If you need capital for your business, a grant may be a source of funding to consider. Every year, more than $80 million in funding is given out in the form of grants. And unlike loans, grants do not have to be repaid.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss how to start applying for grants.
Benefits of Small Business Grants
The great thing about grants is that they offer generous amounts of funds which, unlike loans, do not have to be repaid. In fact, every year more than $80 million is given out in the form of a grant.
Some of the most common reasons businesses apply for grants include:
- Asset purchases
- Hiring new staff
- Working capital
- Improvement of current products
In addition, after receiving your first grant, there is a greater possibility of becoming eligible to receive grants from other organizations in the future.
How to Qualify for a Grant?
Applying for grants is a competitive process. Therefore, candidates should prepare accordingly:
- Review and update your business plan. A good business plan describes your company’s mission and roadmap for success. As a result, this is the tool you have to convince others to invest in your business.
- Audit financial statements. These will reflect your company’s overall financial health over time.
- Thoroughly review the grant requirements. It’s common for grants to require further documentation such as reporting throughout a period of time. Will you have the time and resources to collect the information needed?
- Become familiar with grant writing. Most grants require a well-written proposal for consideration. You’ll want to tailor your proposal to communicate your plans and ideas clearly.
Eligibility requirements for a small business grant vary on the basis of the grant for which you apply. Operating a registered, for-profit organization is typically required to qualify for a small business grant. Other factors such as the number of employees, location, owner’s background, etc., affect the types of grants that are available to you.
Available Grants for Small Businesses
There are several organizations that offer grants to small businesses. the Small Business Administration (SBA) is a federal agency that provides counseling and funding opportunities to small businesses. SBA grants are available for businesses promoting scientific research, management assistance, and community organizations that support entrepreneurship.
Grants.gov is a database of thousands of grants offered by various government agencies. Opportunities are available for companies from a wide range of backgrounds. Small businesses located in low-income areas which were severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic can qualify for grants like the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant.
Additionally, for a larger breakdown of other grants available, take a look at this list from the US Chamber.
While the grant process can be extensive and tedious, securing a grant can go a long way to help reach your business goals.