The main reason that some people take opportunities when they arise, and others do not, is that some people are ready.
They have their business plan ready and all they need to do is take advantage of the opportunities.
Where can you find the right business plan?
If your business is based in the United States - click here
If your business is based in the U.K. - click here
Ideas To Action.
Part 17 - Government Grants.
Government grants are funded by your tax dollars and, therefore, require very stringent compliance and reporting measures to ensure the money is well spent. As you can imagine, grants are not given away indiscriminately.
Grants from the Federal government are authorized and appropriated through bills passed by Congress and signed by the President. The grant authority varies widely among agencies. SBA has authority to make grants to non-profit and educational organizations in many of its counseling and training programs, but does not have authority to make grants to any small business. The announcements for the counseling and training grants will appear on grants.gov.
If Congress authorizes Specific Initiative Grants, organizations receiving such grants will receive individual notifications.
Some business grants are available through state and local programs, nonprofit organizations and other groups. For example, some states provide grants for expanding public services; creating energy efficient technology; developing marketing campaigns and, most importantly businesses that will reduce unemployment.
These grants are not necessarily free money, and usually require the business to match funds or combine the grant with other forms of financing such as a loan. The amount of the grant money available varies with each business and each grantor.
If you are not one of these businesses, both federal and state government agencies provide financial assistance programs that help small business owners obtain loans and venture capital financing from commercial lenders
Contrary to what books and TV ads say, the U.S. government is not giving away "free grant" money. A government grant is not a Christmas present.
Most federal grants are awarded to businesses, institutions, and state and local governments planning major projects that will benefit specific sectors of the population or the community as a whole, for example:
- A neighborhood project
- A state-wide program to re-train workers
- A project to attract new businesses to a depressed downtown area
- A regional conservation program
- A state or county-wide development project
Businesses that get government grants are subject to strict government oversight and must meet detailed government performance standards during the duration of the project and funding period of the grant. All project expenditures must be strictly accounted for and detailed audits are conducted by the government at least annually. All granted funds must be spent. Any money not spent goes back to the Treasury. Detailed program goals must be developed, approved and carried out exactly as specified in the grant application. Any project changes must be approved by the government. All project phases must be completed on time. And, of course, the project must be completed with demonstrable success.
Failure on the part of the grant recipient to perform under the requirements of the grant can result in penalties ranging from economic sanctions to prison in cases of improper use or theft of public funds.
Finding and Applying for Grants
Once the federal budget is approved, funds for the grant projects start to become available and are "announced" in the Federal Register throughout the year.
The official access point for information on all federal grants is the Grants.gov website.
Who is Eligible to Apply for Grants?
The grant’s entry on the Grants.gov website will list which businesses or individuals are eligible to apply for the grants. The entry for all grants will also explain:
- How the grant money can be used;
- How to apply including detailed contact information;
- How applications will be reviewed, judged and awarded; and
- What is expected of successful grantees including reports, audits, and performance standards
Other Types of Federal Government Benefits
Even when grants are clearly off the table, there are several other federal government benefit and assistance programs that can and do help businesses.
Ideas To Action - next
A Great Business did not just happen - It was planned that way.