We receive advertising fees from the brands we review that affect the ranking and scoring of such brands. The recommendations and offers provided below are intended for business purposes or to corporate entities only
Advertiser Disclosure

Best Business Grants December 2023

Business grants represent a golden opportunity for entrepreneurs and companies. Provided by governments or other entities, these funds aim to bolster and finance business endeavors. The beauty of these grants lies in their non-repayable nature, distinguishing them from typical business loans. While they offer immense benefits, it's crucial to note that securing one might demand meeting stringent criteria and navigating a detailed, often intricate, application journey.

location NY, Brooklyn privacyWe value privacy
close
filterFilters
Editor's Choice
View Details arrow

Key Facts

  • Credit Score: 550
  • Age of business: 12+ months
  • Monthly revenue: Varies
  • US citizenship: Required for all owners
  • Term length: Varies

Pros

pros iconMultiple financing options designed to help businesses grow and succeed

pros iconConvenient shop and comparison tool

pros iconFree service

pros iconMatched with experienced Funding Advisor who helps every step of the way

Cons

cons iconLoan terms and conditions not disclosed until after completing an application

cons iconOnce deciding upon a product, you’ll work with the lender instead of Fundera

cons iconMust have been in business for at least 1 to 4 years to qualify for funding

cons iconPotentially high interest rates and eligibility requirements

LIMITATION OF LIABILITY AND WARRANTY DISCLAIMER. 10.1 Limitation of Liability. TO THE MAXIMUM EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW, IN NO EVENT WILL FUNDERA (OR OUR SUPPLIERS) BE LIABLE TO YOU OR ANY THIRD PARTY FOR ANY LOST PROFITS, LOST DATA, COSTS OF PROCUREMENT OF SUBSTITUTE PRODUCTS, OR ANY INDIRECT, CONSEQUENTIAL, EXEMPLARY, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL OR PUNITIVE DAMAGES ARISING FROM OR RELATING TO THESE TERMS OR YOUR USE OF, OR INABILITY TO USE, THE SITES OR SERVICE, EVEN IF FUNDERA HAS BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES. ACCESS TO, AND USE OF, THE SITES OR SERVICE IS AT YOUR OWN DISCRETION AND RISK, AND YOU WILL BE SOLELY RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY DAMAGE TO YOUR DEVICE OR COMPUTER SYSTEM, OR LOSS OF DATA RESULTING THEREFROM. TO THE MAXIMUM EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW, NOTWITHSTANDING ANYTHING TO THE CONTRARY CONTAINED HEREIN, OUR LIABILITY TO YOU FOR ANY DAMAGES ARISING FROM OR RELATED TO THE SERVICE OR THESE TERMS OF SERVICE (FOR ANY CAUSE WHATSOEVER, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, DAMAGES ARISING FROM YOUR FAILURE TO PROVIDE FUNDERA WITH ACCURATE INFORMATION OR TO CORRECT INACCURATE VERIFIED DATA, OR A THIRD PARTY’S FAILURE TO CORRECTLY VERIFY SUCH INFORMATION, AND REGARDLESS OF THE FORM OF THE ACTION), WILL AT ALL TIMES BE LIMITED TO A MAXIMUM OF ONE HUNDRED US DOLLARS (U.S. $100). THE EXISTENCE OF MORE THAN ONE CLAIM WILL NOT ENLARGE THIS LIMIT. YOU AGREE THAT OUR SUPPLIERS WILL HAVE NO LIABILITY OF ANY KIND ARISING FROM OR RELATING TO THESE TERMS OF SERVICE. SOME JURISDICTIONS DO NOT ALLOW THE LIMITATION OR EXCLUSION OF LIABILITY FOR INCIDENTAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES, SO THE ABOVE LIMITATION OR EXCLUSION MAY NOT APPLY TO YOU. 10.2 No Warranties. EXCEPT AS EXPRESSLY SET FORTH IN THESE TERMS OF SERVICE, THE SITES AND THE SERVICE PROVIDED HEREUNDER BY FUNDERA IS PROVIDED ON AN “AS IS” AND “AS AVAILABLE” BASIS, AND FUNDERA (AND OUR SUPPLIERS) EXPRESSLY DISCLAIM ANY AND ALL WARRANTIES AND CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, WHETHER EXPRESS, IMPLIED, OR STATUTORY, INCLUDING ALL WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, TITLE, QUIET ENJOYMENT, ACCURACY OR NON-INFRINGEMENT. WE (AND OUR SUPPLIERS) MAKE NO WARRANTY THAT THE SITES AND THE SERVICE WILL MEET YOUR REQUIREMENTS, WILL BE AVAILABLE ON AN UNINTERRUPTED, TIMELY, SECURE, OR ERROR-FREE BASIS, OR WILL BE ACCURATE, RELIABLE, AND/OR FREE OF VIRUSES OR OTHER HARMFUL CODE, COMPLETE, LEGAL, OR SAFE. IF APPLICABLE LAW REQUIRES ANY WARRANTIES WITH RESPECT TO THE SITE AND THE SERVICE, ALL SUCH WARRANTIES ARE LIMITED IN DURATION TO NINETY (90) DAYS FROM THE DATE OF FIRST USE. NO ADVICE OR INFORMATION PROVIDED BY FUNDERA SHALL CONSTITUTE ANY WARRANTY WITH RESPECT TO YOUR USE OF THE SERVICE. FUNDERA DOES NOT GUARANTEE OR ASSUME ANY RESPONSIBILITY FOR ANY SERVICE ADVERTISED OR OFFERED BY ANY THIRD-PARTY SERVICE RELATING TO EITHER FUNDERA OR ANY FUNDING PROVIDER. FUNDERA MAKES NO GUARANTEE AS TO THE NUMBER OF FUNDING PROVIDERS WITH WHOM YOU MAY BE MATCHED USING THE SERVICE, NOR DOES FUNDERA GUARANTEE THAT YOU WILL BE ABLE TO OBTAIN BUSINESS FUNDING IN ANY AMOUNT USING THE SERVICE, INCLUDING FROM ANY FUNDING PROVIDER FOR WHOM YOUR VERIFIED INFORMATION PROVISIONALLY PREQUALIFIES YOU FOR SUCH FUNDING. YOU UNDERSTAND AND AGREE THAT FUNDERA IS NEITHER A FUNDING PROVIDER NOR A FINANCIAL ADVISOR, AND NOTHING ON THE SITES IS INTENDED TO BE A SUBSTITUTE FOR PROFESSIONAL FINANCIAL ADVICE. SOME JURISDICTIONS DO NOT ALLOW THE EXCLUSION OF IMPLIED WARRANTIES, SO THE ABOVE EXCLUSION MAY NOT APPLY TO YOU. SOME JURISDICTIONS DO NOT ALLOW LIMITATIONS ON HOW LONG AN IMPLIED WARRANTY LASTS, SO THE ABOVE LIMITATION MAY NOT APPLY TO YOU. 10.3 Not a financial planner, investment adviser or tax advisor. NEITHER FUNDERA NOR THE SERVICES ARE INTENDED TO PROVIDE LEGAL, TAX, INVESTMENT OR FINANCIAL ADVICE. FUNDERA IS NOT A FINANCIAL OR TAX PLANNER, AND DOES NOT OFFER LEGAL ADVICE TO ANY USER OF THE SERVICE. ALTHOUGH THE SERVICE MAY PROVIDE DATA, INFORMATION, OR CONTENT RELATING TO INFORMATIONAL SERVICES FOR U.S. BASED SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS INCLUDING INFORMATION AND REFERRALS FOR CERTAIN FINANCIAL SERVICES, YOU SHOULD NOT CONSTRUE ANY SUCH CONTENT AS TAX, LEGAL, FINANCIAL, OR INVESTMENT ADVICE.

  • $5K-$5M Loan Amount
  • 550 Min Credit
  • 7-30% APR
  • 12+ Months Time in Business
Quick Funding
View Details arrow

Key Facts

  • Credit score: 625
  • Age of business: 12+ months
  • Monthly revenue: $8,000
  • Personal guarantee: Required
  • US citizenship: required, or permitted residency
  • Term length: 3-24 months

Pros

pros iconMore straightforward to obtain a loan than with conventional banks

pros iconVery quick funding available

pros iconFull fee transparency

Cons

cons iconLonger initial application process than competitors – 10 minutes

cons iconOrigination fees applied of up to 4%

cons iconLines of credit incur a $20 monthly charge

cons iconExpensive APRs

Same Day Funding is only available in certain states for term loans up to $100K. The eligibility window is Monday-Friday before 10:30am EST. If checkout completes before 10:30am EST, funds will be available by 5pm local time the same day. If checkout occurs after 10:30am EST or on a weekend or bank holiday, it will not qualify for Same Day Funding, and funds will be deposited within 2-3 business days. Eligibility rules around creditworthiness and length of term loan apply.
Eligibility for the lowest rates is limited, available only to businesses with the strongest creditworthiness and cash flows, and typically companies that have shown an excellent payment history on prior loan products with OnDeck. The average rate for term loans is 62.1% APR, and the average rate for lines of credit is 48.9% APR. Averages are based on loans originated in the half-year ending March 31, 2022.

  • $5K-$250K Loan Amount
  • 625 Min Credit
  • 12+ Months Time in Business
Quick Funding
View Details arrow

Key Facts

  • Eligibility: Businesses with less than 500 employees
  • Max loan amount: $10 million
  • Interest rate: 0.5%
  • Loan forgiveness for: payroll, mortgage interest, rent, utilities

Pros

pros iconFlexible on credit score. Getting approved is based more on strong balances and revenue.

pros iconVariety of loan types available

pros iconSoft credit check for the initial application

pros iconSave time with offers from multiple lenders

Cons

cons iconApplication process is a bit long for a marketplace because it requires 3 bank statements

cons iconSince Lendio is not a direct lender, the terms only become clear after applying for a loan

  • $1K-$5M Loan Amount
  • 500 Min Credit
  • 6+ Months Time in Business
Editor's Choice
View Details arrow

Key Facts

  • Multiple types of funding, nationwide
  • Get help from a loan representative
  • Highly rated customer support

Pros

pros iconEasy way to compare business loans from over 35 lenders

pros iconPartners with large, established lenders such as Bluevine, OnDeck, and Funding Circle

pros iconLoan decisions are made quickly after an easy application process

Cons

cons iconNo transparency of loan terms readily available

cons iconLoan funding can take up to one week, which is longer than competitors

cons iconCollateral is required from some of BusinessLoans.com’s lending partners

BusinessLoans.com allows users to obtain information about certain loans, financial products, and services offered through third-party service providers and advertisers. BusinessLoans.com is not an agent or advisor to you or any other third party.

You acknowledge and agree that our website is solely an intermediary to connect users with service providers to obtain information about certain financial products and services. You acknowledge and agree that we are not a financial institution, credit card issuer, or other financial service provider and that any information or advice made available through the Services is for informational purposes only.

We do not, and will not, create any coverage or credit decision with any service provider that may be referred to you through our Services. We do not (i) validate the licensing, certification, or other qualifications of Service Providers that you may encounter through our Services, (ii) guarantee the terms or rates offered by any third party through or on our Services, or (iii) issue credit cards or any other financial products.

We are not responsible for the conduct or policies of the service providers. The terms and rates provided by any service provider will be subject to the applicable terms and conditions of the products and services offered by the service providers.

  • $5K-$3M Loan Amount
  • 640 Min Credit
  • 12+ Months Time in Business
View Details arrow

Key Facts

  • Credit Score: 600
  • Age of business: 6+ months
  • Monthly revenue: $20,000
  • Origination fee: 0-2%

Pros

pros iconQuick approval time

pros iconFast time to funding

pros iconGood track record

pros iconFlexible repayment options

Cons

cons iconNo transparency on rates

cons iconAdditional fees sometimes necessary

Any applications submitted electronically shall have the same force and effect as if the application bore an inked original signature(s). The above information, together with any accompanying financial statements, schedules, or other materials, is submitted for the purpose of obtaining credit and is warranted to be true, correct, and complete.

 To help the government fight the funding of terrorism and money laundering activities, Federal law requires all financial institutions to obtain, verify, and record information that identifies each person and business that seeks a business loan. What this means for you: When you apply for a loan, we will ask for your business name, address, and Tax Identification Number. We will also ask for your name, address, date of birth, and other information that will allow us to identify you. We may also ask to see your driver’s license or other identifying documents.

  • $10K-$500K Loan Amount
  • 600 Min Credit
  • 6+ Months Time in Business
View Details arrow

Pros

pros iconUltra-fast funding available

pros iconA low minimum credit score of 625

pros iconAvailable to businesses who have been active for 6 months

pros iconOnly pay for the portion of the line of credit that you use

Cons

cons iconThe rate of borrowing is expensive

cons iconOnly two repayment terms (6 and 12 months)

cons iconThe monthly revenue requirement of $10,000 will price out many businesses

Bluevine is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking Services provided by Coastal Community Bank, Member FDIC. Bluevine accounts are FDIC insured up to $3 million per depositor through Coastal Community Bank, Member FDIC. The Bluevine Business Debit Mastercard® is issued by Coastal Community Bank, Member FDIC pursuant to a license from Mastercard International Incorporated and may be used everywhere Mastercard is accepted. Mastercard is a registered trademark, and the circles design is a trademark of Mastercard International Incorporated.

Application is subject to approval. No monthly or maintenance fees. Card Replacement Fees and Wire Transfer Fees may apply.

Certain Bill Pay funds, including Bill Pay with Credit Card, are held by Silicon Valley Bank, a member of the FDIC and the Federal Reserve System. Silicon Valley Bank is the California bank subsidiary of SVB Financial Group (Nasdaq: SIVB). Banking Services for payments made via ACH or wire from the Bluevine Business Checking Account are provided by Coastal Community Bank, Member FDIC.

Bluevine’s Flex Line of Credit is issued by Celtic Bank, a Utah-chartered Industrial Bank, Member FDIC. Applications are subject to credit approval. Rates, credit lines, and terms may vary based on your creditworthiness and are subject to change. Additional fees apply.

PPP loans are made by one or more approved U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) lenders. Loan agreements will identify the issuing lender to small businesses at signing. Qualified applications will be submitted to the SBA as soon as possible. Bluevine does not guarantee that applications will be processed and submitted before PPP funds are no longer available. Approval and loan forgiveness are subject to your availability to meet government-set eligibility requirements.

Certain financing may be made or arranged pursuant to California Financing Law-License No. 6054789.

  • $6K-$250K Loan Amount
  • 625 Min Credit
  • 6+ Months Time in Business
View Details arrow

Key Facts

  • Credit score: 550
  • Age of business: 18+ months
  • US citizenship: Required for all owners
  • Repayment terms: Varies
  • Term length: 3-60 months

Pros

pros iconFast time to funding

pros iconLow barrier to entry

pros iconQuality customer support team

pros iconGood track record

Cons

cons iconNot the most competitive rates

*Small Business Financial Solutions, LLC offers term loans and lines of credit (pursuant to its California Lenders License No. 603-I855) and factoring in California. Small Business Financial Solutions, LLC and Rapid Financial Services, LLC offer term loans, lines of credit and factoring outside of California. Commercial Servicing Company, LLC arranges term loans and lines of credit in California (pursuant to its California Finance Lenders License No. 603-J299) and arranges term loans, SBA loans, lines of credit, factoring, asset-based loans, commercial real estate loans and business credit cards outside of California.

  • $5K-$1M Loan Amount
  • 550 Min Credit
  • New Time in Business
View Details arrow

Pros

pros iconReceive a business line of credit within 24 hours

pros iconFewer hurdles to go through than with traditional loan financing

pros iconAccepts businesses with only six months of trading history

pros iconNo fees or prepayment penalties

Cons

cons iconHigh APRs compared to traditional business loan funding

cons iconOnly short-term loans are available

cons iconNot practical for equipment purchasing, only working capital management

Fundbox makes capital available to businesses through business loans and lines of credit made by First Electronic Bank, a Utah chartered Industrial Bank, member FDIC, and invoice-clearing advances, business loans, and lines of credit made directly by Fundbox.

  • $1K-$150K Loan Amount
  • 600 Min Credit
  • 6+ Months Time in Business
Easy Application
View Details arrow

Pros

pros iconFunding available within 24 hours.

pros iconVariety of financing options available.

pros iconSupports businesses with potential and robust revenues.

Cons

cons iconMay be an expensive option due to fees.

cons iconEvery state may not have the same financing options.

cons iconNo live chat option on their website.

Biz2Credit Disclosure: By accessing or applying for Business Finance Services from Biz2Credit relating to your potential business funding or other business financing products, you expressly accept and agree to both our Terms of Service and the Business Finance Services Terms & Conditions. The rates and terms and conditions here in are not a commitment or guaranty by Biz2Credit Inc. or any of its affiliates to provide financing, and are subject to change at any time. Not valid in all states. All products and services are subject to eligibility and other conditions and restrictions. Biz2Credit Inc. is not a lender. All terms and conditions and credit decisions are at the sole discretion of the lender. Offered for commercial uses to businesses only. Other terms, conditions, fees and restrictions may apply.

  • $25K-$6M Loan Amount
  • 575 Min Credit
  • 24+ Months Time in Business
View Details arrow

Pros

pros iconSuccessful applications receive funding in less than 72 hours

pros iconDiscounts available for early repayment of loans

pros iconLow credit threshold for loan eligibility

pros iconGood customer service and A+ BBB rating

Cons

cons iconUses factor rating instead of APR, which makes comparing with other loan offers difficult

cons iconOrigination fee charged

cons iconOnly short-term loans are available

cons iconThe minimum sales requirement of $15,000 per month will be difficult for some businesses

Fora Financial provides business capital, including business loans and Revenue Based Financing, directly and through a network of unaffiliated third-party funding providers. Business loans are offered by Fora Financial Business Loans LLC or, in California, by Fora Financial West LLC, a licensed California Finance Lender, License No. 603J080. Fora Financial Advance LLC offers Revenue Based Financing. Business capital is also made available through US Business Funding, a sister company of Fora Financial. The products and amounts offered vary by state.

  • $5K-$1.4M Loan Amount
  • 500 Min Credit
  • 6+ Months Time in Business

Top Business Grants Loan Providers

Fundera Logo
Fundera

Get funded faster than at your bank

550

Min Credit Score

Min 7%

APR. Fixed Rate

7-30%

APR. Variable Rate

$5K-$5M

Loan Amount

1-10 years

Repayment terms

Yes

Soft Credit Pull

Marketplace

Lender Type

None

Other Fees

Varies

Origination Fee

Varies

Prepayment Fee

24 Hours

Funding Time

$130K

Annual Revenue

12+ Months

Time in Business

Pros & Cons

drop-down-btn
  • con-icon Multiple financing options designed to help businesses grow and succeed
  • con-icon Convenient shop and comparison tool
  • con-icon Free service
  • con-icon Matched with experienced Funding Advisor who helps every step of the way
  • con-icon Loan terms and conditions not disclosed until after completing an application
  • con-icon Once deciding upon a product, you’ll work with the lender instead of Fundera
  • con-icon Must have been in business for at least 1 to 4 years to qualify for funding
  • con-icon Potentially high interest rates and eligibility requirements

Business Loan Types

drop-down-btn
  • SBA Loans
  • Business Line of Credit
  • Invoice Financing
  • Equipment Financing
  • Term loans
  • Short-Term Business Loan
  • Merchant Cash Advances
  • Startup Loans

640

Min Credit Score

Min 9%

APR. Fixed Rate

$5K-$3M

Loan Amount

1-20 years

Repayment terms

Yes

Soft Credit Pull

Marketplace

Lender Type

None

Other Fees

None

Origination Fee

None

Prepayment Fee

24 Hours

Funding Time

$240K

Annual Revenue

12+ Months

Time in Business

Pros & Cons

drop-down-btn
  • con-icon Easy way to compare business loans from over 35 lenders
  • con-icon Partners with large, established lenders such as Bluevine, OnDeck, and Funding Circle
  • con-icon Loan decisions are made quickly after an easy application process
  • con-icon No transparency of loan terms readily available
  • con-icon Loan funding can take up to one week, which is longer than competitors
  • con-icon Collateral is required from some of BusinessLoans.com’s lending partners

Business Loan Types

drop-down-btn
  • Business Line of Credit
  • Business Term Loan
  • Term loans
  • Short-Term Business Loan
  • Merchant Cash Advances
lendio_logo
Lendio

Buying, Building, or Renovating Your Business

500

Min Credit Score

Min 6%

APR. Fixed Rate

$1K-$5M

Loan Amount

1-30

Repayment terms

Yes

Soft Credit Pull

Marketplace

Lender Type

None

Other Fees

None

Origination Fee

None

Prepayment Fee

$96K

Annual Revenue

6+ Months

Time in Business

Pros & Cons

drop-down-btn
  • con-icon Flexible on credit score. Getting approved is based more on strong balances and revenue.
  • con-icon Variety of loan types available
  • con-icon Soft credit check for the initial application
  • con-icon Save time with offers from multiple lenders
  • con-icon Application process is a bit long for a marketplace because it requires 3 bank statements
  • con-icon Since Lendio is not a direct lender, the terms only become clear after applying for a loan

Business Loan Types

drop-down-btn
  • SBA Loans
  • Business Line of Credit
  • Business Term Loan
  • Equipment Financing
  • Term loans
  • Short-Term Business Loan
  • Startup Loans

Business Grants: What Are They and How Do They Work?

Think of a business grant as a gift for your business. Groups like the government or some private companies give this money to help businesses grow or get through tough times. The best part? You don't have to pay it back, unlike a loan.

These grants are special. Getting one can make your business stand out, because they're hard to get and mean your business idea has been recognized as valuable. If you win a grant, it could help you make new things, expand, or even recover if you've lost money.

But, here's the catch: you have to use the grant money in specific ways the giver sets out. If you don't, you might have to give the money back. Some grants are only for certain types of businesses or people from certain backgrounds.

So, if you own a business, it's a good idea to see if you can get a grant. It might take some work to apply, but the benefits are worth it!

How to Get a Business Grant

The application process for a business grant depends on the grant. Some have a simple online application that only takes a few minutes. Others — such as federal grants — may require you to write a grant proposal that can take several weeks to complete.

Although the process can vary, here’s what you’ll typically need to do:

  1. Gather your documents. You’ll need certain documents and information, such as your personal and business details. This could include your business plan and pitch, typical annual revenue, business history, and the number of employees you have. You might also have to specify why you need the funds.
  2. Research your grant options. See what types of business grants are available. They could be federal, state, or privately offered. For federal business grants, head to grants.gov and follow the steps to apply. Or go to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and search for grants there.
  3. Look into private organizations. Private grants are harder to find than state or federal ones, but they’re out there. The Local Initiatives Support Corporation, for example, is a nonprofit that helps support community development initiatives nationwide. One way they do this is through small business grants.
  4. Check if your business qualifies. Since grants have strict eligibility requirements, it’s important to review these before applying. That way, you won’t waste time applying for a grant you don’t qualify for. For example, your business might need to be in a certain industry or make a certain amount of revenue each year.
  5. Narrow it down. Once you’ve done some research, narrow down your options. This will help you find the ones that best suit your needs.
  6. Create a proposal. If required, create and submit a thorough proposal that outlines your project. The proposal should also explain why your company needs the grant. And it should include evidence that your venture is worth investing in.
  7. Submit the small business grant application. Once you have your proposal and any required documents, complete the grant application. If approved, it can take anywhere from a month to a year and a half to receive the funds. This depends on the organization, though.

Types of Business Grants

Many types of business grants exist, including:

  • Federal business grants: These large grants primarily exist to help businesses innovate by funding their research and development. Head to the SBA website to see what’s available. Or check with the U.S. Department of Energy to see what opportunities they have.
  • Regional or state business grants: The U.S. Economic Development Administration offers funding opportunities and programs at the state level.
  • Corporate business grants: Some major corporations, such as Walmart and Visa, offer grants to help small businesses or nonprofits succeed. These grants tend to be small, however.
  • Industry-specific or specialty business grants: This includes grants for startups and businesses that are veteran-, women-, or minority-owned. There are also grants available for businesses that have suffered an economic loss due to something beyond their control.

How to Choose the Best Business Grant

If you’re trying to choose the best business grant for you, here are some things to ask yourself:

  • Do you meet the minimum requirements? Many grants have strict eligibility criteria. Your business may have to meet a minimum annual revenue amount or be in a specific industry, for example.
  • How much do you need and why? Grants come in all sizes, ranging from a few thousand to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Think about what you need and why.
  • Is a proposal required? Certain options — like federal grants — require a formal proposal as part of the application process. Make sure you know exactly what your business is about and be prepared to explain why you should get the grant.
  • Are you prepared for the competition? Business grants are often highly competitive. The bigger or more prestigious the grant, the greater the competition.
  • Are you prepared for the application process? Small business grant applications are often tedious and lengthy. It can also take months or even longer before you hear back about the funding decision. Be prepared to wait for a while after applying.

Pros and Cons of Business Grants

Here’s an overview of the major benefits and drawbacks of business grants.

Pros of Business Grants

These are the main advantages:

  • Many organizations – state, federal, and community – offer business grants
  • Can be used to help your business grow or stay afloat after an economic crisis
  • Getting one comes with a certain level of prestige and can open your networking opportunities
  • Using one to expand your business could also help the community
  • You could get a grant for thousands or millions of dollars

Cons of Business Grants

And these are the main drawbacks:

  • Highly competitive application process
  • Your business may need to be in a specific industry or cater to a certain demographic to qualify for a grant
  • May require you to write a persuasive grant proposal
  • Grant funding isn’t always flexible, meaning you might have to use the money in specific ways

Should You Get a Business Grant?

You may want to get a business grant if you:

  • Meet or exceed the qualification requirements
  • Want to avoid getting a small business loan
  • Are ready to develop your business further but don’t have the funds

Alternatives to Business Grants

If you don’t qualify for a business grant, here are a few alternatives you may want to consider:

  • SBA Loan: These loans range from $500 to $5.5 million, but they come with specific requirements. Eligibility is based on things like borrower credit score, business industry, and business location.
  • Business Line of Credit: A business line of credit is similar to a personal line of credit or credit card. You can borrow up to a certain credit limit. You’ll also only pay interest on the borrowed amount. This is a flexible option that’s best for those who can manage their cash flow well.

Cash Advance Loan: With a cash advance loan, your lender will give you the money upfront to fund your venture. In exchange, you’re promising them a share of your company’s future profits. These are typically easier to get than grants.

Average Business Loan Rates and Terms

If you choose to go with a business loan instead of a grant, here are some examples of what you could get:

Lender* Loan Amount Recommended Minimum Credit Score Monthly Revenue Time in Business
biz2credit $25K to $6M 575 $21,000 6 to 18 months
Fora Financial $5K to $1.4M 600 $15,000 6+ months
Fundera by NerdWallet $5K to $5M 600 $10,000 12+ months
National Funding $10K to $500K 600 $20,000 6+ months
OnDeck $5K to $250K 625 $8,000 12+ months
QuickBridge $10K to $500K 580 $21,000 6+ months

*Loans and requirements are subject to change

The Bottom Line

Understanding the landscape of business grants can be a game-changer for many enterprises. Grants offer an opportunity to access funds without the burden of repayment. Whether through state, federal, or private sources, they can give your venture a boost, especially if you align with specific criteria. Yet, they're not the only option. SBA loans, business lines of credit, and cash advance loans all offer different pathways to securing needed funding.

Ultimately, the choice you make should reflect the unique needs and long-term goals of your business. So, whether you're considering the expertise of lenders or exploring the grant route, always keep the big picture in mind. Success lies in informed decision-making and leveraging the best opportunities available.