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Small business grant applications open for two states

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Nebraska is rolling out its new Small Business Assistance Act Program with $4.2 million authorized for grants this fiscal year, according to a press release

New and existing small businesses can now file grant pre-applications that will be accepted on a rolling basis until funds are exhausted. The state defines small businesses as having, at most, five full-time employees, not including the business owner. For more qualifying details click here.  

The Nebraska Department of Economic Development and Grown Nebraska Foundation will administer grants of up to $25,000 for new businesses and up to $12,500 for businesses opened in the past five years, the release said. 

Funding can be used for professional services such as strategic planning, accounting and budgeting, tax return preparation, payroll processes, website development, or assistance setting up an LLC or eligible business purposes including, but not limited to: startup costs, working capital, franchise fees, equipment, inventory, or purchase/renovation of a place of business.

Priority will be given to applicants who have developed business concepts that clearly identify targeted customer markets and forecast revenues for three years that detail sales projections in year one. 

The program was authorized through Legislative Bill 450 in 2022. It has completed a pilot phase and is now fully operational, the release said. Individuals who submitted program inquiries during 2023 are being reviewed and contacted by program administrators, the release said. 

For more information about the grant click here

Delaware opens its first round of 2024 enrollment for its Encouraging Development, Growth & Expansion (EDGE) grants Feb. 1, according to its website

Grants are designed for small businesses employing 10 or fewer employees. To qualify, small businesses should be in operation for less than seven years, with the majority of operations happening in Delaware. 

The program awards five STEM businesses up to $100,000 and five non-STEM businesses up to $50,000 each spring and fall round. 

The deadline for applications is March 1.

Applicants will be judged on: 

    • Business need case
    • Competitive advantage gained
    • Business viability and likelihood of permanence
    •  MWVBE (Minority, Veteran and/or Women Business Enterprise) status of business owner
    • Business location in a Downtown Development District or a federally designated opportunity zone. 
    • Job creation/revenue growth

Grant funds can be used for: 

    • Market analysis assistance
    • Advertising assistance
    • Building infrastructure/cosmetic enhancements
    • Essential equipment
    • Website design
    • Rent assistance for lab space

For more information click here

Other Business Grants 

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce updates a list every week that includes more than 60 grants and loans that small businesses can access. To view the list click here

Grants.Gov also provides searchable databases for federal grants businesses of all sizes can apply for. The website provides free resources, such as grant writing tips and a grant learning center. 

Score, partly funded by the U.S. Small Businesses Administration, is a free mentor program small business owners can use for advice, consulting, and education resources. U.S. residents can also use the service to help start a small business. 

State and federal incentives may be an opportunity within the industry to spur activity in the collision market.


Photo courtesy of Hailshadow/iStock

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