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Funding Sources for Food-Related Businesses: Sixth Edition


March 31, 2021 - Author: Anel Guel, Abigail Harper, , Emily Kim, Evan Kutz, Nick McCann, , , Taylor Wimberg

The sixth edition of this directory provides an overview of various financing sources available to food-related businesses in Michigan and across the United States.

The directory includes sources of national and local finance opportunities that may be available to producers, distributors, food hubs, and food-related businesses.

The directory is a partial listing of what may be available across the United States; some examples may not be a good match with your particular circumstances. Initially informed by a list of funding resources for food-related businesses found on the Food+Tech Connect website, a media and research company building a network for food innovators and entrepreneurs, it has been made available by the MSU Center for Regional Food Systems to help support local food systems.

The directory is divided into four funding sources types: crowd funding, accelerator, miscellaneous (non-federal), and federal resources.

For each funding entity included, details are provided to help guide your decisions: description, funding focus, funding limit, qualifications, geographical region of focus, and website.

At the end of the list of funding entities, a selection of resources on writing grant and loan applications is provided. Writing a robust, effective grant and/or loan application can help you successfully obtain the funding you need for your business. Look to the tips provided as you determine which type funding source is right for your business.

A COVID-19 pandemic statement from the author at time of publication

The COVID-19 pandemic is impacting thousands of small businesses across the United States. Active business owners reported a 22% decline in business during the first three months of the pandemic. Businesses owned by women and people of color have been especially impacted. Women-owned businesses have reported a 25% decline, Latinx-owned businesses a 32% decline and Black-owned businesses a 41% decline. Consumer spending at restaurants was down 34% as of August 2020. It was estimated that 100,000 restaurants would permanently close in 2020.

In Michigan and across the U.S., we have seen food and farm businesses change business models to offer more take-out meals, sell online and sell direct to consumers. Federal, state and many private organizations responded by offering new funding opportunities for businesses. Some of these organizations have changed their focus in order to support local businesses or a specific business sector. We have not included these new funding opportunities in this resource because it is likely that these are temporary changes. For nationally available COVID-19 pandemic relief opportunities, we suggest following your local economic development agencies and Small Business Development Centers to learn of any new funding opportunities to support your business. The link included below offers pandemic specific funding across the U.S.

In Michigan, keep updated by following the MSU Center for Regional Food Systems (@MSUCRFS) on Facebook and Twitter.

Suggested Citation

Rahrig, J., Pirog, R., Guel, A., Kelly, R., McCann, N., Harper, A., . . . Kim, E. (2021). Funding Sources for Food-Related Businesses (6th ed.). Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems. 



Tags: beginning farmer, business, business development, center for regional food systems, community, crowdfunding, economic development, featured, financing farming, food innovation districts, food spice, food spice business resource, funding opportunities, michigan food hub network, michigan good food, michigan good food charter shared measurement project, michigan good food fund


Rachel Kelly

Rachel Kelly

Rich Pirog

Rich Pirog

Jamie Rahrig

Jamie Rahrig

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