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Grants For California Small Businesses in 2024

Written by: Jody Adams
Last updated: January 31, 2024

Due to COVID-19 pandemic, your business might have experienced significant revenue and business declines in 2024. Small business grant programs are available to families, small businesses, and communities. By providing small businesses with direct grants, funding opportunities, business relief programs, financial assistance programs, resources, and information, they will contribute to the economic growth and economic recovery of the state.

Government entities provide California-based businesses financing options worth 90.92 billion, while the local government contributes additional funding of $61.97 billion. from the local government. The funds can be used by any type of business in California without any restrictions on which type of business can benefit from them. There are more than 81,000 farms in California, and there are 697,082 businesses in the state. 

Grants can be an important source of funding for small businesses because they can be used to launch marketing campaigns, hire more employees, manage Employee expenses, generate business growth, bridge cash flow gaps, and for operating expenses. There is $621.74 billion dollars worth of payroll and salaries in California each year. It is estimated that there are more than 241,979 bankruptcy petitions filed by Californians every year. Expansions of existing business entities are not eligible for federal grants if they are part of a business expansion plan. Your growing business may, however, be able to obtain financing from private entities.

What Is A Grant?

A government agency or authority awards money to help develop new products, businesses, or projects. Unlike government-backed loans, grants do not require repayment, unlike secured loans. A grant also has no interest, unlike a loan, which must be repaid. It is for this reason that grant programs are so valuable to small businesses.

The application and administration processes for grant programs can be lengthy, despite the fact that grants are low-cost options. For your business to qualify for funding, you must demonstrate how the funding you receive will help you succeed. Private organizations, charitable organizations, and local governments can provide grants to small businesses.

California Small Grants

California residents can apply for grants in a variety of forms that can provide the necessary capital for their businesses. Here are some business grant opportunities that you may be able to apply for in 2024.

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

Through the NASE Growth Grants program, your small business could receive up to $4,000. NASE has granted nearly $1 million through its Growth Grants program since 2006 to members just like you. You can use grants for marketing, advertising, hiring employees, expanding facilities, etc.

Membership in the National Association for the Self-Employed is required to apply for a Growth Grant. Companies with business needs are looked for by the grant committee, as well as how they will use the funds. Additionally, the committee considers how this grant will impact the business.

Application Deadline

According to the following schedule, grant applications are reviewed quarterly:

  • The applications that were submitted in January, February, and March will be reviewed in April after they have been completed.
  • Application forms received in the months of April, May, and June will be reviewed in the month of July.
  • All completed applications received in July, August, and September will be reviewed in October following the completion of the applications.
  • The completed applications received in October, November, and December of the previous year will be reviewed in January of the following year.

Selection Criteria

Grant applications are evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Analyze the identified business needs
  • Use of the grant proceeds in detail
  • Potential for the grant to meet the identified business needs
  • How the grant might affect the success and growth of the business

Nav’s Small Business Grant

Nav's Small Business Grant includes a social component. Applicants must post a video or post about their business, what challenges it has faced in the past, what challenges it is still facing, and how the grant will help. After that, applicants must share a unique voting link with followers so that they can vote for your business. In order to narrow down the grant recipients, judges will select the top 200 businesses with the most votes. With up to $10,000 up for grabs, you can take your business to new heights. 

SoGal Black Founder Startup Grant

SoGal Black Founder Startup Grants are available to Black women and Black nonbinary entrepreneurs. Your business idea should be scalable and impactful. Companies that are likely to become billion-dollar businesses are given preference by the grant committee. Venture capital funding goes to less than 0.5% of black women entrepreneurs.

Entrepreneurship among black women is the fastest-growing demographic. With a legacy of reinvesting in their communities and creating intergenerational wealth, these founders can solve some of the world's most pressing problems. Capital is a major barrier for Black women entrepreneurs. 

It is absolutely inexcusable that Silicon Valley and venture capitalists are unwilling and unable to diversify their investments effectively, COVID-19 unjustly impacts entrepreneurs of color, and generations of racial inequities have been perpetrated against Black people. Several $10K and $5K cash grants will be given to Black women or nonbinary entrepreneurs by the SoGal Foundation in collaboration with other sponsors.

A strategic guide to fundraising will also be offered to grant winners so that they can scale their billion-dollar ideas more effectively. Moreover, the SoGal Foundation and SoGal Ventures teams will be available to answer any questions they may have. The start is small, but they hope it will grow. It is their hope that systemic discrimination won't prevent the next world-changing business from being realized.

Qualification Criteria

You must meet the following requirements to qualify:

  • Identity as a Black woman or Black nonbinary entrepreneur (inclusive of multiracial Black women and multiracial Black nonbinary people)
  • You must have a legal business registration
  • Scaling your business requires investor finance, now or in the future
  • Be ambitious enough to be the next billion-dollar company with scalable, high-impact solutions.

Walmart Local Community Grants

Walmart Local Community Grants are available to 501(c)(3), 501(c)(4), and 501(c)(19) organizations. A grant application can be submitted by an organization up to 25 times in a calendar year, and it can be approved up to 25 times. Grant administrators and Walmart management work together to make recommendations and decisions.

There is a minimum micro - grants amount of $250 and a maximum grant amount of $5,000 for grants from local communities. The grant cycle for 2022 begins on Feb. 1, 2022, and the deadline for applications is Dec. 31, 2022.

During this funding cycle, applicants may submit their applications at any time. At the end of the 90-day period, all applications will be automatically rejected.

There are a total of 25 applications and grants that organizations may receive within the grant cycle of 2022. A CyberGrants FrontDoor verification is required for all organizations applying for a Local Community grant.

Comcast RISE

Recent environmental disasters, social unrest, and pandemics have impacted small businesses. Women and people of color-owned small businesses have been particularly hard hit. The National Bureau of Economic Research reports that between February and April 2020, the number of active Black-owned businesses decreased by 41%, Latinx-owned businesses dropped by 32%, and Asian-owned businesses decreased by 25%, compared to just 21% for the general population. As a result of Comcast RISE, these businesses can receive valuable and practical support for their success.

A major expansion to Comcast RISE's program for women-owned businesses was announced in November. 42% of U.S. businesses are owned by women, and 1,800 new businesses are started every day, according to the National Association of Women Business Owners. That's almost five times the national average. Despite this, women-owned businesses are growing at only half the rate of their male counterparts, mainly because women have trouble accessing capital and other resources to succeed.

As part of Comcast RISE, there are two different types of grants available: investments and marketing and technology services. A chance at $10,000 as well as business support can be obtained by applying for one or both. A technology makeover, advertising and marketing consultations, and a 30-second TV commercial and 90-day advertising placement are all included in the support package.

California Dream Fund

In 2021, Senate Bill No. 151 (Government Code Section 12100.63) created the California Dream Fund Grant Program (CDFG or Dream Fund) to provide microgrants up to $10,000 to underserved small business groups experiencing capital and opportunity gaps.

This program will provide small businesses and entrepreneurs in this state with one-on-one, confidential, free, or low-cost consultations and training as part of federally funded small business technical assistance programs. Small businesses (start-ups) that graduate from a training program offered by one of the SB TAEP centers 2021-22 are eligible to receive a one-time grant of approximately $35,000,000.

Kern County Small Business Micro-Grants

Pandemic assistance programs are available to Bakersfield and Kern County businesses. Approximately $1 million in grants will be offered to qualified businesses, each of which can receive $2,500. Those businesses must have fewer than five full-time employees and $50,000 in revenue. Applicants must also show pandemic-related financial losses with no previous funding support. Applicants will be awarded grants based on priority.

Santa Clara County Microbusiness COVID-19 Relief Grant Program

In Santa Clara County, California, microbusinesses adversely affected by the pandemic can apply for a $2,500 relief grant. California Microbusiness COVID-19 Relief Grant Program will provide $2.4 million toward the program. A total of 875 local businesses will receive funding through the program, which is administered by the nonprofit organization, Enterprise Foundation. Businesses that qualify must have fewer than five employees and less than $50,000 in annual revenue as of 2019. Businesses owned by women, minorities, and veterans receive priority.

Amber Grants For Women

Many websites offer grants for women entrepreneurs when searching on Google. Small women-owned businesses face a lot of scams and confusing government websites on the Internet. Personal and financial information is required on a variety of forms and applications.

A nonprofit entity focused on women, WomensNet, may be able to assist you with funding for your business venture. Although the process may take some time and effort, it will be worth it in the end. For business owners who want to grow their companies, this site is a great resource. Those looking for grants for female entrepreneurs should consider Amber Grants. Amber Grants are named after Amber Wigdahl, a young woman who died to early, without realizing her business dream.

Eligible businesses include women-owned or operated businesses in California (and throughout the country). You have the perfect opportunity right now to apply for the $10,000 Amber Grant, which is awarded every month. In the event that you meet the eligibility criteria, you will automatically be able to apply for a grant of $25,000 if you are selected as one of their 12 monthly winners. Over the course of a year, $35,000 can be awarded through the grant.

California GrantWatch

Small businesses can find additional funding opportunities through the California GrantWatch program. Small businesses can access grants and loans from local, state, and federal sources through the website. With GrantWatch, a free grant-finding tool, you can find grant writers who can assist you with preparing winning grant proposals and to provide business loans. Answering a few simple questions is all that is required for grant applications. 

Subscribers to California GrantWatch are the only ones who can access the information. Annual subscriptions cost $199, and weekly subscriptions cost $18. Grant applications cannot be submitted by a free member.

The Bottom Line

To assist small businesses, the California Small Business Development Center (ILSBDC) provides a number of resources. Small businesses are receiving financial assistance as a result of Coronavirus. The economic growth of small businesses can be boosted by small business financial aid in a number of ways. If you are looking for funding for your business, it would be best to select a funding source that works for you.

Also Learn about Small Businesses Grants In Georgia

Living in California and in need of a loan? Check out our comprehensive article about California's forgivable loan today.

Looking to expand your knowledge on small business support in 2024? Discover what grants are up for grabs for Alabama small businesses this year in our insightful blog post. Compare, strategize, and seize new opportunities for your California business!

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!

Jody Adams
Jody Adams is an accomplished editor-in-chief with a deep understanding of social care and government benefits issues. With a background in journalism and a master's degree in Public Policy, Jody has spent her career shaping the narrative around social policies and their impact on society. She has worked with renowned publications, effectively bridging the gap between complex policy analysis and public understanding. Jody's editorial expertise ensures that vital information on social care and government benefits reaches a broad audience, empowering individuals to make informed decisions.
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