10 Small Business Grants in Texas and How to Apply

July 9, 2024

By: Emily Harper

10 Small Business Grants in Texas and How to Apply

As a small business owner in Texas, you are an essential part of the state's strong economy that supports entrepreneurship and new ideas. However, starting and running a small business in Texas can be difficult, with over 57,810 businesses declaring bankruptcy each year. To help your small business succeed, finding and using the resources available to you, such as small business grants, is important.

Every year, Texas receives over $55 billion in federal grants and $35 billion from local government funding, with most of this money going to businesses. A big part of this money is used to support businesses, which are very important to Texas's economy. There are over 3.1 million small business establishments across the state of Texas, and these grants can provide important financial help to small business owners who want to start, maintain, or grow their businesses.

By looking into the different grant opportunities available, you can get the financial support you need to overcome challenges, invest in your business's growth, and contribute to Texas's strong economy. In this blog, we'll explore these grants and how you can apply for the ones you qualify for.

The Importance of Small Business Grants in Texas

Small business grants are money awarded to businesses for specific purposes, such as expansion, innovation, or job creation.

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They differ from loans in two key ways:

Grants don't need to be repaid. This is the most significant difference. When you receive a grant, the money is yours to use as specified by the grant program.

Grants often have specific requirements. These might relate to the type of business, the intended use of the funds, or the demographic of the business owner.

The benefits of obtaining a grant for your small business are numerous.

Grants can help you:

  1. Grow your business
  2. Fund new projects
  3. Hire more staff
  4. Gain financial security to take calculated risks

How to Know if You’re Eligible for Small Business Grants in Texas

Eligibility for small business grants in Texas varies depending on the specific grant.

However, typical requirements include:

  • The business must be located in Texas.

  • The business must meet the definition of a small business as defined by the grant program.

  • The business owner may need to belong to a specific demographic, such as women, veterans, or minorities.

To increase your chances of securing a grant, it's essential to understand the specific criteria for each grant and ensure your business meets these requirements. Also, it’s important to be mindful of deadlines, as missing them can result in your application being rejected.

10 Small Business Grants for Texans

State-Wide Small Business Grants

1. Texas Workforce Commission's Skills for Small Business Grant Program

One of the notable small business grants in Texas is the Skills for Small Business Grant Program offered by the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC). This program supports businesses with fewer than 100 employees, focusing on training new and incumbent workers.

Who Can Apply: Small businesses with fewer than 100 employees.

What it Offers: Up to $1800 per new employee and $900 per incumbent employee for training.

How it Works: Small businesses can apply to TWC for training provided by a local community college.

Requirements: Training must be provided by a public community or technical college, and employers must pay prevailing wages.

Learn More and Apply: Texas is the Skills for Small Business Grant Program

2. Texas Enterprise Fund (TEF)

The Texas Enterprise Fund (TEF) provides "deal-closing" grants to companies deciding between a Texas location and out-of-state sites for their new projects.

Who Can Apply: Companies that are considering a new project for which a Texas site is competing with out-of-state sites.

What it Offers: "Deal-closing" grants that serve as performance-based financial incentives

How it Works: Grants are awarded to companies whose projects contribute significant capital investment and new employment opportunities.

Requirements: The company's project must contribute significant capital investment and new employment opportunities to the state's economy

Learn More and Apply: The Texas Enterprise Fund (TEF)

3. Texas Job Creators Grant

The Texas Job Creators Grant is a significant initiative to bolster the state's economy by supporting businesses that create jobs and promote economic development.

Who Can Apply: Businesses actively creating jobs and contributing to the economic development of Texas.

What it Offers: Financial support to facilitate business growth and job creation efforts

How it Works: Businesses can apply through a designated application process.

Requirements: Demonstrate plans for expansion, hiring, or other activities that positively impact the state's economy

Learn More and Apply: The Texas Job Creators Grant

City-Specific Business Grants

4. Houston Open for Business Grant Program

The Houston Open for Business Grant program aims to impact diverse-led Houston small businesses and non-profit organizations. The program is designed to advance the mission of the Houston Equity Fund by investing in diverse-owned small businesses with 100 or fewer employees located in vulnerable communities in Houston.

Who Can Apply: Diverse-led Houston small businesses and non-profit organizations with 100 or fewer employees in vulnerable communities.

What it Offers: Grants ranging from $5,000 to $100,000 for purchasing property, equipment, and other tangible assets.

How it Works: Nearly $3 million in grants are available in the final phase of the Open For Business program.

Requirements: The organization must be a diverse-owned small business or non-profit organization with 100 or fewer employees in vulnerable Houston communities.

Learn More and Apply: The Houston Open for Business Grant

5. San Antonio Second-Stage Company Grant Program

The Second-Stage Company Grant Program through the San Antonio Economic Development Department is designed to help second-stage companies mitigate challenges such as managing a growing staff or entering new markets. The awarded funds should be used to engage in deliberate investments to grow locally and regionally, as identified through a written and reviewed growth strategy.

Who Can Apply: Second-stage companies, which are businesses that have moved beyond the startup phase and have demonstrated some level of success, are headquartered in San Antonio, have revenue of $1-50 million, and have 10-99 employees.

What it Offers: Up to $50,000 per company based on individual considerations, with total program awards capped at $500,000.

How it Works: Applicants must submit a grant application, documentation of growth, and a written growth plan.

Requirements: Must meet the definition of a second-stage company, be headquartered in San Antonio, demonstrate growth, pay fair wages, and provide benefits.

Learn More and Apply: The Second-Stage Company Grant Program

6. Lubbock Economic Development Alliance Grants

Market Lubbock Inc. (MLI) provides two grants, the Downtown Grant Program and the Commercial Revitalization Grant Program, to offset expenses related to improvements to commercial properties located within designated areas determined by the City of Lubbock.

Who Can Apply: Valid owners or tenants of properties needing improvements within specified Lubbock Neighborhood Empowerment Zones

What it Offers: Permittable grants (up to $50,000) for improvements requiring a permit and façade grants (up to $25,000) for exterior improvements

How it Works: Applicants must request the grant before starting construction or receiving a permit, and projects are subject to approval

Requirements: Property must be within specified boundaries, single-family residences and duplexes are excluded, and applicants must not be tax delinquent or rely on tax revenue.

Learn More and Apply: Lubbock Economic Development Alliance Grant Programs

Business Grants for Women in Texas

7. BMO Celebrating Women Grant

BMO is offering $10,000 grants to women-owned businesses looking to grow. The program aims to recognize fifteen women-owned businesses and support their growth with grant funding.

Who Can Apply: Women-owned businesses located within BMO's twenty-four-state U.S. footprint.

What it Offers: $10,000 grants to fifteen selected women-owned businesses to support their growth plans.

How it Works: Women-owned businesses submit applications sharing their high-level business growth plans.

Requirements: To apply, your business must be women-owned and located within the 24 U.S. states where BMO operates.

Learn More and Apply: BMO Celebrating Women Grant Program

8. Center for Women Entrepreneurs StartHER Grant

​​The Center for Women Entrepreneurs StartHER Grant Program supports women business owners, both current and aspiring, in launching new and innovative projects, helping to boost economic development in Texas.

Who Can Apply: Existing or to-be-formed woman-owned businesses with five or fewer employees in Texas.

What it Offers: Grants to help women start or expand their businesses by providing resources for new and innovative projects.

How it Works: Eligible businesses must satisfy all conditions and apply for the grant program.

Requirements: To qualify, your business must be a for-profit company (corporation, partnership, LLP, LLC, or sole proprietorship). Non-profits are not eligible. All your taxes (property, sales, payroll, etc.) must be current. The business owner(s) must have no felony convictions or crimes related to dishonesty or breach of trust, and there should be no ongoing or pending lawsuits involving the business or its owners.

Learn More and Apply: StartHER Grant Program

Industry-Specific Grants in Texas

9. Austin Live Music Fund

The Austin Live Music Fund supports Austin's diverse music industry by providing grants for a wide range of activities that promote and showcase the city's music scene to tourists and convention delegates.

Who Can Apply: Live music venues in Austin, TX.

What it Offers: The fund offers grants to support various activities, including live and online events open to the public, studio, video, merchandise production, promotional tours outside of Austin, broadcasting, and tourism marketing and promotional campaigns.

How it Works: Eligible applicants can submit applications during the designated period.

Requirements: Applicants must be live music venues in Austin and demonstrate how their proposed activities will promote and showcase the city's diverse music industry to visiting and potential tourists and convention delegates.

Learn More and Apply: The Austin Live Music Fund

10. Texas Food & Wine Alliance Culinary Grant Program

The Texas Food & Wine Alliance (TFWA) offers a unique culinary grant program that supports farmers, artisan producers, chefs, wine/beer/spirits makers, culinary businesses, and culinary professionals whose projects and initiatives show innovation and give back to their communities.

Who Can Apply: Food and beverage professionals, businesses, and nonprofits in Austin, Dallas, Houston, or San Antonio

What it offers: Grants to organizations/individuals exhibiting culinary innovation that contributes to the Texas community

How it works: The TFWA Board determines the grant amounts based on fundraising efforts, and eligible applicants can apply.

Requirements: Must be located in Austin, Dallas, Houston, or San Antonio, demonstrate culinary innovation, show community giveback, and meet other criteria

Learn More and Apply: Culinary Grant Program

Small Business Grant Success Stories

The West Tabel Kitchen and Bar

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Cameron West grew up in Lubbock, TX, and opened The West Tabel Kitchen and Bar with his wife, Rachel. They applied for Lubbock’s Downtown Grant Program and were awarded funds to help their business grow and bring new life into the city. Since then, the couple has opened a new restaurant in downtown Lubbock called Dirk’s, named after Cameron’s grandfather. In 2023, Dirk's was featured on The Texas Bucket List.

Brandon Hughes

Local Austin musician Brandon Hughes turned a dream into reality with the help of the inaugural 2023 Live Music Fund. With a $10,000 grant, Hughes recorded and produced his first major extended play (EP). The grant enabled Hughes to produce his deeply personal “Just Breathe EP,” where he shares his experiences with anxiety. He felt strongly about releasing the EP only when he could do it justice.

“I’ve had some of these songs for a long time, and for me, it was just like … I don’t want to put these down unless I can feel fully open, that I’ve given my best in the best way to present to people, that they can take something out of it,” Hughes said. “The only way that happened was through this grant.”

6 Mistakes to Avoid When Applying for Grants

1. Not Following Instructions

It's crucial to carefully read and follow all guidelines and requirements for grant applications. Missing details like deadlines, formatting, or required documents can lead to disqualification. Double-check everything before submitting to make sure you've met all the criteria.

2. Applying for the Wrong Grants

Not all grants are a good fit for your business. Applying for grants that don't align with your needs, goals, or eligibility can waste time and resources. Research thoroughly and only apply for grants that match your business size, industry, location, and growth stage.

3. Poorly Prepared Applications

A rushed or unprofessional application can hurt your chances. Take the time to write a clear, well-organized, and compelling application. Use concise language, proofread for errors, and include all required documents like business plans, financial statements, and references. A polished application shows your commitment and attention to detail.

4. Lack of Clear Objectives

Grantors want to know how their funds will be used and the impact they'll have. Clearly define your goals and explain how the grant will help you achieve them. Be specific and measurable. For example, instead of saying, "The grant will help my business grow," say, "the grant will enable us to purchase new equipment, expand our product line, and increase revenue by 20% within the next year."

5. Ignoring the Budget

A detailed and realistic budget is essential. Break down how you'll use the grant money, specifying costs for equipment, personnel, marketing, and other expenses. Make sure your budget aligns with your objectives and the grant's requirements. Be ready to justify your budget and show how it will contribute to your success.

6. Neglecting to Tell Your Story

Grants are competitive, and many businesses may have similar qualifications. To stand out, share your unique story. Highlight your passion, the challenges you've overcome, and your business's impact on the community. Explain why your business deserves the grant and how it will make a difference. Use specific examples to create an emotional connection with the reviewers.

FAQs about Applying for Small Business Grants

How do I find small business grants in Texas?

You can find small business grants by:

How do I apply for a small business grant in Texas?

The application process typically involves:

  1. Researching grants and understanding their requirements.
  2. Gathering necessary documents (business plan, financial statements, tax returns).
  3. Drafting a compelling proposal outlining your business needs and how the grant will help.
  4. Submitting your application by the deadline and ensuring all required information is included.

What documents do I need for a grant application?

Commonly required documents include:

  • Business plan
  • Financial statements (balance sheet, income statement)
  • Tax returns
  • Detailed project proposal
  • Proof of business registration and licenses

How long does it take to get a grant?

The time frame varies widely depending on the grant provider. It can take from a few weeks to several months. Be sure to check the specific grant’s timeline and plan accordingly.

What are the chances of receiving a grant?

Getting a grant is competitive and depends on several factors, like how many people apply, the quality of your application, and the specific grant requirements. You can improve your chances by honing your application skills and ensuring your business meets the grant’s goals.

Can I apply for more than one grant?

Yes, you can apply for multiple grants, provided you meet the eligibility criteria. However, ensure you can manage the requirements and obligations if awarded multiple grants.

What should I do if my grant application is denied?

If your application is denied, you should:

  1. Ask the grant provider for feedback on your application.
  2. Use the feedback to refine your proposal.
  3. Consider reapplying in the future or looking for other grant opportunities.

How can I increase my chances of getting a grant?

To boost your chances of getting a small business grant in Texas:

  1. Make sure you understand the grant’s requirements and tailor your application to meet them.
  2. Follow the application instructions exactly as they are written.
  3. Write a compelling proposal highlighting your business’s potential and funding needs.
  4. Provide all required documents and ensure they are accurate and up-to-date.

Alternative Funding Sources for Small Businesses in Texas

There are many eligibility requirements to consider when you’re applying for grants, but what happens when you simply don’t qualify? In these cases, there are resources available for small business owners to find alternative ways to fund their ventures.

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Texas Small Business Credit Initiative (TSBCI)

The Texas Small Business Credit Initiative (TSBCI) is a federal program funded to help small business owners in Texas. The initiative, part of the American Rescue Plan Act 2021, allocates over $472 million to support small businesses.

Here’s how Texas is using this funding:

TSBCI Loan Guarantee Program: This program has $354 million set aside to help Texas startups qualify for small business loans. It works by providing guarantees of up to 80% of the unpaid principal on enrolled loans, making it easier for businesses to secure funding.

TSBCI Capital Access Program: With $118 million allocated, this program supports portfolio insurance on small business loans using TSBCI matching funds. It aims to help socially and economically disadvantaged individuals access funding more easily.

These programs offer Texas small business owners the financial support needed to grow and succeed.


Crowdfunding is a popular alternative for funding small businesses. It involves raising small amounts of money from many people, usually through the internet.

Four popular crowdfunding platforms include:

  • Kickstarter: Great for creative projects and product-based businesses.
  • Indiegogo: Offers flexible funding options and supports a wide range of projects.
  • GoFundMe: Perfect for personal and community-related fundraising efforts.
  • Patreon: Provides ongoing financial support from patrons for creators and artists.

Grow Your Texas Small Business with the Right Grant Opportunities and Tools

Small business grants can provide much-needed financial support for Texas entrepreneurs and small business owners. You can find the best fit for your business needs and growth plans by exploring the various grant opportunities available. Whether you're looking for state-wide, city-specific, women-focused, or industry-specific grants, resources can help you succeed.

Take action today by reviewing the eligibility requirements and application processes for the grants that interest you most. You can take your Texas small business to new heights with the right grant funding and contribute to the state's thriving economy.

Want to make the most of that grant funding you secured and keep the growth of your business going strong? Then, you'll definitely want to check out LOGO.com’s professional small business tools.

From setting up a strong online presence with a professionally designed website and business email addresses to creating eye-catching marketing materials like business cards, social media templates, and branded merchandise, LOGO.com provides the tools to help your small business from start to success.

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