Small Businesses Grants In Georgia

Your small business may qualify for a Georgia small business grant in 2022 if it has lost considerable revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Small businesses hardest hit by the pandemic can obtain funding through different federal and state grants. 

Small business grants support local communities, businesses, and families, ensuring that everyone can prosper. As part of the efforts to support small businesses, assist Georgia communities, and ease the burdens that face Georgia families, we have compiled the following resources and information. 

In Georgia, the federal government spends more than $19.18 billion in grants every year and more than $12.95 billion in local government grants. These figures indicate that most of the federal budget in government grants goes to the business sector, as small businesses and huge corporations are the foundation of the state’s economic growth. There are 171,747 businesses in Georgia.

What Is a Grant?

Typically, a grant is an award of funding provided by a public authority or agency to develop a new product, business, or project. A grant is not required to be repaid in the same way as a secured loan, which the government backs. The absence of an obligation to repay the grant is why grant programs benefits small business owners.

The grant process is a low-cost way to build your business even though the competition for these funds is fierce, and the application and administration processes can be long and tedious. Your small business must prove that it has the resources needed to build a successful small business with the funds and match the fund requirements of the awarding body. There is a range of different grant programs available from local governments, charities, and private foundations.

Georgia Small Business Expenses

There are many challenges involved in starting and managing a small business in Georgia. In Georgia, more than $136.63 billion is allocated to the salaries/benefits of employees, and more than 77,809 businesses declare bankruptcy every year. Even though the federal government does not publicly provide grants for business owners to start and grow their ventures, the Georgia government provides several small business grants to entrepreneurs to start and grow their businesses. 

State Grants

State grants are available to all Georgia residents for a variety of purposes. Find out which Georgia small business grants might best suit your needs in 2022 by checking out this list of top grants for small businesses. 

Atlanta Open for Business Fund

Atlanta, Georgia, offers several programs for entrepreneurs and small business owners. The Façade Improvement Grant from the Bureau of Business and Economic Development offers up to $50K for your business’s exterior improvements. The Commercial Ownership Growth program is another option that provides up to $200K to aid in a down payment on a real estate purchase. The program opens in the summer of 2022. You can sign up to receive an announcement of the date when the program opens.

Augusta-Richmond County Small Business Relief Grants

Businesses with 100 or fewer employees are eligible for assistance with operating and overhead costs under the Small Business Relief Program. CARES Act, which you are reading, is funded by a portion of the funds from Augusta, Georgia’s Community Development Block Grant disbursement from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development through the CARES Act.

This fund helps offer relief to communities from the impacts of the COVID19 pandemic on their afflicted communities. A $1.25 million allocation was approved by the Augusta-Richmond County Board of Commissioners to be disbursed by Augusta Housing and Community Development to local small business owners who this pandemic has impacted.

Suppose your business has already received assistance with the Small Business Relief program through the City of Augusta’s Housing and Community Development department. In that case, you may be eligible for additional funding of up to $2,500. The application period will remain open until all funds have been allocated to eligible businesses.

Augusta-Richmond County’s Board of Commissioners will require all business owners to submit an application that meets the county’s objective requirements. Each application will have a time stamp once it has been submitted.

The Augusta-Richmond County Board of Commissioners will ensure that an internal review committee evaluates all submitted applications to verify that the applicant has met the criteria set by the board of commissioners before any release of funds.

Grant Tiers

This year, the program will offer two different tiers of grant funding to businesses per the total number of employees reported on the business’ W3 Summary or IRS Form 941 before February 15th, 2020. The level of grant funding differs depending on the size of your business; a sole proprietorship with one to twenty employees is eligible for up to $7,500; a business with 21-100 employees can receive up to $15,000. The e-submitter must submit a fully completed W-9 form or a W-3 tax form to verify eligibility.

The tiers are as follows:

  • 1 to 20 employees – up to $7,500
  • 21 to 100 employees – up to $15,000

Eligible Uses

In addition to providing financial assistance, donations can be used as a reimbursement for business interruption incurred as a result of COVID-19 as a result of required closures, voluntary closures to promote social distancing, or decreased demand for services in the following categories:

  • The payment of rent, lease, or mortgage for the use of the real estate for business purposes
  • Expenses relating to payroll
  • Paying utility bills for a business property
  • Operational costs of critical business processes
  • Supplies and equipment for personal protection (PPE) and sanitation
  • Supplies and materials that are essential to doing business

Eligible Businesses

A business owner in the City of Augusta or Richmond County who has sustained a significant, temporary loss of revenue or job losses directly resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak, particularly one directly affected by state business closure orders, is eligible for assistance. Many criteria determine whether or not a business is eligible for this grant.

  • A business whose main location is within the Augusta / Richmond County region.
  • Before March 1st, 2020, the business must have been in operation for one year.
  • The business demonstrates a decrease in sales or revenue due to COVID-19.
  • Independent contractors and sole proprietors are included.

Disqualified Businesses

  • This grant is not available to the following types of businesses.
  • There is no eligibility for publicly traded companies, hedge funds with a minority stake in them, or corporately owned franchise companies.
  • A person or organization holding or owning real estate for passive sale or investment without any active connection to the for-profit business activity at the location.
  • The grant recipients are not allowed to be the owners or operators of businesses owned or operated by government officials or employees of Augusta, Georgia.
  • It is an unpaid code enforcement lien or an offense against any state, federal, or local law.
  • The City of Augusta Consolidated Government does not provide any grants to companies with legal proceedings against them or from them, including liens for code enforcement.
  • In general, a company’s owner, manager, partner, or principal actor is an individual involved in financial mismanagement. As defined in the Act, this shall include “Business Owners who have been convicted for a financial crime within the past three years”, whereby “Business Owner” shall be defined as “Management Members and/or Officers.”

DeKalb County Better Business Loan Program

In a partnership with local banks, the DeKalb Better Business Loan Program provides financial relief to the small businesses of DeKalb County that have been adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act funds from the federal government have been used to finance the program. The board of commissioners of DeKalb County approved the funding for the program. Currently, Citizens Trust Bank, the current partner of the Better Business Loan Program, will be responsible for administering $10 million in loans for this program.

Early Stage Innovation Fund

Small businesses have been given a chance to grow and create jobs as part of the SBA’s $1 billion Early Stage Innovation Fund. As part of this initiative, they plan to provide matching capital to private investment firms to help grow the businesses. The funds will help to ease the capital access process for the businesses.

Fiserv Back2Business Grant

With Back2Business, Fiserv gives a helping hand to small business owners by providing a program concentrating on assisting Black- and minority-owned businesses to jump-start their business in hard-hit communities. Back2Business is designed to help them with business consulting services, Fiserv’s Clover payments technology, and financial support for employee payroll, rent or lease payments, or operating equipment and resources. The Fiserv Back2Business Grants for Small Business Program, in association with The Association for Economic Opportunity, offers grants of up to $10,000 to Black and minority-owned enterprises affected by COVID-19 and social unrest. 

Georgia Grant Watch

Those looking for grants, non-profits, and small businesses in Georgia should visit Georgia Grant Watch for more information. More than 28,420 grant opportunities (that will be made available again in the coming days) and funding opportunities from various federal, state, and local funders across the USA and Canada are included in this Georgia Grant Directory.

However, you can only access the information they provide through a subscription, which is also paid. This subscription will cost you $18 per week to use the monthly payment plan and $199 to use the annual payment plan. GrantWatch provides limited functionality for its free membership. If you are a free member, you will not be able to view the full details of grants, nor will you be able to apply for them.

Small Business Stimulus Grants in Georgia

The government of Georgia provided small business owners who needed help to boost their businesses with stimulus grants to check the issue of hunger and unemployment caused by the Coronavirus pandemic in Georgia. It is also possible to apply for grants if you intend to start your own small business. COVID-19 grants for small business development are the grants offered in this regard.

Additionally, small business owners in Georgia can apply through the Small Business Administration (SBA) for two types of loans: Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) and Coronavirus Stimulus Grants. As a result of your application, you qualify to receive an emergency cash advance of about $10000 if you apply for this loan. If you use the loan to meet financial obligations such as payroll maintenance and increased costs, mortgage or lease payments, etc., this loan will become a grant.

Your company has to have been previously granted an advance of fewer than ten thousand dollars to be eligible for this fund. Applicants who have initially applied to the EIDL, but were unable to receive their advance, may also qualify for the program. If you are eligible, your business may qualify for a Small Business Administration (SBA) grant.

South Fulton Small Business Grant Program

The global outbreak of COVID-19 may be causing disruptions in your business. If this is the case, these disruptions may negatively impact your business. There have been financial allocations of $500,000 in CARES Act funds to South Fulton for cash grants to help businesses during these trying times. Up to $19,000 in grants will be given out. Micro Village Fund administers and awards grant funds on behalf of the City of South Fulton.

As a result of the program, businesses can:

  • Maintain a strong workforce
  • Keep up with rent and operating costs
  • Reach out to more customers

Your business must meet the following requirements to be eligible for this program:

  • It should be located in the City of South Fulton
  • At least 30% of the company’s revenue decreased due to the COVID-19 outbreak
  • Have between 2 and 10 employees
  • Neither tax liens nor court judgments outstanding
  • Own an active City of South Fulton business license
  • The company has operated in the City of South Fulton for at least two years now

National Grants That Can Help

The following national grants are available to Georgia residents if they cannot secure a state grant.

Asian Women Giving Circle (AWGC) Grants

The AWGC is a non-profit corporation that provides grants for minority women entrepreneurs who serve the public with arts and culture products. They have come together to promote cultural transformation, raise awareness about issues that affect Asian American women and girls, and work together to take action. In addition, they also work on highlighting and promoting the central role played by women in these projects. The organization, in each cycle, awards approximately five to eight grants (usually once a year) for projects up to $15,000.

Amber Grant Foundation

Amber Grant Foundation gives out over $400K in grants each year to women-owned businesses and two $25K grants at the end of each year. As of late, the Amber Grant Foundation has expanded its program to include non-profit organizations and bi-annual marketing awards. Although this is perhaps one of the easiest grants you could apply for, a nominal fee of $15 makes the process even easier.

Amazon’s Black Business Accelerator Program

Providing black entrepreneurs with opportunities to succeed as Amazon sellers is Amazon’s way of supporting them. A black entrepreneur can enlist in Amazon’s Black Business Accelerator program to receive a $500 credit towards their launching costs, a $400 Sponsored Products advertising credit, free imaging services for 50 products, marketing, promotional support, and business mentoring.

Before applying to this program, you must have an Amazon Professional Seller account, a physical product ready to sell and represent yourself as a certified minority-owned business through the certification or registration process. One of the ways to find out if you qualify is by going to the System for Award Management in the United States or the National Minority Supplier Development Council. You can submit your application on a rolling basis.

Backstage Capital Investments

Backstage Capital defines underrepresented founders as women, people of color, and LGBTQ founders, and they invest their capital in companies founded by these groups. A round of investment by Backstage Capital usually ranges between $25,000 and $100,000. As with most venture capital firms, Backstage does not require founders to repay their investments but rather converts their investments into the stock Backstage holds in the business. To learn more and submit an application, visit the website. Applicants can submit their applications on a rolling basis.

Beyond Yoga’s For Women BY Women Grant

Through Beyond Yoga’s For Women BY Women Grant, Hello Alice and Beyond Yoga are offering virtual coaching to 10 female founders in honor of Women’s History Month. The organization also gives away a grand prize grant worth $10K and one-on-one time with Michelle Wahler and the ten coaching prizes.

Your business must be owned or led by a woman-identifying founder to be eligible for the award. You must be in the first five years of your business or entrepreneurial journey. Your business must have annual gross revenue of less than $5 million. The deadline for submitting applications is April 15th.

Boots to Business (B2B)

Designed to assist veterans and their spouses on their “mission transition” from military life to civilian entrepreneurship, the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Boots to Business program (B2B) gives them the tools they need to succeed. In conjunction with the Department of Defense’s (DoD) Transition Assistance Program (TAP), Boots 2 Business (B2B) is intended to provide an educational partnership for the following classes:

During a two-day, in-person course titled Introduction to Entrepreneurship, veterans will learn about owning a business, accessing capital, business models, accounting, and what it takes to make a business succeed.

A partnership with Mississippi State University offers B2B Revenue Readiness training online as an optional online course. This course will teach you various topics specific to small businesses, such as developing a business plan, finding funding and government contracting opportunities, and keeping your business in order.

Veterans who have completed the in-person intro course will have access to all online resources after completing the online learning platform.

Coalition to Back Black Businesses Fund

The Coronavirus severely affected underserved businesses, specifically those owned by Blacks. Through the Coalition to Back Black Businesses Fund, which runs through 2023, grant monies worth $5K are provided to black-owned businesses that qualify.

As part of a continuing program, several business owners are also eligible for grants of up to $25K that will be distributed over the summer. To help Black business owners start and grow their businesses online, the Coalition has partnered with Shopify by offering 120 days of free hosting on their platform to help them get started online (a separate award from the grant competition).

Comcast RISE Program

Comcast makes marketing campaigns, technology assistance, and creative media content available to business owners as part of their Comcast RISE program. Comcast may be able to assist you with one of their programs if your business is a for-profit corporation, at least 51% female or minority-owned, independently operated, has been in business for at least one year and is within the coverage area of Comcast.

Comcast will choose hundreds of companies and provide them with a technology makeover, a televised advertising campaign, or a televised media campaign as part of their program. You must apply by June 17th, 2022, to be considered.

Corporate Counsel Women of Color

There is a non-profit organization called Corporate Counsel Women of Color that comprises black and minority women practicing law in various capacities ranging from non-profits to Fortune 1000 companies. As part of the Corporate Counsel Women of Color grant program, they award $5,000 grants to companies owned and operated by women of color.

If you are interested in qualifying for a tax credit, your business must possess an EIN, have been established by January 1st, 2020, and have generated over $25K in profit since January 1st, 2020. Tax credit applications will be reviewed in May.

Fearless Strivers Grant Contest

Mastercard has partnered up with The Fearless Fund to present the Fearless Strivers Grant Contest, where grants totaling $10K will be awarded to 11 businesses within the United States. There are several requirements to qualify for this program, including being a woman-owned business that makes less than $3M per year, has fewer than 50 employees, and has been in business since February 10, 2022. Every month is a new opportunity to apply for the grant, so make sure you apply for this grant program every month.

FedEx Small Business Grant Contest

This annual competition awards grants to around ten different minority business owners. The grants range from $15,000 to $50,000, and in addition, FedEx Print Services can also contribute up to $7,500 to each grant recipient. As a result of this contest, FedEx has provided small businesses with grants totaling over $375,000. Businesses must have operated for at least six months to qualify.

First Nations Development Institute Grants

The First Nations Association is a non-profit organization responsible for a national grantmaking program. The First Nations organization has provided more than $43 million in grants and loans to Native American programs and organizations in around 40 states as of the end of 2020. The grants that First Nations offer to minority businesses vary depending on the location or the tribe. However, their program aims to provide funding, technical expertise, and administrative resources to Native non-profits and tribes. It is always a good idea to check their website regularly so that you are aware of current grant applications. 

Freed Fellowship

To assist women and people of color in their entrepreneurial ventures, the Freed Fellowship provides monthly grants of $500. In addition to providing business mentorship, they also give aspiring business owners a chance to win a $2,500 year-end grant. You can start by answering a few short questions on their website and clicking submits. The status of your business idea will be communicated to you whether or not you are selected as a grant recipient. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis.

HerRise Micro-Grants

HerRise offers a $500 micro-grant for women business owners of color to support their venture. Women of color who cannot secure capital for their businesses from other sources are offered financial support by HerRise. This organization awards a microgrant every month so that they can help with small projects, marketing, and other areas of need. There is a rolling application process for the microgrant.

Hivers & Strivers — Venture Capital for Veterans

Hivers and Strivers’ Venture Capital for Veterans fund invests in veteran-run start-ups at an early stage, awarding grants ranging from $250K to $1M every funding cycle. The founders of this angel investment firm were a group of military academy graduates who established this venture to invest in veteran-owned businesses.

Please note that it is neither a charity nor a non-profit organization. These are informed business investors who also happen to be veterans looking to make a profit on the businesses they have invested in. The Hivers and Strivers fund has regularly achieved a return on investment of 20% or more on the businesses they fund.

There is a high level of qualification required. HIVERS & Strivers seek leaders with a proven track record of leadership — both inside and outside the military — who have served in the armed forces, have graduated from military academies, and have obtained advanced degrees after leaving the military.

IFundWomen Universal Grant

The IFundWomen organization has a Universal Grant Application in addition to its Entrepreneur of the Year Grant. Both of these are open to all women-owned businesses. $8 million has already been collected from corporate grants, but only 40% has been distributed. 

IFundWomen scans your application when you apply for a grant to see if it matches the requirements for the grants they offer. The organization will then notify you once your application matches the criteria. They accept applications on a rolling basis, and it usually takes around 20 minutes to complete the application.

The winners will each receive a grant of $5,000. They will also receive educational services and resources for one year. One lucky grand prize winner and their startup company will receive an equity investment worth $100k. If you have been doing business for at least one year and meet other requirements, you are eligible to apply.

This opportunity is open to small business owners who run a business in the following categories: Beauty, Technology, Community Impact, Health & Wellness, Business Services, Food & Beverage, or the Arts, Media, and Entertainment sectors. There is a June 8th deadline for applications.

KKR Small Business Builders Grant

Business owners and operators must have at least 51% ownership and control of their business, have between 5 and 50 employees, have less than $7M annual revenue, and need assistance.

They prefer candidates who had confronted challenges during the pandemic, had to adjust their business to overcome the challenges, and still need their assistance today. Additionally, the perfect candidate will also be committed to serving and giving back to the community. The deadline for applications is April 22.

Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) Small Business Relief Grants

The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in more than 12,000 small businesses receiving grants through LISC’s COVID-19 programs. Since the organization has a nationwide reach, small businesses from all over the nation have been included on the list owing to its nationwide reach. They needed to create new systems that would promote racial and economic equity as part of their investments that support entrepreneurs who are important to their communities and the economy.

Grants were provided to small business owners through the LISC Small Business Relief Grants program. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, grants worth more than $82 million have been awarded to entrepreneurs to keep them in business and contribute to the local economy.

Small businesses at risk of collapse can obtain financial help from the organization. This helps small businesses achieve their potential. The fund has helped several small businesses get back on their feet.

Operation HOPE Small Business Development Program

Small business owners in underserved areas, mostly those in minorities, can benefit from this program specifically designed for them. As a nonprofit organization, the business training program offers an eight-week entrepreneurship training program that enables minority business owners to learn various business skills, develop personally, and gain access to professional services and financial counseling. In addition, it can also help business owners establish and maintain a business plan and get access to funding and other resources for their businesses.

Merchant Maverick Opportunity Grant

Asian American/Pacific Islander (AAPI) restaurants may apply for $10K Opportunity Grants through the Merchant Maverick Opportunity Grant Program. A successful applicant must be an American citizen who owns a food truck, cart, grocery store, food kiosk, café, or restaurant. Eligible applicants must also be members of the AAPI community.

Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA)

Small businesses operated by minorities are eligible to receive grants from this agency to operate their business. In addition to financial assistance for your business, they also provide other services such as business consulting. Moreover, the agency runs grant competition programs targeted specifically at minorities, designed to help minority business owners grow.

National Black MBA Association (NBMBAA) Scale-Up Pitch Challenge

As part of a new grant competition, the Startup Challenge encourages entrepreneurs to come up with ideas for scalable startups. By connecting startups with early-stage investors and venture capitalists, the NBMBAA helps them present their business ideas to investors and venture capitalists. A lot of business owners and teams participate in this competition each year. The first-place winners receive a grant of $50,000, second-place winners receive $10,000, and third-place winners receive $7,500. Also included in this competition is a $1,000 People’s Choice Award.

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

NASE is a non-profit organization that provides small business grants to minorities in Georgia of about $4,000 per grant. Several types of grants are available to help businesses grow, but about half of them are only available to NASE members. The NASE Growth Grant can be used for many different purposes, such as acquiring equipment, hiring employees, or creating marketing materials for a business. In addition to these grants, applications are reviewed every quarter, during which the authority reviews the applications. To qualify, you must be a member of the business and provide a detailed explanation of how the funds will be used to promote your business. 

Rapid Response Loans

Rapid Response Loans may be available to affected businesses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This program offers emergency financial assistance of up to $25,000 to small businesses in Georgia that have been adversely affected by a downturn in business. Loan amounts vary according to business size and revenue.

SOGAL Black Founder Startup Grant

The number of black women entrepreneurs in the United States, if not the world, has been growing rapidly; however, they have only received less than a fifth of funding in recent years. In response to this, SOGAL has created a Black Founder Startup Grant to provide grants to black women entrepreneurs who need funding for their businesses, with grants as small as $5K, to as large as $10K.

Small Business Administration (SBA)

Among the grants available through the Small Business Administration (SBA) and the Program for Investment in Entrepreneurs Act are those associated with microbusiness programs and organizations that provide services to other aspiring small business owners. In recent years, the grant amount has ranged from $50,000 to $250,000, and preference has been given to female business owners, American Indian tribes, and organizations that help these groups.

StreetShares Foundation Veteran Small Business Awards

Founded by military veterans, the StreetShares Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to inspiring, educating, and supporting the military entrepreneurial community. StreetShares Award for Veteran-owned Small Businesses and the Female Founders Award for Veteran-owned Small Businesses provide financial assistance to veteran-owned small businesses.

Winners of the competition are rewarded with grants of up to $15,000. Applicants must be US veterans to qualify. To get started, You should enter a valid email address on their website, and you will be sent a copy of the Veteran Owned Small Business Guide. You will also receive a link to the application in your email inbox.

The Halstead Grant

The Halstead Grant is one that you should be considering if you are a silver jewelry artist. The Halstead Foundation awards one grand prize of $7,500, and a maximum of five semi-finalists may receive grants of $250 or $500. Also, each winner and semi-finalist receives individualized feedback and a personalized promotion package for their business. The application period is now open, and the deadline for applications is August 1st, 2022.

US Department of Agriculture (USDA)

The United States Department of Agriculture sponsors the Rural Business Opportunity Grant program. The Rural Business Opportunity Grant will provide non-profit corporations, cooperatives, and rural American Indian tribes with $500,000 for training and technical assistance.

Minorities in rural areas can benefit from this program by starting small businesses. Minorities in Georgia can apply for a grant from $10,000 to $500,000. This program provides small businesses with grants from $10,000 to $500,000. The Rural Cooperative Program is open to cooperatives in rural areas, non-profit organizations, etc. Your business must be located in a rural area, and the project you are applying for must be beneficial to the community to be eligible for the program. The business should also have a revenue of less than a million dollars and should not have more than 50 employees.

Wish Local Micro Grants

With Wish Local, buyers and sellers come together in one place, enabling more sales for businesses. Wish Local has established a $2 million fund to support Black businesses, which will provide grants of up to $2,000 to eligible businesses. You might want to check out the Wish Local grant if you own a business owned by a Black owner, make less than $1 million annually, and have less than 20 employees. Applicants can submit their applications at any time.

Bottom Line

Small businesses in Georgia have access to many resources. As a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, small businesses and non-profits have been provided with financial support. A boost to the economy can be achieved by providing small businesses with the right type of financial assistance. 

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!