Government Support for startups has become the need of the hour, The pandemic blew up the entrepreneurs and startup ecosystems.
Maximal of them faced cash crunches and venture capital dry out. Cash is the biggest concern for startups. Venture Capitalists began pulling out their investments. Moreover, start-ups witnessed a slow fundraising process, accompanied by unresponsiveness from investors.
Additionally, the worldwide workforces weren’t remained untouched by its spilled over. Startups began laying off employees and cutting down salaries. Research by StartupGenome says every three out of four employees were letting off their employer.
While 39% of them laid off 20% or more of the staff, two-thirds of them admitted to cut back 60% or more of their full-time employees. In the US, the economy experienced the sharpest deep in employment trend has 20.5 million people lost their job.
Thereafter, to tackle this and minimize the pandemic’s spillover effect on startups, the government of many countries has stepped in to save their country’s Startup ecosystem.
Below we’ve listed a few of the initiatives by the government for supporting startups during the ongoing cash crises.
1) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)
The government’s support for startups, first and foremost, includes the SBIR Program that offers to fund to small & high-tech businesses for research, design, innovation, development, and alongside testing of new technological ideas.
When the extramural R&D budgets of Federal agencies exceed $100 million, they are required to allocate funds to both SBIR & STTR. For entities to qualify, they should operate a for-profit business with less than 500 employees.
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2) Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR)
The program aims at funding cooperative R&D partnerships held between small businesses and a research institution. Whereas, these institutions could be Federal R&D Centres, Universities, non-profit research institutes, etc.
SBIR & STTR has the same criteria for qualifications with a similar three-phase program. That includes Concept Development (Phase I), Prototype Development (Phase II) & Commercialization (Phase III)
3) U.S. Small Business Administration State Trade Expansion Program (STEP)
STEP assists small businesses that are into product exports, and assists in overcoming obstacles that may arise while the exportation of products. Additionally, it offers grants, to cover costs relating to entering and expanding into international markets.
Moreover, entities that are eligible for STEP’s financial support get to participate in foreign trade missions, an opportunity to design international marketing products, website globalization support & e-commerce capabilities. Alongside, startups can even obtain eligibility to participate in trade shows, exhibitions, & training workshops.
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4) U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA)
EDA is the arm of the United States Department of Commerce. Formed in 1965, the administration works on offering technical assistance and grants to startups that are economically and financially distressed.
Besides, it focuses on generating new employment scope, retaining existing jobs, and stimulates commercial and economic growth. In addition, it prioritizes, leveraging equity, building economic resilience, workforce development, technology-based and environmentally sustained development, with an effort to increase FDI and exports.
5) KKR Small Business Builders
KKR’s Small Business Builders is an initiative under the KKR’s larger covid relief fund. Furthermore, its key focus is on the businesses that are in the process of pivoting business to increase the responsiveness to the pandemic and belongs to historically underrepresented groups or provides important community service.
Moreover, it aims at providing support to individuals, communities, and businesses that are overblown due to the covid effect. The program offers grants of $10,000 to small businesses for COVID-19 recovery in collaboration with Hello Alice.
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6) Amber Grant Foundation
Amber Grant Foundation has a goal of empowering businesswomen and helping them in realizing their business dream. Founded in 1998, the foundation offers $10,000 every month under Amber Grant money. Additionally, it has started offering $25000 grants at every year-end for women with promising business plans.
7) National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE) Growth Grants
Under Government support for startups, it founded NASE in 1981, a non-profit & membership-based Grant facility. Its purpose is to support founders and entrepreneurs of small & micro-businesses. However, the entity has to be its member for 90 days to be eligible for the grant.
Furthermore, its membership offers benefits such as access to business guidance, legal and tax information, discount programs, and life insurance benefits. Through grant facility entities, can serve their businesses financial needs for marketing, advertising, hiring employees, increasing facilities, etc.
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8) SBA Restaurant Revitalization Fund
The Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) is provided under the American Rescue Plan Act of the SBA. The project offers to fund restaurants and food businesses that lost their revenue due to pandemics.
Meanwhile, the program aims to provide funding equal to pandemic losses of up to $10 billion per business. The eligible entities include Restaurants, Food stands, food trucks, food carts, Caterers, Bars, lounges, taverns, Snacks and non-alcoholic beverage bars, Bakeries, Brewpubs, tasting rooms, taprooms, etc.
9) Stacy’s Rise Project
Stacy’s Rise Project supports Female-Founded Businesses. And help female entrepreneurs to grow their businesses by opening doors to diverse facilities such as funding, mentorship, and community networking.
The 2021 edition of the Stacy’s Rise Project is sponsored by Stacy’s Pita Chips, with powered company Hello Alice. Besides, it has an award grant of $10,000 for women with small businesses and mentorship opportunities for female business owners.
10) Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs)
To support startups, the government initiated Small Business Development Centres (SBDCs) in partnership with U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), with its availability all over the USA States and territories. The Centre offers free marketing, financing and businesses related assistance, so to remain competitive in the existing market.
US Residents can connect with the nearest SBD centers to identify opportunities for financing, business aid, and mentorship facility. Entities can also avail themselves of free business consulting, low-cost business training services, technology development, manufacturing assistance, and many more.
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11) Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG)
SVOG includes around $16billion as grants. The purpose of this program is to serve small businesses that are hard-hit by economic conditions. It is amended by American Rescue Plan Act under the administration of SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance.
Eligible entities can avail of benefits of grants of up to 45% of the gross earned revenue. The beneficiary can avail a maximum of $10million as a single grant award. Moreover, the program also reserves $2billion for eligible applications with around 50 full-time workforces.
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