profit US-based business and have been operating for more than 6 months, and have no more than 99 employees, this business capital funding is for you.
      FedEx distributes over $250,000 to 10 small business owners to support and enhance business operations.

      Refer more

    3. Visa Everywhere Competition

      Visa Everywhere Competition
      The perfect win-win example. Visa annually grants small business funding across the globe. The catch – business owners must have developed a product/service that involves Visa’s products. The result – is a $100,000 business grant.

      Read more

  2. Startup Business Grants

    1. Hello Alice

      Hello Alice
      The Hello Alice community partners up with other enterprises such as Amazon, eBay, and Shopify. They together offer small businesses and startups grants who are at different stages of their business growth.

      Check out more

    2. Comcast RISE

      Comcast RISE
      Startup business owners can avail of two types of grants by Comcast RISE – Marketing services along with technology makeovers and a $10,000 grant. The startup should be located within the Comcast or Effective service area.

      These grants are offered quarterly to startups that have been operational for more than a year.

      Another important criterion – a 51% business stake needs to be owned by a woman or person of color.

      Apply here

  3. Specialty Business Grants

    1. Veterans

      1. Veterans Business Participation Center (VBOC)

        Veterans Business Participation Center (VBOC)
        The Small Business Administration (SBA) hosts the VBOC. They help with business development services such as training, counseling, and referring resource partners.

        The VBOC supports veterans, women veterans, military spouses, service members, Service-disabled veterans, and Reserve and National Guard members.

        Find out more details

    2. Women

      1. Women’s Business Centers (WBC)

        The SBA sponsors 100 WBCs throughout the United States that act as a network of entrepreneurship centers. They help women in accessing small business funding and business expertise. Some WBCs offer direct financial aid while others find you small business grants that your business may qualify for.

        Explore more

      2. Amber Grants

        WomensNet Foundation offers the Amber grant on a monthly and annual basis. $10,000 is granted monthly to women-owned businesses like – Health and Fitness, Food & Beverage, Mental & Emotional support, Education & Child Care, etc. They even offer grants to non-profit organizations. Businesses located both in the US and Canada are eligible.

        Apply now

    3. Minorities

      1. Minority Business Development Agency Centers (MBDA)

        Minority Business Development Agency Centers (MBDA)
        Minority-owned businesses seeking to expand their business on a national and international level can consult business experts at MBDA centers. A wide range of services is offered – securing capital, competing for a contract, or becoming export-compliant.

        MBDA centers offer grants for minority business owners. They are mostly located in areas with the highest concentration of minority population.

        Know more here

  4. COVID-19

    1. Inclusive Backing

      Non-profit organizations – Main Street America in collaboration with American Express are offering grants to small business owners who were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This grant is exclusively reserved for brick-and-mortar businesses owned by women, non-binary people, and armed forces veterans.

      Apply now

    2. Small Business Emergency Assistance Program

      Fort Bend County Commissioners Court (located in Texas) has approved a small business grant to assist businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

      Three categories of grants are being offered – $5,000, $15,000, and $25,000 for business owners with varying annual revenues.

      For eligibility and application visit

How To Find The Best Suited Grant For Your Business?

Now that we understand the various grants for helping our small businesses grow, let’s get into the nitty-gritty of the grant application process. Preparing for the process can help us navigate with ease.

  1. Understand Your Business Eligibility

    According to a 2021 report by the SBA, there are 3 million small businesses registered in the state of Texas. This makes the process to secure grants highly competitive. You can save your time and effort by studying and meeting the various eligibility criteria for the available grants.

    Studying your business in-depth can help reveal opportunities that you have not yet leveraged. For example, if you or your spouse belong to the BIPOC (Black, indigenous, and/or people of color) community, you become eligible for grants that offer aid, especially to these communities.

  2. Check If Your Business Is A Right Fit For Grants

    Few criteria that business owners must be aware of and have documents to support their claims:

    1. A number of years the business has been operational?
    2. Revenue growth attained in each financial year
    3. Tax returns for each financial year
    4. Assessment test results such as FICO (Credit scores)
    5. Previous grants applied and accepted/rejected?
    6. Number of employees
    7. Percentage of the business stake owned by BIPOC or minority community member
    8. Type of organization – for-profit or non-profit

Answers to the above points can help you realize if your business is the right fit for a particular grant or not.

  • Explore Other Alternatives To Grants

    Explore Other Alternatives To Grants
    If you find yourself ineligible for a particular grant you were aiming for or find the process of applying for a grant tedious, you can explore other financing alternatives to grants such as loan programs, credit cards, or crowdfunding.

    Let’s understand them briefly.

    1. Small Business Commercial Loans:

      You can choose the right financing need by comparing options such as – bank loans, SBA loans, business lines of credit, equipment loans, and term loans. Loans are hassle-free and easy to obtain but require business owners to keep collateral in lieu of the loan.

    2. Small Business Micro-loans:

      If commercial loans do not pique your interest, you can explore micro-loans. Small loans that are less than $50,000, have short terms and have low-interest rates qualify as microloans.

    3. Small Business Credit Cards:

      Do you want to undertake business purchases while earning rewards? Credit cards would be the right option for you then. There are a host of credit cards that you can explore.

    4. Crowdfunding for Small Businesses:

      Online platforms such as Kickstarter help leverage the power of the internet and fund your small business. People support your business if they find it to be creative and value-adding.

 

How Would A Grant Impact Your Business?

If you are still unsure if availing of a grant is the best possible option to fund your business growth, let’s understand the advantages and disadvantages in detail to decide better.

  1. Advantages

    Advantages

    1. Easy Access To Capital

      If you are a small business owner looking to expand your business or hire specialists in your existing team, grants can help you achieve those objectives more quickly. Grants act as complimentary money without the pressure to repay.

    2. Waterfall Effect

      If your small business has qualified for a grant and has generated a positive return on the investment, it becomes easy to secure other grants. This happens purely because investors and facilitators can see a positive outcome in the process. Do check eligibility requirements if you have already been awarded a grant and plan to apply for one more.

    3. Helps Gain Credibility

      If you have been awarded a grant, it helps you gain visibility for your work. This in return can help you promote your business idea and get your work noticed.

    4. Explore Untapped Opportunities

      Certain grants ensure that the small business spends on particular activities such as hiring consultants and examining their environmental impact. This can help businesses explore untapped opportunities which in return could prove to be beneficial for the firm.

  2. Limitations

    Limitations

    1. Competitive

      Since there are more than 3 million small businesses in Texas, securing a grant becomes competitive. The best way is to be on the constant lookout for available grants before they close their applications.

    2. Time-Consuming

      The grant application is a tedious and cumbersome process. A lot of process needs to be taken care of before the aid is availed. Research, paperwork, finding the right fit for your business and a convincing proposal needs to be drafted to make the cut.

    3. Uncertain Renewal

      One of the major drawbacks of grants is that they might not be renewed. This can be scary since business owners need to undertake decisions based on the grants available, which may not be in the best interest of the firm.
      Entrepreneurs would have to reapply to avail of grants once the funds are exhausted. The best possible solution is to finance your business in such a fashion that business operations are sustainable and do not get hindered even if your grants get exhausted.

    4. Conditions Attached

      Although grants help scale your business operations, there are restrictions and conditions attached. Businesses can invest the grant only for specific activities. These activities need to be very specific and are audited by the granting agency. Therefore, business owners should be clear about the activity the grants will be used for.

Conclusion

Finding the right grant for your small business is a lengthy and continuous process. But, with this article, we aimed to shorten the learning curve. To avail of the grant, a business owner must be clear about why they are availing of a particular grant and how they would put it to use. The grant should help the owner generate a positive ROI on their investment.

This is only possible when the business owner builds a foolproof business plan. By planning meticulously, owners can ensure there is a greater chance of succeeding.

Business planning software like Upmetrics helps business owners, like you, plan their business and finances up to 2x faster.

You can even schedule a free demo today to discover how Upmetrics can help increase your chances of succeeding.

And in case, you are unable to avail a grant, you can find one with the right fit from the above-mentioned resources.

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Suryansh Sodhani
Suryansh Sodhani
Suryansh is a writer for B2B and SaaS brands. He has worked with some of the biggest tech brands including Dell. Outside of work, he loves reading about technology, business, and startups.

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