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5/3/21 UPDATE: Private Grants for Small Businesses


Since the beginning of COVID-19, many private corporations and organizations have worked to provide relief and support to small businesses across the country. While some of these opportunities have expired or run out of funding, many others remain available.

Check the list of grant resources below to see which of these you can take advantage of!

QUICK NOTE: Apply asap, while funding is still available.

LISC’s Small Business Relief Grant

LISC bridges the gap between government agencies and corporations with capital and the businesses and projects that need it. They facilitate many grants and other local funding opportunities, including the Small Business Relief Grant targeting businesses in rural areas.

Grants of $5,000-20,000 will be awarded to small businesses located in rural communities (those with a population of 50,000 or less) who have been impacted by COVID-19, with emphasis on underserved communities. Grant funds may be used for:

  • Operational costs (including rent and utilities)

  • Payroll

  • Vendor debt

The Barstool Fund

Another noteworthy COVID-19 relief grant comes from The Barstool Fund (sponsored by Barstool Sports). The fund has an ongoing crowdfunding campaign to raise funds for eligible businesses that apply. There is no set grant amount, but a recent business received $9,000.

GoFundMe Small Business Relief Fund

Crowdfunding company GoFundMe has partnered with partners to provide a COVID-19 relief fund for small businesses. Your business may receive a matching grant when you raise $500 through your own GoFundMe campaign, as long as you can verify that your business has been negatively impacted by the coronavirus. Funds must be used to pay business expenses or care for employees.

Made for More Small Business Contest

Ball, maker of canning products, is offering small businesses who have made significant contributions to their communities during the COVID-19 pandemic awards of up to $10,000. To enter, you must use Ball brand canning products in your business.

6 Private Small Business Grants

The following may not be specific to COVID-19, but any money (especially that doesn’t have to be repaid) will be welcome during these difficult times.

FedEx Small Business Grant Contest:

Good for: Existing Businesses

Each year since 2013, FedEx has offered $25,000 grants to businesses. The application is only open for a one-month period, so ready your applications for the next open date. You’ll need to capture your business’s story via video.

National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE) Growth Grants:

Good for: Growing Businesses

NASE Growth Grants are offered to NASE members looking to take their business to the next level. NASE grants are worth up to $4,000 and can be used for all types of activities, like purchasing new equipment, hiring help, and creating promotional material.

The StreetShares Foundation Veteran Business Grant:

Good for: Veterans

The StreetShares Grant is open to veterans, active-duty members, or the spouse of a military veteran or active duty member. Applicants can receive up to $5,000 and will be judged based on their business idea, their expected use of funds, product-market fit, team, and the influence the business will have on the veteran or military community.

Nav’s “Legitify Your Small Business” Grant:

Good for: Existing Businesses

Each quarter, Nav offers a $10,000 small business grant to help them solve a business problem or take their business to the next level.

Caleb Brown Urban Entrepreneur’s Community Grant:

Good for: Community Businesses

The Caleb Brown Venture Capital and Consulting Project hosts a $1,000 grant aimed at promoting and nurturing young urban entrepreneurs with vision who plan to rebuild local blocks, neighborhoods, and communities “by providing training and jobs to the next generation.” The grant is open to startups and young businesses in urban areas. This contest is run every month—submit your application by the 15th to enter.

Halstead Jewelry Grant Award:

Good For: Jewelry Startups

Are you a jewelry artist? If so, submit your portfolio and business plan to Halstead for its annual jewelry grant award of $7,500. In addition to funds, Halstead aims to help jewelry artists develop their business, fine-tune their plan, and hit their goals.

Small Business Grants Specifically for Women

While grants offered by private companies and grants for startups are available to a broader range of business owners, there are also grants specifically for women-owned businesses. You can find resources and information at women’s business centers, but here are two business grants for women to start with.

Eileen Fisher Grant Program:

Good For: Businesses with Social or Environmental Impact

Eileen Fisher is a clothing shop for women whose founder has a personal passion for helping women entrepreneurs. All grants exceed $10,000 and are awarded to up to 10 applicants each year. Businesses must be in operation for a minimum of three years and meet other various requirements.

The Amber Grant Program:

Good For: Planning Stage Businesses

The Amber Grant is a $10,000 cash grant awarded to qualifying female entrepreneurs each month. At the end of the year, monthly grant recipients will have the opportunity to win an additional $25,000 grant.


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