Small Business Grants in Hawaii | Fund Your Business

Steve Bennett
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Hawaii Small Business Grants

In Hawaii, also known as, The Aloha State, starting and growing a small business can be challenging, particularly when securing the necessary funding. One often overlooked source of funding for small businesses comes in the form of grants. In Hawaii, various grants are available to small business owners, offering a valuable source of funding to help you achieve your business goals. 

This comprehensive guide will explore the Small Business Grants in Hawaii, how to find them, and tips for successfully applying. And, if you are planning to form a Limited Liability Company in Hawaii and want to have small business grants, this article is right for you. Read the guide to fully understand small business grants in Hawaii.

Webinarcare Editorial Team had thorough research and market study regarding the state-funded small business grants in Hawaii. It would be best to cross-check all the factors before choosing the right one for your Hawaii business.

What is a Small Business Grant?

A business grant is a sum awarded to a small business that does not need to be repaid. Grants are typically given by governments, nonprofit organizations, and private companies to help support the growth and development of small businesses. Grants can be used for various purposes, such as starting a new business, expanding an existing one, purchasing equipment, or funding research and development.

If you are planning to start a business in Hawaii, you should consider having small business grants for your business’s funding.

Small Business Grants in Hawaii

Various types of small business grants are available in Hawaii, depending on the source of funding and the specific needs of your business. Here are three main categories of grants that you can explore:

Hawaii Funded Small Business Grants

Hawaii funded small business grants offer several programs to support small businesses. These grants may be specific to certain industries, regions, or business stages. Examples of state-funded small business grants in Hawaii include:

1. Hawaii Technology Development Corporation (HTDC) Grants

The HTDC offers various grant programs and resources to support technology-based small businesses in Hawaii. One such program is the Hawaii Small Business Innovation Research (HSBIR) Grant, which provides matching funds to Hawaii-based companies that have received federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) or Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grants. Additionally, the HTDC offers the Manufacturing Assistance Program (MAP) grant, which provides funding to manufacturers for equipment purchases and workforce training.

2. Hawaii Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Grants and Resources

The Hawaii SBDC provides resources and support for small businesses in the state, including grant opportunities. While the Hawaii SBDC does not directly offer grants, they help small businesses identify and apply for federal, state, and local funding sources, including grants, loans, and other financial assistance programs.

3. Native Hawaiian Revolving Loan Fund (NHRLF)

The NHRLF, administered by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA), offers low-interest loans to Native Hawaiian-owned businesses in Hawaii. While not a direct grant, this financing option can provide crucial financial support for small businesses in Hawaii seeking funds for start-up costs, working capital, or business expansion.

Aside from Hawaii funded small business grants, there are federal small business grants available. These grants can not only provide a much-needed funding boost, but they can also offer valuable networking and mentorship opportunities for entrepreneurs starting a business in Hawaii.

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Federal Small Business Grants Available in Hawaii

Federal small business grants in Hawaii may also offer grants to businesses, particularly those that contribute to the community’s economic development or create jobs. Examples of federal small business grants in Hawaii include:

Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program

The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program is a highly competitive federal initiative that encourages domestic small businesses to engage in research and development (R&D) with the potential for commercialization. The SBIR program is coordinated by the Small Business Administration (SBA). It operates across 11 participating federal agencies, including the Department of Defense, the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Energy, and the National Science Foundation.

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To apply for the SBIR program, small businesses must submit proposals in response to agency-specific solicitations, which outline each participating federal agency’s research topics and priorities. The application process is highly competitive, emphasizing the proposed technology’s technical innovation, feasibility, and commercial potential.

Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program

The Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program is a federal initiative designed to encourage collaboration between small businesses and research institutions in the United States. The program aims to promote the commercialization of innovative technologies from research and development (R&D) efforts and foster entrepreneurship and economic growth.

Administered by the Small Business Administration (SBA), the STTR program involves five participating federal agencies, including the Department of Defense, the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Energy, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the National Science Foundation.

To apply for the STTR program, small businesses must submit proposals in response to agency-specific solicitations, which outline each participating federal agency’s research topics and priorities. The application process is highly competitive, with a strong emphasis on the proposed technology’s technical innovation, feasibility, commercial potential, and the quality of the collaboration between the small business and research institution.

Other Federal Grant Programs

In addition to the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs, there are several other federal grant programs available to support small businesses and entrepreneurs in various sectors and stages of development in Hawaii. Some of these programs include:

Economic Development Administration (EDA) Grants: The EDA, under the U.S. Department of Commerce, offers grants to support economic development, job creation, and business growth in economically distressed communities. These grants are typically awarded to local governments, nonprofits, and economic development organizations, supporting small businesses through technical assistance, infrastructure development, and other services.

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Rural Business Development Grants (RBDG): Administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the RBDG program offers grants to support small businesses in rural areas. These grants are intended to promote job creation, business expansion, and economic development in rural communities. Eligible applicants include towns, communities, state agencies, nonprofits, and higher education institutions.

Local and Regional Small Business Grants in Hawaii

In Hawaii, various local and regional small business grants are available to support and encourage the growth and development of small businesses. These grants often target specific industries or demographic groups and can provide financial assistance, training, and resources to help businesses succeed. 

To find specific grant opportunities in Hawaii, it’s essential to check with local and regional economic development agencies, chambers of commerce, and other business support organizations. They can provide information on available grants, eligibility requirements, and application processes.

Benefits of Small Business Grants

There are several benefits to obtaining a small business grant for your Hawaii business, including:

  • No Repayment Necessary: Unlike loans, grants do not require repayment, making them an attractive option for small businesses needing financial assistance.
  • Retain Equity: Grants allow owners to fully own their businesses without giving up a portion of their equity in exchange for funding.
  • Credibility: Receiving a grant can enhance a business’s credibility, making it more attractive to potential investors, partners, and customers.
  • Networking Opportunities: Many grant programs offer networking opportunities and support services, helping small businesses connect with mentors, industry experts, and other business owners.

Tips for Applying for Small Business Grants in Hawaii

Applying for small business grants in Hawaii can be competitive. Here are some tips to help you increase your chances of success:

  • Research Available Grants: Research the various small business grants available in Hawaii. Look for grants designed for your industry, target market, or demographics. Check with local and regional economic development agencies, chambers of commerce, and other business support organizations for information on available grants.
  • Read the Eligibility Criteria Carefully: Ensure your business meets the eligibility criteria before applying for a grant. Some grants may have specific requirements based on location, industry, business size, or the demographics of the business owner.
  • Create a Solid Business Plan: A well-written business plan is essential when applying for grants. It demonstrates your understanding of your business, target market, and growth strategy. Be sure to include financial projections and a clear explanation of how the grant funds will be used to achieve your goals.
  • Prepare a Detailed Budget: Grant reviewers want to see how you plan to use the funds. Prepare a detailed budget that outlines the specific expenses the grant will cover and how these expenses will contribute to your business’s growth and success.
  • Follow the Application Guidelines: Each grant will have its application process and guidelines. Be sure to read these carefully and follow them closely. Submit all required documentation and complete all necessary forms.
  • Write a Compelling Grant Proposal: Your grant proposal should clearly explain the purpose of your business, how the grant funds will be used, and the expected outcomes. Be sure to highlight your business’s benefits to the local economy and community.
  • Review and Edit your Application: Review it carefully for errors or omissions before submitting it. Consider asking a colleague or mentor to review your application, as they may also catch mistakes or provide helpful feedback.
  • Submit your Application On Time: Be aware of the grant deadline and submit your application well in advance. Only complete applications may be considered.
  • Be Prepared for Follow-Up: If your application is successful, be prepared to provide additional information or documentation as requested by the grant agency. This may include progress reports or updates on the use of grant funds.
  • Don’t Get Discouraged: Applying for grants can be competitive, and you may only receive some grants you apply for. Use your feedback to improve your application for future opportunities, and keep searching for grants that fit your business needs.

Can I Get an SBA Grant for Small Businesses?

The SBA doesn’t typically offer grants directly to small businesses. Instead, the agency issues grant funding to state, local and tribal governments, as well as nonprofit organizations, to be used to support small-business initiatives. SBA loans are an available alternative to SBA grants.

FAQs

What small business grants are available in Hawaii?
There are several small business grants offered in Hawaii by the state and local governments, as well as private organizations.
Who is eligible to apply for small business grants in Hawaii?
Eligibility requirements vary by grant program, but most are available for small business owners in Hawaii.
Can someone outside of Hawaii apply for small business grants in Hawaii?
No, most small business grants in Hawaii are only available to businesses located in the state.
Are there grants available to help start a new small business in Hawaii?
Yes, there are several grants available specifically to help new businesses get started in Hawaii.
Are grants available to hire new employees for a small business in Hawaii?
Yes, some grants in Hawaii are designed specifically to help small businesses hire and train new employees.
How do I find small business grants available in Hawaii?
You can research small business grants available in Hawaii through government websites or by working with a business assistance center like the Hawaii Small Business Development Center.
Can I apply for multiple small business grants in Hawaii at once?
Yes, it is possible to apply for more than one small business grant in Hawaii, but it depends on the requirements of each grant.
Are there grants available for Native Hawaiian-owned small businesses?
Yes, there are specific grants available to support Native Hawaiian-owned small businesses in Hawaii.
How do I write a successful grant application for a small business grant in Hawaii?
Writing a successful grant application requires attention to detail and a clear understanding of the grant program’s goals and requirements. Working with a business assistance center like the Hawaii Small Business Development Center can be helpful in this regard.
What documents do I need to apply for a small business grant in Hawaii?
The documentation required may vary by grant program. Typically, you will need to provide proof of your business’s legal entity status, financial statements, and a clear plan for how you will use the grant funds.
Are there grants specifically for tourism-related small businesses in Hawaii?
Yes, there are grants available to support small businesses in Hawaii’s tourism industry.
Can I use small business grant money to pay off existing business debt?
It depends on the grant program. Some small business grants in Hawaii require that the funds be used for a specific purpose, while others may provide funds that can be used more broadly.
Are small business grants in Hawaii awarded on a first-come, first-served basis?
It depends on the grant program; some might be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis, while others may prioritize applications based on other criteria.
Are there small business grants specifically for women-owned businesses in Hawaii?
Yes, there are several grants available to support women-owned businesses in Hawaii.
Can I apply for a small business grant in Hawaii if I have bad credit?
Yes, some small business grants do not require a credit check. However, this varies by grant program.
How long does it take to receive a small business grant in Hawaii?
It varies from program to program, but it typically takes some time to process applications and distribute grant funds.
Do small business grants in Hawaii need to be repaid?
Most grants do not need to be repaid if they are used for their intended purpose.
Can I use small business grant money to purchase a car for my business?
It depends on the grant program. Some small business grants in Hawaii might specify how the funds should be used while others allow for more flexibility.
Are there small business grants specifically for veterans in Hawaii?
Yes, there are grants available specifically to support veteran-owned small businesses in Hawaii.
Is there an application fee for small business grants in Hawaii?
It depends on the grant program. Some may have an application fee while others do not
Are there grants available if my small business has been affected by COVID-19?
Yes, there are grants tailored specifically to help businesses affected by the pandemic.
What is the maximum amount I can receive through a small business grant in Hawaii?
The amount is dependent on the grant program, and it varies based on its individual requirements.
Can nonprofits apply for small business grants in Hawaii?
No, most small business grants specifically for profit through an actively traded business.
Who decides which businesses receive small business grants in Hawaii?
A panel of reviewers from the organization or government entity that issued the grant will review and evaluate each application and determine the award.
How soon after submitting my small business grant application will I be notified of the approval or denial?
The length of time for finalists to determine alternates takes from 60 to 90 days after applications are received.
Is it mandatory for grant recipients to submit regular reports after receiving funding?
Yes, often reports must be submitted at either three-month or six-month intervals in order to show how the grant money is being used.
Are there financing options for small businesses in Hawaii?
Yes, small businesses can consider SBA loans or entrepreneurial loans.
Are grants given for business ideas that promote alternative energy sources?
Yes, alternative energy source grants are available for small business owners.
Are there opportunities for grants through Hawaii Chambers of Commerce?
Yes, there are often grants that a Hawaii small business can find through esteemed professional organizations such as their local chamber of commerce.
Are there any Hawaii specific grants for small businesses?
Yes, there are several small business grants available for Hawaii entrepreneurs and businesses operating in the state.
Can small businesses in Hawaii apply for federal grants?
Yes, small businesses in Hawaii can certainly apply for a variety of federal grants.
Is Hawaii Deductable from the List as Hawaii is Island Providing the Funded to other Islands?
No, Hawaii is not only providing funding to other islands but also offering small business grants to businesses within Hawaii.
What types of Hawaii small business grants are available?
Hawaii offers various grants that provide financial assistance for capital improvement, marketing, workforce training, and various development activities.
Who is eligible to receive a Hawaii small business grant?
Eligibility varies based on the specific grant program, but generally, small businesses that are well-positioned to add jobs or otherwise follow Hawaii’s development priorities tend to receive grants.
Are non-profit organizations eligible for Hawaii small business grants?
Generally, no. Hawaii small business grants program is In the State of Hawaii oriented toward for-profit business owners.
How much money can a small business receive from a Hawaii grant?
The amount of money available for Hawaii small business grants varies widely by the grant program. Award amounts can range from a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands at a time.
Can a small business apply for multiple Hawaii small business grants?
Yes, small businesses can apply for more than one grant in Hawaii.
What is the application process to receive a small business grant in Hawaii?
Different grant programs have a varying application process. Research the grant to identify timing, requirements, and best practices.
What documentation is required for a Hawaii small business grant application?
Small businesses seeking a Hawaii grant will need to provide business registration materials, details of their request, and potentially include supporting documents depending on the program.
How does a Hawaii small business prove the grant’s performance?
Reports and audits provide credible information confirming grant delivery, achievement of established targets, following proper documentation, and focus on the grant objectives.
Can Hawaii small business grants help IT and gaming-related companies?
Yes, any businesses operating out of Hawaii can receive funding through various grants. Grants are available for businesses of different niches.
Does a pre-formulated business plan required when seeking small business grant in Hawaii?
A successful Hawaii small business grant application can benefit from a well-thought-out business structure and projected growth plan or development impact.
Does the state of Hawaii offer urgent grant options for small businesses?
There are several grants available with differing incident grant features offered for loss experiences, disaster rehabilitation, sudden economic shifts, and other needs.
Which is one of the major small business grants offered exclusively in Hawaii?
The HI SBIR/STTR Matching Grant is an exclusive Hawaii small business grant targeting small businesses applying for SBIR/STTR grants with matching funds to increase their chance of receiving federal awards.
Do Hawaii small business grants come with any obligations towards the government?
Depending on the grant program, monitoring of spending, mandatory compliance towards applicable rules and regulations, and progress evaluation must be performed.
How much time does it take for a Hawaii small business grant application to process?
Different grant schemes assess the Hawaii small business grant application process timeframe. The verification process can take anywhere from one to nine months to complete.
Is it free to apply for a Hawaii small business grant?
It is free to apply for a majority of Hawaii small business grants.
How competitive is the Hawaii business grant application process?
The Hawaii small business grant opportunities are competitive with varying applicant requirements, including the number of business owners, size, and niche.
Can a small business hire grant writers for Hawaii grants?
Companies are not required to need active solicitation while seeking government grants such as Hawaii Small Business Grants. However, some grant writers raise the acceptance chance regarding marketing proposal values and accurate identification of essential data associated with activities or projects applicable to the State of Hawaii.
Is credit score important when seeking Hawaii small business grants?
Your credit score condition and history can impact grat significantly and possible future funding activities. Therefore maintaining a good history can be to the candidate’s advantage.
Are grants written out to the business owner’s or the businesses themselves?
In most cases, grants written out to the companies and not the business owners as they are awarded based on business development, growth plans, or other applicable material.
Are grants only for brand new businesses or can an existing business obtain one also?
Grants can benefit both existing and start-up companies or based on dictated requirements.
Are there any grants for small business expansions in Hawaii?
Yes, different Hawaii small business grant programs address business expansion possibilities with eligibility criteria. Businesses localized in Hawaii are promoted individually using different approaches allowing for specific market niche grant competitions.
Do branding and marketing grants exist in Hawaii’s small business grant programs?
Unique focused grants on branding, marketing, and industry promotion offered for defining business strategies, online marketing solutions, and identity promoting opportunities.
Can you apply for a grant to help with moving a business?
Grant purposes mainly aimed at meeting Hawaii’s developmental priorities qualifying expenses for profitable or expected returns that growth in-state business should undoubtedly produce.
Are grants hands-on so the money must be used into channelizing intended development?
Yes, programs have certification processes that hold the business owner accountable for using funds appropriately and for achieving extensive goals relevant to the economic enhancement of Hawaii.
Where can I get help with my Hawaii small business grant application?
Government offices, professional business advice, or Small Business Associations are typically staffed and equipped to assist small business owners with Hawaii small business grant applications.
Are Hawaii small business grants taxable income to the recipient?
Benefits favorable to companies that possess approval evidence highly based upon Hawaii State-issued authority that suitably matches specialized eligibility, not being qualified for to pay liability based on those distributions received.

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Conclusion

Small business grants can provide valuable funding and support for entrepreneurs looking to start or grow their businesses in Hawaii. By understanding the types of grants available, conducting thorough research, and following best practices for grant applications, you can increase your chances of securing the funding you need to achieve your business goals. Stay encouraged by the competitive nature of grant programs; with persistence and dedication, you can find the right grant opportunity for your Hawaii small business.

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