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calendar    Jun 02, 2024

Small Business Funding Programs In Missouri- 2024 Guide

Updated on June 1, 2024

Overview of Missouri Small Business Funding Programs

Missouri offers various funding opportunities to support small businesses and promote economic growth.

The Small Business Grant Program by the Missouri Department of Economic Development (DED) provides grants to small businesses negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This program aims to create resiliency and accelerate recovery, particularly for minority and women-owned businesses.

Kansas City introduces unique funding for Black-owned businesses through the G.I.F.T. Fund. These grants, either $25,000 or $50,000, are designated to help small businesses grow. Additionally, a $10,000 grant is available to new small businesses.

The Small Business Loan Program is another initiative providing low-interest loans. This program supports business expansion projects and job creation. Eligibility criteria include having up to 15 employees and being 100% owned and located in Missouri.

Funding is also available through the Small Business Grant Program under the CARES Act, aimed at reimbursing costs incurred by family-owned farms and for-profit businesses.

Missouri’s Small Business Funding Programs:

  • Small Business Grant Program

    • Focus: COVID-19 recovery, minority and women-owned businesses
    • Administered by: DED
  • G.I.F.T. Fund in Kansas City

    • Focus: Black-owned small businesses
    • Grants: $25,000, $50,000, $10,000
  • Small Business Loan Program

    • Focus: Expansion projects, job creation
    • Loans: Low-interest
    • Eligibility: Up to 15 employees, Missouri based

These programs are designed to support the development and growth of small businesses throughout the state of Missouri.

Eligibility Criteria for Funding in Missouri

Eligibility for small business funding programs in Missouri is determined based on both general and specific criteria. These stipulations ensure that the funds are directed to qualifying businesses that meet defined requirements.

General Requirements for Applicants

Any small business seeking funding must meet the basic eligibility requirements set forth by the Missouri Department of Economic Development. Businesses must be for-profit entities and operate within Missouri. Typically, these businesses need to have a clear business license and be in good standing with all state and federal business regulations.

Moreover, these businesses must have fewer than 15 full-time employees, including the owner. For family-owned farms, it is essential that they maintain their classification as small businesses. A self-attestation or, if available, proof of certification from a recognized government entity may be required for certain funding programs.

Specific Criteria for Grant Programs

Specific criteria for various grant programs can vary but often have targeted goals. For instance, the Missouri General Assembly's appropriated funds include a provision where $2 million is reserved specifically for minority- or women-owned small businesses.

Most of these grants favor businesses that demonstrate potential for growth and those significantly impacted by events like the COVID-19 pandemic.

Key conditions such as being 100% owned and operated in Missouri and showing how the funds will be employed (e.g., expansion projects, job creation) are common stipulations. In programs like the Kiva Kansas City microloans, businesses can apply for varying grant amounts based on their specific needs for expansion or operational support.

Types of Funding Available in Missouri

Small businesses in Missouri have access to various funding programs designed to support growth, operations, innovation, and agriculture. These programs include grants and low-interest loans that cater to specific needs and sectors.

Grants for Business Growth and Resiliency

The Small Business Grant Program by the Missouri Department of Economic Development provides essential grants to local small businesses. This program aims to help businesses recover from disruptions caused by required closures during emergencies. Funds distributed through this initiative can be used for various operational needs, ensuring business resiliency. Specific emphasis is placed on supporting minority- or women-owned businesses, with $2 million specifically reserved for them.

Loans for Operations and Expansion

Missouri offers the Small Business Loan Program, which provides low-interest loans to small businesses. These loans are intended for projects that involve business expansion and job creation. To qualify, businesses must have up to 15 employees and be fully owned and located in Missouri. The loans can cover costs associated with investing in new facilities, equipment, or workforce expansion.

Research and Development Incentives

The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program is a federal initiative that supports research and development activities among small businesses. Eligible businesses can receive grants to pursue innovative projects that have potential commercial applications. This program is critical for companies involved in high-tech development and innovation, providing the necessary funding to support early-stage research and product development.

Agriculture and Rural Business Support

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) offers various programs to support small farms and rural businesses in Missouri. These include grants and low-interest loans available through the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI), which provides significant funds to assist agricultural enterprises in applying for grants and other government support. This funding helps ensure that rural and agricultural businesses can access the resources they need for growth and sustainability.

Application Process in Missouri

The application process for small business funding programs in Missouri involves accessing and completing applications followed by a review and approval phase. Applicants must follow specific procedures to ensure successful submission and evaluation.

Accessing and Completing Applications

Applicants can access the small business grant applications through various online portals like the Missouri Department of Economic Development's website. These portals provide detailed instructions on how to start and complete the application form.

To begin, applicants should gather necessary documentation, such as proof of business ownership, financial statements, and a detailed project proposal. This ensures that all required information is readily available during the application process.

Once all documents are prepared, applicants should carefully read the guidelines to understand the eligibility criteria and funding requirements. It's essential to fill out the application form accurately, providing thorough responses to all questions. Incomplete or incorrect submissions can result in delays or rejection.

Using tools like Submittable Messaging for communication can help applicants track their submission status and receive updates on any additional requirements or missing documents. Timely responses to any inquiries from the funding body can expedite the review process.

Review and Approval

After submission, the application enters the review phase, where it is evaluated against set criteria. This typically includes an assessment of the business’s financial health, the project's feasibility, and its potential impact on job creation and community development.

Reviewers look for clear and compelling justification for the grant request, ensuring that the project aligns with the funding program’s goals. Small businesses, especially minority and women-owned entities, should highlight their unique challenges and contributions to gain favorable consideration.

The approval process may involve interviews or additional information requests. It's crucial for applicants to remain responsive during this phase and provide any supplementary materials promptly. Applicants are usually notified of the decision via email, and those approved will receive instructions on how to proceed with funding disbursement and reporting requirements.

Funding Sources and Administration in Missouri

Several funding sources and administrative bodies support small business grants in Missouri, providing essential resources and oversight to ensure the proper allocation and utilization of funds.

State and Federal Funding Initiatives

Missouri's small businesses benefit from a variety of funding initiatives. The CARES Act, through Section 601(a) of the Social Security Act, provides grants to mitigate losses from business interruptions due to required closures.

Additionally, the Missouri General Assembly appropriated $10 million in House Bill 3020, with $2 million specifically reserved for minority- or women-owned businesses. This program is administered by the Missouri Department of Economic Development (DED).

The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) also offers significant funding, complementing earlier efforts under the CARES Act. These programs often focus on businesses established before January 1, 2019, and currently operating in Missouri to ensure long-term stability and growth.

Department Administration and Oversight

The Missouri Department of Economic Development (DED) plays a critical role in administering and overseeing these funding programs. The DED ensures that grants are allocated effectively and that businesses comply with program requirements.

They provide guidelines, training sessions, and ongoing support to help businesses understand and navigate the application process. For instance, on November 7, 2022, the DED hosted a Small Business Grant Program Town Hall Training.

Other entities, such as the Secretary of State and various grant agencies, also contribute to the administrative processes by providing resources, verification, and compliance checks. Working together, these departments and agencies strive to maximize the impact of available funds on Missouri's small business community.

Financial Management for Awardees in Missouri

Strategic allocation of funds and appropriate management of facilities and equipment are crucial for maximizing the benefits of small business funding programs.

Allocating Funds to Business Needs

Effective fund allocation begins with a robust and detailed business plan. This plan should outline specific business needs, breaking down the budget into various categories like operations, marketing, and staffing. Awardees should prioritize spending based on immediate and future growth goals.

Proper allocation might involve investing in new technologies to enhance operational efficiency or enhancing marketing efforts to reach a broader customer base. Diversifying funding sources can also mitigate financial risks, ensuring a more stable financial foundation. Transparent tracking and reporting of funds are essential to meet grant compliance and maintain accountability.

Facility and Equipment Leasing

Leasing facilities and equipment offers flexibility and cost-efficiency compared to purchasing. By choosing to lease, businesses can conserve capital and use it for other critical operations like product development or market expansion.

When considering leasing, businesses should evaluate lease terms, including rent, duration, and maintenance responsibilities. Understanding these terms ensures that the lease aligns with the business's financial capabilities and operational needs. Regularly reviewing and possibly renegotiating lease agreements can lead to better financial outcomes and adaptability as business conditions change.

Selecting the right facilities and equipment based on the requirements outlined in the business plan is vital. This strategic approach ensures that the leased resources directly contribute to the business's operational effectiveness and growth trajectory.

Economic Impact and Recovery Efforts in Missouri

The COVID-19 pandemic created significant challenges for small businesses in Missouri, prompting targeted recovery efforts. These efforts include supporting local economies and addressing pandemic-related business interruptions.

Support for Communities and Local Economies

Missouri has initiated several programs to bolster local economies. One notable effort is the Small Business Grant Program, which allocates $10 million specifically for small businesses. Of this, $2 million is earmarked for minority- or women-owned businesses, promoting diversity and inclusion in economic recovery.

These grants aim to foster resilience and accelerate recovery within communities hit hardest by the pandemic. By providing financial support, Missouri helps small businesses stabilize, retain employees, and continue serving their local areas effectively. The grants also encourage community engagement and local spending, essential for economic revitalization.

Pandemic-Related Business Interruption Relief

The CARES Act, enacted to mitigate the economic impact of COVID-19, includes provisions for addressing business interruptions. Missouri's grant programs under this act provide critical pandemic-related business interruption relief.

One such initiative is the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans available to Missouri small businesses. These low-interest loans offer financial assistance for revenue losses due to mandatory closures or reduced operations. Such programs are essential for supporting businesses in overcoming the disruptions caused by COVID-19, thereby facilitating a smoother recovery process and aiding in the prevention of further economic downturns.

By targeting these specific areas, Missouri aims to restore business operations and maintain the economic health of its communities.

Allocation and Distribution Practices in Missouri

Missouri's approach to allocating and distributing small business grant funds aims to ensure equitable access and effective use of resources. Specific strategies used include prioritizing applications received on a first come, first served basis and making ongoing adjustments to funding allocations.

Prioritizing on a First Come, First Served Basis

In Missouri, many small business grants are allocated on a first come, first served basis. This method incentivizes prompt action and ensures that those who are ready to proceed receive immediate support.

Applications are reviewed in the order they are received, which necessitates that businesses prepare and submit their funding requests swiftly. Consequently, businesses that delay may face the risk of funds being depleted before their applications are processed.

For instance, the Small Business Grant Program includes specific allocations such as $2 million reserved for minority- and women-owned businesses. This rapid response requirement facilitates an organized and fair distribution but places pressure on applicants to act rapidly.

Ongoing Review and Adjustment of Funds

The allocation process is not static; it undergoes regular reviews and adjustments to ensure me]]>

Funds are evaluated periodically to determine if the distribution model is meeting strategic objectives. This ongoing review facilitates a dynamic allocation of resources, adapting to changing needs and circumstances.

For instance, the Community Revitalization Grant Program has awarded approximately $94.15 million to support various projects. This ensures that funds are redirected or reallocated based on current needs and priorities, rather than being locked into initial allocations.

By conducting these reviews, the Missouri Department of Economic Development can optimize the effectiveness of its grants, adjusting to real-time economic conditions and emerging community needs.

Technological Development and Broadband Access in Missouri

Technology plays a crucial role in the development of small businesses in Missouri. One significant factor is broadband access, which provides the necessary infrastructure for modern business operations.

The Missouri Broadband Grant Program was created to address the lack of high-speed internet in unserved and underserved areas. This program helps providers, communities, and regions build essential broadband infrastructure.

Governor Mike Parson announced $3.05 million in funding for 16 projects through the state's broadband grant program. These initiatives will benefit over 4,400 Missouri homes, businesses, and farms lacking high-speed internet access.


  • Funding: $3.05 million allocated
  • Projects: 16 initiatives
  • Coverage: 4,400+ homes, businesses, and farms

Missouri also plans to utilize more than $400 million from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to enhance broadband access, adoption, and assistance statewide. This investment promotes economic growth and helps small businesses thrive by ensuring reliable internet connectivity.

Additionally, the Biden-Harris Administration has awarded $2.9 million to Missouri for broadband planning. These funds will support the development of a 5-year action plan to expand high-speed internet access.

Key Benefits:

  • Improved Connectivity: Essential for business operations
  • Economic Growth: Supports local economies
  • Access to Markets: Enables online presence and e-commerce

The state's efforts in technological development and broadband access demonstrate its commitment to supporting small businesses and fostering economic progress.

Frequently Asked Questions

Missouri offers a variety of programs including grants and low-interest loans aimed at supporting small businesses and startups. This information will help entrepreneurs understand how to access and apply for these funding opportunities.

What types of funding assistance are available for startups in Missouri?

Missouri provides several funding programs such as small business grants and low-interest loans. The Small Business Grant Program from the Missouri Department of Economic Development and the Missouri Linked Deposit Program offer significant support.

How can individuals access small business grants in Missouri?

Applicants can access small business grants by demonstrating a negative economic impact due to events like the COVID-19 pandemic. Necessary documentation includes proof of declining revenues or gross receipts, often verified through tax records.

Where can I find free grants to start a business in Missouri?

Free grants can be found through the Missouri Department of Economic Development's Small Business Grant Program and other state initiatives aimed at supporting minority- and women-owned businesses. Additionally, the Missouri Small Business Startup Guide offers valuable resources.

What are the latest Missouri small business grant opportunities in 2024?

For the latest updates on grant opportunities in 2024, entrepreneurs should refer to the Missouri Department of Economic Development’s website. Current programs include a significant allocation reserved specifically for businesses affected by the pandemic.

How to apply for small business grants in Kansas City?

To apply for small business grants in Kansas City, business owners can visit local government websites or the Missouri Department of Economic Development for application guidelines. Required documentation generally includes proof of economic impact and detailed business plans.

What options are available for small business startup loans in Missouri?

Missouri’s Linked Deposit Program partners with lenders to offer low-interest loans designed to create jobs and stimulate economic development. Small businesses can access this program to secure financing that supports growth and stability across the state.

This post is to be used for informational purposes only and does not constitute formal legal, business, or tax advice. Each person should consult his or her own attorney, business advisor, or tax advisor with respect to matters referenced in this post. Resolve assumes no liability for actions taken in reliance upon the information contained herein.

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