Do you want to get government grant for your food truck business? If YES, here are 18 best sources of government business grants for food truck owners. Accessing government grant programs can be very hard for entrepreneurs and businesses in the food industry that are unfamiliar with the process.

Understanding the types of funding available, how it’s distributed from the funding body to recipients, and who can apply for the programs is a time consuming and resource-intensive process that many businesses choose to avoid altogether. The government allocates money to provide small businesses with grants, repayable funding, vouchers, and tax incentives. All these programs are established to overcome growth challenges in business.

These funding types are used by businesses to extend their cash flow and execute projects at a scale and speed that they would not be able to accomplish independently. Government grants can be used by food related businesses for hiring and training staff, purchasing new equipment, conducting research and development, and expanding into new markets, etc.

Government funding is provided by federal, provincial, and municipal sources. Each source caters to their region’s most significant challenges and opportunities by providing funding to reduce the financial risk of certain projects. This leads to different program focuses, eligible expenses, timelines, and contribution amounts. It’s very crucial to note that the food and beverage industry is a major focus for government funding programs.

It has many funds developed specifically for agro-food businesses, which makes accessing funding easier for those businesses who meet basic eligibility criteria. While meeting these do not guarantee you’ll be eligible for funding, they are a general basis for how most government grants and loans are administered.

Also note that food startups and early-stage businesses who do not meet the criteria are not necessarily ineligible for funding, but do not have the potential to receive as much as mature, incorporated companies. In the united states, Federal agencies have funding opportunities that support Farm to School activities. Listed below are a few examples of such opportunities.

18 Best Sources of Government Grants for Food Truck Business and How to Get Them

  1. Grantwatch – Grants for all businesses

This online resource Grantwatch is always a great place to start when searching for programs to suit your niche or industry. This site is a virtual warehouse of detailed information. You can find grants specifically for nonprofits that benefit startups and women, grants for entrepreneurs with businesses that help or hire former military, and even grants to build or rehabilitate housing for Veterans in Puerto Rico.

  1. Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBGP)

Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) began the Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBGP) in 1974 and now is one of the longest continuously run programs at HUD. The CDBGP is generally known as a flexible program that provides communities with resources to address a wide range of unique community development needs.

The CDBGP is designed to create jobs through the expansion and retention of local businesses. This program provides support for business planning, construction, equipment purchase, training and technical assistance. Grantees must develop a plan that encourages citizen participation and address community development needs.

  1. Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund

Have it in mind that the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund was propounded by the Riegle Community Development and Regulatory Improvement Act of 1994 to promote economic revitalization in low-income communities. The purpose of the CDFI Program is to use federal resources to invest in CDFIs and to build their capacity to serve low-income people and communities that lack access to affordable financial products and services.

CDFIs may use the funds to pursue a variety of goals, including economic development promotion and business development. CDFI Funds provide an opportunity for business developments, such as food hubs and cooperatives that may enhance farm to school efforts.

  1. Community Economic Development (CED) Program

The Department of Health and Human Services’ Community Economic Development (CED) Program works to address the economic needs of low income people through the creation of employment and business opportunities.

Funds can be used for business startup and expansion, and the purchase of equipment or property. CED projects can support agriculture initiatives by providing funding for physical food hubs, processing or cooperative facilities, job training and marketing.

  1. Delta Regional Authority (DRA)

The Delta Regional Authority (DRA) has greatly aided the growth in quality of life and boosted economic development opportunities. The main investment tool used by the Delta Regional Authority is the States’ Economic Development Assistance Program (SEDAP).

The Delta Regional Authority’s SEDAP has been developed to enhance the economic development activities taking place in the Delta region. The DRA focuses on growing small business and promoting a healthy delta. Farm to School initiatives that increase jobs and have sustainable, regional approach may be eligible for DRA grant funds.

  1. Economic Development Agency (EDA)

The Economic Development Agency (EDA) is part of the Department of Commerce and offers several different investment assistance opportunities for a variety of programs. Available programs range from economic development to technical assistance to research and evaluation. Some of the programs allow funds to be used for facility construction and equipment purchases. Projects must be located in an economically distressed area.

  1. Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI)

The Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI) represents the Federal government’s first coordinated program to eliminate problems in the nation.

  1. DC Small and Local Business Grant

The DC Department of Small and Local Business has multiple open grant opportunities for businesses in particular “wards” of the city. You can keep track of the ongoing grant opportunities on the Current Solicitations & Opportunities site. They tend to offer the most grants to businesses that are revitalizing downtown neighborhoods.

  1. Kansas Job Creation Fund

Kansas’s Job Creation Fund gives grants to businesses looking for help establishing themselves in Kansas. The fund typically disburses the grant money to recipients over three years as their company reaches certain investment and employment benchmarks.

  1. Louisiana Community Development Block Grant

The Office of Community Development aims to improve the living environments and economic opportunities for Louisiana’s low income residents. While small businesses can’t apply directly, but you can contact the state or local government branches most relevant to your business’s function and see if you can receive that funding to do community work.

  1. Chicago Small Business Improvement Fund

The SBIF supports small businesses repairing or remodeling their location, whether by updating windows and floors, replacing signage, or purchasing nearby property to expand into. Note that you’d receive this matching grant after completing and paying for your remodeling, so be cautious—plenty of other businesses are likely competing for small business grants like these.

  1. Miami Mom & Pop Small Business Grant

If you’re in Miami and have been in business for at least a year, make sure to apply to this program meant to “bridge the gap between local government and small owned and operated businesses.”

  1. New York City Job Creation and Retention Program

Is your small business new to Lower Manhattan, and can you commit to creating at least 75 new jobs in the area? If so, look to the JCRP grant.

  1. Seed Chicago

Seed Chicago is a crowdfunding platform specifically for Chicago-based businesses. This is technically not a small business grant, but crowdfunding is money which comes from many different community backers. In most cases, you don’t have to pay back the money.

  1. Lumpkin Foundation Grant

The Lumpkin Foundation is a private foundation, but they provide grants to organizations in East Central Illinois. Grants are available to businesses that focus on food service, the local agriculture economy, and sustainable practices.

  1. Rural Business Enterprise Grants

Available to small businesses, the RBEG program offers funds for rural development—including, by not limited to, infrastructural development, working capital for startup businesses, purchasing equipment, and real estate development. Smaller requests are actually given higher priority, and grants usually range between $10,000 and $50,000. Federally recognized Indian tribes are among eligible applicants.

  1. Service-Disabled, Veteran-Owned Small Business Program

Similar to the VA’s OSDBU program, the Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business Program aims to provide certain businesses with contracting dollars. The federal government sets aside at least 3 percent of contracting dollars for small businesses owned by disabled veterans. Just like the OSDBU, you should apply for verification through the program before being added to a directory to be considered for certain contracts.

  1. Minority Business Development Agency

The MBDA has regular grant competitions for minority business owners, alongside a long list of other resources for you to learn from.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What Kind Of Loan Can You Get For A Food Truck?
  • Equipment Financing.
  • SBA Microloans.
  • Business Lines of Credit.
  • Business Credit Cards.
  • Crowdfunding Campaigns.
  1. Do Banks Finance Food Trucks?

Yes, traditional bank term loans for food trucks or lines of credit for food trucks are the first options for food truck owners looking for a loan.

  1. How Do You Raise Money To Start A Food Truck?
  • Food Truck Financing
  • Friends And Family
  • The Old-Fashioned Way: Saving
  1. How Much Does It Cost To Finance A Food Truck?

On average, most food truck entrepreneurs spend between $70,000 and $80,000 on their food truck. The total price of buying a food truck can amount anywhere from $50,000 to $250,000 depending on how you acquire the truck; customize it for your needs and your local permit and licensing requirements.

  1. How Do Small Business Loans For Food Trucks Work?

Each lender for food truck business loans considers slightly different criteria to qualify you for food truck financing, but there are some general guidelines. You should have been in business at least 6 months, and have $10,000 or more in monthly revenue (or annual revenues of $100,000). You may be expected to provide cash or collateral for a down payment, especially if your credit doesn’t meet the minimum requirement. You may also need a co-signer with good credit.

If you’re considering a food truck equipment loan, you’ll need similar qualifications, and may be asked for a down payment of 5-20% if you have good credit. Note that lenders may require a UCC filing, which could impact your ability to qualify for other financing.

  1. How Do You Start A Food Truck Business?
  • Research Your Food Truck Scene
  • Choose a Food Truck Concept
  • Write a Business Plan
  • Get Funding
  • Get the Proper Licenses and Permits
  • Buy a Food Truck
  • Purchase Equipment and Supplies
  • Choose a POS System
  • Invest in Marketing and Advertising
  1. What Are The Barriers To Entry For Food Trucks?
  • Challenging local regulations and laws.
  • Need for parking permits.
  • Health codes.
  • Rules about distances from other businesses.
  • Needing a commissary for food preparation.
  • Insurance costs and challenges.
  • Fire codes.
  1. Can PPP Loan Recipients Receive Grants From The Fund?

Yes, as long as there is no duplication in the uses of funds.

  1. Do You Need Financing To Keep Your Food Truck Running Smoothly?

Yes, although running a food truck business can be more affordable than taking out a lease on a full-fledged restaurant, there is still a significant cost associated with this type of small business.

  1. Who Qualifies For SBA Grant?

SBA offers grants to community organizations that promote entrepreneurship, including those that support veteran owned and service-disabled veteran-owned businesses and Small Business Development Centres. To be eligible, small businesses are expected to have no more than 10 employees, be located in low-income areas, and had an economic loss due to the coronavirus pandemic of greater than 50% over an eight-week period since March 2, 2020, compared to the previous year.

  1. Does The Government Offer Free Money For Start-ups?

No, the federal government does not offer grants or ‘free money’ to individuals to start a business or cover personal expenses.

  1. What Can Grant Funds Be Used For?

Grant funds are usually used to finance the investigation of a business concept, provide working capital for ramping-up a business or other purpose. If a student was awarded money to pay for his or her college education, all expenses such as books that accrued with that should be covered through the funds awarded.

  1. Do You Need To Be A LLC And EIN To Apply For A Grant?

To be ready and qualified to apply for grants, you will be expected to form any legal entity with an Employer Identification Number (EIN).

  1. Will SBA Loans Be Forgiven?

Yes, two types of SBA loans qualify for at least partial loan forgiveness: PPP loans or loans made through the Paycheck Protection Program and EIDL loans, or Economic Injury Disaster Loans.

  1. What Information Do You Need To Apply For A RRF Grant?

You need to calculate the grant amount you’re eligible for on the application. The restaurant grant calculation may require you to provide any of the following information:

  • Your gross receipts
  • Any PPP loan amounts
  • Certain expense amounts
  1. What Is Required To Apply For A Grant?

Depending on the funding organization and field of research, research grants have different requirements. Before beginning the application process, you should make sure you or your organization is eligible to apply for the grant.

  1. Does The SBA Offer Start-up Business Grants?

No, SBA does not provide grants for starting and expanding a business.

  1. How Do You Apply For 10000 EIDL Grant?

To apply, simply go to the SBA’s disaster loan assistance page and fill out an application. Here, when the program is open, you will be expected to state the kind of business or organization you are, while ensuring that you are not disqualified for some notable reasons. After that, you would have to enter some basic information about your business, such as its address, the names of owners, annual revenue, number of employees and operating expenses.

On the final page of the application, you select the option for receiving an advance of up to $10,000. You also have to enter your bank account information so that the funds could be direct deposited right to your account.

  1. What Are The 4 Types Of Grants?
  • Foundation and Private Charity Opportunities
  • Competitive and Understanding the formula Funding Opportunities
  • Funding Opportunities for Small Businesses
  • Funding Opportunities for College Expenses
  1. How Much Money Can A Business Receive From The Fund And How Must It Be Spent?

SBA may provide funding up to $5 million per location, not to exceed $10 million total for the applicant and any affiliated businesses. The minimum award is $1,000.

  1. How Long Does It Take For SBA Disaster Loan Approval?

SBA disaster loan approvals are expedited, so you can expect your disaster loan to start incremental payments in 1-3 weeks (or seven to 21 days). You will also be assigned a loan officer who will work with you through the duration of your loan.

Joy Nwokoro