Business Grant Opportunities

If you are looking for potential grant opportunities for your business, check out our list below. Grants are categorized by type, offering a high-level overview of details such as eligibility requirements, designated purposes, and more. Please click on the grant name to find out more information about the grant or to apply.

Please note: The list provided is not exhaustive and there may be additional grant opportunities available for businesses. It is essential for business owners to conduct further research to determine their eligibility for any specific grants.

To find other grant opportunities visit:

  1. Corporate
  2. Federal
  3. State

AARP - Upskilling Grants for Employers

  • For small businesses that intend to train and upskill low-wage workers age 50+, this grant program will reimburse employers up to $2,000-$2,500 per employee for training.
  • Applicant is a small business with qualifying employee(s) 50+ years of age. Applicant intends to train qualifying employee(s) to improve or add to their job skills. Qualifying employee(s) currently earn $16/hour or less on average, and work at least 30 hours per week, and are W-2 employees. Training to be completed and reported by November 30, 2023. Applicant must demonstrate evidence increasing wage at least $2/hour once training is completed ($2.50/hour min. increase to earn the maximum grant award).

Amber Grant

  • Rolling applications
  • Up to $10,000
  • Businesses must be at least 50% women-owned and be in existence for at least one year
  • The application does require a fee to apply however the organization has been awarding funding since 1998 and has proven reputable.

Black Founder Startup Grant

  • Rolling applications
  • $10,000
  • Self-identify as a Black woman or Black nonbinary entrepreneur (inclusive of multiracial Black women and multiracial Black nonbinary folks) and have a legally registered business plan to seek investor financing in order to scale, now or in the future, have a scalable, high-impact solution or idea with the ambition to be the next billion dollar business.

Etsy Emergency Relief Fund

  • Rolling applications
  • $2,500
  • Etsy sellers may be eligible for relief funding thanks to CERF+, a nonprofit organization that provides support and preparation resources to artists during emergencies and disasters. This program grants up to $2,500 to Etsy sellers who have been through a natural disaster.

Fearless Fund - Women of Color Grant Program

  • Starting April 18, rolling application windows
  • $10,000
  • Businesses must be at least 51% WOC owned; Revenue generating (Minimum annual revenue of $100,000 strongly preferred); One to five years in business preferred; Formed under United States law and operating in the United States.

Fresh Start Business Grant

  • Deadlines are June 30 and September 30
  • $2,500
  • Must be 21 years or older, Must be US Resident, Must be planning to start a new business or grow an existing business. Must complete 2 min video explaining how entrepreneurship will impact your life. Must provide sample business plan. Must complete online application.
  • Great for those looking to start a business or those who have recently started. 

HerRise Micro-Grant

  • The HerRise Micro-Grant provides financial assistance, with the help of our corporate sponsors and donors, to Women of Color creating innovative solutions that impact their community and that are often unable to secure funding for their small business. Each month a $1,000 micro-grant will be awarded to a small business owner. Small business grants are useful for financing a particular small business need. Past recipients used their growth grants for computers, equipment, marketing materials, software purchase, website creation and more.
  • Applications accepted on a rolling basis.
  • $1,000
  • The HerRise Micro-Grant provides financial assistance, with the help of our corporate sponsors and donors, to women of color creating innovative solutions that impact their community and that are often unable to secure funding for their small business.

High Five Grants for Moms

  • Mom entrepreneurs are invited to apply here. Plan 30-60 minutes to complete your application and share the high five “why” behind your business on social media, tagging @themamaladder with hashtag #highfivegrant.
  • September 1 - 30
  • You are a Mom! This grant is exclusively for women caregivers with human child(ren) of all ages. If your children are adults, we say: “Once a mom, always a mom.” This grant also welcomes first-time expecting moms, stepmoms, and foster moms. You own at least 50% of a for-profit product or service-based business and are serious about growth. You can verify earning business revenue in the past 12 months. You know the WHY behind your business and will share it with the world.

Hivers & Strivers Investment Program

  • As an angel investment group, Hivers and Strivers works to provide capital to qualifying businesses. Specifically, the investment group funds projects submitted by veteran-owned and veteran-led businesses. 
  • Rolling applications
  • Veteran Owned/Led Business in the early stage with opportunities for significant growth seeking initial investment of $200-$500K. Not investing in lifestyle businesses, franchises, trucking companies, or companies reliant on government contracts, etc.

Military Entrepreneur Challenge

  • Up to $15,000
  • Applicants must be at least 21 years of age at the time of application. Applicants must be a veteran, Reservist, National Guardsman, or transitioning active-duty Military Member of any of the United States Armed Forces, the spouse of a Military Member, or the surviving spouse or child of a Military Member who died on active duty (i.e., a “Gold Star” family member). Applicants must be low-income and otherwise lack the financial means to start, or grow, an early-stage business or nonprofit. Applicants must own at least 51% of the business entity described in the application. Business entities, as defined in these rules, include sole proprietorships, legally incorporated LLCs, S-Corps or C-Corps (or formal partnerships) created under the laws of any U.S. jurisdiction. If the Applicant is applying in conjunction with a nonprofit organization, the Applicant must be the organization’s senior executive director or equivalent in order to be eligible for the grant. The nonprofit or business entity will also be evaluated on its positive social, community, educational, military-transition, veterans’ employment, health and wellness, or veterans’ mental health/spiritual impact on the American military and veteran community in addition to or in conjunction with the business or nonprofit functions.

National Association of the Self Employed

  • Rolling applications
  • Up to $4,000
  • Grants can be used for marketing, advertising, hiring employees, expanding facilities and other specific business needs.
  • Must be a member.

SoGal Startup Grant

  • Winners of the SoGal Startup Grant get a cash award of either $5,000 or $10,000 in startup funding. They also receive professional guidance to help navigate the fundraising process. This benefit aims to even the business playing field, promoting a more equitable chance for black women founders to scale their businesses.
  • July 14
  • Applicants need to identify as a Black woman or nonbinary entrepreneur (multiracial individuals in these categories may also apply). Additionally, you must own a business that’s legally registered, demonstrate a plan to seek investor capital and share your business idea—an idea with the potential to scale to a billion-dollar business.

Stephen L. Tadlock Veteran Grant

  • Twenty-five veterans will win $1,000 micro-grants through this program. The program is open to U.S. veterans who own businesses that employ between two and 50 people, and whose annual revenue does not exceed $5 million. You can pre-register for the 2023 cycle now.
  • The full application opens on September 19, 2023. The deadline to complete the grant application is October 16, 2023.
  • Must be a U.S. military veteran. Must be a CEO, President, or Business Owner. Must have an active U.S. based business. Business annual revenue does not exceed $5M. Must have between 2 to 50 employees.

Wish Local Empowerment Program

  • There are no specific requirements on how to allocate the funds. However, it is encouraged that you put the money toward keeping your workforce employed, pay rent, operation, and inventory costs, connect to other customers, and provide opportunities to your community.
  • $500 - $2,000
  • Black-owned business, with 20 or fewer employees, and brick - and mortar shop in the US. Store must earn an average revenue of under $1 million dollars.

If you are a Calvert County Small Business Assistance Grant Fund recipient looking for the reporting document, please click here.

For questions, please email or call the Department of Economic Development at 410-535-4583.