Georgia may have plenty of small business loan options and tax incentives, but there’s not much to go around when it comes to small business grants. However, that doesn’t mean that the state is entirely devoid of grants—you’ll just have to do your research and look exhaustively at regional, county, and city government grant options. Though there aren’t many Georgia small business grants out there, fortunately, there are new small business grants available nationwide every day.
Below, we’ve listed the most well-known Georgia small business grants and a couple of grants open to small businesses across all states.
Rural Business Development Grants (RBDG) are competitive grants awarded to projects that help small businesses in rural areas expand or develop their businesses. The best part about RBDGs is that there is no maximum grant amount, although small grant requests are generally given priority. Small businesses cannot apply for RBDGs; but rural public entities such as towns, communities, and nonprofits can apply for this program to help their local businesses. Eligible applicants must be located in an eligible area. To apply, you must find your local USDA Rural Development Office to learn about the application requirements.
Invest Atlanta is the economic development authority for Atlanta and offers Small Business Improvement Grants to support local businesses and property owners located in one of five Tax Allocation Districts that want to improve their property. Tenants and commercial property owners can apply for grants up to $20,000 to make interior or exterior improvements.
Eligible projects must be no more than 15,000 square feet. Grant recipients must also match at least 20% of the grant with their funds. Applicants that meet the requirements must contact the Neighborhood Revitalization Manager to learn more about the grant application.
The Georgia-Pacific Foundation is a charitable organization that awards grants to communities and small businesses that improve life quality in areas where Georgia-Pacific employees reside. Grants are awarded throughout the year and, to apply for a Georgia-Pacific grant, you will need to submit an online application via Georgia-Pacific’s website. Organizations and facilities must be within 30 miles of a Georgia-Pacific manufacturing community.
Georgia GrantWatch is an excellent grant website that gathers all of Georgia’s latest small business grants. Georgia GrantWatch is part of the larger GrantWatch site, the top website for all USA federal, state, and local grants. Georgia GrantWatch is updated daily and provides detailed information about new grants, such as eligibility requirements.
The National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE) offers monthly $4,000 Growth Grants for small businesses that need financial support to cover business expenses. The NASE is one of the leading organizations that provide resources and information for small businesses. Eligible applicants must be NASE members for at least three months. Applicants must submit an application detailing how they plan to use the grant funds and why they believe the grant funds will positively impact business growth.
It’s often difficult for female business owners to find small business grants for women, let alone Georgia small business grants. That’s why the Amber Grant for Women, the leading grant program for women entrepreneurs, exists. Each month, one phenomenal woman-owned business receives a $10,000 Amber Grant from Women’s Net. Additionally, if selected as one of the monthly grant recipients, you are automatically qualified to potentially receive the end-of-year Amber Grant, which is a whopping $25,000.
To apply for an Amber Grant, you must be at least 18 years of age, have a business at least 50% owned by a woman. You can then submit a short application detailing your business information and grant funding needs. A $15 application fee is required.
Georgia has plenty of additional financial resources to assist their small businesses with their working capital needs. Many of these centers are located on Georgia’s official state website, including Georgia-based loan programs such as ACE Loans that provide loans to minority business owners, women of color, or low-income business owners.
Many online business loans cater to small businesses that don’t have the time or resources to apply for a small business grant. These online business loans have applications that take only a few minutes to complete and, best of all, you can get funding in roughly one to three business days.
If you find a Georgia small business grant that seems interesting, the next step you’ll need to take is completing the grant application process. Grant applications aren’t for the faint of heart, which is why we’ve outlined a few core actions you need to take to get a head start on the grant process.
It can be a huge waste of time and effort to apply to small business grants for which you aren’t eligible because you will automatically get disqualified for funding. To get a better understanding of your business’s eligibility, you will need to have a few basic pieces of information about your business down pat, such as:
As laborious as answering these questions are, it is really critical that you take the time to create solid answers for these questions if you want to find grants that fit your business’s profile. You may also discover a few unique aspects about your business. For example, if you’re a veteran business or a minority business owner, you can apply for grants specific to your background.
If you find yourself overwhelmed by the process of having to search and apply for Georgia small business grants, it doesn’t hurt to get extra assistance. Hiring a grant consultant is an excellent way for you to learn more about writing an effective grant application. Speaking to a professional accountant may help sort the financial paperwork needed for most major federal or state-funded grant programs. If you don’t have the funds to hire help, you can seek business consulting services from one of the many regional SCORE centers in Georgia to receive free business advice.
Paying grant application fees isn’t fun, but they’re generally necessary for the grant application process. Grant fees will usually set you back anywhere from $10 to $100, depending on the grant program’s prestige and competitiveness. Many of the larger national grant programs don’t require application fees or charge minimal fees, so keep that in mind as you narrow down your grant options. We also recommend that you set aside some time to list all of the application fees for each grant to narrow down your grant options, as they can quickly add up over time.
Is getting a Georgia small business grant an impossible task? We don’t think so. But finding the right small business grant in Georgia probably won’t be as easy as finding other ways to finance your business, like online business loans or even microloans. Again, there are many ways to fund your business; so if you find yourself frustrated by the grant process, you can rest easy knowing that there are many affordable and alternative financing options.