Grants for Small Businesses

People often wonder what kinds of grants are available for small businesses. And, if they are available, do they fund start-ups and/or expansions, and how does a small business owner or entrepreneur access such funds? These questions spur endless discussion and debate as to what and what is not readily funded by grants, and if a small, for-profit business is eligible.

Much depends on the kind of enterprise the business will engage. In other words, what product or service will be delivered to the consumer. This is a critical issue as it leads directly to the heart of accessing grant funds. If a business owner engages in research and development, and has a product that has a high degree of commercialization, meaning success, then the United States Federal Government has two programs: both administered by the Small Business Administration with grants offered through the many and varied granting agencies within the government itself. These two programs: the Small Business Innovation and Research Grant (SBIR) and the Small Business Technology Transfer (SBTT) Grant are geared toward providing significant funds for those small businesses that can comply with and adhere to the strict regulations established by the federal government in regard to research and development. Despite how daunting this might sound, the rewards are worth the effort especially when a small business is favorably funded.

And the federal government, through, announces on a daily basis, numerous funding initiatives that often include small businesses, but not always. With, it is important to carefully review the synopsis, and read about eligibility to ascertain if a business enterprise does, in fact, qualify. Qualifying is the key factor with federal government. If the qualifying factors appear vague or not well-defined, then read the full announcement particularly those sections that discuss eligibility, leverage or matching funds required, and any other details needed to ascertain business qualifications.

As with all things federal, garnering any funds requires steps. All businesses seeking to access federal dollars are required to have a Dun and Bradstreet Number, and be registered with the Central Contractor Registry (CCR). Beyond these requirements, each granting agency in the federal government may have, and often do have, additional registration requirements. It is imperative to adhere to these registrations requirements as they are mandatory.

Beyond the federal government, states can, but not always, offer grants to small businesses. Sometimes these grants are accessed through a city or county that has been provided Community Development Block Grants (CDBG). CDBGs are administered through HUD, and provide funding for redevelopment in targeted areas throughout the United States.

Other grants are available, generally smaller than either federal or state grants, but can provide working capital for businesses that are in the start-up phase or need expansion funds. While limited in scope and amounts, a shrewd business person will research carefully these opportunities, and when discovered will apply.

The key to a successful grant search for small businesses: Research. Be thorough, and take the needed time to investigate every avenue available.

Comments are closed.