Where to Locate Small Business Grants
If you are looking to start a small business or are looking to finance one, a small business grant may be just what you need. Grants, unlike loans and credit cards, do not require repayment. Many entrepreneurs find it attractive to offer free money as a way to start their own business, but many of these businesses find it difficult to actually get off the ground.

It isn't quite that simple, of course. It takes more work to find and qualify for grants than to simply raise your hand. Where can I find grants for small business owners? What do I need to do to qualify?

Be Cautious
Don't fall for the hype when looking for small business grants. There are 10 websites that offer free easy money for each real small business grant. Unfortunately, many of them don't actually deliver anything but smoke and mirrors.

Grant information is something that small businesses should never pay for. All the necessary information is free and available to the public. Grants are usually offered by private organizations and by state, county and federal governments. Anyone asking for cash for grant information offers no hidden advantage, no matter the source. They have access to the same info as you.

Who's offering Small Business Grants?
Where can I find grants for small businesses? First, they need to determine whether they are able to qualify for federal grants based on certain certifications. Federal business grants are traditionally only available to non - profit organizations, businesses interested in government sponsored research or local and state governments. Veterans, minorities, women, and businesses in economically disadvantaged areas usually have an edge in applying for federal and state grants.

Once you have completed any special business certifications, any small business owners that are looking for grant money should visit Grants.gov, the federal grant database. Small businesses will most likely have a difficult time qualifying for these grants by themselves, but they might be able to work with bigger organizations and also receive funding as a subcontractor.

How to Write Grant Proposals
Once you have found a grant that is suitable for your business idea, the next step is creating a grant proposal. Given that there are likely to be many applicants for a given grant, it is important to write a proposal that will improve your chances of being approved. How could this be achieved?

First, you need to ensure that the grant is the right one for your business. Submission of proposals for grants which are just a partial match is going to be a waste of effort and time, since the criteria for many grants are quite stringent.
Secondly, follow the instructions. This goes without saying, however failing to adhere to the guidelines offered in the funding notice is a sure fire way to not get approved.
The objectives outlined in the proposal have to be SMART (Specific, Achievable, Measurable, Relevant and Time-bound). The objective of nearly all grants is very specific, so vague, unmeasurable goals that must be met at some future non-specific date just will not cut it.
Be specific about the use of the money. Grant funders want to find out precisely how their funds are used.
Candidates that are not confident in their ability to create an airtight grant proposal must think about hiring the expertise of a professional. Grant consultants aren't cheap by any means, but their expertise can make the big difference between approval and rejection.


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