You’ve heard the saying, “it takes money to make money.” That’s a hard fact when you’re running a business. Massage therapy businesses often have lower start-up costs and overhead than other businesses, but it still requires some capital. You have a few financing options. If you don’t want to take out a loan, it’s worth looking into grants for massage therapy businesses.
Grants are one of many ways to finance your business. In this article, we’ll explain what grants are, how they work, and which one's massage therapists qualify for.
What’s the Difference between a Grant and a Loan?
The main difference: Loans you pay back. Grants you don’t.
A grant is money that is awarded to you. It’s yours to keep, with no strings attached - kind of like a gift. Often grant money comes from government programs, organizations, or trusts. The obvious benefit of a grant for a massage therapy business is that there’s no risk involved. You don’t have to pay it back.
A loan is money you borrow from a bank or a private investor. This money is paid back over a set period of time, with interest. If you fail to pay, the lender may have a right to seize any assets you put up as collateral.
There are numerous business loans available. How much you can borrow is determined by how much you can afford to repay. Eligibility is also determined by your projected start-up cost for the massage business, as well as your massage business plan. If you qualify, they give you the money.
Grants have a set amount that’s awarded to recipients. You don’t request a sum of money. You apply to be considered for what they’re offering. Grants are very competitive because there aren’t many available. So even if you qualify, you may not get it. But don’t let that discourage you from trying.
What Can You Spend Grant Money On?
The cost of running a massage business adds up fast: supplies, equipment, clinic management software, marketing, etc. If you’re looking for a way to help pay for that while you build your clientele, a grant might help.
Qualifying for a grant requires proving you’re already doing the thing the grant money is for. The grant is meant to help you continue your mission. Some grants merely require you to own a business to qualify. Other grants provide funds to support specific endeavors within your business. Read the details of what the grant is intended for before you apply.
Grant money may cover the monthly expenses for the massage business. It may be specifically for things like continuing education, research, and community outreach. Basically, the grant is meant to cover expenses associated with whatever qualifies you for the grant.
Are there Grants for Massage Therapy Businesses?
There are many grants available to individuals and small businesses. Some grants are specifically for massage therapists, others are for business owners or minorities. Each grant has specific criteria you must meet in order to qualify. Pay close attention to qualification details as you explore your options.
Massage organizations sponsor grants for massage therapists' education, research, and community outreach. Government departments and businesses sponsor many grants for business owners at varying stages of growth. The goal of these grants is to help foster growth and innovation in communities, businesses, and research.
Massage Therapists may qualify for these Grants
1. Massage Therapy Foundation Research Grants
Are you conducting research in your massage practice? You may qualify for a grant if you and your team are studying the effects of specific therapeutic applications, the public perception of massage, or the role of massage therapy in healthcare.
Get full details on the 2 research grants available on the MTF website.
2. MFT Community Service Grants
Do you work with underprivileged segments of the community? MTF also sponsors a grant for therapists who give back to the community with massage therapy. This money is intended to help foster partnerships between the massage therapy profession and community organizations.
Details on community service grants are available here.
This database is full of federally funded grants for small businesses. Hundreds of these grants pertain to healthcare workers. It’s worth sifting through the grants.gov listings for current grants available that may apply to your business.
4. Amber Grants
If you’re a female business owner, you qualify. WomensNet gives away $30,000 in grants to women business owners every month. They award money to several different categories of businesses, including health and fitness.
5. NASE Growth Grants
Do you need money for marketing, hiring employees, or updating your clinic? The National Association for the Self-Employed awards $4,000 grants to individuals who need capital for their businesses. They also have a scholarship for self-employed people who need help paying for their kids' education. You must be a member of NASE for at least 3 months to apply.