Getting government grants for your small business is certainly feasible. However, the process is very competitive.
Federal government grants cover a wide variety of purposes. Government grants can help you grow your business and increase your results. If you are looking for free money to start a small business, this is a different approach. There are other types of grant programs available for small businesses.
We will talk about US government grants.
What are government grants?
Federal government grants for small businesses are like a financial aid program. What is different is that monetary premiums are not loans that you have to repay. Go through an application process (we’ll show you how to do it below) and if you’re successful, you’ll be awarded a government grant and receive funding.
How can a grant be used? Federal government grants are designed to fund projects and ideas that provide public services, such as critical recovery initiatives, and stimulate the economy.
Who qualifies for federal government grants?
There are several entities that can apply for a government grant. Small businesses must meet standards based on their size (number of employees) and average annual revenue.
Non-profit organizations can also receive financial assistance in the form of government grants. A non-profit organization, such as a research institution, may see funding opportunities for financial support for training programs, scientific research, and / or innovative research.
But there is no single definition for eligible small businesses. Each type of small business has a different standard. For example, an accounting firm and an agricultural firm may qualify with very different standards in terms of the number of employees.
The Small Business Administration is a great source of information on small business qualifications for grant programs. While the SBA may be better known as a source of small business loans, the SBA can also help you apply for government grants.
Why you should apply for U.S. government grants
Really, there’s no reason not to show up.
- Free money – Yes, while it is true that there is no free money, it is free money for small businesses. As long as you follow the guidelines for using the grant money and complete all required tasks and paperwork correctly. you do not have to return the grant money.
- Funding opportunities – If you have planned projects or extensions that you can never afford, and do not want to take out loans, you may find funding opportunities through federal agency grant programs. And again, these would mean that you have to spend for these processes.
- The application process can be done online, using the government websites for your grant application.
- Strict eligibility requirements for some grants may benefit specific small businesses. For example, some grants are available for women, minorities, or veteran-owned businesses.
- You can search for grants in government offers through secure websites. In addition, you can browse these official websites in your own time.
- Searching for grants is free. You will be securely connected to the government website, with your sensitive information protected.
- Each grant period has a start date and an end date. Once you’ve registered and gone through the application process, it’s easier to complete any grant applications you make.
What is Grants.Gov?
Grants. gov is the official government organization that compiles all grant programs and initiates funding if your company receives grants.
Grants.gov is a government agency that maintains information about federal government grants that are available to small businesses that meet the requirements. All federal grant applicants, such as small businesses, nonprofits, and educational institutions, start with grants. gov.
This is where you will begin your grant application process and find out if you are eligible based on your business size and other requirements.
How to get small business grant programs with Grants.Gov
How can you get funding opportunities from government grants? This is a step-by-step process for submitting your grant application. If at any point in the grant process you need technical assistance, you are only a few clicks away.
There are three main stages to applying for a grant. Within each phase of the grant process, there may be some tasks that you need to complete:
Phase 1: Pre-award
To apply for grants online, you will need to register with your contact information and obtain a unique entity ID number (IU). Just go to Grants. gov and click the Register tab.
Congressional District Code
In your grant application, you will need your Congressional District Code, which you should find in advance and have on hand to enter when requested.
Search for grants
Search through the variety of grants available and make sure you are eligible when applying.
Applicants must subscribe to receive alerts and communications, which will keep you informed as new grants become available resources.
The final step in the pre-award phase is for applicants to submit a grant application.
Phase 2: Award
Federal government staff members review your grant application. After you submit your application, you can wait a few months to find out whether or not you have received the government grant.
Federal government staff will review eligibility requirements to ensure that business applicants meet the requirements for government grant funding. They will also review your financing proposal and review your financial information, including whether or not you have outstanding business loans.
If your government grant application is approved, your company will receive a NOA or Notice of Award for a government grant.
Phase 3: Post award
Once your eligibility and grant application have been approved, you will receive government funding for your projects. This does not mean that the need for paperwork is over.
Government grants have specific requirements to control liability. As part of the grant award, a company is likely to report performance progress at certain times.
Public grants have specific start and end dates. For example, government fund offerings may specify that funds be spent within 3 months. Or the funding can be spread over a longer period, even a year or several years.
During this time, a company must keep a meticulous record of how government money is spent. Within 90 days of the end of the government grant period, you must meet the requirements for funding and closure reports.
Types of government grants
Government money is available to many types of entities, including universities and various non-profit organizations.
These are the basic types of entities that meet the requirements for government funding opportunities:
- State and local government – State and local government agencies can obtain funding for a community program or project designed to stimulate the community economy. They can use government money to improve community educational resources, such as adult education or language programs.
- Education – Universities and Institutions: These educational organizations can obtain government funding for a program that is necessary for both students and educators. For example, a science department may apply for a grant to develop new research techniques. Or a technical college may apply for a grant to develop a new training program, such as a truck driver school or aeronautical mechanics.
- Research laboratories – A research lab may seek funding for a vaccine or money research program to improve the educational opportunities of lab technicians.
- Law enforcement organizations – The most common government grants for these agencies are projects that improve community security services, such as establishing neighborhood surveillance for interested community members.
- Non-Profit Organizations – Government money is available to non-profit organizations that want to expand the services they provide to a community.
- Small Business – Your access to government grant money is not blocked by a locked padlock. You have the key!
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