How to Get Small Business Grants to Develop Your Business
Almost everyone needs a startup capital to kickstart their business. If you want to develop your business but you have a problem with the budget, there are actually many small business grants that allow you to grow your business for free. Yes, business grants are free financial aids that you don’t have to repay, as opposed to business loan or credit card that require repayment.
Why Are There Small Business Grants?
Why are there any organizations—usually government-sponsored—that are eager to provide you with free aids? When you run a business and you can successfully grow it, your success, together with that of other businesses, will positively affect the economy of the nation. Your success indirectly contributes to the betterment of your country’s economy.
Grants may also be awarded to businesses that make a significant contribution to the social and environmental cause. If your business offers something innovative that is considered beneficial for your community or environment, you may be able to receive grants to grow your business. Your chance to get such grants is thus much bigger if you run a recycling company or a daycare than if you run a coffee shop.
A private corporation may also be interested in offering small business grants if the product or service your business offers is considered valuable for the corporation’s business activity. If your business offers raw materials that the corporation can transform into finished goods or if your company offers transport service that the corporation can use, you can submit your application for grants and there might be a chance that you can get free aid.
What to Consider before Applying for Small Business Grants?
There are several things to consider before you apply for small business grants. To begin with, these grants are mostly available for businesses that are already running and showing potential for positive development. If you need startup capital to start a fresh new business, you can still apply for the grants, but your chance to get ones is mostly small.
Secondly, these grants cannot be considered a short-term financial solution. When you apply for a small business grant, you might be accepted but the grant usually will not be available immediately. In most cases, if your application is approved this year, the aid will be available in the next year. If you need a short-term or emergency financial aid, a loan is still the most reasonable option.
Thirdly, remember that there is competition. You are not the only business owner who is applying for a grant. The moment an opportunity for a grant is open, many business owners will try to get it. Therefore, be prepared for both approval and rejection because everyone has the same right to get the grants. Don’t lose hope, though, because if you are confident that your business offers something worthy to your community or that your business has a great potential to develop and to be successful, you can also be confident that your business may be the one receiving the grant.
Who Will Likely Get the Grants?
Everyone has the same right to get the grant; however, some people may have a better chance to receive small business grants. Here they are.
Certain organizations, including Small Business Administration, Eileen Fisher, Open Meadow Foundation, and Tory Burch Foundation, offer business grants that are specifically provided to female entrepreneurs.
People who have contributed to their country will find it easier to find grants to develop their business. There are small business grants that are provided to veterans by certain organizations, especially the Streetshares Foundation.
It will also be easier for you to receive small business grants if you are a member of a minority group in the United States. Certain organizations, such as Minority Business Development Agency and First Nations Development Institute, may provide you with grants if you can offer a business plan with great potential.
How to Apply for Small Business Grants
There are several things to do if you want to apply for small business grants.
- Get prepared.
Get all documents needed for application prepared in advance. Grants are usually available once a year. When that happy time comes, you have to make sure that all necessary documents are ready for submission.
- Prepare a business plan.
A business plan often becomes a decisive factor that determines whether you will get the grant or not. Write a business plan that describes your current business activity and how the grant will help you develop your business.
- Look into the past.
Check out all companies that have previously earned the grant to determine whether your company is qualified to get the grants.
- Submit your application.
Submit your small business grants application as soon as the window is open.