Are you looking for funding options for your business idea, project, organization or foundation but you are not sure what programs are available and what the eligibility requirements are?
Finding sources of funding is often the single biggest challenge for anyone wanting to start or expand their business. One financing option is federal or state funding from government sources. Whether you need money to start your business, to expand your business, to buy new equipment, to buy inventory, to hire employees, for research and development, or for general cash flow, there is no doubt that extra money can help you reach your objectives.
There are many websites claiming that there are government grants for everyone. This ‘free money, ’ as it is described, seems readily available and easily attainable. The truth is there are government grants available but most require specific criteria to be eligible.
Eligibility can be based on location, sales revenue to date, years in business, and purpose of funding, to name a few.
The process of finding a small business grant program, reviewing the requirements and applying can be time consuming.
The first step is to be aware of the available programs and to determine if their program objectives match the objectives of your business project or organization.
The following links provide program listings for most of the current federal grants available for business and non-profit organizations:
Small Business Administration
Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance
Each program contains a full description of the requirements and obligations of the agency and the applicant. This information will help you determine which programs apply the most to your assistance needs. The most important sections that will help you are:
- Objectives - Eligibility requirements - Use, and use restrictions - Types of assistance
Each of these sections details what the grantor agency is looking for in a successful application, and what the agency is willing to give to an applicant. By comparing these sections to your project ideas, you will be able to determine whether you have a potential chance of receiving assistance with each program.
Should your business embark on a grant seeking mission? Answer the following questions:
Do the daily affairs of your business allow the time necessary to undertake the grant application process?
Would you benefit from assistance to:
- Locate the appropriate forms and the applicable funding agencies?
- Accurately fill out the forms?
- Acquire reference letters and additional supporting documentation?
- Write a letter of inquiry, a grant proposal, and a cover letter?
There are many online resources that will help, including the sites mentioned in this article. Whichever way you decide to proceed with your grant seeking mission, be prepared to invest some time and effort to attain your goals.
Article written by: Richard Glenworthy, Senior Grant Advisor and Editor for GrantAbility.com
Grantability's mission is to inform and educate the public regarding government grants and funding options and to assist with the application process.