Business Government Grants

The continued economic downturn in the United States creates numerous challenges.  It presents opportunities as well.  Funding for business start-ups or business expansions often requires more than just an Angel Investor, that certain someone who is truly interested in the business.  It means researching, identifying, and obtaining funds that many overlook or simply do not know exist.  And this means business grants often provided by the United Stated GovernmentAlthough much hype revolves around such government monies for businesses with claims and promises that are merely wishful thinking for the entrepreneur or the well-meaning business person, these grants can, and often provide, funding that helps to grow and develop a business.

There are several caveats, however:  business government grants are designated at the discretion of Congress and signed by the President; such funding initiatives require the business to strictly comply and adhere to guidelines and reporting deadlines; grant money is highly restrictive meaning it can be accessed for only very specific areas or items; and individuals generally cannot submit such funding requests unless the announcement states otherwise.  These are but a few of the restrictions.  Numerous others apply depending on the type and nature of the business, and its request for funds.

By way of example:  The Small Business Association (SBA) funds grants for non- profit and educational organizations for many of their training and counseling programs, but is not allowed to provide grants to small businesses.

However, if the business is engaged is scientific research and development, it may be eligible for grants through the federal government.  Here, too, at least two restrictions apply for seeking such federal funds.  1.  The business must meet the strict criteria set forth by the federal government for Research and Development objectives; and 2.  The business must have a high potential for successful commercialization.  For the entrepreneurial scientist and/or researcher this challenge could be just the thing needed to jump start an innovative idea that only needs to secure the necessary funds!

But, other avenues are available to the enterprising business person.  While business government grants through the United States may be off limits, some business grants are available through states and local programs that offer more flexibility than does a business grant funded by the Federal Government.  Expanding child care center; creating energy efficiency technologies and other green initiatives, and developing and implementing tourism marketing campaigns are but a few businesses that seek and often obtain such grants.  While some of these state or local business grants require matching funds by the business itself, the trick here is to investigate and determine what the business itself must do to secure the funds.

While this all might appear daunting, it really isn’t.  It does require time and the wherewithal to research and determine eligibility, restrictions, and budgetary criteria.      Researching and investigating are the keys here.  Securing government business funds at the federal, state or local levels are achievable, and worth the time invested that assist in long-term growth and financial stability.

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