Find the grant that you need for your great business idea. Business grants can range from $500 to $5 million. Every agency has its limits. You can apply to as many agencies as you want.
Grants for starting a small business are available through state programs and non-government groups, not from the U.S. government departments. The favored fields are medicine or education. The eligibility criteria are very specific and must be strictly followed. Oftentimes it can be difficult to meet. Eligibility can be based on location, sales revenue to date, years in business, experience and training, gender, race, purpose of funding, etc.
It is time consuming to search for business grant programs online and review the requirements. Before investing time in applications, ask yourself these questions:
- Does your business really need the money for expansion now or can you wait up to a year?
- Will the grant application process hurt your business by taking away your time from it?
- Can you afford a grant consultant? Or can you learn the application process by yourself?
Here are a few tips:
- Provide complete and accurate information in the application. An incomplete application may not make the review process or can add delay to approving your grant.
- Get to know your grant officer and their constraints, budget and concerns with approving your grant.
- Stand out among the crowd with a well-prepared business plan if required. Demonstrate your understanding of the business. Show how the money will bring the benefit the government agency wants.
- Bring in outside experts if necessary. An accountant or consultant can add credibility to your application process.
- Keep in touch. Make regular contact with the grant office in a professional, non-intrusive manner.
The best place to start looking for available small business grants is the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) which lists thousands of grants from all government agencies, states, and groups for free. Grants may include training and surplus equipment for your small business.