Small business grants are financial resources provided by an agency for a specific reason. Grants are granted to small business owners throughout their start up stage, business expansion, and even for research and innovation. Unlike personal loans or corporate credit cards, grants do not have to be paid back, and they will not affect your small business credit rating in the short term. As long as you use the money wisely, these small business grants can help you obtain or expand the capital you need to get your business off the ground.
The United States government is responsible for providing most of the funding for this type of financing. In fact, small business grants are one of the most popular categories of federal financial aid. These grants are not widely advertised, but if you search out the grant database, they are easy to locate. Just enter “small business grants” or “veterans’ benefits” into any search engine and look at the results. As you probably have guessed, the majority of the grant funding is provided by the government.
When searching for information on how to find and apply for these grants, it’s important to remember that the approval process can be time consuming and frustrating. This is where a knowledgeable grant writer can make the difference between getting the free money you deserve and stuck paying back thousands of dollars in debt. There are three basic options available to you when it comes to how to find free money for business. These options include:
Direct application: This is the best way to see what types of small business grants are currently available. To apply for a federal grant, you simply fill out an application and submit it to the agency. To find out what types of grant funding programs are currently available in your state, you can visit the Free Grants website and search through the categories of grants available. There is also a list of current grants waiting to be claimed. To maximize your chance for approval, be sure to submit your completed application form as soon as possible.
Nonprofit partnerships: These grants aren’t available for every type of small businesses, but they do provide funding for nonprofit organizations and groups. Nonprofits may require members to complete an application, so they may require grant money from private foundations and special interest groups. Apply for non-profit business grants for funding in areas such as communications and community development. Non-profit grants will not usually cover costs, but they do provide tax-free revenue for your organization.
Special interest groups: Certain groups, such as minority groups and women-owned businesses, also receive small business grants. Contact your local chamber of commerce to learn more about what grants you may qualify for, as well as to get ideas for the projects you wish to accomplish with grant money. Grant money for these types of organizations can help propel your organization forward by providing the resources it needs to grow and develop.
Startup Companies: There are several programs available for startup small business owners. Many federal and state programs provide funding to help startup entrepreneurs pay for equipment, obtain office space, or hire employees. If you are an entrepreneur starting your own business, contact the Small Business Administration for information on available government funding. Be sure to include the expected start date when you submit your application.
Post- Tenth Amendment Veterans Grants: Since the post-9/11 terrorist attacks occurred and American soldiers fought and died in Iraq and Afghanistan, the government has become more aware of the need to support veterans and their small business ventures. To qualify for some of these grants, you’ll need to submit an application that highlights how you would use the funds and how you plan to use the money. For example, if you’re a disabled veteran, you may be able to get a grant for equipment or services needed to run your new business.