Article | September 5, 2021
Doesn't free money for small businesses sound wonderful? Thus, free money to small-medium enterprises (SMEs) is the core purpose of small business grants. As a small business owner, you are constantly looking for funding opportunities for small businesses to expand your enterprise. This requirement became even more desirable during the coronavirus pandemic.
The following are the top challenges facing small businesses:
Cash flow is limited or inconsistent
Lack of capital raising
No provision for unforeseen expenses
Inadequate tax compliance
Absence of a budget
Combining commercial and personal finances
“It’s almost always harder to raise capital than you thought it would be, and it always takes longer. So plan for that.”
– Richard Harroch, Venture Capitalist and Author
How About We Figure Out What a Business Grant is?
A grant is a sum of money provided to a business for a particular purpose. There are several financing possibilities for small enterprises when applying for start-up business grants. You only need to know where to find it. Government (federal and state), charities, and private institutions all offer small business grants.
Unlike small business loans, small business grants do not need a repayment. In addition, unlike loans, you are not required to provide security, are not charged late fees or interest, and are not required to give away any ownership of your business. As a result, grants for small businesses are an appealing source of finance for businesses.
Small business grants are frequently awarded based on specific areas, industrial sectors, community groups, or types of enterprises. Grants come in various forms, including those granted by the government, those supplied by private firms, and those directed for specific groups such as women, veterans, or women. In addition, considering the current pandemic crisis, a new grant has been established to assist individuals negatively impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
The federal government does not provide start-up business grants; instead, its grant programs are often directed toward non-profit organizations or other government agencies that face financing challenges.
COVID-19 Small Business Grants
Several types of COVID-19 small business grants are available to mitigate the loss caused by the coronavirus to small businesses. First, government grants for small businesses provide economic relief from the loss of revenue.
The United States Small Business Administration (SBA) administers federal small business funds for coronavirus recovery under the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Non-profit Organizations, and Venues Act.
Paycheck Protection Program (PPP):
Small Business Administration (SBA) provides financial help by introducing financial assistance programs like Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). However, Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) concluded on May 31, 2021. Even after the termination of the program, you can still qualify for loan forgiveness. This program was a significant part of COVID-19 small business grants. As of May 10, 2021, the SBA has authorized $782 billion in PPP loans.
To qualify for loan grants, you must establish the following:
Maintaining employee and pay levels
The revenues of the loan are used to cover payroll costs and other allowable expenses
At least 60% of the earnings are used to cover payroll expenditures
COVID-19 Targeted Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL)
The Federal government recognized the coronavirus's impact and introduced many COVID-19 small business grants, and Targeted EIDL was one of the leading financial assistance programs offered.
The SBA makes targeted economic injury disaster funding available to small companies in low-income regions that have suffered revenue loss due to the coronavirus pandemic. This is more of a donation than a loan, as it is not returnable.
The targeted EIDL offers up to $10,000 in advance if your firm is:
Located in a low-income neighborhood
Has sustained a higher than 30% economic loss
Employ no more than 300 people
Due to COVID-19, small business owners and qualified agricultural companies in all 50 states and territories of the United States are presently eligible to apply for a low-interest loan.
Shuttered Venues Grant
As of August 2021, the Shutter Venues Grant program is ended. However, later that month, the Small Business Administration (SBA) planned to establish a supplemental Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) application for 50% of the initial amount, up to a maximum of $10 million.
The Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Non-profits, and Venues Act established the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) program, modified by the American Rescue Plan Act. The initiative, managed by the SBA's Office of Disaster Assistance, would provide over $16 billion in subsidies to closed venues.
Eligible candidates may receive up to 45% of their gross earned revenue in the form of a grant. The maximum grant is ten million dollars.
Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF)
The American Rescue Plan Act established the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) to provide emergency assistance for eligible restaurants, bars, and other eligible businesses impacted by the pandemic.
This program compensates restaurants for income losses caused by the pandemic, up to a maximum of $10 million per firm and no more than $5 million per physical location.
As of now, RRF is closed for new applications.
Government Grants for Small Business
Numerous government grants for small businesses have been made available for free by the federal, state, and municipal governments. However, accepting free government money entails a considerable bit of paperwork and is time-consuming and technical at the same time.
Federal Government Grants for Small Business
The federal government offers many other additional grants for small businesses along with COVID-19 assistance. Federal government grants for small businesses are generally available to firms engaged in research, technology, or health.
The government agencies that support small company grants are the SBA, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the Department of Agriculture.
Let us find out which are the most competitive government grants for small businesses.
Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR)
Small Business Technology Transfer Program (STTR)
U.S. Small Business Administration State Trade Expansion Program (STEP)
U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
State Government Grants for Small Business
State offers government incentives to a small business that address the state's social or economic issues. However, due to the minor application set for state funds, competition may be less severe and easily accessible.
Federal agencies occasionally award grants to state governments, which then distribute the monies.
Below is few resources body that offers funding opportunities for small businesses:
U.S. Economic Development Administration
State Business Incentives Database
Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs)
Private Small Business Grants
While government grants are beneficial to small companies, the financing levels are insufficient. Occasionally, private corporations and charities step forward and provide small business grants. On the other hand, private business grants need separate applications and may have eligibility limits confined to specific industries.
Numerous corporate-sponsored small business grants require applicants to compete in pitch competitions or something comparable. Unfortunately, few major private corporations provide substantial financial incentives to small businesses for joining (and winning) contests or pitch competitions. However, even if you do not win, you may receive a runner-up reward or exposure for your business.
Below are few private small business grants available
FedEx Small Business Grant Contest
National Association of the Self-Employed (NASE)
Visa Everywhere Initiative
Wells Fargo Community Investment
Nav's Quarterly $10,000 Business Grant
Patagonia Corporate Grant Program
Start-Up Business Grants
A start-up business grant is money provided by the government or another entity to assist small businesses and organizations in establishing and developing their businesses. Initially, small business grants are often not accessible to launch a firm; nevertheless, they are available for specific businesses and owners.
The following is a list of different sorts of businesses eligible for start-up small business grants:
Women, veteran, or minority-owned businesses
Here is an example of small business start-up grants
4.0 Schools fellowships
Jack Daniel's pitch distilled
As the information above indicates, there are several small business grants available. However, applying for grants is time intensive and may result in your firm not receiving the money needed. Finally, explore the small business grant, whichyour business is eligible for.
If small business grants are not a possibility for you, several alternative funding choices are available that fit your budget.
What can a small business grant be used for?
Small business grants are used for a variety of purposes: to establish a business, to stimulate minority entrepreneurship, to support research and development in a particular industry, to bring innovation, and to assist businesses in the domains of science, technology, and health, the list goes on.
How can I get a grant to start a small business?
There are several websites and organizations where you may obtain small company grants, including the following:
USDA Rural Business Development Grants
Small Business Development Centres
National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE)
FedEx Small Business Grant Contest
What distinguishes grants from small business loans?
The primary distinction between small business grants and small business loans is that grants are not returned (with certain circumstances), but loans need to be paid back. In addition, grants are generally reserved for small firms, requiring more time to process and receive the funds.
Article | July 15, 2021
Last year was challenging for marketers as well as all business owners due to the global pandemic. As a result, it gave rise to every organization's digitalization, and recognized the extensive benefits of cloud computing technology. Any sized organization can take advantage of the effectiveness of cloud computing, and in the case of small businesses, it can be overwhelming. Henceforth, business owners acknowledge the comprehensive and extensive benefits of cloud computing for small businesses to drive tremendous business growth. Integrating cloud computing technology is a new norm of today’s digital world and is not just a catchphrase anymore.
The market for cloud computing is vast. In 2020, the global cloud computing market valued at $371.4 billion, and estimates stated that by 2025 it would rise to a staggering $832.1 billion. According to Statista, Amazon Web Services has a 32% market share in cloud computing.
This blog will elaborate on the benefits of cloud computing for small businesses. But, before we cover up the core aspect of this blog, let us know what exactly cloud computing is and why it is ideal for small businesses.
What is cloud computing?
Cloud computing has been around us for two decades, and we have been using it in day-to-day activities without our knowledge but has gained popularity in just over the past five years. The popularity is basically due to the increased reliance on handling and storing big data.
What exactly is cloud computing? Cloud computing provides end-users (or business owners) to access their data, programs, and applications stored on a remote server anywhere, at any time, on any mobile device via the internet.
There are three different ways to deploy cloud services: on a public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud. In addition, cloud computing provides various cloud services such as cloud storage, cloud backup, and cloud hosting.
Cloud computing services classified into four types:
Infrastructure as a service (IaaS): It is the most basic cloud computing service. You can rent IT infrastructure servers and virtual machines (VMs), networks, storage, and operating systems from a cloud provider on a pay-as-you-go basis using IaaS.
Platform as a service (PaaS): It provides an environment for developing, testing, delivering, and managing software applications on demand.
Serverless computing: Serverless computing, which overlaps with PaaS, focuses on developing app functionality without constantly managing the servers and infrastructure required to do so.
Software as a service (SaaS): Software as a service (SaaS) delivers software applications over the Internet on demand and typically through a subscription. Cloud providers host and manage the software application and underlying infrastructure and any maintenance in the case of SaaS.
Why is cloud computing ideal for small businesses?
Cloud computing has made doing business much easier for all businesses, especially for small businesses. As a business owner, you can gain tremendously by incorporating cloud-based computing into your workflow. The popularity and importance of cloud computing applications for small companies is very clear. It enables increased efficiency, cost-effectiveness, reduces operational costs, access anywhere, reduced risk during the crisis, and improved cash flow helps solve many business challenges.
Cloud technology makes mobile access to data easy for small businesses, thus aids them to be more competitive on a global scale. Companies can reduce IT costs by utilizing innovative products that provide storage, software, and infrastructure via the cloud. Furthermore, cloud service providers' monthly or yearly billing rates can help you avoid unexpected costs such as emergency server repairs.
Cloud computing application has a few setbacks to be considered as well.
Drawbacks of cloud computing are:
• For starters, implementing any new technology necessitates personal training and a practical troubleshooting system both before and after the launch.
• Another issue to consider is security. In general, no business is immune to cyberattacks. The trick is to find a reliable cloud service provider, understand its backup plans in the event of a security breach, and take your security precautions.
Now let us know the distinctive benefits of cloud computing for small businesses in precise.
Benefits of cloud computing for small businesses
More flexibility and scalability
The most significant benefits of cloud computing for small businesses are increased flexibility and scalability in the workplace. Companies with on-premises systems used to and have to purchase server and workstation upgrades to accommodate new users. The importance of cloud computing stems from the fact that it allows you to work from any location and at any time. In addition, employees have more flexibility in and out of the workplace, thanks to cloud computing. Because data is stored in the cloud and web-based applications, you can run your business in the cloud and give your employees access to it at any time and from any location.
Cloud computing applications can be scaled up and down quickly and cheaply. Everything from bandwidth to processing power can be scaled in the cloud. When peak demand has passed, you can reduce your service plan to save money.
Easy data recovery
Data loss can be devastating to any business, especially a small business. Data loss results in wasted money, loss of time, and lost productivity; besides, downtime is never good for business. According to CloudRadar, network downtime costs more than $10,000 per hour.
In-house data backup system setup is out of reach for most small businesses, but cloud computing makes backups and disaster recovery simple for SMBs. The scale and expertise of cloud-based services make data recovery quick and even remotely extracting data from a lost laptop possible. Easy backups are one of the most significant benefits of cloud computing for small businesses.
Improved data security
When a cloud solution is integrated into a business, data is maintained in a centralized location, making it far more convenient to secure centralized data from cyber-attacks than stored on various devices. In the wake of COVID-19, cybersecurity threats have increased phenomenally. Therefore, data security with cloud computing is highly beneficial for small businesses.
Another advantage of cloud computing for data protection is that even if a single device is lost, the data will be safe from unauthorized access. Cloud computing can be used for data protection in authentication and identity, access control, encryption, secure deletion, integrity checking, and data masking. Therefore, it is exceptionally advantageous to rely on cloud computing for data protection for small businesses.
The cost of cloud computing varies greatly depending on the type of cloud service you choose. Cloud computing for small businesses, on the other hand, is highly recommended because it requires far less maintenance. You will not need any other physical IT resources, software, in-house computer equipment, or anything else, which means you will save a lot of money. One of the most significant benefits of cloud computing for small businesses is reducing IT operational costs.
Since cloud-based services are significantly less expensive to use, small and medium-sized businesses recognize the benefits of cloud computing applications appropriate for their limited budget. If small business owners are interested in the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of cloud computing, they must incorporate it into their business workflow.
One of the primary benefits of cloud computing is easy remote access, which can be seen clearly in the pandemic. The most basic example of cloud computing is your email account, which can be accessed from any computer using only your login credentials and an internet connection.
Cloud-based services are now available on mobile apps, so you are no longer limited to devices. Cost efficiency of cloud computing is essential for small businesses, and cloud-based applications can result in cost savings. The benefits of cloud computing for small businesses are endless, but remote access has an edge.
Frequently Asked Question:
How do small businesses use cloud computing?
Small businesses use cloud computing services via broadband internet and smart mobile technology. Cloud computing enables small business owners to store and back up their expanded company data. In addition, this technology is used by small businesses for accessible operations and applications.
What is the best cloud computing solution for a small business?
Popular cloud computing solutions for a small business include Microsoft Azure, IDrive, Microsoft365, Google Drive, Dropbox, Shopify, Mailchimp, and SpiderOak.
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Article | March 31, 2020
Successful new businesses start with a great idea. It may be a completely revolutionary new product or service. Or it could be taking an existing service or product to a new level or a new client base. While entrepreneurs are typically masters at coming up with ideas, they sometimes fall short when it comes to handling day-to-day operations, especially because the way that business is done keeps changing. A key area where this can happen is with respect to the company’s digital presence and the use of digital tools. The need to have a digital presence– at least in terms of having a website– is nothing new. Most business owners now realize that they need to engage their customers on social media as well.
Article | March 21, 2020
Support for Small Businesses In a Time of Global CrisisBusinesses around the world, whether bricks and mortar or ecommerce stores on Shopify or other platforms, may be experiencing disruptions resulting from the global outbreak of COVID-19. However, to help ease the burden on businesses, Facebook has this week announced it is offering $100M in cash grants and ad credits to help during this extraordinary time.