How to Apply for Small Business Grants – Finding Grant Programs and Preparing Applications
If you are looking for opportunities to obtain non-repayable funding that you can use to devlop your small enterprise or start-up company, but you currently have little or no experience in putting together applications, don’t worry, as learning how to apply for small business grants is not that difficult. Becoming familiar with the application process comes with a certain learning curve, but if you allow yourself sufficient time to understand what you are required to do and you pay attention to the application guidelines attached to each program, you will surely be able to obtain the funding you need. In what follows, we would like to help you with some general ideas about how to apply for small business grants – some tips that can make your job easier.
How to Identify Small Business Grants to Apply for from Local or State-Level Sources
Small business grants can come from lots of different sources. Many town, cities, counties, regions and states offer grants to stimulate their local economic environment by helping small businesses grow. You can find out about grant opportunities from the local Chamber of Commerce or from your town’s region’s or state’s official website.
How to Identify and How to Apply for Small Business Grants from Private Sources
The bulk of grant opportunities for small businesses comes from the private sector. Large corporations, private foundations and non-profit organizations offer lots of great grant opportunities. These grant programs are geared towards a great variety of small businesses – some have criteria related to the ethnicity or the social status of the owner, such as grants offered for Afro-American business owners or for single mothers running their own business, while others focus on the area of the activity. To find grants, you can carry out a little online research based on the social groups you belong to, as well as on the websites of the largest corporations in your industry. When you find the suitable grants, make sure you read the eligibility conditions and the application instructions and start preparing your application only when you are completely familiar with the requirements.
Finding and Applying for Small Business Grants from the Government
You can also find suitable grants offered by federal agencies, but these ones are geared towards for-profit businesses only if they pursue specific activities such as medical research, education and a few others. You can find out about these opportunities as well as about the application procedures and deadlines on the official website of the Small Business Administration.
How to Apply for Small Business Grants in an Organized Way
Discipline and a calm and organized attitude towards the process are essential for successful applications. A successful application is one that contains all the required documents, including application forms filled in correctly and accurately and a summary about your company written in your best style and in a way to raise interest from the first sentence. Give yourself time to prepare for each step – allocate a certain period for collecting required documents such as lists of company assets and budget proposals. Keeping an agenda of the application deadlines is also very important – each grant program comes with a deadline by or before which you need to send your application, or you risk your application getting rejected. If you still have questions about how to apply for small business grants, you can find more guidance if you contact the grantor via phone or email.