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Applying For Government Business Grants
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A grant is essentially financial assistance from a federal agency that is meant to aid a business or individual for a purpose or activity authorized by the government. They are meant to increase economic development. Unlike business loans and other funding sources, grants do not require repayment.

The fact that grants are essentially “free money” makes grants a very sought after source of funding. Therefore, there are not many federal government grants awarded or available to businesses interested in starting up or undergoing expansion plans. For most businesses, the government offers loan opportunities. There are a few grant agencies that are not through the government, but in most cases these are available to businesses who are working on scientific research and development of new products and services.

Accessibility to Grants

There are many companies that claim small businesses can qualify for government grants and occasionally a non-profit organization will be able to secure a government grant. For businesses still interested in pursuing a grant, be prepared to do a lot of hard work. It is essential that you have a solid and clear understanding of the governmental agency supplying the grant opportunity, as well as the grant program you are seeking. Without a grasp of the goals of the entire program, you will likely struggle through the application process. Directly speaking with the contact person listed on the agency’s grant program information can be very beneficial to applicants. Each grant program will have specific criteria that must be met in order to qualify for the grant. In speaking with the program personnel, you will gain better insight into the purpose and requirements of the grant program and therefore stand a better chance of receiving the funding.

Ultimately your application will be processed, accepted and/or denied based on the grant maker’s decisions. They will assess the applicant’s capability of using the grant funding for the activities and criteria that are in the scope of the grant maker’s interest.

Competition is Tough

There is a lot of competition for grant funds. There are also many scam artists who promise that “free money” can be yours with no work at all. It is not true and falling for such scams can cost you not only your grant opportunities, but also your hard-earned cash. Seek information directly from the agency sponsoring the grant and don’t assume that you can avoid the hard work in any capacity.

If you are fortunate enough to find and qualify for a grant, congratulations! It is certainly a tedious and time-consuming process, especially in light of the scarcity of funding for expanding and start-up businesses. There are alternatives to securing funding without having to complete complicated packages and search through endless catalogs to find information.

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