Government Grants to Start a Business

Starting and running a business is becoming a popular means for many Americans to gain stability and control over their financial security, especially through today’s tough economic times. Unfortunately, it is the financial aspect that often puts a hold on the ability to launch a new business. There are a number of ways that the federal government can help those who aspire to become successful entrepreneurs. It is often a little known fact that there exists a wide array of government grants to start a business. The federal government recognizes the positive impact that small business plays in both the state and local economies. With this in mind they routinely set aside large sums of money to encourage the growth of small business in every state.

The types of grants that are made available by the government should be an important consideration during the planning phase of any new business venture. Having specific skills and experience in any one of the categories that government grants fall into can greatly increase your chances of being awarded government grants to start a business in your state. One of the main reasons that people have so much trouble finding these grant opportunities is because although they are initiated by the federal government, it is through state and local agencies that they are made available to the public.

Before seeking any type of funding it is important that you determine how much money you will need and exactly what it will be used for. The best way to do this is by creating a business plan as any lending institution or government granting agency will want to see one as part of their application process. Once you have a business plan you can begin searching for grants that match your company’s skills and expertise. This process will help to narrow your search so that if your experience lies in the field of education for example you will not be wasting time wading through pages of grants that are designed for technology research and development projects. Once your search for grants leads you into the area that matches your business it is relatively easy to revamp or alter your existing business plan to meet the specific requirements of a particular grant proposal. It is important to understand that any business plan should be considered a work in progress and should be changed as your business grows, to reflect changes in the market or when applying for specific government grants to start your business.

Completing a grant application form exactly in the manner that is described by the granting agency is extremely important. Incomplete applications or ones that are received after the application deadline will automatically be rejected by the reviewing committee. Always be truthful and make certain that every space is filled in. In the case where a particular question does not apply to you simply fill it in with an N/A. If the grantor has asked for a one page handwritten summary, one that is typed can also cause your application to be rejected.

This process may be time consuming but when you consider that government grants to start a business are funds that never have to be paid back, it is well worth the time that you put into it. The biggest time saving factor in finding the right grant is of course, knowing where to look. Equally important are having a completed business plan and avoiding the many grant scams that offer guarantees of free government money, or ones that charge a fee for filling out grant applications.

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