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Best Small Business Grants For COVID Relief And Free Money

Our comprehensive list of small business grants from federal and state options as well as information regarding grants for women, minorities, and veterans.

Tamara Cohen
Tamara Cohen
May 29, 2022

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Due to the outbreak of the coronavirus, a lot of businesses suffered. So, grants were provided to keep small businesses afloat. As well as free money was given out to establish or build firms. 

While some states provide resources for small company owners, others may apply for coronavirus business loans. Plus COVID-19 small business grants are also available.

Small Business Stimulus Grants

Continue reading for a comprehensive list of small business grants from federal and state options as well as information regarding grants for women, minorities, and veterans. Also find below information on how to apply for grants and the key distinctions between small business grants and loans.

“Certain small company owners who file for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan may be eligible for emergency cash advance”

Targeted Economic Injury Disaster Loan Advance Grant

Certain small company owners who file for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) via the SBA may be eligible for a $10,000 emergency cash advance. 

The SBA will forgive the advance and turn it into a grant in some cases. For example, if you use it on wages, paid leave, increasing expenditures, mortgage or lease payments.

Targeted EIDL grants are available to firms in low-income neighborhoods. This can demonstrate a revenue loss of more than 30% over eight weeks beginning in March 2020.

To be eligible, your company must have received an advance previously for an amount below $10,000. Or have applied for an EIDL Advance but did not get one owing to a shortage of program money. 

The original EIDL Advance program approved by the CARES Act is no longer in operation. To be eligible for a Targeted EIDL award no action is necessary. The SBA will contact qualified firms. 

If you receive an email, concerning an SBA award, be sure it comes from an SBA address to avoid a potential business loan scam.

State Based COVID-19 Relief Grants

Many local COVID-19 awards and relief funds were established in 2020 to assist companies affected by the pandemic. 

Some of these initiatives have run out of money and are no longer accepting applications.

Several states and municipalities have continued to assist this year. For example, California’s law enacted in February 2021 that the state would give small company subsidies of up to $25,000. 

New York State gives grants of up to $50,000 through the COVID-19 Pandemic Small Business Recovery Grant Program.

To remain on top of free money chances keep an eye on your state's department of commerce website or grants portal. As well as groups like your local chamber of commerce.

Corporate COVID-19 Relief Grants

Similar to local government initiatives several well-known firms including Facebook and Yelp also provided small business subsidies. They helped small businesses during the start of the pandemic but they are no longer available. 

Some firms continue to provide additional funding. For example, Verizon pledged $10 million to small companies as an incentive in February. But application periods for these grants are frequently short. 

Local Initiatives, Support Corporation and other organizations can assist you in staying on top of these possibilities.

“Government grant programs may be able to pay some of your costs and assist with small business finance”

Federal Business Grants For Small Businesses

There are several government business grants available for small firms. Especially for research, technology or health care organizations. 

Suppose your company is participating in R&D or scientific activities including environmental and climate initiatives. In that case, government grant programs may be able to pay some of your costs and assist with small business finance.

Small Business Innovation Research Program

The SBIR program is intended for small enterprises engaged in research and development and has commercial potential. 

The SBIR program is designed to promote technological innovation and scientific entrepreneurship. Eleven government entities are involved in the initiative. Each develops its own eligibility standards, research and development themes as well as application approval process. 

If your company shows promise you may be eligible for additional small business grants totaling more than $1 million. Although usually grants typically range between $25,000 to $250,000.  

Small Business Technology Transfer Program

The STTR program has similar aims to the SBIR program. Except that small company applicants must work with a research university. Five government agencies are actively involved in this initiative allocating a portion of their money to assist small enterprises. These government company awards like SBIR grants start at $25,000 and may go up to more than $1 million.

The National Science Foundation

To begin, the NSF accepts ideas in engineering, science or medicine. However exact themes vary from year to year. They also offer a YouTube channel to assist you in completing your application.

National Institutes Of Health

The National Institutes of Health is a division of the Department of Health and Human Services. It provides funding to small firms to study and develop economically viable biomedical technology. Does this describe you? 

National Institute Of Standards And Technology

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is a subsidiary of the Department of Commerce. It provides small grants to organizations researching technology in cybersecurity, manufacturing, software and commerce. This agency also works with energy, health care and other areas. So if you qualify for the SBIR then you may apply to any or all of these departments.

Department Of Defense

The Department of Defense can assist you in funding and commercializing your goods through several small companies starting awards. But only if your technological research and development will help the Army, Navy or the Air Force. 


What could be more exciting than partnering with NASA? Getting paid to work with NASA. NASA is interested in various technical fields. They are particularly interested in energy efficiency, alternative and renewable energy as well as spaceship construction.

Rural Energy For America Program

This USDA grant program focuses on small companies in qualified rural regions to buy, build, or install renewable energy systems. As well as for energy efficiency improvement technology. 

You can combine one of these federal business grants with a USDA loan. It is guaranteed to cover up to 75 percent of your qualified project expenditures. 

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