Small Business Grants - How to Find Them and How to Qualify
Small business grants are financial assistance programs available to entrepreneurs and business owners in the United States who have fewer than 500 employees. The funding can come from a government agency, a non-profit organization, or another for-profit company. Awards typically range from $500 to up to $100,000.
Eligibility varies, and can depend on your location, your income, your ethnicity, your gender, your experience in business, as well as your longetivity in business. Some small business grants can even require that you participate in a competition or write an essay to demonstrate your talents or need.
Here are 5 great ways to find what opportunities are available to you:
1) Check With Your Local Government Agencies. Many cities, counties, and states give away money to local businesses. Why? Because they want you to create jobs and more tax revenue. Many times they won't highly publicize these opportunities, but it's in your best interest to give them a call and/or search their web sites.
2) Check With Federal Government Agencies. The federal government doesn't give grants directly to businesses, but they do give money to foundations who in turn can give money to small businesses. The federal agency in charge of this is the Grants Program Management Office, and all of their opportunities are listed publicly online.
3) Check With Major Corporations. Nearly every major corporation in this country has a foundation that gives away grants to enhance communities, and many of these are grants to start or expand a business. Start by checking first with big companies that are headquarted in our city or state.
4) Search The Internet. Use Google, Yahoo and Bing to conduct a search using the term "business grants". You can even throw in the name of your city, county, state, etc. Carefully review the results, and look for web sites that other web sites are linked to. Doing so, will help you to find opportunities that may be casually listed on a blog or some type of directory. You may even come across a recent news article about a new opportunity.
5) Ask Around. When attending professional networking functions and social mixers, never hesitate to ask people that you meet about new opportunities. Many times, small business grants are given away to people who happen to be in the right place at the right time. Never underestimate the importance of creating a relationship with a power player and his/her associates.
6) Visit Your Local Library. Contrary to popular belief, libraries are still an excellent resource and store a lot of information that is not accessible in other places. Go to your library as soon possible; look for grant books and directories and ask specific questions to your librarian. You'll be surprised what you can find.
|Below are the Top 12 Small Business Grant Programs:|
#1 - Caleb Brown Community Business Grant Program
#2 - DOT Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program
#3 - FedEx Small Business Grant Contest
#4 -Intuit "Love Our Local Business" Competition
#5 - Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) Business Grants
#6 - Miller Lite Tap the Future® Business Plan Competition
#7 - National Association For The Self-Employed (NASE) Growth Grants
#8 - Rural Business Enterprise Grants (RBEG) Program
#9 - Small Business Administration (SBA) Grants
#10 - Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Grants
#11 - VetFran Business Grant Fund
#12 - Women's Business Center (WBC) Grant Program
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