Small Business Grants
If your small business needs a boost, and you’re finances are limited, you may want to think about applying for a small business grant. Most small business grant programs are found through State agencies and other private institutions, through specific eligibility standards. Finding the appropriate small business grant can be quite time consuming, but it can also be an adventure well worth it. Before deciding if you should embark on a quest for a grant, ask yourself three simple questions:
Do you have the time to research all the programs available in order to find the right one for your business?
Would you be able to learn the application process yourself or would you be able to hire a consultant?
How desperately does your business need the money, could you wait a few months to a year?
A good place to start looking into small business grant programs would be the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA), which lists literally thousands of free grants that are available through all government agencies. Many of the small business grants will be geared toward rural or minority business opportunities and there will be other assistance programs to aid in training and obtaining spare equipment. Once you find the program that best suits your needs, be prepared for a lengthy approval process, with high competition and possible funding reductions.
When submitting your application, be sure to provide the requested information as completely and as accurately as possible. This will allow the approval process to go smoothly without any delays. It would be helpful to have a familiarity with the grant officer, budget, limitations, and concerns about approving the grant. Try to stand out from the crowd with a business plan ready to present, to demonstrate how the money will be distributed into your business. Most successful small businesses transpire the old fashion way by using your own efforts to succeed and this can even mean using your own efforts to make that grant happen for you!
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