If you are in need of a commercial grant, don’t despair! There are grants out there for commercial business owners. However, the availability of commercial grants is not as plentiful as grants available to not-for-profits. Are you prepared for stiff competition?

The first step you must take is to identify commercial grant opportunities. If you are looking at federal funding sources for a commercial grant, visiting www.grants.gov is the first website to visit. This website will offer you the opportunity to search for commercial grants, register, and apply for funding. The registration will take at least 3 – 4 weeks. The website assist the federal granting agencies in screening applicants by verifying all legal, financial, and general information before the grant application is even submitted for consideration. Make sure to answer all questions accurately and thoroughly to assure your registration process goes smoothly and as quickly as possible.

Another source of funding for commercial grants is State grants. It is in the best interest of each State to offer commercial businesses an incentive for capital investment and creation of jobs. It is difficult to qualify for state commercial grants without the creation of a good number of jobs, but not impossible. To ensure that you are not missing any commercial grant opportunities, visit your state’s website, especially the economic development sector.

Although foundations do not offer as many opportunities to for-profit businesses, it is an avenue that should still be explored. Some state agencies can point you in the right direction as you explore commercial grants offered by foundations, but if not there is usually a regional grantors guide provided by a not-for-profit agency in your state.

If you identify a commercial grant opportunity that funds your type of project, but the eligibility requirements state you must be a not-for-profit to apply, it is possible to partner with your local city, county, or other not-for-profit entity. The government often times will require a governmental entity or not-for-profit entity be involved to protect the use of grant funds. These types of entities usually have experience with grant administration and can oversee the commercial grant successfully.

As you review different types of commercial grant opportunities, you will realize that all grants have specific restrictions and requirements. No granting agency will simply give you the commercial grant funds without requiring reports, documentation, etc. Be prepared to follow through with the proper paperwork during and after the project. Agencies do have the right to revoke your grant at any time if you do not abide by the guidelines and scope of work in the grant agreement!