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Finding and obtaining business grants

Small businesses, already in operation or start-ups, are often eligible for small business grants. These grants can be beneficial at any stage of business, whether you are currently developing a business plan or looking to help your business grow and succeed. As a small business owner you will need to research the many types of grants available. For instance, if you are a female business owner there are numerous small business grants for women. There are grants to start a business and various government grants for small businesses available. Whatever type of business you own, or are considering, with a bit a work it is possible to find grants that can help you fulfill your dream.

How grants work

While in some instances grants are thought of as free money, that is not always the case. Many available new business grants require matching funds from the business owner. These funds can be acquired through small business loans or capital raised via personal associations. There are circumstances where municipalities and organizations make grants available for specific groups of entrepreneurs. Minority small business grants are often available to encourage small business ownership among minority groups. Both brick and mortar business and online business grants are attainable.

Obtaining startup business grants

Startup business grants can be used to take your business plan from paper to actuality. Government grants for small businesses are hard to come by. The regulations are very strict regarding this type of funding. That doesn't mean it isn't possible but you may have to dig a little deeper and work a little harder. Research and healthcare related small businesses have more opportunities for government assistance. The government, however, does not offer much in the way of startup business grants. Federal money is more likely to assist a small business owner that is already operating a functional small business. Minority small business grants and small business grants for women are sometimes available at the federal level. The requirements are stringent when applying for these grants. The most common necessity is a solid business plan. If you are considering these grant monies it might be in your best interest to have your business plan evaluated before you begin the application process.

Expanding business with an online store

If your small business is a brick and mortar store it is possible to achieve substantial growth by developing an ecommerce site to complement your “in-person” business. Shopify can help you build an online store. Online shopping is becoming more and more popular as people realize the ease of shopping on their time and in the comfort of their own home or office. This option may be just what you need to make your business flourish in today's economic climate. Grants are obtainable to help you in this endeavor. Local municipalities are always interested in building the economic climate and encouraging businesses to develop and expand. For this reason local economic development entities often make grant money accessible for locally owned and operated businesses.

What to consider when looking for grants

When searching for grants to start a business be sure to think outside the box. Business owners that are willing to back young startup companies will sometimes offer grants to establish your operation. Venture capital is offered by business minded people who believe in what you are doing. Not all of the money that you can find will be in the form of new business grants. Some of the dollars may need to be repaid, either in cash or in the form of share of ownership in your business. While many small business owners want to be able to operate independently it pays to keep these options in mind.

Whatever direction you choose while looking for funding for your business there is one rule that you need to follow. Do your homework!!! The time that you spend researching what is available for your company is time well spent. You may find grants that are not well known and easy to apply for. You may come across some that are very strict in the requirements for applying but well worth the time spent.

+ Jannelle Pierce

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