If your small business is connected to healthcare, energy, community projects or public transportation, it might have a shot at a business grant. The chances of receiving grant money are improved if your business engages in R&D related to infrastructure, science, medicine and technology. If your business is on the low-tech end, you may still be able to take advantage of these grants, but you’ll have to show your project fits in with high priority initiatives. For example, an upscale mid-priced fashion line might not make the grade, but if the fabric has built-in sensors that have scientific or health merits, this bit of innovation may be worthy of a research grant. If you’re able to adapt your small business to community well being, a social issue in need of a business solution, energy conservation, medical science or public infrastructural improvements, you might be amply awarded. Receiving a grant may be the boost your small business needs.


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The Coca Cola Foundation

Before submitting a proposal to The Coca Cola Foundation, first be aware of funding requests the foundation does not support. Beauty contests, fashion shows, film documentaries, website development, marketing and advertising campaigns, athletic associations, local public and charter schools in the United States, entertainment, field trips, and family reunions are on the foundation’s non-support list. The foundation’s top priorities are clean water, community and civic enrichment, and entrepreneurial opportunities for women. The foundation supports community educational initiatives and scholarship programs, but does not award scholarships to individuals.

Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR)

If your small business is engaged in high tech or scientific innovations that can be put to private or public sector commercial use, your business might qualify for a research grant through the Small Business Innovative Research program. The Small Business Administration (SBA) coordinates this program, which currently has 11 participating government agencies. Much of the grant monies fund projects related to national security, public health, public infrastructures, and general economic development. Since government does not have sufficient internal resources for full-scale R&D, outsourcing the job to small businesses has been more cost effective.

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Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR)

Also administered through the SBA, the Small Business Technology Transfer program has five participating government agencies. Like SBIR, its goals are to stimulate private and public sector economic development, strengthen national security, and improve public health through STEM disciplines. The emphasis is on practical commercial uses. Participating STTR/SBIR agencies assign all projects and invite proposals.

Energy Innovations Small Grant Program

California has many small business funding programs, but most are loans from approved lenders. So if your small business is involved in the energy industry, the Energy Innovations Small Grant Program is one to be grateful for. To encourage participation, the state has simplified the application and award process. The state also assists participants in getting access to industry experts. The program awards up to $150,000 for hardware projects and up to $75,000 for modeling projects. A proposed project must demonstrate potential benefit to electric and natural gas consumers in a PIER area.


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This article was written by Linda Cameron for CBS Small Business Pulse.