Business Grant Resources

Entrepreneur - show / hide

Grant Name: The Hispanic Business Initiative Fund of Florida, Inc. (HBIF)
Time & Dates: Ongoing
Synopsis: Entrepreneurial grants allow start-ups and existing businesses to receive professional business development services underwritten by HBIF.
Contact Information:
Grant Range: On individual bases

Grant Name: The National Association for the Self Employed (NASE) Growth Grants Program
Times & Dates: Ongoing
Synopsis: Grant funding allows business owners to apply for a grant useful for financing a particular small business need. Past recipients used their grant for computers, farm equipment, to hire part-time help, marketing materials and more. The NASE Growth Grants program offers access to capital for micro-business owners who have a specific business need, but lack the finances to carry out that goal.
Exclusions: Self-employed only
Contact Information:
Grant Range: Up to $4,000
Application Fee: Annual member fee

Grant Name: USDA Rural Business Enterprise Grants (RBEG) Program
Times & Dates: Varies - annual application
Synopsis: The USDA Rural Business Enterprise Grants (RBEG) Program provides grants to finance the development of small and emerging businesses in rural areas. The funds can be used for land acquisition, construction, renovation, technical assistance and project planning.
Exclusions: Any project funded under the RBEG program should benefit small and emerging private businesses in rural areas. Small and emerging private businesses are those that will employ 50 or fewer new employees and have less than $1 million in projected gross revenues. RBEG funds must be directed for projects benefitting rural areas or towns outside the urbanized periphery of any city with a population of 50,000 or more.
Contact Information:
Grant Range: $10,000 - $500,000 smaller requests are given higher priority

Investment - show / hide

Grant Name: Phase 0 Pilot Program
Time & Dates: Open ended - first come, first served
Synopsis: The program is designed to help Florida companies -- and particularly startup businesses that lack investment capital. Allowable expenses include consulting fees and professional fees, travel expenses and out-of-pocket expenses related to preparing the proposal for a SBIR or STTR grant.
Exclusions: Employee salaries, expenses incurred prior to execution of a contract with Enterprise Florida, Inc., and expenses incurred following the submission of the SBIR or STTR proposal.
Contact Information: Bill Spivey; VP, Capital Programs MaSBEC; (407) 956-5695
Grant Range: Up to $3,000
Application Fee: $250

Additional Resources: The Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) Program works with private investment funds licensed as SBICs to provide growth capital to U.S. small businesses. Although SBICs regulated by SBA, they are private, profit-seeking investment companies that make independent investment decisions. This link will provide you with the contact information needed to learn more about the SBIC Licensees in your state.

IT & Scientific - show / hide
Grant Name: Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) / Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR)
Time & Dates: Ongoing
Synopsis: NIH’s SBIR and STTR programs are an integral source of capital for early stage U.S. small businesses that are creating innovative technologies to improve health. These competitive programs help small businesses break into the federal research and development (R&D) arena, create life-saving technologies, and stimulate economic growth.
Exclusions: For more information on exclusions visit:
Contact Information:
Grant Range: On individual basis

Non-Profit - show / hide
Grant Name: Impact Polk 
Time & Dates: The grant application process began Sept. 25, 2015 and the deadline is Oct. 9.
Synopsis: All non-profit public charities that have a current section 501(c)3 and whose project service is a Polk County zip code.
Exclusions: One hundred percent of program participants must reside in, or receive services in Polk County zip codes
Contact Information: GiveWell Community Foundation; (863) 683-3131;
Grant Range: Up to $25,000

Grant Name: Community Investment Grant Rounds
Time & Dates: Spring
Synopsis: Limited to nonprofits in the Central Florida region
Contact Information:
Grant Range: On individual basis
Application: There is no application for these grants and building a portrait in Nonprofit Search is the first step to qualify for consideration.

Grant Name: Walmart Community Grant Program
Time & Dates: The 2017 grant cycle begins Feb. 1, 2017 and the application deadline to apply is Dec. 31, 2017.
Synopsis: Supports the needs of the local communities by providing grants to local non-profit organizations.
Eligible Applicant: An organization holding a current tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(3), (4), (6) or (19) of the Internal Revenue Code, listed in the IRS Master File that conduct activities in the United States; a recognized government entity: state, county, or city agency, including law enforcement or fire departments, that are requesting funds exclusively for public purposes; K-12 public or private school, charter school, community/junior college, state/private college or university; or a church or other faith-based organization with a proposed project that benefits the community at large such as food pantries, soup kitchens, clothing closets, etc.
Contact Information:
Grant Range: $250 to $2,500

Grant Name: Enterprise Community Partners: Collaborative Action Grants - FY 2017
Time & Dates: Multiple application dates, 04/21/2017 and 06/09/2017
Synopsis: The purpose of this program is to catalyze positive dynamics and allow conversations to emerge that shape communities and the social context by supporting community-based organizations in hosting collaborative actions in their communities. Through a design process that features honest conversations with people about the issues in their community, collaborative actions have the power to promote change while fostering a sense of place.
Collaborative actions may include:
  • Creative place making, which, for the purposes of this program, is defined as the intentional integration of the arts, culture, creativity, and design in comprehensive community development
  • Asset mapping
  • Art installations
  • Community events
Eligible project costs may include:
  • Materials
  • Staff time and salaries for staff directly involved in planning and executing the activity
  • Payment to consultants and outside experts, if they are essential to the planned activity
  • Food and supplies for events
  • Equipment rental fees
  • Other direct costs for the proposed activity
Eligible Applicants: Community-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations. Nonprofit organizations without 501(c)(3) status may partner with an entity that has 501(c)(3) status if it can be demonstrated how funding will pass through the nonprofit organizations.
Contact Information: Applications must be submitted online at
Grant Range: An unspecified amount of funding is available to support 20 awards of $5,000 each through this program.

Grant Name: The Wawa Foundation - FY 2017
Time & Dates: Multiple letter of inquiry dates: 01/31/2017, 04/30/2017, 07/31/2017, 10/31/2017
Synopsis: The purpose of this program is to fulfill lives every day by building stronger communities in the areas served by the funding agency. Projects will support the funding agency's charitable giving and philanthropic activities, which in the past have included championing important causes, fundraising, and volunteering at community events. Projects should make a difference in the following focus areas:
  • Health: support for organizations dedicated to the care and treatment of people in need in the funding agency's areas of operation
  • Hunger: support for projects that create food access for people in need through partnership with regional suppliers and local food banks
  • Heroes: support for crisis responders, veterans, and individuals serving in the military
Project types include:
  • Financial grants: financial support in one of the above focus areas through Local Connection Grants and regional and national grants
  • In-kind support: includes product donations and gift baskets with Wawa brand products to benefit community and youth organizations in neighborhoods local to Wawa stores
  • Local sponsorships: financial support for charitable events organized by eligible applicants, such as walks or community events benefiting charities in the areas of focus
Eligible Applicants: Non-Profits
Contact Information: Questions should be addressed to the program staff using the online submission form at
Grant Range: An unspecified amount of funding is available to support awards through this program, as follows:
  • Financial grants: Local Connection awards of less than $2,500, and invitation-only awards for amounts exceeding $2,500
  • In-kind support: product donations and Wawa gift baskets
  • Local sponsorships: awards typically ranging from $250 to $2,500

Grant Name: Microsoft Philanthropies: Product Donations - FY 2017
Time & Dates: Rolling
Synopsis: The purpose of this program is to help nonprofit organizations achieve their missions by providing them with the power of technology through donated and discounted products. Nonprofit organizations may request the following through this program:
• Cloud services: access to Microsoft cloud offers, such as Office 365, Azure, Dynamics 365, Enterprise Mobility, and Power BI, for free or at a significant discount
• Software: perpetual software license donations through the funding agency's partner, TechSoup
• Volume discounts: perpetual licenses at a significant discount after an initial order of five or more licenses
Licenses and subscriptions are intended to be used by employees of nonprofit organizations.
Applicants must have a mission to benefit the local community
Eligible Applicant: Community-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations.
Contact Information: Applications must be submitted online at 
Grant Range: Rather than providing monetary awards, this program provides:
• Cloud services: access to Microsoft cloud offers, such as Office 365, Azure, Dynamics 365, Enterprise Mobility, and Power BI, for free or at a significant discount
• Software: perpetual software license donations through the funding agency's partner, TechSoup
• Volume discounts: perpetual licenses at a significant discount after an initial order of five or more licenses
Organizations may request products from up to ten title groups within a two-year period. Organizations may request up to 50 products from title groups that contain desktop products, server products that use core-based licensing, or license-only products. For server products that do not use core-based licensing, there is a five-product maximum, regardless of title group.

Small Business - show / hide
Grant Name: EILEEN FISHER Women-Owned Business Grant
Time & Dates: May 1 through May 31, 2017. Exact dates are tentative and may vary depending on circumstances of each year.
  • April–May: Applications open. The initial application requests basic information about you and your business, an executive summary and responses to several essay questions.
  • June–August: Eligible applications are reviewed by a committee of EILEEN FISHER employees.
  • August–September: Applicants who reach the Finalist stage are notified and asked to submit additional information, financials, interview availability and (if relevant) product samples.
  • September–October: Finalists are interviewed by phone.
  • November: Winners are notified.
Synopsis: The EILEEN FISHER Women-Owned Business Grant supports innovative, women-owned companies that are beyond the start-up phase and ready to expand their business and their potential for positive social and environmental impact.
Eligible Applicant: Majority women-owned and women-led (majority defined as minimum 51%), in operation for a minimum of three years at time of application and able to provide accompanying financials, revenues not exceeding $1 million in year prior to application, business founded on creating environmental and social change, fluency in English.
Contact Information:
Grant Range: $100,000 in grants for up to 10 grant recipients (minimum grant $10,000)
Workforce & Employee Training - show / hide
Grant Name: EWT (CETA)
Time & Dates: August 1 through April 1
Synopsis: Grant for National Certification for existing employees
Exclusions: Must have 2 full time working employees
Contact Information: CareerSource Polk, Business Services Department (863) 508-1600
Grant Range: 50 percent to 75 percent reimbursement

Grant Name: Veterans Training Grant
Time & Dates: Current enrollment available
Synopsis: The Florida Veterans Employment and Training Services (FL VETS) Business Training Grant Program helps your business meet your workforce demands in a competitive environment by facilitating access to training and education in high-demand fields for veterans through matching training grants.
Exclusions: only applies for newly hired* veterans or newly promoted* veterans, $200,000 single business limit
Contact Information:
Grant Range: reimbursement up to 50 percent of newly hired veteran training costs, up to $8,000.

Grant Name: OJT (On the Job Training)
Time & Dates: Aug. 1 through April 1
Synopsis: Grant for training new employees in an in-demand occupation
Exclusions: Must have two full-time working employees, employee can't start before grant is in effect.
Contact Information: CareerSource Polk, Business Services Department (863) 508-1600
Grant Range: 50 percent to 75 percent reimbursement of wage that starts at $11 per hour full-time

Grant Name: Incumbent Worker Training (IWT)
Time & Dates: Current enrollment available
Synopsis: Incumbent Worker Training reimburses existing for-profit businesses for employer-driven training. Through IWT, Florida is able to effectively retain businesses and help them stay competitive through skills upgrade training for existing full-time employees. The program is structured to be flexible to meet the business’s training objectives. The business may use public, private or in-house training providers based on the nature of the training.
Exclusions: Grant funding for customized training for existing for profit businesses; been in operation in Florida for at least one year prior to application date, have at least one full-time employee, demonstrate financial viability, be current on all state tax obligations.
Contact Information: Stephanie Campbell, Business Development Coordinator. Polk County BoCCState College, (863) 669-2951,
Grant Range: Reimbursement rate up to 50 percent or 75 percent of training cost. Range depends on the training they are requesting and approvable.

The Polk County Board of County Commissioners is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer.

Polk County Board of County Commissioners

330 W. Church St.
PO Box 9005
Bartow, FL 33831-9005
(863) 534-6000

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