Finding Small Business Grants
Poor financing is the number two reason small businesses fail, falling right behind poor management. Sufficient funding is paramount to the success of small businesses, and small business grants can be the answer to the problem. If business owners have the necessary knowledge about how to find and properly request grants, they have a better shot at creating a successful business that will be open longer and prosper.
There are over 300 different grants and loans available for small businesses that are just starting out. The grants range from $25,000 up to $1,000,000 depending on the size and projected success rate of the business. There are also grants available to help small businesses grow or expand. Grants are not the same as loans because they do not have to be repaid. A grant is considered free money, as well as an investment to promote the success of small businesses and the U.S. economy. Money for grants comes from income taxes. Obtaining a small business grant does not require credit checks or deposits, even if the owners have experienced bankruptcy in the past.
There are a number of helpful websites that send small businesses government grant packages for free, excluding the cost of shipping. These packages include information on how to find grants, how to prepare a grant request, and how to apply for grants pertaining to a specific business. Some of the providers are Government Funding Solutions, Grant Master, and Grant Wizard.
It is important to be familiar with the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) rules for receiving grants before beginning the process of obtaining one. Although the SBA does not provide grants to small businesses, they do provide helpful suggestions and resources on how to find grants.
In order to qualify for a small business grant, individuals must first become familiar with the 13 CFR 143 document that lists all of the requirements to be eligible for a grant. This document includes information on the pre-award and post-award periods and defines all aspects of applying for a grant and states who is eligible. The CFR is the primary source of rules and regulations for small business grants and must be read before starting the grant writing process.
After reviewing the requirements, prospective business owners must write a grant request. There are professionals who will write a grant proposal or the individuals may complete it themselves. The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance is a helpful site that links individuals to resources about federal grants for small businesses. Afterschool.gov gives helpful tips on how to write a small business grant and, although it is geared toward grants for after school programs, includes helpful information for grant writing in general.
Additionally, there are many well-established government and private organizations that provide grants to small businesses. The Department of Justice’s Ten Grant document gives access to grant opportunities for those conducting research in support of law enforcement. The Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration has several grant opportunities for small business owners. They offer about $125 million to businesses that are based in a community setting with special attention to training programs. The Department of Transportation is another organization that offers small business grants. They offer grants to any business willing to help resolve the growing problems with the federal-aid highway program. The Department of Education has a program called e-GRANTS that locates electronic grants online. They have a detailed list of grants available and the necessary applications to fill out. There are a variety of grants available for different groups, all of which have detailed descriptions and contact information. Other organizations that provide small business grants include the EPA, the National Cancer Institute, NOAA, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.