Government business grants are distributed through many different organizations, each with its own granting process. The first hurdle to overcome in the grant process is identifying the government business grant that your business and project meets the eligibility requirements. Being familiar with organizations and websites that assist with identifying government business grant opportunities is a must in order to succeed!
If you are looking for a government business grant for a new or small business, the best website for information and assistance is <a href=”http://www.sba.gov” target=”_blank”>www.sba.gov</a>. The SBA (Small Business Administration) is focused on providing information on financing, planning and a variety of other services just for small businesses. The SBA does not give government business grants directly to small businesses or individuals, but SBA will direct you to government business grant opportunities.
Each State in the USA has an agency that focuses on the economic growth and wellbeing of businesses located within its boundaries. This “arm” of government is a good place to begin your search for government business grants. If you want more one-on-one personalized service, the majority of counties offer similar services. Some cities and counties even offer their own government grants for businesses, if your company needs the grant for expansion into an area such as life science, agriculture, advanced manufacturing, etc. or is creating significant jobs.
The website that almost all federal government grants for businesses are funneled through is grants.gov. The electronic grants submission system can be very difficult to use. It is used by granting agencies to streamline the government business grant process by verifying general, legal, financial, and other information before the grant application is even submitted! The system requires that all users be registered with Dunn and Brad Street and CCR (Central Contractors Registration). The registration with these agencies can take up to three or four weeks, since all information is verified and then authorized before a business is allowed to register. Make sure to allow sufficient time for registration and government business grant preparation (approximately 21 – 90 days depending upon which government business grant you are applying for).
Once you are registered and ready to fill out the government business grant application, make sure you read over the instruction and application packet carefully. Some agencies will provide a checklist for you to follow. However, there are times that an agency will request documenting information within the application narrative sections that will not be on the checklist! This is due to the documenting information being based upon what you need funded. It is a good idea to make your own personalized checklist as you read through the instruction packet and then compare it to the agency’s checklist.
After you have completed the government business grant application, it is a good idea to have someone read through your application that is not familiar with your business or project. Many agencies have “average Joe” read and grade applications. To ensure success, make your government business grant application informative, compelling, and clear!