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Small Business Funding

The Sonoma County Alliance Small Business Grant Is Now Open!

The Sonoma County Alliance is a coalition of business, agriculture, labor, and individuals organized to encourage a healthy economy, maintain a sound environment, protect private property rights, and promote a responsive political process.  Understanding that raising capital or finding loans is one of the greatest challenges facing small business owners today, the Sonoma County Alliance is building a multi-year small business grant program to support the rejuvenation and growth of the Sonoma County economy. What is the Sonoma County Alliance Small Business Opportunity Grant? The Sonoma County Alliance Small Business Opportunity Grant  is open for applications now through April 22, 2022, at 6 p.m. ET. All Sonoma County-based small businesses are encouraged to apply.  Judges will prioritize business owners who have traditionally lacked access to capital. If selected, you will receive a $1,000 grant. Everyone who applies receives free access to the thousands of curated resources and a community of 600,000+ small business owners on Hello Alice. Grant Qualifications To qualify for the Sonoma County Alliance Small Business Opportunity Grant, you must: Be a for-profit business located in Sonoma County Have been in operation for at least one year as of March 14, 2022 Have fewer than 25 employees Have a clear plan for the proposed use of funds For a full list of eligibility criteria, see the Terms and Conditions. Do you think that this grant could take your Sonoma County business to the next level?  Learn more!
Mar 15, 2022 • < 1 min read
Small Business Funding

The KKR Small Business Builders Grant Program for Female Founders Is Open!

Now in its seventh round, in honor of International Women’s Day, the KKR Small Business Builders Grant Program for Female Founders provides woman-identifying entrepreneurs from around the world with $10,000 to help their small businesses recover and grow in response to the pandemic. What would a $10,000 grant mean for your small business and the community it serves? That’s what we want to know from anyone applying to the $10,000 KKR Small Business Builders Grant Program for Female Founders. This grant program is presented in partnership with the Global Entrepreneurship Network and Hello Alice. What is the KKR Small Business Builders Grant Program? Launched in the early days of the pandemic, the program was created as a key pillar of KKR's COVID-19 Relief Effort with the goal of supporting small business owners around the world as they recover from the pandemic and build toward a better future. All women-owned businesses are encouraged to apply, but judges will emphasize companies that have pivoted their business in response to the pandemic, are operated by New Majority owners, and provide important community services. If selected, you will receive a $10,000 grant. Everyone who applies receives free access to the thousands of curated resources. Plus, they join a community of 600,000+ small business owners on Hello Alice. Eligibility To qualify for the KKR Small Business Builders Grant Program for Female Founders, you must: Be owned (51%+) by a woman or woman-identifying individual Be a for-profit business operating in at least one of the following countries: Australia, China, England, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Japan, Luxembourg, Singapore, Spain, United Arab Emirates, and/or the United States Must have a minimum of five (5) employees and a maximum of fifty (50) employees Must have annual gross revenues in 2021 of less than $7 million USD Past Recipients Hundreds of small business owners have already been named recipients in Rounds 1–6 of the program. Ranging from healthcare providers to children’s gyms and comedy clubs, these recipients are using the funds to further their missions and serve their communities. Lesia Daniel, owner of Funtime Preschool of Clinton, Mississippi, says she will use the $10,000 to offer relief to parents navigating childcare during the ongoing pandemic. “Funtime provides high quality, responsive early care and education as well as after school care,” Daniel says. “This grant will cover tuition for families who have to quarantine due to a positive COVID case or COVID exposure.” Where to Apply Do you think that this grant could take your business to the next level? Applications are now open through April 20, 2022, at 6 p.m. ET! Learn more and apply today!
Mar 8, 2022 • 2 min read
Small Business Funding

Help Take Your Business to New Heights With the Small Business Progress Loan From Accion Opportunity Fund

To all hard-working Black business owners in need of growth capital, the Small Business Progress Loan from Accion Opportunity Fund might be for you!  Loans with fair and transparent terms Small Business Progress Loan¹ amounts range from $5,000 – $100,000 with interest rates ranging from 5.99% - 14.99% and no prepayment penalties. Your rate and the amount you may be approved for are dependent on your credit and financial standing. Terms apply. [Learn more] Eligibility requirements* 12+ months in business $50K+ in annual sales 20%+ ownership About Accion Opportunity Fund Accion Opportunity Fund is a nonprofit lender. Because they don’t exist to make a profit, they use the money from your repayment to support other business owners. And because no two businesses are alike, they structure loans for an individual business. Helping uplift growing businesses “The shift to remote work created a new space for us, as an IT company, to help other businesses work safely. Now, that’s materializing into more business opportunities. As we keep scaling, this loan will help us make a key hire.” —William Ford Founder and CEO, K Systems Solutions More support and resources Accion Opportunity Fund’s staff is available by phone to help you complete the loan application and gather final documents, including bank statements and tax returns. They can also guide you to other resources for small businesses.  Help your small business continue to grow with the Small Business Progress Loan You can start your application online by using a self-service loan application form. Or, call Accion Opportunity Fund’s customer support team who will assist you over the phone at 1-866-458-3555.   [Learn More] Accion Opportunity Fund is proudly supported by American Express  American Express has invested in Accion Opportunity Fund to support their mission of creating a more equitable path to funding. ¹ Loans made by Accion Opportunity Fund Community Development. California Lenders License number 6050609 All loans and loan servicing are provided exclusively by Accion Opportunity Fund Community Development and its affiliates. Accion Opportunity Fund Community Development and its affiliates are independent third-party companies that are not owned, controlled or operated by, or affiliated with American Express. American Express makes no guarantee or endorsement regarding Accion Opportunity Fund Community Development, its affiliates, or their products or services. Accion Opportunity Fund Community Development and its affiliates solely own and manage their products and services on their own behalf and manage all aspects of their customer relationship, including making all credit and underwriting decisions. If you receive a loan from Accion Opportunity Fund Community Development or its affiliates, American Express will not be the lender. The Federal Equal Credit Opportunity Act prohibits creditors from discriminating against credit applicants on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, age (provided the applicant has the capacity to enter into a binding contract); because all or part of the applicant’s income derives from any public assistance program; or because the applicant has in good faith exercised any of his/her rights under the law. The Federal agency that administers compliance with this law concerning this creditor is the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). * Other eligibility criteria may apply. All applications are subject to review. Actual rates depend on fundamental credit score, loan terms, and credit usage and history.
Mar 4, 2022 • 2 min read
Small Business Funding

Introducing The BOSS Network and Sage Invest in Progress Grant!

The BOSS Network, an online community of professional and entrepreneurial women, has partnered with Sage, the market-leading provider of integrated accounting, payroll and payment systems, to launch the Invest in Progress Grant. “Black women are starting businesses at the fastest rate of any other racial group, yet despite the growing number of businesses, minority women are left out when it comes to access to capital,” says Cameka Smith, founder of the BOSS Network. “The best way to encourage Black women founders is to invest in them and give them resources needed to make their businesses successful.” The BOSS Network and Sage Invest in Progress Grant will be funding $10,000 grants to 25 eligible entrepreneurs. This inaugural program also provides one year of monthly mentorship through the BOSS University, an online program that helps Black women successfully start and grow a business. Starting on January 26, 2022, Black women entrepreneurs in need of capital and support for their business can apply for the chance to receive a $10,000 grant and mentorship package. In addition, every applicant gets free access to the thousands of curated resources and a community of nearly 600,000 small business owners on Hello Alice. To qualify for The BOSS Network and Sage Invest in Progress Grant, you must:     Be a Black woman-identifying entrepreneur who is the leading executive (i.e. Founder) of a for-profit small business founded in the last five yearsHave a demonstrated need for fundsBe willing to participate in a virtual mentoring program The application deadline is February 25, 2022, at 6 p.m. ET. So, if you are a Black women entrepreneur in need of funding and support for your small business, don’t miss this opportunity to be considered for The BOSS Network and Sage Invest in Progress Grant. Apply for the grant today!
Jan 26, 2022 • < 1 min read
Small Business Funding

Announcing the Democratizing the Friends & Family Round Grant Recipients

After receiving a record 12,000 applications, we’re proud to announce the recipients of Democratizing the Friends & Family Round by Project Entrepreneur, a program by UBS, in partnership with Hello Alice! This initiative awards $25,000 grants and virtual coaching to 40 female founders of color leading early-stage, high-growth companies. These impressive founders are building companies nationwide ranging from STEAM-focused gaming for girls and AI-powered beauty brands to medtech innovations and artisanal food products, and more. Recipients will use the funding to help them get to their next big milestone on their pathways to scale. Review the full list of recipients below, and visit the Small Business Funding Center to find more grant opportunities and lending options.
Jan 24, 2022 • < 1 min read
Small Business Funding

Announcing the Alibaba.com Grants Program Recipients

We’re proud to announce the recipients of the Alibaba.com Grants Program! With support and guidance from Hello Alice, Alibaba.com created the program to offer fifty $10,000 cash grants to help U.S. online entrepreneurs bring their innovative product or go-to-market ideas to life. Review the full list of recipients below, and visit the Small Business Funding Center to find more grant opportunities and lending options. Play Out Apparel | Abby Sugar Inside Out Goodness | Seth Sundberg Hi Mat Company | Lynzi Clark The Solar Guru | Ali Turner The Refill Shoppe | Casey Michelle Stevens Blancarte | Cecile Blancarte The Lofty Collector Solutions | Ricardo Castro The Crease Beast | Matt Jones Vecina Couture | Ada Rojas Eva Jane Beauty | Eva Jane Bunkley SprinJene | Dr. Sayed Ibrahim Scarlett Collection | Morgan Kelley STEM Powered Kits | Zakiya Brown Status Co. Leather Studio | Tenita Strand LipRevolt | Courtney Stewart CISE | Blake Van Putten Brilliant You Denim | Terry Davis Unique Threads | Sheriff Muse-Ariyoh Nailstry | Aurelia Edwards The Milk Mission | Gina VanCant Joiful Bee | Joi Wade Nick Ricardo Collection | Nick Yeast Wicks + Scents | Shauna Cooper Curly Contessa | Kristin Farmer Baddie Labs Cosmetics | Keneshia Berkley Paris Fit | Noel Davis Be Happy Handcrafted | Bianka Hollins Copper and Brass Paper Goods | Ariel Young The Global Sense | Elizabeth Strickland Kaka'ako Kasuals | Kiakahi Wong Gelateria Uli | Ulviyya Nasibova FEND | Sujene Kong Rooted Fare | Ashley Xie Parents Are Human | Joseph Lam Bao Box | Si-Chi Hefel Fairy Circle Garden | Jeremy Jackson Miss Swiss | Ashley Piszek Cloth Cuties | Jamie T. Frank SortJoy | Stefani Herr SHE — Support Heal Empower | Sierra Williams Curtis & Company Apparel | Angelica Curtis OmniVis | Katherine Clayton kanti | Keamone Frederick Element Mom | Xuemei (Sarah) Li Adura | Jacqueline Amadi Copper Door Coffee Roasters | Hannah Ulbrich Pawstries | Treasure Crocker First Sip Brew Box | Dennis Guy ParentCo | Jasmine Johnson Rugged Black Athleisure Activewear | Matt Addison
Dec 14, 2021 • 2 min read
Small Business Funding

Announcing the Round 2 eBay Up & Running Grants Recipients

We're proud to announce the Round 2 recipients of the eBay Up & Running Grants! With support and guidance from Hello Alice, eBay created the Up & Running Grants program to give back to the small businesses that power America. Each recipient will receive a grant of $10,000, plus coaching through eBay Seller School to help support their continued growth and success online. Review the full list of recipients below, and visit the Small Business Funding Center to find more grant opportunities and lending options. A list of Round 1 recipients can be found here. eBay Up & Running Grants Recipients — Round 2 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g7K7QIUdZCY Jude Lugo J&L Making a Difference | Flower Mound, TX Lawrence Njuguna 3N Group | Bowie, MD Adam Hathaway Advanced Manufacturing Supply | Westbrook, ME Jake Mallerdino Altumitseller | Pewaukee, WI Anna Packer Annaesthetic Miscellany | Flowery Branch, GA Nila Siok Appealing Signs | Elk Grove Village, IL Kristina Compton Auto Parts Puller | Scotland Neck, NC Katelyn Huffine Beauty On Point and on Budget | Lawton, OK Robin Thomas Books With Character | Landenberg, PA Brandon Bergholz Bravo Charlies Kicks & Customs | Ashland, OH Jacqueline Green Brendan Reid Imaging | Frankfort, KY Vince Kachatorian Countryroadautoparts | Glendale, CA Dave Cole Crazy4Pickleball | St. George, UT Jill Norton Dragon Tail Resale | Saint Charles, IL Sandy Herrera Elias Collectibles | New York, NY Eric Sim EVS Trading Company | San Francisco, CA John Fetchko FarFetched Cards | Irwin, PA Maria Victoria Cerdenia Gift Ko | Washington, D.C. Shahrad Mohebbi Global Online Retail | Katy, TX Jeff Lee Halo Custom Guitars | Cupertino, CA Lorri Hammer Jan's Jewelry Junction | Ventura, CA Patricia Snead Jetsetglam | Henderson, NV Fal Upton Oasis Market: The Conscious Corner Store | Tampa, FL Maykau Yang KraZGifz | Brooklyn Park, MN Jeremy Maddox Left Right Liquidations | Morgantown, WV Kathleen McNamara Lola Frocks | San Francisco, CA Nandai Mo Nandaimo | Irvine, CA Sunghyo Lee Newdelphe | Fairfield, CT Rachid Saint Jean Nismopar | Orlando, FL Michael Payne Jr. Northwest Decalz | Yelm, WA David Jordan Nostalgics Online | Belton, MO Nhan Phan NP Galleria | Chicago, IL Shannon Hoolihan Parts At Your Door | Belleville, IL Jacob Pendleton Pendleton Group | Dothan, AL Sasha Wood Prayz Pairs | Pullman, WA Lorie Wuttke Remember When | Delavan, WI Ian Roberts Remote Wholesalers | New York, NY Serena Coleman Riff Raff Resale | Sandy, UT Rhonda Abraham Ronnie's Closet 2 | Windermere, FL Alex Carrera Save A Suit | Bethel, CT Shari Smith Shari Sells | Erie, CO John Agnello Snap Goes My Cap | Brooklyn, NY Tamara Baker Sneaker Solecial | Lyman, SC Carlos Solis Stuff-4-Less | Pomona, CA Margaret Sommers The Ladies Room | Lombard, IL Richard Benedetti The TAG Hut | St. Petersburg, FL Jennifer Walker Theory Comics | Rye, CO Rosalia Villa Thrifting Babe | Ventura, CA Marcus Binion Urban ReinVintage | Washington, D.C. Waylen Hunsucker Way Motor Works | Atlanta, GA Visit the Small Business Funding Center for the latest grant opportunities and lending options.
Dec 7, 2021 • 2 min read
Small Business Funding

5 Smart Ways to Spend $5K on Your Small Business

Whether you find yourself with an extra $5,000 from a small business grant, an investor, or simply savings, we want to ensure small business owners are putting every funding opportunity to maximum use. But how can you get the best return? Let’s go over some smart ways to spend $5K on your small business.  If there’s something pretty much every small business owner could use more of, it’s time. When spent wisely, a moderate amount of excess capital can help you get just that. That’s why Hello Alice provides small business grants to help you purchase the tools and the extra hands you need to get more done each day and grow your business throughout 2022, the Year of (Your) Small Business. Here are some of our favorite ways to invest $5k back into your business. 1. Consolidate Debts If you’ve fallen on challenging times as a business owner, one of the best ways to utilize your funds is to consolidate debt. Use $5K to pay off any small outstanding debts and reduce the number of bills you pay each month. This will free your mind of worry and allow you to focus on growth opportunities.  2. Invest in Tools to Scale Hello Alice community members shared a compelling investment that will pay off all year long: automation tools. For example, consider tools in any of the following areas: Customer Relation Management (Salesforce, Hubspot)Accounting (FinancePal, Sage 50cloud)Workflow (Notarum)E-commerce (Square, Shopify) If the service has a monthly fee, see if you can purchase  an annual license. This frees up valuable time for you and your employees to produce, market, and sell through 2022. 3. Refine Your Branding Whether you are spiffing up your website or need a new branding strategy, how you convey your story and present yourself to the world is an important step to take. Branding builds trust and helps your customers recognize your value proposition as they consider buying your products or services. Invest in branding by working with: Brand StrategistsGraphic DesignersCopywritersMarket Researchers Any of these experts can help to elevate the look and feel of your brand. Use websites like Fiverr to find a freelancer in these or other areas. 4. Boost Your Marketing Spend money to get new customers! From brick and mortar, to e-commerce, and consulting — any business model can benefit from spending money on marketing to reach new prospects. Two of our favorite ways to utilize extra budget and drive brand awareness online include: Paid Social Media MarketingSEO Consider hiring consultants in these areas or enrolling an employee in a certification course to further invest in their career development along with your business. 5. Outsource Support While $5K might not allow you to hire a full-time employee, it may be put to good use if you can outsource tasks that would otherwise eat up your time. Options for outsourcing might include: MarketingAccountingLegalTechnology We hope these ways to spend $5K inspire you in your small business journey! For more small business tips and funding opportunities, create a free Hello Alice account or subscribe to our newsletter. 
Dec 1, 2021 • 2 min read
Small Business Funding

Applications Are Now Open for Democratizing the Friends & Family Round by Project Entrepreneur, a Program by UBS!

Are you a female founder of color looking for funding to jumpstart your company? That’s what we want to know from anyone applying to the $25,000 Democratizing the Friends & Family Round program. Offered in partnership with Hello Alice and Project Entrepreneur, a program by UBS, this initiative aims to bridge the early-stage funding gap that female founders of color face by providing access to the capital and support they need to succeed. Thirty founders of color will receive a $25,000 grant and access to virtual coaching and skill-building opportunities to help them build and prepare for their next stage of investment. Everyone who applies will also receive free access to thousands of curated resources and a community of 450,000+ small business owners on Hello Alice. To qualify for the grant program, your company must: Be a for-profit companyHave at least one woman-identifying founder of colorHave a venture-scalable or venture-viable companyHave a demonstrated need for funds in order to achieve a significant business milestone The Democratizing the Friends & Family Round program prioritizes female founders of color who are building high-growth companies and who aim to raise venture capital to accelerate their growth. That means companies with a business model that allows them to rapidly increase sales or revenues without requiring significant changes to how they do business. You can learn more about the different types of funding and whether venture capital is a good option for your company with the interactive Choose the Right Capital Guide from Hello Alice. Applications for the program are now open through November 10, 2021, at 6 p.m. ET! Visit ubs.helloalice.com to learn more and apply today
Oct 6, 2021 • < 1 min read
Small Business Funding

Everything You Need to Know About Small Business Grants

More than anything else, small business owners need funding to keep their doors open. There are a variety of ways to fund a business, including personal savings, loans, credit cards, and grants.  Between the government, corporations, and other sources, there are billions of grant dollars up for grabs in a single year. Small business owners should regularly explore grants as a way to hire seasonal help, purchase equipment, or launch new products. Here’s everything you need to know about how to find and apply for small business grants.  What Are Small Business Grants? Small business grants are money given to a small business by a government, corporate, or nonprofit organization. Grants do not require repayment, and they are often used to support a particular project, objective, or mission. What’s the Difference Between a Small Business Grant and a Loan? When you take out a small business loan, the expectation is that you will pay it back, typically plus interest. Lenders will often require you to provide collateral in the event you can’t repay the loan amount. Grants, on the other hand, have no expectation of repayment and function as a one-time gift. For this reason, some call grants “free money.”  Small Business Grants Benefits First off, small business grants are a great, no-strings-attached way to fund growth and scale your impact. As a one-time, no-cost payment, grant money help entrepreneurs invest in a new piece of equipment or purchase additional inventory for the holiday rush. After all, the number one small business need is funding, and grants can provide the money needed to build capacity to support future success. Additionally, organizations and government agencies provide grants because of their positive impact on the larger community. Many grant programs specifically fund businesses with a positive social mission or that offer necessary goods and services. Grant funding is a great way to incentivize local small businesses to serve the public good. Successful small businesses also create well-paying jobs that enrich the local economy. Types of Small Business Grants Generally speaking, there are a few types of grants you’ll find: Government Grants There are thousands of local, state, and federal grants available to small businesses to fund their ideas and projects to provide public services and stimulate the economy. Grants are typically offered by specific agencies for specific purposes. For example, a small farm would probably benefit from a Department of Agriculture grant; technology businesses researching an innovative product might be a good match for a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant administered by the Small Business Administration. Depending on who you are, where you’re located, and what industry you work in, there is likely a government grant program tailored to support your needs. Nonprofit Grants Lots of nonprofits offer grants to small businesses doing work that aligns with their mission. If you are an owner from an underrepresented background or have a business with a social mission, these nonprofits will be eager to review your application. Private Grants Although less common, private businesses administer grant programs to benefit specific communities and social missions. A popular private grant is the WomensNet Amber Grant, which awards $10,000 to a woman-owned business each month. Hello Alice Grants Working with our partners, we directly administer grant programs that connect entrepreneurs with funds, mentorship opportunities, and other resources to help their small businesses launch and grow. Every applicant also gets free access to our suite of how-to guides, personalized resources, and a community of more than half a million small business owners. Where to Find Grants There are thousands of grant opportunities; look for grants specifically suited to your business. Here are some resources to help you find the needle in the haystack: Grants.gov This database is your go-to resource for grant money from the United States federal government. Grants.gov allows you to search thousands of grant offers from federal agencies such as the Department of Agriculture, National Science Foundation, and others with billions of dollars in grant funding opportunities available to entrepreneurs. Visit the Grants Learning Center for resources and information to help you apply for government grants. Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) The are 62 SBDCs spread across the United States that offer advice and guidance to local small businesses. SBDCs are a great way to find information about local, state, and federal grant programs. If you have questions or need advice about completing a grant application, SBDCs are a great resource.   Hello Alice Small Business Funding Center The Small Business Funding Center compiles all the best grants from around the web — including government and private grants — and organizes them in one place. A free Hello Alice account grants anyone access. Hello Alice Newsletter Finally, subscribe to our weekly newsletter to be among the first to hear about newly announced grant programs, as well as other small business resources. Are Grants Taxable Income? In general, yes, grants are considered taxable income. Typically, you include a small business grant, whether from a private or government source, as part of your annual gross business income and taxed accordingly. Finally, if you receive a small business grant, it’s always a good idea to double-check with the grantor and consult a tax professional for definitive advice. How to Qualify for Small Business Grants The qualifications for a grant vary depending on the program.  Most often, grants target a particular industry or demographic. For example, many government grants specify that applicants work in a particular industry relevant to the granting agency’s mission. Other programs might seek to benefit New Majority groups that have historically lacked access to traditional funding opportunities, such as women, people of color, veterans, people with disabilities, and the LGBTQ+ community. Always read a grant’s eligibility requirements to determine if you qualify for the program. Additionally, many grants limit their eligibility to small businesses. What counts as a small business? Government programs typically adhere to the SBA’s “size standards,” which define a maximum revenue or employee count for different industries. Private/nonprofit grants will sometimes establish similar definitions for a small business to ensure funds go to small businesses that will benefit most. Can I Get a Grant for a New Business? Again, it depends, but grant programs usually judge applicants based on their proposed use of funds. Established businesses that are able to lay out a clear plan for how the grant will be put to use have an upper hand on new businesses that are just starting out.  How to Apply for Grants Your grant application tells the story of your business and explains how you’ll put the funds to use.  Every program is different, but the answers in a successful application will align with the goals of the overall program. For example, if the program helps restaurants expand outdoor dining, address your plans for that in your application. Grant applications typically include the following details: Mission statement Company background Leadership team Projected budget/use of funds Short-term and long-term business plan or goals A successful grant application uses these details to make a compelling case for how your small business uses the funds. Additionally, because many grants exist to make a positive impact on local small businesses and reward innovation, try to set yourself apart from the crowd by providing a specific vision for what the grant makes possible. Finally, a good application presents a plan for the funds, a team to execute it, and a way to measure success. Looking for more tips? Review Hello Alice’s step-by-step Write a Winning Grant Application guide for an in-depth explanation of what grant reviewers are looking for. For more small business tips and inspiration create a free account on Hello Alice or subscribe to our weekly newsletter.
Sep 20, 2021 • 5 min read