Can You Really Get Grants for Your Business?

Have you heard the news?† A guy in a funny suit on television stated that there are millions available in federal grant money to finance your new business.† When looking for cash to finance your business, the idea of a grant is something many business owners get excited about.† Unfortunately, that just isnít true.†

While there are grants available for businesses, they are limited to non-profit organizations, lending institutions, and state and local government programs that provide technical and financial assistance to small businesses.† Federal and state government agencies simply do not award grants for starting, managing or expanding small businesses.

They do, however, offer grant money for specialized activities.† For example, if your company is in the scientific research industry, agriculture, or energy fields then you may qualify for a federal small business grant.† If your business fits these criteria and you believe you may qualify for a small business grant, visit your local small business association or the national small business association website - http://www.sba.gov/services/financialassistance/grants/index.html

Due to the time consuming and complicated grant application process, experts advise taking the time to answer a few questions.

o†Ask yourself if you have the time to devote to the grant application process?† Time to research the grant, time to learn how to write and apply for a grant, and time to follow-up.†

o†If the answer is no, can you afford to hire a grant application expert?

o†If you do go ahead with the grant application process, what will the effect be on your sales and profits?

o†Is the grant money worth your efforts?

If you do decide to pursue a grant here are a few tips to help you:

o Be prepared for plenty of competition for that grant money.

o Be prepared and willing to hire consultants and grant application experts.† They can add their expertise to the process as well as add credibility to your application.

o Be as comprehensive, organized, and professional as you can. The more accurate and comprehensive your application, the better chance you have.

o Get to know the people involved in approving your grants.† It is helpful to understand their budget, their concerns, and their goals.†

o Follow up with your agency.† However do so in a professional and respectful manner.†

Getting grant money for your business is certainly a nice way to finance a project, however they can be extremely time consuming and hard to find.† If you are a business that qualifies for the state and federal grant programs, i.e. you conduct research in the energy, agriculture, science, or health care fields, then it may be worth the effort.†



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