Small Business Grants: Some Answers

Robert asks…

Are small business grants available for those who work for free?

I work in a Christian Church Ministry program, and I’m wondering if we are qualified for any Small Business Grants. Suffice to say we run a bilingual dance program, if that makes sense. We have facilities, workers and leaders. We go from place to place performing.

We’re doing alright, but I’d like to see our Ministry/Business expand.

admin answers:

Go to grants.gov/ and follow the instructions. You will find that there are grants for non profit organizations.

Jenny asks…

Are there any real ways to get grants for small business start-ups?

I am trying to start a small business and I am trying to look into grants for funding. With the state of the economy being what it is, are there still small business grants out there? How can one obtain the information about them without going through the bogus sites on the internet?

admin answers:

There is only one web site run by the Federal government to apply to grants – http://www.grants.gov

Be advised, there are no grants to start a business, personal financial assistance, pay off your debt, etc. Go to the web site and see for yourself.

Charles asks…

Does anyone know how I can find out about small business grants?

I’m trying to get a small business grant and like every site that I’ve found is a scam. Does anyone know of like real places that give grants to people that want to start up there own small business. I want to open like an in home kitchen where I can deliver homemade food and stuff.

admin answers:

You stand a greater chance of getting a government-guaranteed loan through the Small Business Administration http://www.sba.gov/financing than a government grant. Read the SBA Financing page to learn about criteria needed for borrowing

It is hard to find grants to start a business. Unlike the myths that some perpetuate, federal government and even private foundations hardly give grant money for a for-profit business. And yes, grants mean PAPERWORK – lots and lots of it, that is why a cottage industry of grant writers was born.

Nonetheless, you can go to the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) http://www.cfda.gov and Grants.gov http://www.grants.gov – these are two sites created by the federal government to provide transparency and information on grants. Browse through the listings and see if you can find any grant that would support a for-profit venture.

Even SBA does NOT give out grants. From the SBA website http://www.sba.gov/mostrequesteditems/CON_FAQ2.html

“The U.S. Small Business Administration does not offer grants to start or expand small businesses, although it does offer a wide variety of loan programs. (See http://www.sba.gov/financing for more information) While SBA does offer some grant programs, these are generally designed to expand and enhance organizations that provide small business management, technical, or financial assistance. These grants generally support non-profit organizations, intermediary lending institutions, and state and local governments.”

Here is a listing of federal grants for small businesses. See if there is any available for individuals for starting a business — THERE’S NONE.

Http://12.46.245.173/pls/portal30/CATALOG.BROWSE_BENEF_RPT.show

Most of the federal grants are given to specific target groups with specific requirements (e.g. Minority business owners involved in transportation related contracts emanating from DOT – Grant#20.905 Disadvantaged Business Enterprises Short Term Lending Program

Grants are also often given to non profit groups or organizations involved in training or other similar activities (grant 59.043 Women’s Business Ownership Assistance that are given to those who will create women’s business center that will train women entrepreneurs

I suggest you read the following books to get ideas of how to finance your business:

Financing Your Small Business http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1572484500/powerhomebizguid
Small Business Financing: How and Where To Get It http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0808007386/powerhomebizguid
Financing the Small Business: A Complete Guide to Obtaining Bank Loans and All Other Types of Financing http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1580626815/powerhomebizguid
The SBA Loan Book http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/158062202X/powerhomebizguid
Angel Capital : How to Raise Early-Stage Private Equity Financing http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0471690635/powerhomebizguid
Financing Your Small Business (Barron’s Business Library Series) http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0764124897/powerhomebizguid

For private grants, you may want to check the Foundation Center’s Foundation Grants for Individuals Online http://gtionline.fdncenter.org . It’s a subscription based website ($9.95 per month) but their opening blurb only says that the database is ideal for “students, artists, academic researchers, libraries and financial aid offices.” Entrepreneurs are apparently not one of them, so I take it they also don’t have listings of private foundations who give grants to would-be entrepreneurs.

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