Small Business Grants: Where To Find Them

Small Business Grants: Where To Find Them

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You’ve seen the ads and have probably heard stories where an individual claims to have secured thousands of dollars in grant money from the federal government. No, I’m not talking about money that has to be paid back, rather funds which were given to them courtesy of Washington, DC.

business piggyUnfortunately, almost every last one of those claims is either an exaggeration or an outright lie.

Let me be clear about this point: the federal government is NOT a significant dispenser of grant money to individuals. What they do provide, however, is funding to the states and local governments for them to use for economic development. In some cases, a state may make some funds available to small businesses in the form of grants, but that is on a state by state basis.

Local Grant Money

How do you find grant money at the state level? Well, it can a little research on your part but heading off to your state’s website should get you there. That effort might be as easy as entering nc.gov or state.nc.us into your browser and getting your state’s website to appear. NC, of course, represents North Carolina, therefore you should substitute your state’s two-letter code to find the right website.

Once you’ve located your state’s website, search for the “Department of Corporations” or “Small Business Development Department” section or similarly named group to look for details about grant money. Whatever programs your state has to offer right now should be mentioned, pending funding.

And therein lies the rub – many states have been cutting their budgets steadily since 2007, whacking this program or trimming that plan. A program could be in place, but that doesn’t mean it is being adequately funded at the moment.

ARRA Funding

It appears that federal government money will soon be flowing again thanks to funds set aside from the $787 billion stimulus package, officially knowns as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009. That act expanded unemployment benefits and certain other welfare stipulations as well as slashing taxes and spending money on education, energy, infrastructure and health care.

Funds are gradually making their way to their intended sources which means that if your business is focused on the environment, education or health care, you may be eligible for financial support. Why not make contact with someone “in the know” at the state or city level to see what is being planned? This could be your opportunity to get some much needed help while the funding is in place.

Other Small Business Resources

Small Business Administration

Small Business Grants

Photo Credit: Kamil Dratwa

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