Once you have decided it’s time to go into business for yourself, there are lots of things to consider. One of the biggest considerations will be how you are going to finance your start up and get it up and running. While investments or your own personal cash and assets are usually required, for many people there is not enough cash on hand to finance the entire endeavor solo. In these cases, it may seem like a loan is the only option, but it is a smart move to look into small business grants that may help you reach your goals without having to take on the burden of a huge loan debt.
In some cases, there are federal, state and local business grant incentive programs offered to help business owners finance their dreams and get started. Grants are often restricted to certain types of businesses and are highly regulated to insure stringent requirements are met. Often, grants require that the recipient has matching funds available or acquires a loan equal to the amount of the grant.
Grants for businesses that increase tourism, create energy efficient technology or expand availability child care are some of the most commonly awarded grants. Grants are not awarded indiscriminately and require strict adherence to and compliance with the rules and guidelines of the grant. Additionally, in depth, detailed reporting on how the grant money was spent is required of the recipient to ensure the money is spent in accordance with the grant guidelines.
While they are selective and competitive to acquire, grants can be an excellent source of funding for businesses that fit the requirements of eligibility and can be a fiscally responsible way to fund and start your business. If you are interested in learning more about grants and seeing if you qualify, contact your local Small Business Administration branch and let them help you through the process. If the professionals at the Small Business Administration determine you qualify for federal, state or local grants, they can even help walk you through the grant application process and get the largest possible grant award available. Securing a grant can help cover a large portion of the start up costs associated with opening a business with the added benefit of not having to pay them back.