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Get Government Grants for Small Business

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African small business owner smiling with paperwork and laptop for government grants for small business

One of the challenges of running a small business is to keep it funded. You can use your own savings, tap friends and family, or get a bank loan. But one source you may not have considered is government grants. Start with these insights into getting government grants for small business.

Get Government Grants for Small Business

The 411 About Government Grants

Federal, state and local governments offer grants in various amounts. Some are available to small businesses that meet certain conditions. For example, there are grants for businesses owned by under-represented groups, like women or veterans. Others are for specific purposes, like adding energy-efficient lighting. The Small Business Administration does not offer grants for starting or expanding a business, but they do offer loans.

The biggest advantage of grants is that they do not have to be repaid. While it may not be enough to cover everything, it can be a valuable supplement. It may also give you the credibility to apply for more traditional loans.

Grants also have disadvantages. The application process can be time consuming. Be prepared to provide a solid business case with supporting documentation. And you may need to wait for an answer. Some grants have conditions attached. For example, you may have to secure matching funds.

Where to Find Information

One of the challenges in getting a grant is finding one for which you are eligible. Grants.gov lets you search grants by a number of categories. In addition, Fundera offers this list of 108 small business grants. Here are examples of some grants from various government entities:

Federal grants – Available only to non-commercial organizations (non-profits and educational institutions) in areas such as medicine, education, scientific research, or technology.

Examples:

State grants – These are geared toward a state’s economic or social concern. Many require you to match the grant. Other states do not give grants to specific businesses but provide grants to fund agencies that support small businesses. Check your state’s official web page and search for grants or programs.

Tips for Applying

Once you’ve found a grant that you’re eligible for, here are some quick tips to help you through the process:

  • Contact the organization directly to get more information. They will have specific instructions on completing the application. Follow the format given so it is easy for them to read and assess your request.
  • Present a compelling case for your small business. Each grant is targeted at a specific objective. For example, it might be creating jobs within a community. So, present a sales pitch that demonstrates why your business can uniquely meet that goal.
  • Have someone else look at the application before submitting it. A fresh eye will likely uncover misspellings, grammatical errors, or when something is not clear.
  • Follow-up with the grant office once you’ve submitted the application. It will give you an opportunity to provide any additional information.

Securing a grant for your small business takes commitment. But it can be a great way to supplement the funding you need. Start by digging in with this information to find a grant that will work for your small business, and then stick with it.

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