Government Grants for Small Businesses

Government grants for small businesses has, over the years, given many Americans the opportunity to become successful independent business owners. Individuals who would otherwise not be able to finance a company start-up or expansion have brought new programs and innovative technological advancements enhancing the lives of people within our own neighborhoods and communities. The government understands the contribution these businesses make to both the state and local economies and for this reason regularly sets aside large sums of money to encourage the growth of small business.

The difficulty in locating these grants is often due to the fact that although it is the federal government that initiates grant funding it is filtered through state and city agencies and some nonprofit corporations for dispersal and administration. There are a wide variety of government grants for small businesses encourage people who belong to minority groups to launch a new company or expand an existing one. In fact millions of dollars are set aside each year by the federal government for just this purpose. However because they can be so difficult to find much of this money goes back into the federal and state government treasuries largely because no one knew they existed.

If you have plans to start a new business, it is certainly well worth your time to research the many government grants for small businesses that are available through state or community agencies. Knowing how to find grants and Knowing how to find grants and knowing where to look for free professional advice will of course help narrow your focus into areas that are relevant to your skills and experience. There are certain elements that all business owners will have to complete before applying for any type of grant funding. A few of the basic steps that need to followed are:

  • Have a completed business plan
  • Have a location for your business (this could be your home or a separate location)
  • Choose a business structure
  • Register the name of your business
  • Contact your state revenue agency to determine which tax identification number you will require
  • Apply for any business licenses or permits that are needed to carry out your business

Some of these tasks may seem overwhelming at the beginning but remember that if you know where to find the right resources, there is plenty of free professional help and advice to help you through each step. As you conduct your research, it is important to keep in mind that there are many grant scams that you want to be careful to avoid. Some tips to help you steer clear of grant scams are:

  • Never pay to fill out or submit a grant application
  • Beware of quick application approvals. Be cautious of anyone that gives you either an instant response or one within a day or two
  • No granting agency will ever contact you personally with offers of free grant money
  • Never pay a processing fee to receive government grant funding

It is highly recommended that you report any such suspected scams to the Office of Inspector General at 1-800-447-8477.

The key to increasing your chances of finding the right government grants for small businesses including being awarded grant funding is to plan ahead and do your research. Remember that government grants are funds to help you start or expand a business that never have to be paid back so investing your time in research and planning now is well worth the effort.

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