Small Business Grants for Minorities

Small Business Grants for Minorities

The government sets aside millions of dollars as grants for minorities to help this marginalized section of the population. Read through this article to know more about the programs available.
Nearly 275 billion dollars have been earmarked by the administration as federal grants and a large share of that money is for financing minority-owned businesses. The government has recognized the need to support entrepreneurs to help develop these communities. Most federal schemes are reserved for nonprofit organizations and state government projects that work towards community development.

In these times of an economic recession, it is difficult to find gainful employment, hence, the government has come up with a 787 billion dollar stimulus plan to cushion the economy. A large portion of this money will go towards entrepreneurial projects that will create jobs and benefit the people. A good example of such a venture is a day care center, which will provide employment in the community, and will also allow mothers to look for employment without worrying about child care.

Classification

Before beginning your search, you must determine whether or not your concern can be classified as a minority business. According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), they are categorized in six demographic groups, namely Asian, African American, Native American (Indian or Alaskan), Native Hawaiian, Hispanic, and Pacific Islander. To qualify, the owner must possess at least 51 percent of the company's assets or equity.

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA)

The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) website provides details about minority grants and their application procedures. You can also track the status of your application on the government grants website with your funding opportunity number (FON) or CFDA number.

Small Business Administration (SBA)

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is a good resource for obtaining information about grant opportunities and obtaining forms. They also run a Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) program, through which professionally-managed funds invest in qualifying businesses for the long term.

Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA)

The U.S. Department of Commerce has created the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) which is committed to assist entrepreneurs from the disadvantaged communities. They provide assistance and tips on how to start a small-scale business. They support small minority business enterprises (MBE) in drawing up marketing plans, provide technical assistance, and financial planning guidance. The MBDA has over 40 business development centers mostly located in areas which have a concentration of minority population and businesses.

Other Agencies

There are many other government and private agencies which provide startup capital to small minority businesses. Some of these organizations include the Prosperity Partnership and the National Minority Supply and Diversity Council. They also help in locating other funding opportunities. Besides, you can visit your local chamber of commerce, check the government grants website, or contact organizations like Rotary.

According to a survey, Hispanics are the largest minority group consisting of 15 percent of the population, followed by African-Americans at 13 percent, and Native Americans at 1 percent. The Obama government also enacted the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, under which funds were set aside as grants for the next 10 years.
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