Applying For A Federal Small Business Grant? Here’s How To Improve Your Application

Most prospective business owners understand the competitive nature of running a business, but they often overlook the competitiveness of funding their business venture. Before you can even worry about competing for customers or contracts, you may have to compete with other young businesses for grants and other funding opportunities. 

If you’re in the process of starting a new business or just opened a few months ago, you can benefit from a federal small business grant. To ensure your business has the best chance to secure federal funds, make sure you know how to find opportunities and submit applications that stand out. 

Federal Small Business Grants and Where to Find Them 

There are many readily available grants for small businesses. To find a list of current federal grants, start your search with This extensive list covers a variety of industries and locations. 

The U.S. Small Business Association (SBA) also provides many grants and grant resources. Besides listing various programs they offer, the SBA lists common grants by category on their website.  

There is also a slew of grants for businesses that are purpose-driven. For example, the federal government offers grants to businesses that work with minority groups, veterans, immigrants, or other underrepresented groups. If you yourself identify as a woman, minority, or another underrepresented group, you may also find additional federal small business loans available.

Grant Qualifications 

Some of the most common federal grants are available in science, technology, and health fields. Also, the National Science Foundation and NASA fund businesses that work in technology. However, businesses that promote social causes, partner with nonprofits, or help minority groups have more grant opportunities. But even if your company operates outside of these realms, chances are there are at least a few federal grants your business qualifies for.

Increasing Your Odds

Once you’ve found a few grants you want to apply for, it’s time to outline and write your grant applications. As you prepare to apply for federal grants, make sure you understand how to make your application stand out to grant application reviewers. 

  • Reach Out to the Grant Committee When Possible

While this may not always be possible with federal grants, try reaching out to the organization listed on the grant application. Contacting federal grant committees will help you establish a connection with the organization, which could give you an advantage later on. 

  • Provide all Requested Materials

Many grant applicants accidentally overlook a requested document or form. Doing so can invalidate your application. Always double-check the required materials before sending in your application.

  • Proofread Before Sending

Hard to read sentences, spelling errors, and formatting errors make applications hard to read. These mistakes are easily avoidable by proofreading your application. 

  • Build a Credible Budget

Make sure to explain your budget items and provide estimates from professionals for building costs and other listed expenses. 

  • Write a Strong Impact Statement

Thoughtfully demonstrate how your business will positively impact your community. 

  • Offer Data and Statistics

Data can prove that your goods or services are in your region, increasing your chances of getting the grant. 

  • Consider Hiring Grant Writers

If you have never written a grant before or want an outside opinion, you can hire professionals to help strengthen your application. 

Strong Submissions 

When you look for federal business grants, make sure you meet all the requirements before you apply. Search for grants that fit your industry and location and begin writing your application well before the deadline. Avoid application pitfalls, such as forgetting requested forms, and consult professionals if you think your submission could be stronger. Doing so will give your business a fighting chance within a competitive application pool.