Small Business Grants
Getting approved for government small business grants
Much like college or university grants, grants for small businesses are set in place by the government or a private organization to help small businesses get off the ground without breaking the owner financially. They are based on a competitive process, using eligibility and applications in order to determine who gets the funding. While many grants are offered by state governments, private organizations provide most of the funding and run the process for small business owners.
Small business grants are available for most owners and can be researched online. Your local branch of the Small Business Administration is the first place to go to find out about grants in your area. While the SBA doesn't offer grants as a rule, they may be able to find resources for you and help you apply for grants. Mostly, the SBA and the government offer grants to non-profit businesses and intermediary lending programs.
Types of Grants for Small Businesses
Based on your criteria, you may be eligible for many different grants. Minority small business grants are normally financed by other minority-headed private organizations and offer money to business owners of a certain visible minority. If you are not a member of a visible minority, you can access grants based on your financial situation or the type of small business you own.
Most government small business grants are accessed through state governments. Government business grants take financial status, application, type of business and other factors into account before granting money, and they can be the hardest grants to apply for and get.
There are federal grants for small businesses, but they are rare. The best way to access a federal grant is to have a small business that matches one of the commerce types that the government is looking to support.
Grants are not free money—there are hoops to jump through, and misuse of grant money can lead to serious consequences, the least of which is paying all the grant money back, plus fines. If you are serious about applying for grants, ensure that you are careful about your application and your use of the money.
Grants are a great way for small business owners just starting out to access small business financing. Check out your local branch of the SBA today to find out more about grants in your area.