Small Business Grants – Are You Eligible?

Government small business grants are a hot topic of discussion among small businessmen with limited access to funds and capital. The federal government does not provide grants for developing or expanding a small business; but the state governments does.

Small business grants are handed out to entrepreneurs by their home state governments. It is not very difficult to get business government grants, though it is time-consuming. The federal government on the other hand, does provide some low-interest loans to encourage and assist upcoming entrepreneurs. The criteria to get a small business grants usually depends on location, race, sex, sales revenue, total number of years in business and the purpose for which it has to be funded. The requirements for grant eligibility are specific and one must be prepared thoroughly for it with a clear-cut plan.

The initial steps involved in seeking business government grant are:

1. You have to spend a good amount of time and resources to search for small business grants program in your state. Thanks to computer and internet it has become less tedious now.
2. After you have searched a grant program matching your business plan, hire a consultant to apply for the plan. The consultant will make your grant application a presentable one before the state authority. Alternately you can spend some time learning the grant application process and apply. Remember you have overcome bureaucratic bottlenecks.
3. Define for yourself the time limit-do you want it now or wait for a year.

To find small business grants, one can look into the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CDFA). This CDFA lists thousands of grants from all government agencies. Many of these business grants are targeted at rural business improvement, minority business development or export-oriented businesses. After finding a Small Business Grants suiting your business needs be prepared to undergo lengthy and time consuming process of approval. You must be ready or tough competition as the grants’ funds are limited.

There are some tips to receive a grant.

1. Complete and accurate information of your business outfit is necessary. If your application contains incomplete details or inaccurate information, it may not make through the review process or may end in an ordinate delay.

2. It will be advisable to interact with your grant officer and come to know their concerns, budget limits, and constraints with your grant.

3. A well prepared business plan and demonstrating your strong business acumen will make your approach a discernible one. A smarter strategy would be to show the benefits it will make to US government agencies.

4. Bringing in an outside expert or consultant would add credibility to your application. Also it would create an impression of professionalism.

5. Keep tracking your application process. It will be helpful to be in contact with a concerned grants officer in a non-intrusive manner to tilt the balance in your favor.