Learn more about local, State, and Federal grants and loan programs available to businesses below.
Vermont Community Foundation Nonprofit Grants
Generally, the Foundation's grant rounds are oriented towards place-based and community-level work. We have many grants that are specific to a topic and a region, which are made possible by our relationships with generous donor partners.
US Small Business Administration Recovery Hub
SBA is dedicated to the success of the nation’s small businesses and can help your small business weather the storm through every stage of the business lifecycle, whether you need help recovering from the pandemic or overcoming challenges of a different kind.
Creative Futures Grant Program
The aim of this program is to provide aid to creative sector organizations and businesses that continue to struggle financially due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. The program will be open to creative economy businesses (including sole proprietors) and cultural nonprofits that have sustained substantial losses due to the pandemic.
Community Recovery and Revitalization Program (CRRP)
These Vermont state grants aim to fund projects that spur economic recovery and revitalization, particularly capital improvements related to childcare, affordable housing, non-profits, and small businesses. Small businesses can apply for funding to aid reopening and expansion or for rehabilitation of commercial properties and storefront improvements.
Sole Proprietor Stabilization Grants
Sole proprietor businesses located in Caledona, Chittenden, Essex, Franklin, Grand Isle, Orange, Orleans, and Windsor counties are eligible to receive up to $2,000 in one-on-one technical assistance in one or more of the following areas; website development/enhancement, financial management and record keeping, branding and marketing.
Backing Small Businesses Grant Program
An American Express and Main Street America grant program to serve BIPOC, women-owned, and other underserved brick-and-mortar small businesses. Grants of $5,000 to support business expenses including accessibility upgrades, community events, equipment, technology or sustainability upgrades, and rent. Applications close April 7, 2023.
State Trade Expansion Program (STEP)
Funding through reimbursements for businesses seeking to diversify and expand into international markets through trade shows, trade missions, market research, e-commerce, and export education.
Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR)
Funding through solicitations to encourage domestic small businesses to engage in Federal research and research and development in partnership with research institutions. In Vermont SBIR funding can be matched by Elevate Vermont.
City of Burlington Revolving Loan Programs
The City manages two no-interest revolving loan programs both aimed at supporting locally-owned businesses and industries that were impacted or disproportionally impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, with particular focus on BIPOC, women-owned, and other underserved businesses. To learn more and apply visit the Revolving Loan Programs site.
Vermont Community Loan Fund
VCLF is an alternative community-focused lender that provides loans to local businesses, community organizations, nonprofits, early care and learning providers, and developers of affordable housing who wouldn't qualify for a loan from a traditional lender. Some of their loan programs include the following:
- The Justice Forward Fund provides low interest loans for Vermonters traditionally and generally excluded from conventional financing markets and services.
- SPROUT provides financing for start-ups and early-stage working lands entrepreneurs.
- The Food, Farm, and Forests Fund provides flexible financing for farmers, food producers, and natural resource entrepreneurs.
Vermont Economic Development Authority
VEDA provides customized, low-interest financing solutions for start-ups and expanding businesses. Loan amounts go up to $500,000 for small businesses working in manufacturing, processing, warehousing, R&D, travel & tourism, IT, energy generation, and retail and service. Currently VEDA still has some funds available in their Short Term Forgivable Loan Program which focuses on providing assistance to businesses that continue to experience current and on-going economic harm due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mainvest is an investment platform on a mission to democratize access to capital and access to investment, disrupting the way that local economies grow. Through Mainvest, small businesses can use community investment to fuel their growth with an innovative and flexible financing model. Meanwhile, investors across socioeconomic status and experience level can build localized portfolios with returns targeting 10-25% annually. Mainvest is based in Salem, MA, and has facilitated over $30MM of investment into over 300 businesses.