Government Business Grants

What and how do businesses identify government grants? On the surface the questions seems simple enough, but identifying grants requires time, patience, and due diligence. Furthermore, and equally important, is to understand that to receive a favorable funding response requires that the grant application be thoroughly reviewed, and then well-written, without grammatical errors of any kind.

Research to identify grants should be conducted at both the federal level, and the state where the business is incorporated. At the federal level, any business wanting to access federal funds must obtain a Dun and Bradstreet Number. Then the business must register with the Central Contractor Registry (CCR). Both registrations are required. Further registrations may be required dependent upon the granting agency involved in the federal funding announcement.

To keep abreast of the daily federal funding announcements, one should register with Once registered, one can review a complete listing of grant opportunities daily. And it is important to review the listings on a daily basis because one never knows when a funding announcement will meet the needs of a business. However, just reading the synopsis may not be enough to understand the overall criteria required for grant submission. The synopsis will, of course, identify eligible recipients for that particular announcement. If the business does not fit the specified criteria, or if there is uncertainty, then read the full announcements for all particulars. The full announcement will address all the required criteria, if matching funds are a requisite, and other pertinent information for an individual to make an informed decision if the grant announcement is worth pursuing.

Should a business meet the specific funding requirements, then it is imperative to begin writing the grant. Federal grants are highly complicated, and require numerous hours of hard work. Each granting agency will have its own specific requirements, and all have mandatory documents and forms that must be submitted with the grant application. The full announcement will provide a detailed description of each required document and/or mandatory form. Generally, federal grant applications must include a detailed Technical Narrative. And all technical narratives will have mandatory page lengths. Furthermore, federal government grants will outline questions that must be answered in the technical narrative. Failure to answer the questions both concisely and comprehensively, to provide documents and other mandatory forms, means non-compliance, and an unfavorable response from the United States Government.

State government business grants are similarly complex. Often, states target key industry types: advanced manufacturing, biotechnology, green technologies, aerospace, and other high growth businesses. Therefore, certain industries can be excluded from receiving any grant funds – retail, restaurants, etc. This does not mean, however, that such businesses cannot access grants, but such access would be done indirectly. This indirect method might include working through a Redevelopment Agency or a city utilizing Community Development Block Grants.

Conduct exhaustive research. If the business fits the requirements of a particular grant, then pursue it vigorously. A favorable response may be β€œin the cards.”

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