Ongoing, year round financial resources for businesses

There are financial assistance programs that operate year round. Find details below by “category”, including by city/county/geography.  There are also free grants and loans by month in Florida.

Statewide Florida MWBE assistance programs

African American Entrepreneurs Association (AAEA) operates across Florida, with a focus on a few areas such as Daytona Beach, The Palm Coast, and Gainesville among other parts of the state. They offer a number of resources to Black men and women owned businesses, including access to financing, business placement development services, SBA loans, grants and more. They also partner with Bank of America, TD Bank, the Black Chamber of Commerce and others to coordinate programs.  Read more on AAEA here.

Black owned businesses across Florida can apply for the Black Business Loan Program. It is being offered by the CDFI for the state, which is The Community Fund of North Miami Dade. The goal is to spread financing to small to mid sized Black men or women-owned businesses that struggle to get funds from traditional banks. Up to $100,000 can be borrowed by qualified Black owned businesses. The money can pay for inventory, payroll, expansion, and other bills.

Florida Department of Economic Opportunity has a wide variety of small business programs, including some focused on minorities, women, disabled people and others. There is a directory of loans, grants, microfinancing solutions, business credits and more. The programs come and go throughout the year, but find financial resources here.

Native Plant Horticulture Foundation helps very small businesses, such as farming and people with native plants, get the capital they need. They partner with Kiva on 0%, interest free loans with a focus on micro-businesses that lack access to capital, including minority, veteran, and women owned farmers. While based in Melbourne FL, resources are offered statewide. More details here.

Prospera helps Hispanics all across Florida. There is assistance for immigrants, Cubans, Latinos, South America residents and any Latino. Several offices are located across Florida, and Prospera offers referrals to free grants or low cost loans, free business and marketing plan development, legal aid, free workshops and more. The goal is to empower Hispanics financially, professionally, and business wise. They support Hispanic entrepreneurs and small businesses. Read more.

Broward/Miami/Dade County/Palm Beach area grants, interest free loans and mentoring

Broward County businesses can turn to the Urban League and Central County Community Development Corporation, also known as CCCDC. The assistance offered includes an entrepreneurship center; small business loans; technical help; business capital or loans from Wells Fargo Dream Fund; one on one mentoring; tax planning and dozens of other programs to women, Black, and minority business owners. Find more on their services.

Executive Women of the Palm Beaches Foundation, or EWPBF, provides grant money, mentorship and support to women owned businesses. They help people regardless of race, religion, ethnicity or age. All assistance is free to small to mid sized owned women businesses. Learn more on the charity here.

Hispanic Unity of South Florida helps Latinos, immigrants and Hispanics start a business. The non-profit offers economic development programs including an Emerging Entrepreneurs Program with referrals to financial help, grants and more. Read more.

The Office of Economic and Small Business Development (OESBD) in Broward County has a number of resources for small businesses, including women, veteran, and minority-owned. They work with the SBA on funding, grants and micro-loans. There is also MWBE certification, applications to national or local resources and many other business services.

Miami MBDA helps women and minority owned businesses in Miami-Dade County. There are many free resources, including business plan development classes, free coaching programs, training and analysis on financial matters, as well as assistance in applying for low cost loans or free grants. They also help women and minority businesses get more revenue and government contracts. All resources are offered in Spanish too. Read more.

Miami-Dade Economic Advocacy Trust, or MDEAT, has a number of programs to help small businesses, including Black and Latino owned. The economic development services have occasional grant programs, expos and other services for disadvantaged businesses. Learn more here.

Miami-Dade Black Owned businesses can apply for low cost loans from the Black Business Loan Program, which is run by the Bayside Foundation. Up to $150,000 can be provided.  Inventory, working capital, salaries, and limited other expenses can be paid. Apply here.

Another Miami-Dade County program for businesses, including MWBE, Latino, LGTBQ, etc. is Axis Helps Miami. Not only may financial assistance in the form of loans or grants be offered, but there is free mentorship, business training, networking, investor pitches, help getting minority certification, information on government contracts and much more. Read up on the agency.

Female small business owners and entrepreneurs in the Miami area can get microloans from Grameen America. The lender is a non-profit with offices nationwide that focuses its microloans on women from low-income area or households, or women that live in poverty. A major focus is on the Latina, Cuban, and south American immigrants and second-generation Latinas in Miami Dade. Learn more on the Grameen program in Miami here.

Minority businesses in Palm Beach County (Black, Latino, Puerto Rican, Veteran, Women, etc.) can get financial assistance and other help from the Urban League of Palm Beach County.  Everything from free mentoring to information on grants for the government or corporations, or loans, may be offered. Business Centers also hold classes and workshops for business owners as well as entrepreneurs. Read more here.

Southern Florida Jewish Women’s Foundation provides grant money to women to help them address health, economic equality and other needs. This includes non-profits that are owned (started) by women as well as small businesses that focuses on empowering the community. There are funds in Palm Beach County and southern FL. Learn more here.

West Palm Beach women and minority businesses can use a free center for support. There is help for small to even large MWBE owned businesses, or someone who is thinking of starting one. Get help with certification, finding and applying for grant money, business plan development, and earn about city rules or regulations. Contact the Office of Small and Minority Businesses in West Palm Beach for support, or find them here.

Another Palm Beach option is the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Palm Beach County / Central Palm Beach County Chamber of Commerce. They have a Small Business Resource Center, which is free to use. Latinos, Hispanics, Immigrants and people of color can learn about applying for grants, get help with business development or promotion, network, get discounts of Office supplies and more. Learn about their services here.

Central Florida area

Black Business Investment Fund Inc. provides assistance minority owned businesses in central Florida, Orlando and surrounding counties. Everything from low-cost loans to occasional free grants, financial coaching, small business training and more. They are a non-profit CDFI that helps disadvantaged and low-income businesses owned by people of color. Learn more here on the Black Business Investment Fund.

Central Florida is covered by the UCF Business Incubation Program as well as the Florida High Tech Corridor. They assist women owned businesses t(including Black, Hispanic or White) throughout Florida. They will, from time to time, have grants to help women-owned businesses grow an existing company.  They also help the “test” an idea as well as launch a company, everything from legal aspects of it to the Traction Program and ongoing support. More details here.

Daytona Beach area MWBE owners can get assistance from the Small Business Development Center, which is located at Daytona State College. A number of resources are offered, including financial ones. The United Minority Scholarship program. They help with raising capital, social media marketing, government contracting for MWBE companies, management techniques and so much more. Continue reading here.

FAMU College of Law Economic Justice Clinic has a free legal center for minority-owned businesses and entrepreneurs. Supervised law students, volunteer lawyers and professors will help Black and minority-owned businesses get the support they need. Get help starting a business, filing for LLC or a corporation, tax help or assistance applying for grants, help with regulations and more.  The location is the FAMU Law School in Orlando, and call 407-254-4000 for details.

Orlando area businesses can apply for grants from the city. There are a wide variety of assistance programs offered, and they change through the months and years. One that is almost always available is the Minority/Women Entrepreneur Business Assistance (MEBA) Program, which is intended to help MWBE, LGTBQ+, and veteran owned businesses stay in the region. There are funds for marketing, real estate, capital projects and more. Find details here, including on MEBA.

Veterans Entrepreneurship Initiative is for central Florida, including Orlando (Orange County), Seminole County and others. There is coaching, help for veterans in starting a business, marketing or legal help, information on contracting opportunities or grant money and more. They help with financing too, and get more details.

Northern and NE Florida grants, free coaching, loans and support

Jacksonville Women’s Business Center is the leading center for minorities and women. Clients can get information on creating business plans and locating capital, whether interest free or low cost loans or any government or corporate grants. There is legal advice, mentoring, entrepreneurial development classes and more. They support all of Northeast Florida around Jacksonville, Duval and Clay county and other areas. Read more.

Urban League of Jacksonville operates an Center for Education, Career Development and Workforce Services in partnership with the national office. There is help for minority-owned small businesses in NE Florida.  There are internships, free workshops and seminars, information on Florida and national MWBE grants and more. The goal is to help disadvantaged businesses start and grow. Read more here.

The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida runs a program that provides annual grants to non-profits that focus on women’s issues. The Women’s Giving Alliance is the primary one, but there are other grants too. For the Women’s Foundation, all applicants for a grant need to focus on causes relevant to women, and find details here.

Panhandle region free government grants and financial help for MWBE and veteran businesses

Women and minority owned businesses in the Apalachee Region can apply for financing from the Resolving Loan Fund from the Apalachee Regional Planning Council.  It can not only help fund existing businesses, but it is a source of capital for start ups. There may also be loans for borrowers with poor credit. A business plan, mentoring, and ongoing support may be required as well. Read more.

Southwestern Florida area grants, loans, and assistance for women, veteran, and minority businesses

Collier, Lee, Glades, Hendry, and Charlotte County female owned businesses can get financial aid, no-interest loans in partnership with Kiva, education support and other business assistance. The non-profit Southwest Florida Women’s Foundation assists women owned businesses in the region. The main office is in Bonita Springs, FL 34135. Call (239) 908-0301

MicroEnterprise Institute of Goodwill Southwest Florida (SWFL) provide assistance, including interest free microloans (as a Kiva Trustee) in multiple counties.  Businesses, including veteran, female or minority owned as well as immigrants can get help. A major focus is on helping low-income business owners or startups. Financing, loans, free workshops, business plan development mentoring, and more. The non-profit supports the counties of Lee, Charlotte, Collier, Hendry and Glades. Read more

City of St. Petersburg Office of Supplier Diversity provides contracting opportunities, business development, and support to women and/or minority owned businesses.  Get opportunities to increase revenue, referrals to grant programs and other support.  Learn more on the St. Pete office here.

St. Petersburg will provide MWBE certified businesses with millions of dollars in contracts. The City will allocate work as part of the
Minority and Women Business Enterprise (MWBE) Program. This will create opportunities for companies that are 51% or more owned by women or minorities to increase their revenue. Learn more here.

Tampa Bay/St. Petersburg region grants, loans, and assistance

Pinellas County Hispanic – Latino owned businesses (or those seeking to start a business) can contact the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Pinellas County. They offer a number of services, including mentoring, networking, databases and information on government grant programs or bank loans, and more. The goal is to help the Hispanic community grow or start a business. Learn more.

Tampa Bay women-owned businesses, or entrepreneurs, can get access to a wide variety of free resources from the Tampa Bay Women’s Business Centre. There is information on raising capital from loans, equity, investors, or free government grants. Or take classes and workshops, both in the center or online. Counseling, mentoring, wellness services, the Women Building Futures program and much more is offered. Learn more here.

Tampa Bay BBIC is a CDFI approved lender. The Tampa Bay Black Business Investment Corporation helps minority and small business owners with a low-income or bad credit get capital, counseling, and other services. They are part of the Certified Community Development Financial Institution. They also have referrals to free grants, business development workshops and other resources.  Lear more here

Tampa Bay area minority owned businesses, whether in Hillsborough, Pinellas, or other counties, can get support from the Minority Business Accelerator Program. It is run by the Chamber of Commerce and local partners. The goal is to arrange loans, help Black and Latino owned businesses get capital, and they coordinate various non-profits and “leaders” in the Tampa Bay area to give back/volunteer/coordinate programs. Read more here.