Are you wondering how to get government grants for your small business and not sure where to start? Securing capital can be one of the trickiest parts of any new business venture, reaching a grant can take some stress out of the equation.
Whether or not you will qualify for free funding to support your company will depend on the nature of your business and a few other factors. Funding for small businesses and startup grants are typically given if the work you’re doing aligns with specific local needs in Arizona.
The Arizona Commerce Authority
The ACA is a helpful resource for Arizona residents who are starting a small business. You can check their website periodically for grant opportunities and competitions.
The AZ STEP Program
The Arizona Commerce Authority runs the Arizona’s State Trade Expansion Program (STEP). The STEP Grant offers some funding to small businesses expanding into the international market or exporting their products for the first time. The program is partially funded by a grant from the Small Business Organization (SBA).
It enables eligible businesses in the state to contribute to economic growth, job creation, and increase their revenue through international sales.
STEP Program Benefits
Financial assistance, capacity building, and tech help are just a few of the benefits you may gain from working with this program. Here are some of the specific tools and services that AZ STEP may help your small business with:
- Export counseling for your business via webinars, seminars, or education and training workshops.
- Help creating a strategy for your company to choose the right markets and enter those which are suitable for your service or product.
- Assistance for your business in identifying distributors, potential buyers, agents, and strategic partners to work with.
- Help with search engine optimization, translation, and website localization for your business regarding export markets.
Opportunities Through Grants.gov
The U.S. government runs Grants.gov to help small business owners find funding. The site has a searchable data base and information on grants available to businesses in a variety of industries.
Whether you are seeking an equipment grant for your small business or some other funding, you can register your organization and get started in your search.
Disability Small Business Grants
If you want to apply for small business grants as a disabled state resident, the Arizona Rehabilitation Services Administration is a good place to start.
The AZRSA provides vocational counseling, work experience, job placement assistance, and skills training. They might also be able to offer you help with your small business startup costs. To qualify, you must meet the program’s eligibility criteria and develop a business plan that the AZRSA approves.
Keep in mind that this only applies to startup costs and not ongoing expenses for your business. Financial assistance from the AZRSA may not cover all of your expenses and will not supply recurring or ongoing financial support.
While this service is not always available, you may be able to secure funding depending on the office you apply with, your business idea, and the Vocational Rehabilitation counselor you go through. You will want to get in touch with the AZRSA to learn more and find out whether you qualify.
VA Small Business Grants
If you are a veteran with small capital needs for your business, the National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE) Growth Grant may help. This service supplies funding up to $4,000. You may use the funds for hiring new employees, purchasing equipment, or other specific purposes.
To apply for monthly-distributed financial rewards, you must first become a NASE member. Annual NASE membership fees are $120, but veterans get a discounted $99 rate.
The OSDBU for Veterans
If you’re a veteran and own a small business in Arizona, you might qualify for support from the VA. The Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) runs a program called the Vets First Verification Program.
Registering your business may give you better access to capital, tax relief, and priority when you bid on federal contracts.
Small Business Grants for Women
If you’re looking for a grant as a female small business owner, the Amber Grant is a good starting point.
The Amber Grant
WomensNet offers this $2,000 grant every month to women across the country. If you win, you’re automatically eligible for the end-of-year $25,000 Amber Grant for your business.
For further resources as a woman hoping to start or run a small business in Arizona, check out the Arizona Women’s Education and Entrepreneur Center (AWEE). This organization provides education and resources, mentoring, counseling, workshops, and other services at no cost. Resources are available in both English and Spanish.
Rural Small Business Grants
As a rural small business owner in Arizona, you might qualify for financial assistance through the USDA.
The RBDG Program
The Rural Business Development Grants program is a competitive grant for small businesses in rural areas. The program helps with technical assistance, training, and expansion for eligible businesses that have less than $1 million and will employ no more than 50 new employees.
Check Your Eligibility
RBDG funds are for projects that benefit rural communities or towns outside of cities with at least 50,000 people. You can use the Rural Business Services Tool to find out what type of funding you might qualify for.
Further Assistance for Small Businesses in Arizona
Securing funding for your business is only one step along the path to starting a successful company in Arizona. Running a small business will involve complying with federal and state laws.
Looking for shortcuts in the beginning might lead to obstacles down the road as your small business expands. You can save yourself some time by staying on top of the laws that affect your industry
Call JacksonWhite’s Small Business Law Team at (480) 464-1111 to discuss your case today.