The COVID-19 pandemic likely caused significant revenue losses for your small business in 2023. A variety of grant programs are available to families, businesses, and communities. To grow, expand, remain competitive, and gain access to capital, small businesses in Alabama can access these resources and business financing options.
Approximately $10.01 billion of Alabama’s government grants come from federal resources, and $7.61 billion comes from the state. Funding in Alabama is not restricted to any particular type of business. The state of Alabama has 77,035 businesses and 49,000 farms.
Marketing campaigns can be launched, more staff can be hired, and cash flow gaps can be bridged by companies that qualify for grants. The payroll and salary budget for Alabama is $56.97 billion a year. Approximately 34,932 bankruptcy petitions are filed in Alabama every year. Starting up or expanding a business does not qualify for grants. Start-ups and expanding businesses can apply for grants from private grant awarding bodies instead of government agencies.
What Is a Grant?
Funding is often awarded to businesses or organizations for the purpose of expanding, developing, or implementing their ideas. Grants are not subject to repayment, unlike loans which are backed by the government and are repaid. A grant is an alternative to a loan that requires repayment, providing businesses with interest-free financing. There are many benefits to business owners from grant programs, which is why they are so popular among business owners.
The application process and administration of grants can be challenging despite the fact that they are low-cost options. Your small business can only be funded if you can demonstrate that it is likely to succeed. Governments, charities, and foundations can provide grant funding, as well as local governments.
Alabama Small Grants
Alabama residents have access to a variety of grants. There will be a grant application process for Alabama business owners beginning in 2023.
Amber Grants For Women
Search for grants for women entrepreneurs on Google to find grants for female entrepreneurs. Online government websites for business women and individual businesses, where scams abound, are familiar to most internet users. To obtain your financial and personal information, you will need to fill out several forms and applications.
Business women interested in funding opportunities for a new business venture or needing to jumpstart their business dreams can get in touch with WomensNet. In spite of the fact that the process may take a while and effort, it is best to complete it as soon as possible. To help low-income entrepreneurs grow their small, emerging businesses, we offer a great deal of information. The Amber Grants program is a great resource for women who are looking for grants for their businesses.
The federal government encourages women-owned and operated businesses across the country (including Alabama) to apply for grants. Amber Grant applications are now open for those interested in applying. You are likely to be selected as one of the 12 monthly grant recipients by the grant awarding body. When you win one of their 12 monthly grants, you’ll automatically receive a $25,000 grant if you meet their eligibility criteria. This means that one grant winner can potentially receive an overall grant amount of $35,000 over the course of a year. A total of $35,000 will be awarded to each recipient over the course of a year.
Innovate Alabama Supplemental Grant Program
Governor Kay Ivey on Tuesday announced that the Alabama Innovation Corporation opened applications for the Innovate Alabama Supplemental Grant Program. Selected small businesses in Alabama can apply for supplemental funding of up to $250,000 if they have received both Phase I and Phase II Federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grants.
The dispersal of these funds will not only boost Alabama’s entrepreneurs and innovators, but also stimulate research and commercialization, develop exportable products and services, and create and retain skilled jobs.
SBIR or STTR grant recipients who are currently in Phase I or Phase II may apply for 50% of their award up to $100,000. Up to $250,000. 50% of Phase II awards are eligible for reimbursement. Non-dilutive grants are awarded under the Innovate Alabama Supplemental Grant Program, so businesses receive funds without giving up shares. The first round of funding award notifications will begin on August 22, 2022.
Etowah Small Business Relief Grant
A reimbursement or funding account will be available beginning January 1, 2021 for business improvements related to COVID-19 pandemic. Improved services may include developing an ecommerce website, creating an outdoor space for a restaurant, building a drive-up/walk-up window to serve customers, installing window shields to separate customers from employees, and investing in personal protective equipment.
Businesses in Etowah County, Alabama with fewer than 100 full-time employees are eligible for this fund. It is not necessary to be a member of the chamber.
Until all funds have been expended, businesses that are eligible will receive grants of up to $2,500. It is prohibited to use funds to cover expenses that have already been covered by a different assistance program, such as Paycheck Protection Program, Economic Injury Disaster Loans, Revive Alabama, Revive Alabama Plus, and any other program offering disaster assistance.
SBIR & STTR Programs
Research and development (R&D) grants are available from several government organizations for small businesses. Small businesses can conduct small business innovation research (SBIR) and small business technology transfer (STTR) through SBIR and STTR funding programs. These programs benefit small businesses by encouraging technological innovation and helping them commercialize their products. The federal government offers a variety of programs that help small businesses develop their technological capabilities and launch their products.
A federal grant can be awarded in two phases: Phase I and Phase II.
- Phase I: New technology proof of concept/feasibility studies cost approximately $150,000 for very early-stage companies.
- Phase II: Commercially ready prototypes can be developed for testing with customers as part of Phase I work for $1.5 million to $3 million.
Business Alabama aims to provide businesses with these nondilutive and highly competitive funding opportunities. Companies interested in achieving that goal can apply for matching grants and application support grants.
Application Support Grants
In order to assist businesses in preparing competitive applications for SBIR/STTR programs, Business Alabama offers grants. Phase 00 grants and Phase 0 grants are examples of this type of grant. There have been approximately $10 million in federal grants awarded to companies from Business Alabama, and approximately $280,000 has been awarded to companies through Business Alabama.
Applicants can apply for a grant of up to $5,000 for the following purposes:
- Fees associated with the development of SBIR/STTR Phase I applications (e.g., authors, reviewers, technical writers).
- There may be additional fees for SBIR/STTR Phase I applicants (e.g., legal, accounting).
- Out-of-pocket expenses will be incurred preparing SBIR/STTR Phase I grant applications (such as market research, technical database research, and statistical analyses).Out-of-pocket expenses will be incurred preparing SBIR/STTR Phase I grant applications (such as market research, technical database research, and statistical analyses).
SBIR/STTR government funding benefits early-stage companies greatly, but it is not sufficient for them to stand alone. Matching grants provided by Business Alabama help businesses expand projects and advance their technologies as well as filling gaps in federal grants. A limited number of competitive grants will be awarded each year depending on matching grant funds. The federal government can match Phase I grants with $50,000, while Phase II grants can match $100,000.
Jackson County Small Business Grants
Small Businesses within Jackson County Alabama will be able to apply from August 9th – 23rd for the $200,000 in Small Business Grant Funding awarded by the Jackson County Commission.
Small businesses in Jackson County will benefit from these grants in order to get back to business and serve their customers. The application process for small businesses will begin on August 9th. Make sure you meet the following requirements in order to be prepared for the open application cycle.
- Grants of $1,000 – $15,000 are available to companies with 30 employees or fewer.
- Grants of $1,000 – $15,000 are available to businesses with headquarters in Jackson County Alabama.
- All applicants must have an Alabama State Business License & a Business License for every city in which the business operates.
- Businesses that have received other federal assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic are eligible to apply, but they cannot use the funds for the same purpose.l
FedEx Small Business Grant
Every year, FedEx invites small business owners nationwide to enter its Small Business Grant Contest. Each year, FedEx grants money to a few businesses, including the grand prize winner, runner-up, and runner-up’s runner-up. A total of 12 small businesses received grants from FedEx in 2021. FedEx Office business and print services worth $7,500 were included in the grand prize.
A nine-second video explaining why an applicant’s business deserves a FedEx Small Business Grant as well as a brief business profile must be submitted to participate in the contest. Eligible businesses are for-profits that have fewer than 99 employees and have been in operation for at least six months.
Opelika Chamber of Commerce is proud to announce a new small business support and start up program in accordance with its mission, vision, and values. A subcommittee of the Opelika Chamber Small Business Committee will oversee the Small Business Grant Program, which includes diverse business owners and impartial participants that do not qualify for the grant. The grant amount will depend on the need and the total number of applications, but will not exceed $5,000. If you request a certain amount, you cannot be guaranteed to receive it.
Opelika Small Business Grants
Guidelines for the award include the following:
- A total of 80% of the funds will be awarded to small businesses that already exist
- Businesses that have been operating for less than 12 months will receive 20% of the award.
Eligibility & Guidelines
- The deadline for submitting complete applications has been published.
- Opelika requires businesses to be licensed.
- There should be no more than 10 employees (two part-time employees = one full-time employee).
- Funding must be demonstrated as a necessity.
- Within the last 12 months, you cannot have received a grant from this program.
Application forms are available at www.OpelikaChamber.com throughout the year. A maximum of one year will be allowed for your application to be considered in the next selection round if it is not selected.
The application process will be conducted biannually, or until funds have run out.
Rural Relief Small Business Grants Program
A Rural Relief Small Business Grant is offered to small business owners in rural areas as part of LISC-Lowe’s commitment to rural America.
Who is eligible?
There is only one category of business eligible for this program: small businesses in rural areas. It is defined as a rural community when there are fewer than 50,000 people living there. There are three types of community addresses: city addresses, town addresses, and village addresses. Use the address where you store your vehicle during off-hours if your business operates from a mobile vehicle (food trucks, fishing boats, rideshare drivers, etc.).
You can learn more about their grant program and FAQs by viewing their website. It is not possible for nonprofit organizations to apply for relief funding at this time, but they may be able to do so in the future.
West Hartford ARPA Grants
A $2 million grant program was recently launched by the city of West Hartford, Connecticut, in order to provide assistance to businesses still suffering from the flu pandemic. A maximum of $10,000 can be awarded to eligible businesses and nonprofits. A company must have 50 or fewer full-time employees to qualify, and it must submit its application by August 10.
Olean Marketing and Rent Grants
Small businesses in Olean, New York are now eligible to apply for two new grant programs. In the first program, marketing activities are funded, and in the second, rental assistance is provided to businesses that have trouble making payments. The total amount allocated under each program is $100,000, with each program offering $5,000 to eligible businesses. Throughout the summer, there are a number of rolling deadlines. August 12 is the deadline for the next window.
There are a number of grants available on the Alabama GrantWatch website that are tailored to meet the needs of small businesses. Besides business loans, the website also offers grants and loans from federal, state, and local governments. The GrantWatch tool allows you to search for grants free of charge. If you need assistance writing winning grant proposals, it can help you locate grant writers. During the grant application process, you’ll be asked several simple questions.
The information provided by Alabama GrantWatch is accessible to subscribers who subscribe to the service. You can also subscribe for $18 per week for $199 per year. Membership in the free program does not entitle members to apply for grants.
Amazon Launchpad Products for Tomorrow
With Amazon’s Products for Tomorrow program, businesses that provide innovative, sustainable products are supported. Amazon Launchpad membership, a $20,000 grant, and sustainability certification assistance will be awarded to businesses selected to participate. The deadline for applications is August 18, and applications can be submitted online.
The 2022 NBMBAA® Scale-Up Pitch Challenge
As part of its mission to help create and support wealth-building opportunities for its members, the National Black MBA Association® launched the Scale-Up Pitch Challenge in 2017. Previous winners have experienced great success with investors due to the exposure and funding provided through this challenge. In this year’s competition, StartCo encourages its members to create scalable startups by encouraging them to “Make Big Ideas Bigger”. Venture capitalists and early-stage investors can take advantage of our platform to connect with startups. In Atlanta, on September 29th, the 3 finalists will compete in person in front of a panel of judges. Additionally, a People’s Choice Award will be given to the winning team in addition to a $50,000 Grand Prize.
There will be cash prizes awarded to the top three teams, as determined by the judges. People’s Choice Award winners will also receive cash prizes, and they will be chosen by the audience.
- $50,000 will be awarded to the winner of the first prize
- A second prize of $10,000 will be awarded
- A $7,500 third prize will be awarded
- An award of $1,000 will be given to the people’s choice
The NBMBAA Conference & Exposition in Atlanta will host the finals on September 29, 2022.
With its startup competitions and ongoing mentoring for Alabama entrepreneurs, Alabama Launchpad has been driving innovation and job growth in the state since it was founded in 2006.
In order to make our state brighter, bolder, and better, we want to support small companies that will grow into bigger companies that will make our entire state even brighter, bolder, and more prosperous. The Launch competitions help businesses improve their performance by offering rigorous training and feedback from qualified Launch advisors, as well as funding to the winners.
A total of 106 startups have been funded by Alabama Launchpad since 2006 with a total investment of over $5.7 million. It is estimated that these startups are worth $850 million at the moment.
Startup Battlefield brings the world’s top early stage startups together on one stage to compete for equity free prize money, and the attention of media and investors world wide.
Past winners include Vurb, Dropbox, Mint, Yammer, and many more, and judges include TechCrunch editors and top VCs. You are welcome to participate for free. A $100,000 prize will be awarded to the winners of Startup Battlefield Global at TC Disrupt. Each Startup Battlefield regional competition highlights an ecosystem in a specific region. A TechCrunch team travels to Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, and North Africa, as well as Australia and New Zealand.
KKR Small Business Builders Grant Program
A total of 278 small businesses have received $10,000 grants through the KKR Small Business Builders program since 2020. Small Business Builders (SBB) grants support entrepreneurs and small businesses worldwide as part of KKR’s COVID-19 Relief Effort. Businesses can benefit from the program by maintaining or creating jobs, spurring economic opportunity, and sustaining their enterprises in the face of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
KKR Small Business Builders targets companies that provide important community services and are pivoting their business in response to the pandemic. KKR is proud to support small businesses with female founders in its seventh round of the program.
Women founders can apply for KKR Small Business Builders Grants beginning March 8, 2022, at 9 a.m. ET. The application period closes on April 20, 2022, at 6 p.m. ET. A panel reviewed applications based on the review criteria in the Terms & Conditions. It was announced publicly in early June 2022 that recipients had been notified by email.
Over 278 small business owners have received KKR Small Business Builders Grants worth more than $2.75 million.
Antares REACH Grant Program
A total of $20,000 will be awarded to small businesses participating in the Antares REACH Grant Program, with an emphasis on businesses preparing for future growth; owned and operated by historically underrepresented entrepreneurs; and providing important community services.
Businesses must meet the following requirements in order to qualify:
- For-profit businesses owned and/or operated by individuals who identify as New Majority (women, people of color, military-affiliated, disabled, or LGBTQ+) must consist of a majority (51%).
- A revenue of less than $5 million USD per year
- Demonstrate the need for assistance
- Plan your future with a strong strategy
Upon completion of a post-grant report, grant recipients will be eligible to receive an additional $5,000 unrestricted grant. Please see the terms and conditions for a complete list of eligibility criteria.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Grants for Alabama small businesses in 2023 come from federal, state, and local sources, as well as private organizations. These grants cater to various industries, with some targeting minority-owned, women-owned, or veteran-owned businesses, or businesses in specific sectors.
To apply for a grant, research available grant opportunities, review eligibility criteria, prepare necessary documentation (such as a business plan and financial projections), complete the application process as specified by each grantor, and submit your application and supporting documents by the specified deadline.
Factors affecting your chances of being awarded a grant include your business’s industry, size, and location, the grant’s specific eligibility requirements, the strength of your business plan, your ability to demonstrate a clear need for funding, your track record (if established), and the quality of your grant application. To increase your chances of success, tailor your application to the grant’s requirements and ensure it is well-prepared and complete.
The Bottom Line
There are numerous resources available to small business owners at the Alabama Small Business Development Center (ALSBDC), regardless of the type or purpose of their business. Government and private organizations are providing financial assistance to small businesses affected by Coronavirus. The economy can benefit from small business financing in a variety of ways. These funding sources can be used by your company if you need them.
Also, Learn about Grants For Small Businesses in PA
If you are from Virginia instead, check out our article about Virginia small business grants to learn more.
Are you interested in learning more about different grants and programs that can help you with your living situation? Check out the rest of Gov Relations’ blog section today!