SBA Grants Explained: How to Apply, Qualify, and Utilize Funds for Your Business

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The Small Business Administration or the SBA is an agency established by the federal government that primarily aims to assist small businesses in the country. This agency is committed to the role of promoting entrepreneurship and helping the flow of the nation’s economy. Since its establishment in the 1930s, SBA remained committed to its mission of assisting small business owners, especially now that the pandemic drastically changed most of the country’s economy.

How SBA Grants Work

SBA grants are usually given to eligible groups and organizations that are responsible for initiating training and consultation programs, and other business-related programs that promote entrepreneurship within the country.

Types of SBA Grants

There are various small business grants and assistance funded by the SBA. Choosing where you will apply may depend on the type of assistance that your business needs. Listed below are some SBA programs that you can apply to:

Small Business Innovation Research Program or known as the SBIR program

  • This type of program fits well with those entrepreneurs who have a business or planning a business related to scientific development and research. The program may provide funding to your business endeavor and is seen as a potential part of scientific development and innovation.

Small Business Technology Transfer program or known as the STTR program

  • This program also plays an important role in fostering the field of innovation, research, and development in the country as it provides more opportunities for small businesses in gaining partnerships and support from leading nonprofit research institutions. Not only that this program helps small business grow and thrive in the field of innovation and research, but it also helps in the improvement of scientific research and development.

7 (j) Management and Technical Assistance Program

  • This is a program under the Small Business Act wherein it aims to assist small businesses approved by the SBA. This will give them more opportunities to succeed as a sub-contractor for federal, state, or local contracts. Being in this program also gives small businesses opportunities to receive pieces of training, consultations, and other business-related activities that will help enhance business strategies and potential success in entrepreneurship.

SBA Grants Focusing On Community Organizations

There are also available grants focused on veterans who own small businesses as well as small business owners who are focused on innovation and development. If you belong to this category, you may be eligible to apply to the following programs:

  1. Boots to Business Program or the B2B – In availing of this program, you must be a recipient of the Boots to Business Program. This typically assists small business organizations for a period of 5 years.
  2. Veterans Business Outreach Centers or the VBOC – Just like the B2B and other small business grants for veterans, the VBOC provides counseling and business-related training sessions to veterans, disabled, and spouses of veterans planning or owning a small business.
  3. Service-Disabled Veteran Entrepreneurship Training Program or the SDVETP – This is a program that focuses on supporting organizations responsible for initiating training programs for veterans aspiring to start a business or veterans who own small businesses.
  4. Women Veteran Entrepreneurship Training Program or the WVETP – This is another funding opportunity provided by the SBA Office of Veterans Business Development (OVBD) wherein it targets female veterans, service members, and spouses of veterans who are owning or planning to start a small business. The organization determines grantees based on their background, experience, and commitment to the training program provided by the organization.
  5. Veteran Federal Procurement Entrepreneur Training Program or the VFPETP – This funding opportunity is only available for recipients of the Veteran Federal Procurement Entrepreneur Training Program. This includes a period of 12 months as initial funding and two option years both having a 12-month period. The following are the existing procurement programs under this grant:
    • Procurement opportunity training for starting small businesses; and
    • Procurement training for established small businesses.
Organizations That Support Small Business Organizations

There is also a certain program under the SBA that promotes successful business innovation by small business entrepreneurs:

  1. Federal and State Technology Program (FAST) – This is a good funding opportunity for organizations promoting business innovation and research development. Specifically, the goals of this program are listed as follows:
    • Initiate programs within states that will promote the increase of innovation and research development proposals for the SBIR and STTR;
    • Increase the number of awards that the SBIR and STTR provides; and
    • Train and prepare SBIR and STTR grantees for potential success in their business.
Things To Keep In Mind

Here are some things to keep in mind about SBA Grants:

  • SBA grants are not offered for business start-ups and expansion;
  • As stated earlier, these grants are given to eligible organizations that initiate programs helping small business owners in their journey to success;
  • The only contact of the SBA is through email. The SBA’s email business address ends in Thus, emails that claim to be from SBA but do not use SBA’s business address may be a sign of fraud. If you do receive these kinds of emails, report them immediately to the SBA.
Usually Utilized Forms

The following are some Forms that you might need when you apply:

  • The Federal Assistance SF-424
  • The performance progress report
  • The federal financial report
  • Advance Accrual and reimbursement request
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