If you own a small business, then there’s a good chance you’re aware of one thing. When it comes to beginning or expanding a small business, minorities have unique hurdles. This includes obtaining inexpensive small-business financing.
Grants and financial aid for businesses might help close the budget gap.
What is a Minority-Owned Business?
A minority commercial venture is defined in the United States as a company that is owned and operated by at least 51 percent African Americans, Asians, Hispanics, or Native Americans.
If the corporation is publicly listed, at least 51 percent of the shares must be held by minorities.
Benefits of Getting Certified as a Minority-Owned Business
These are some of the best pros to getting certified as an MBE:
Federal tax benefits: Firms that choose to collaborate with minority and women-owned businesses are eligible for federal tax advantages.
State tax breaks: Some states, such as Georgia and California, provide state tax breaks to enterprises that use minority-owned businesses. Companies that use minority subcontractors in Georgia, for example, are eligible for state income tax incentives.
Funding: Various programs are available across the country to assist minority-owned firms in obtaining funding. Grants, loans, and business mentoring may be available through these initiatives.
A minority group member is a U.S. citizen having at least 25% Asian-Indian, Asian-Pacific, Black, Hispanic, or Native American ancestry for the purposes of NMSDC’s program.
The assertion must be backed up by documentation. Furthermore, such individuals must own or control at least 51 percent of the firm or the company’s shares, as well as control the management and operations.
How to Apply to Be Certified as a Minority-Owned Business
Contact any of the NMSDC’s 37 regional councils to get started. Your city council will provide you a standardized application and ask for papers to back up your claim of minority status.
Unlike other minority-owned certification programs, your company will be visited by the organization to verify the information on your application.
If your certification is denied, you have 30 days to file an appeal. If you lose your appeal, you have a year to reapply.
This federal portal is a wonderful place to look for Minority Small Business Grants that are relevant to your business and eligibility. Over 1,000 small company grants are available through Grants.gov, which provides eligibility rules, application information, and deadlines.
On this site, all federal government entities that offer grants will upload their information. The Department of Agriculture, Department of the Interior, Environmental Protection Agency, and National Aeronautics and Space Administration are just a few of the government entities that offer grants.
Minority-owned firms, for example, may filter their search based on the category “small business” or your own eligibility criteria, such as “Native American tribal organization,” or “nonprofits.”
2. Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STRR) Programs
Small businesses involved in cutting-edge research and development can apply for SBIR and STRR funding to help them grow their enterprises.
NASA, the Department of Defense, the Department of Energy, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the National Science Foundation are among the eleven government agencies that have set aside a percentage of their research and development expenditures for this award program.
The grant eligibility conditions and reward amounts are primarily dependent on the program and individual grant you’re applying for.
You must have a for-profit, American-owned, and operated small business with the lead researcher employed by the company. Your company must also have fewer than 500 employees.
3. USDA Rural Business Development Grants
Do you own and operate a business in a rural setting? If so, you might look into the USDA’s Rural Business Development Grant program, which gives small business awards ranging from $10,000 to $500,000.
This program is offered to businesses in rural areas with populations of less than 50,000 people. Grant money must also be used for projects that assist your rural community or town.
This program is open to a wide range of organizations, including nonprofits, federally recognized tribes, rural cooperatives, state agencies, and more.
On the USDA website, you can discover documentation and other needs specific to your state.
4. USDA Water & Waste Disposal Loan & Grant Program
Your firm must be in the field of water or waste disposal in an eligible location—a rural area or town with a population of 10,000 or fewer, tribal lands in rural areas, or colonias—to be eligible for this grant program.
This program is open to most state and local governments, private NGOs, and federally recognized tribes.
5. Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA)
The Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) awards funds to groups that run Minority Business Centers across the country.
You can get business coaching, procurement matching, and financial aid for your minority-owned firm through one of these centers.
A separate continuing grant competition program is being administered by the MBDA. This program was looking for ideas to open and run one of four MBDA Export Centers in 2021.
A Business Opportunity Specialist, a mentor-protégé program, business training, counseling, and executive development are all available to those who qualify for the program in addition to the real business contract.
7. The National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE) Growth Grants Program
NASE is a nonprofit organization that distributes microgrants of up to $4,000 per through their Growth Grants Program. These incentives are intended to aid in the expansion of businesses.
Although NASE does not award grants specifically to minority-owned firms, this program is aimed at smaller enterprises that may not be able to access other forms of funding.
Furthermore, a NASE Growth Grant can be used for a range of business reasons, including the purchase of equipment, the hiring of staff, and the creation of marketing materials.
NASE awards these funds on a monthly basis, with applications assessed every three months.
8. Asian Women Giving Circle (AWGC) Grants
The Asian American Women’s Funds Council (AWGC) awards grants to Asian American women-led organizations and individual artists in New York City.
The nonprofit organization gives these grants to businesses that use arts and culture to promote progressive social change by raising awareness and taking action on issues that affect Asian American women, girls, and families, as well as emphasizing and promoting women’s central role in these projects.
In each cycle (generally once a year), the AWGC offers five to eight project grants in the amount of up to $15,000.
9. First Nations Development Institute Grants
First Nations is a non-profit organization that administers a national grant-making program that offers Native charities and tribes technical and financial assistance.
You can check the First Nations website for current applications as their available funding change.
10. Operation HOPE Small Business Development Program
The nonprofit organization provides minority business owners with business training, personal development, access to professional services, and financial counseling through an eight-week entrepreneurship training program.
The program also assists business owners in developing and maintaining a business strategy, as well as obtaining money and other resources.
11. National Black MBA Association (NBMBAA) Scale-Up Pitch Challenge
The NBMBAA scale-up pitch challenge is a grant competition that encourages entrepreneurs to come up with innovative, scalable startup concepts. The NBMBAA connects early-stage investors and venture capitalists with businesses and allows them to pitch their company ideas.
The $50,000 prize goes to the winning business owner or team, $10,000 to second place, and $7,500 to third place. There’s also a $1,000 People’s Choice Award up for grabs.
This grant competition is an excellent alternative for Black-owned businesses seeking startup money for their first firm or attempting to launch a new concept. To compete, you must be a member of the NBMBAA, and the competition is held every year.
12. FedEx Small Business Grant Contest
Every year, the FedEx Minority Small Business Grants Contest gives grants to around 10 worthy business owners across the country. Grants range from $15,000 to $50,000, with FedEx print services worth $1,000 to $7,500.
Historically, many of the grant winners have been minority-owned firms, and the funds are given to people who have a unique company idea that has a significant influence on the community.
13. The Coalition to Back Black Businesses
Following the Covid-19 pandemic, the Coalition to Back Black Businesses was created to provide grants and long-term support to Black-owned minority small businesses. You must apply for eligibility, and if selected, you will be awarded $5,000, with the most promising enterprises receiving an additional $25,000 prize.
Mentors, educational materials, and other resources will also be available to you. The program will be offered until 2023, however, you should apply as soon as possible.
Finally, historically, minority business entrepreneurs have had difficulty obtaining business finance and obtaining major contracts.
Biz2Credit conducted a survey of over 1,500 minority company owners in 2016. The lack of enough capital was the main obstacle for more than a third of the polled business owners.
The Paycheck Protection Program’s first-round also had problems with equitable allocation of PPP monies to minority small firms.
Given these and the many other problems that come with owning a small business, it’s worth seizing any opportunities that come along.
You’ll have access to favorable contract opportunities, marketing support, and other useful resources as a qualified MBE. You’ll also have access to small business training, such as how to launch a minority woman-owned business.
This article (Minority Small Business Grants) was quite insightful. Do well to share this information with friends as well.