Government grants are issued in support of ideas and projects that provide public services and stimulate the economy. They are as competitive as Ivy League Colleges, but if you are lucky enough to win one, it can give your small business the much-needed help in powering over the hurdles that come with inadequate capital.
Where to start
Contrary to what you might see online, the US government does not directly offer grants to individuals to start a business. If you are in the hunt for such a grant, perhaps the best place to start would be the Small Business Administration (SBA), a government agency that aims to help small business owners by exposing them to non-profit organizations, philanthropists and other grant providers all over the country.
Finding information about government grants
Information about government grants is widespread all over the internet. New government grant programs are coming up on a daily basis and therefore, finding out which grants are available and best for your business as well as navigating the application process can be tedious.
However, to ensure you get only the necessary information and avoid scams, the federal government recommends the use of its official website, Grants.gov rather than commercial sites that may charge a fee for grant information or application forms.
Other ways the government can help your business
Aside from grants, the government does offer other forms of financial help to deserving small business owners. For instance, the Small Business Program from the U.S. Department of the Treasury oversees the issue of low interest loans and venture capital to small businesses in the country.
Financial help from the government might go a long way in ensuring the future of a small business, but entrepreneurs seeking these grants and loans often find themselves engaged in an overwhelming application process, only to end up disappointed.
As a result, small businesses are always encouraged to have more than a few alternative and affordable funding options in the works. Micro-loans and merchant cash advances from independent financial-services providers in the country such as First American Merchant are a reasonable way to satisfy a small business’ financial needs and facilitate steady growth.
This way, you can spend the time you would otherwise spend drafting lengthy, detailed loan and grant applications and actually work on your business.