10.13.2021

Small Business Grants in Texas

Written by Aine Hendron

texas

Accurate as of October 2021

Small business grants can accelerate your business growth, and work wonders for your profitability, efficiency, and cash flow. But finding no-strings-attached funding can be extremely challenging. We’ve collected a list of some Texas small business funding resources that you can apply for today. 

This list is designed to help you find the grant programs that are most suitable for your business. The loans and grants listed support businesses in specific locations, certain industries, that have certain business structures or provide a specific type of service. We also share some grants that are only accessible for female entrepreneurs.

What is a small business grant?

Unlike small business loans, grants are sums of money given to businesses that are non-repayable and don’t require you to give away any equity in your company. Most grants require businesses to participate in a rigorous application process, and there may be restrictions around who can apply. The amount of money credited and the manner and time in which you receive it will depend on the specific grant you apply for. 

PeopleFund Flash Funds

PeopleFund are non-profit lenders. They offer soft loans with low-interest rates, as well as advice, mentoring, and workshops. They focus on lending to disadvantaged businesses and entrepreneurs.

PeopleFund believes that healthy small business growth is the key to economic recovery and development and that every person, no matter their background or economic situation, has the ability to become a successful entrepreneur and job creator given access to resources they need [1].

The Flash Fund can be defined as a soft loan. Soft loans are a loan given with next-to-no or no interest with extended grace periods, offering more leniency than traditional loans [2].

PeopleFund credits small business owners up to $25,000. In order to be considered, you must provide the following information:

  • Business Organization/Entity Documents and an EIN
  • Startups: a copy of your business plan
  • Existing businesses: 3 months of business bank statements
  • 3 months of personal bank statements

Applicants will only be considered if they have a personal credit score of at least 600. You can apply on the PeopleFund website here.

Female entrepreneurs only: WomensNet Grants

WomensNet fund several grants to women in business in Texas. To be considered for all of the available grants, business owners only need to fill out one application

In order to apply, female entrepreneurs must pay a $15 application fee and provide information on the following: 

  • Tell us about your business or business idea…
  • Tell us what you would do with the money if awarded a grant…

There are no set criteria for any of the grants, but WomensNet have provided some guidance on what they like to see on each application:

  • Don’t try to “sound corporate.” 
  • The judges are looking for passion as well as business smarts. 
  • No business dream is too big or too small. 
  • Past Amber Grant recipients have included everything from scientific inventors to bakers. 
  • What matters is YOU — the woman (or women) behind the business.

The Amber Grant

There are 60 successful Amber Grant applicants per year. 

Each month WomensNet selects 5 finalists. One of the finalists will be the monthly $10,000 Amber Grant grant winner. The other 4 finalists will each receive $1,000.

One of the monthly winners will then be selected for a $25,000 grant at the end of the year, on top of the $10,000 already given. 

Business Specific Grant

Applicants who fall under the following business categories are eligible (once per year) for the monthly WomensNet $5,000 Business Specific Grant:

  • Skilled Trades
  • Health & Fitness
  • Restaurant, Catering & Food
  • Sustainability
  • Mental & Emotional Support
  • Business Support Service (e.g. accounting, consulting)
  • Animal Services (e.g. veterinary, dog walking, grooming)
  • Hair Salons/Products
  • Education & Child Care
  • Creative Arts (e.g. photography, galleries, designers)
  • Skin Care
  • Fashion Designers

Mini Grants

Several “Mini Grants” (up to $2,000) are given throughout the year. The pool of Mini Grant funds is $48,000 for 2021. Eligible candidates will be selected by the WomensNet advisory board. Funding for ‘small, but important’ business goals and projects are preferable [3]. 

Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Grant

The SBIR and STTR grants aim to promote research and understanding of the connection between technological innovation and small business success, with a potential for commercialization by the government. This federal grant is available to businesses willing to participate in workshops and research programs in exchange for funding. It hopes to stimulate technological innovation and understand more about how businesses owned by disadvantaged people (economically and socially) use technology and automation in their business. Businesses involved in this grant will participate in three phases over the course of at least two and a half years.

Businesses that meet the following criteria are eligible to apply to the SBIR grant:

  • Organized for profit, with a place of business located in the United States.
  • More than 50% owned and controlled by one or more individuals who are citizens or permanent residents of the United States, or by other small business concerns that are each more than 50% owned and controlled by one or more individuals who are citizens or permanent residents of the United States.
  • Has no more than 500 employees, including affiliates.

For STTR, the partnering nonprofit research institution must also meet certain eligibility criteria:

  • Located in the US
  • Meet one of three definitions:
  • Nonprofit college or university
  • Domestic nonprofit research organization
  • Federally funded R&D center (FFRDC)

The grant is structured in three phases:

Phase I. 

The objective of Phase I is to establish the feasibility and commercial potential of the proposed research and development efforts and to determine the quality of performance of the small business awardee organization prior to receiving support and funding.

Phase I awards are generally $50,000 - $250,000 for 6 months (SBIR) or 1 year (STTR).

Phase II. 

The objective of Phase II is to continue the research and development efforts from Phase I. Funding is based on the results achieved in Phase I and the technical merit potential of the project proposed in Phase II. Phase II awards are generally $750,000 for 2 years.

Phase III. 

The objective of Phase III is for the small business to pursue commercialization objectives resulting from the two previous phases’ research and development activities. The SBIR/STTR programs do not fund Phase III. At some Federal agencies, Phase III may involve follow-on non-SBIR/STTR funded research and development contracts for products, processes, or services intended for use by the U.S. Government.

Simplify business management with a reliable POS system

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