Every proprietor could use a little more money to run their small business. The question is: how can you get your hands on it? One of the best methods is to get approved for a small business grant. Here’s some advice on how to find and take advantage of these opportunities.
Things You Need to Know About Business Grants
Small business grants are beautiful; unlike loans, they don’t need to be repaid.
Many grants, however, come with strict requirements–some are only for minorities, while others are designated for military personnel. Certain gifts exist for veteran-owned businesses, for example. Others exist specifically for one state or region of the country. This doesn’t mean that there aren’t plenty of completely open grants.
Developing Realistic Expectations: The Application Process
Applying for small business grants takes a long time. It’s important to understand that you likely will not receive most of the gifts you use foru your use.
If you’re waiting for a grant to start (or to improve) your business, you’ll be waiting longer than you should–usually to the detriment or even failure of your venture.
The Reality About Grant Amounts
Some grants offer a lot of money for small businesses, but most fall under the “micro-grant” category ($500-1000).
We apologize if somebody misled you about getting big bucks to start your company; nearly all federal grants offering six and seven-figure dollar amounts are specifically for already-established and successful businesses; many of these are also set aside for specific companies like those involved in research or technological innovation.
Limitations and Regulations on Grant Funding
Let’s say you receive a grant–good for you! You should know a few things about the limitations imposed on the money provided.
Agencies providing grants typically like to see the money used on a tangible growth asset for your business; this can include purchasing necessary equipment, marketing, or hiring new staff members. The latter is one of the grants’ common goals: allowing companies to hire new people to thrive.
As such, it’s harder to obtain seed money than it is to start a business from the ground up. We hate to say it, but struggling businesses are usually not the target a grantor is looking for.
Finding the Right Grant Opportunities for Your Small Business
Figuring out where to look is crucial in finding a grant that will help your small business grow. Online grant lists can be a good resource, but hey contain expired and outdated links.
A better bet is to search a localized database of grants specifically focused on your region, city, or state. Your city’s Chamber of Commerce may also provide actionable resources to help you find grant opportunities. Ultimately, the best way to start is to look as locally as possible and then “zoom out” to the state/regional level, looking to the Federal grants last.