This article was updated on June 18, 2018.
As a small business owner, it's important for you to try to support both your employees and your local community. However, accomplishing these goals often requires additional funds, which you may not be able to provide on your own. If you'd like to finance programs that focus on employee wellness, education and engagement, you should look into available grants for small business owners.
The government has set standards in place that encourage small business owners to establish workplace wellness programs. After all, healthy employees may help lower the cost of programs like Medicare.
As a result, several states offer grants for small business owners that offset the cost of setting up a workplace wellness program. For example, Wisconsin offers a grant that covers 30 percent of the cost of a particular program for one year, up to a cap of $15,000.
Environment and Waste Management
Your company could do the environment a big favor by cleaning up your waste management program. Your state may even give you money to do so. For example, Iowa offers a program in which it provides approved applicants with financial assistance to upgrade their waste management practices. You could potentially use this grant to install waste reduction equipment, improve your recycling procedures and provide related employee education and training.
Many states offer financial assistance for employee training. For example, Nebraska has a grant program through which the state provides funds for customized training projects. These training projects can take place on-site or off-site. In the past, the program has approved training projects that focus on customer service, ManagementTQM, mechanical maintenance, customized injection molding and more. When you apply for this grant, you must provide information about the type of training you are offering and how it could upgrade the skills of your current employees.
Supporting the Arts
Businesses in the arts industry can apply for a slew of unique grants, as well. For example, the city of Boulder, CO, approves annual grants to bolster the community's culture. The city offers both operational and project grants.
A Workplace Garden
Some local governments get pretty creative with the grants that they provide. For example, Vermont offers a grant for small businesses that set up and run a workplace garden. By participating in gardening activities as a team, you can all work together to stay active, get some fresh air and produce some healthy food.
Don't let a lack of funding discourage you from trying to do more for your employees and your community as a whole. By taking advantage of these grants for small business owners, you can make life a lot more rewarding for yourself and your workforce.