Public Relations Show Me the Money: 5 Small Business Grants to Consider

Published on January 27th, 2015 | by Connie Sung Moyle

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Show Me the Money: 5 Small Business Grants to Consider

Marty Metro, owner of UsedCardboardBoxes.com and a VerticalResponse email marketing customer since 2006, will never forget the day he found out that his company won a $250,000 small business grant from Chase Bank.

“The grant absolutely helped us achieve the next step in our dream,” said Marty. “We’ve been able to hire more staff, purchase more inventory, get specialized machinery. It allowed us to take huge steps forward much much faster.” (Read how UsedCardboardBoxes.com uses email marketing to promote their products, and watch the video profile produced by Chase.)

As a small business owner, you probably didn’t start your own company based purely on financial reasons. Money certainly isn’t everything – but it does help.

In the last couple of years, big companies have come out with contests and programs that offer financial support and other resources to small businesses and entrepreneurs. Nearly any small business can apply; submission requirements vary, but typically ask you to explain your business and what you plan to do with the grant money.

Here are a few contests worth checking out:

1. American Small Business Championship

The American Small Business Championship is organized by small business association SCORE and warehouse giant Sam’s Club. More than 100 U.S.-based small businesses (two from each state, including the District of Columbia) will win a $1,000 Sam’s Club gift card, an all-expenses-paid trip to a regional business symposium, and a year of free mentoring from SCORE. Deadline: February 6, 2015. Submission requirements: Written entry or video. 

2. FedEx Think Bigger

The grand prize winner of the FedEx Think Bigger contest will get a hefty $25,000 small business grant. One second-place winner will get $10,000 and eight third-place winners will get $5,000 each. Previous winners include a farm that produces goat’s milk caramel sauces and a maker of custom-designed Moroccan accessories. Deadline: February 12, 2015. Submission requirements: Written entry, photos and optional video.

3. Tap the Future

Beer brand Miller is getting into the small business movement with its second Tap the Future business competition. Entrants participate in live, local events to claim part of the $300,000 prize pool, and can also win access to mentors like Daymond John from ABC’s “Shark Tank,” also a contest judge. Deadline: Contest opens in February 2015; check mltapthefuture.com for updates.

4. Mission Main Street Grants

One the biggest ongoing grant programs, Mission Main Street Grants by Chase is awarding $3 million in the form of 20 small business grants at $150,000 each. (UsedCardboardBoxes.com entered – and won – in 2012.) Deadline: The current contest is closed and winners will be announced this month; check missionmainstreetgrants.com for updates.

5. Love Our Local Business

Supported by Intuit, Love Our Local Business is making “wishes” come true for 15 small businesses. Participants submit a business “wish” (what they want to do with $5,000) and Intuit will make it happen for the winners. Deadline: The current contest is closed, but you can sign up to get notified of their next program at loveourlocalbusiness.com.

Did we miss a small business grant contest? Share it below!

To help small businesses grow, VerticalResponse has a free email plan allowing you to send up to 4,000 emails free each month. Get the details here

© 2015, Connie Sung Moyle. All rights reserved.

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About the Author

Connie Sung Moyle

is a contributing author for VerticalResponse.



3 Responses to Show Me the Money: 5 Small Business Grants to Consider

  1. Kelsey says:

    Nice list there are a few grants that I’ve never heard of! – Time to update our Grant lists! :)

  2. Linzi Breckenridge Linzi Breckenridge says:

    Hi Jatika. That’s a great point! I will keep my eyes and ears open for anything that may be a match.

  3. Jatika Manigault says:

    I love the idea of contests for small businesses and entrepreneurs, but I never see anything for businesses in the service industry. I am a professional speaker, trainer and presentation coach. I help people with their speaking and presentation skills and train companies to deliver quality customer service. I would KILL for a teleprompter system (like the one President Obama uses) and a state of the art video system for doing before-and-after videos. Most of the time though, I feel at a disadvantage because I am competing with companies who have a physical product they can put in someone’s hands or a gadget whose use they can demonstrate. How can I put my (great!) customer service training in a judge’s hands?

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