(I published this article in the Galion Inquirer on January 04, 2012)
I think it’s safe to say that most small businesses would love to find grant money, but once they find a grant to apply for, they commonly experience two very large stumbling blocks. First, the proposal process can be very intimidating, and second, they don’t know how to handle the accounting (for tax purposes) of grant awards.
Before I explain the typical application process, there are a few points you need to keep in mind if you’re trying to apply for grants of any type.
First, the process of applying for a grant is referred to by many terms. Although grant writing is the most common term for this process, it might also be called a grant application or a grant response.
Second, grants quite often require the recipient to provide matching funds. For example, you may need to come up with $10,000 before the grantor will give an additional $10,000. Read more... (835 words, estimated 3:20 mins reading time)
(I originally published this article in the Galion Inquirer on Dec. 21, 2011)
You have probably heard that there is free money out there to be given away to small business owners to spend however they want. This is not necessarily true—most small business owners obtain financing through loans and their own personal funds. As a matter of fact, at this time, Congress has not set aside any monies for grants to specifically start and/or expand a small business.
The biggest problem most businesses face when attempting to raise grant money is actually finding the money that’s available from the government or various charitable foundations.
Even if you can’t get grant money for small business startup or expansion from the federal government, there are other avenues worth investigating as a source of funds.
The difference between a grant and a loan is that a grant is essentially “free money” that does not have to be paid back. A loan is “borrowed” money that will need to be repaid, often with interest. The government’s grant program is very limited and described more below. The government’s loan program is through the Small Business Administration (SBA). SBA loans are guaranteed loans made through local lenders. Read more... (616 words, estimated 2:28 mins reading time)