small business grants florida

Starting up or expanding your business in Florida can be done rather quickly. However, the administrative costs, office space expenses, and additional business fees can be overwhelming. Discovering business funding opportunities that you won’t need to repay for your small startup can be quite appealing. So taking advantage of small business grants, therefore, can help you grow your business even more quickly, without taking on large amounts of debt. Fortunately, in Florida we have diverse small business grant offers available for different individuals including minorities. So, here we are going to discover the best small business grants for Florida and know some tips on how to apply for them.

In Florida, with more than $31,979.00 million dollars in grants and additional local government funding sources of $22,686.00 million dollars, the majority of the federal budget in government grants is put into the business sector every year. This is because small businesses and large corporations are the foundation of the economic growth in Florida.

Tips for Best Small Business Grants in Florida

In searching for small business grants in Florida, there are some necessary things you’ll want to look out for. It’s better to focus on these two key areas.

First, you should look out for Florida-specific grants set aside for small businesses. However, these grants could be state-wide, regional, or city-specific.

Secondly, you’ll want to look out for national or more widespread business grants. These are grants that might not be specific to your state. They will still be open to Florida small businesses. Our list below has some of the best state and national options. We also advise that you look into local small business grants in your area as well.

Nevertheless, in case you’re not awarded a grant, remember you can always consider more local business financing options.

Best Small Business Grants in Florida

You can also refer to local government websites, or community business organizations for these opportunities.

Other small business grant options may also be available to minorities, women, or veterans in Florida.

#1. USDA Rural Business Development Grant

These grants are available to Florida small businesses having less than 50 employees. The business annual gross revenue must also be less than $1 million.

However, there is no set amount for these grants. The grant amounts cannot exceed the annual funding amount available for the USDA Rural Business Development program.

#2. Prospera Small Business Grants

This economic development organization is a nonprofit company. It works with new and growing Hispanic businesses to ensure they have the tools and resources they need to succeed.

These grants are awarded on an individual basis, on need, industry, and opportunity potential.

#3. Florida High Tech Corridor Grant

These grants are designed for research and development projects and come with university partnerships. The grants are mainly designed for high-tech companies. The grant opportunities are available in 23 Florida counties.

Awarded amounts vary but range between $10,000 to $150,000. Applications are ongoing all year round. 

#4. Amber Grant

This small business grant awards $10,000 to a female entrepreneur across North America every month. Also, at the end of the year, all 12 winners have a chance to win the additional year-end Amber Grant worth $25,000. So in total, you could win up to $35,000 to help your small business flourish.

#5. National Association for the Self-Employed Grant

They offer up to $4,000 in small business grants for Florida and other U.S.-based small businesses. They have awarded almost $1 million in small business grants to help new startups grow and develop since the program began in 2006.

#6. FedEx Small Business Grant Contest

They award grants to small businesses across the country every year. Hence, small businesses in Florida are welcome to apply. However, they reserve this grant money for small businesses with innovative ideas that can help communities thrive.

There is no set amount for this grant and several grants are often awarded in different amounts. For instance, in 2020, 12 businesses received over $250,000 in grants through this program.

#7. Small Business Research Grants

This is also referred to as America’s Seed Fund. The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBTT) are two of the largest research grant programs set to help U.S. small businesses in the technology sector.

These two grant programs focus on funding research projects in partnership with the U.S. government.

Small Business Grants for Minorities in Florida

#1. Minority Business Development Agency

This development agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce enhances the growth of minority-run small businesses in Florida through grants. They do so by connecting owners to financing resources, federal contracts, and market opportunities. You can contact a local MBDA business center for more details.

#2. National Minority Supplier Development Council

This is a corporate member organization focused on increasing business opportunities for certified minority-owned businesses. It operates the Business Consortium Fund, a nonprofit business development program, which offers financing programs and business advisory services for its members.

#3. SBA 8(a) Business Development Program

Socially or economically disadvantaged small-business owners are eligible to receive help through this program. It provides business development assistance, training, and management, and technical guidance.

To qualify, a small business must be at least 51% owned. The citizen must have been subjected to cultural bias or prejudice. The business owner must also be at an economic disadvantage because of race or ethnicity.

#4. Operation Hope Small-Business Empowerment Program

This is designed for aspiring entrepreneurs in low-wealth neighborhoods, which often include minority communities. It combines business training and financial counseling along with access to small-business financing options. Participants complete a 12-week training program, plus workshops on business financing and credit and money management. This training will aid small businesses to thrive well when they are awarded grants.

#5. Enterprise Florida Grants

It is the primary economic development organization for the state of Florida. Presently, they offer the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) to match Florida startups with private capital opportunities, amongst others.

New grants also pop up throughout the year, so business owners should lookout for new opportunities often.

#6. Federal Minority Business Grants

These grants don’t only come in the form of direct funding. However, they can also provide business development services, such as training, technical assistance, and management courses.

Grants vary depending on the small business need, industry, and size. Generally, the U.S. government sets aside $1 million each year to fund business grants for minorities across the country.

#7. The USDA Rural Business Enterprise Grant Program

This is for the development or expansion of small businesses in rural areas, whether minority-owned or not. To qualify, you’ll need to have 50 or fewer employees. Your business should also have less than $1 million in revenue. In addition, the business must be located in an eligible rural area.

Read also: Texas small business grants.
small business grants florida

Tips on How to Apply for Florida Small Business Grants

The process of applying for small business grants for your Florida company can really be tedious. It’s especially tedious when you are just trying to start up your business.

Nevertheless, we’ll help you with some tips to keep in mind as you hunt for the best small business grants in Florida.

#1. Plan a time for grant applications.

In creating a new business, keeping to a schedule is important. We suggest scheduling time once a day or week to search for and apply to eligible grant opportunities.

Keep a list of all available opportunities and use each session to search for new small business grants in Florida. You can also make a list to apply for existing ones you’ve already researched.

Always research eligibility requirements extensively during this process. This is to ensure your company fits all of the grant’s criteria.

#2. Consider the grant application fees.

This is an important factor in applying for small business grants in Florida. When you research eligible grants, we suggest you create a column for the program’s application fee. You should thoroughly analyze the cost of applying vs. the benefits you’ll receive before spending hours filling out applications and answering lengthy questions.

This can also help you quickly scan for affordable or no-cost grants that you can focus on first.

#3. Have other alternatives.

Applying for small business grants in Florida does not assure you’ll receive the assistance you’re hoping for. So, if you do not receive grant money for your Florida startup, there are other options to explore. For instance, you can consider taking out a small business loan through a top Florida small business bank to help finance your business. You can also try raising funds through other traditional methods.

So, obviously, we can see that are many small business grants in Florida available to new or existing startups. With due diligence and research, you can find opportunities that are the right fit for your small business.

So while receiving a small business grant in Florida can be challenging and cumbersome, it’s not impossible. However, always look out for other alternative sources for your business.


What grants are available in Florida?

The following are available grant sources in Florida;

  • NLC Grant Access Tool.
  • EPA Water Infrastructure and Resiliency Finance Center.
  • USDA Rural Development Catalog of Programs.
  • Florida Dept. of State – DOS Grants.
  • Florida GrantWatch.
  • Smart Growth America.
  • FedCenter Grants.

How can I get free money to start a small business?

Small-business grants are available from state and federal institutions as well as from private businesses. Your local Small Business Development Center, the government database, and nonprofit organisations like the Local Initiatives Support Corp. are a few useful areas to start your search.

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