Question by brian d: government grants?
I recently went online and researched information about government grants. I found the government website but it doesn’t have an entire list of grants offered from what I am being told by other companies. Some websites say that they will help you with the process and tell you what you qualify for but that you first have to pay them almost $ 300 in fees for their assistance? I find that hard since government grants are suppose to be free yet companies are saying they will help but for a fee. Can anyone give me a good overview on how to pursue grants, where to look for what I qualify for, and what to expect, etc., etc.? I have a small retail business that has been open for over a year now & I want to expand. I appreciate any help anyone can offer.
Answer by Diana S
I hate to break it to you, but there are realtively few grants to start or expand a small business. In reality, you probably are not going to find any grants for your business. State and federal agencies, as well as non-profit foundations, do make grants, and some of that money may even go to businesses. However, the vast of majority of grant funding is to support projects which are expected to provide a benefit to the public. You may find some information on grants in the Financial Assistance section and you may possibly find additional grants here at grants.gov.
There is free advice advice in adbundance. Consider it a grant of time and expertise free or at low-cost to you. Several agencies provide their expertise. Check in to SCORE—Counselors to America’s Small Business at www.score.org or the Small Business Development Centers at http://www.sba.gov/aboutsba/sbaprograms/sbdc/index.html.
In some cases you will find that your community has a revolving loan fund. These are low interest loans made to businesses that are creating jobs. You will need to be credit worthy and bring assets to use as collateral with you into this financing arrangement. Unfortunately, there is no central source that says which communities maitain these revolving loan funds. Check with your local planning office or state economic development entity.
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