Grants For Starting a Small BusinessSmall Business Grants & Loans Friday, February 19th, 2010
Have you been lured by a sales page offering information about thousands of government grants for starting a small business? Most likely it must be selling this information for some price. The first question to be asked here is whether grants for starting a small business exist.
You will be disheartened but the answer is a simple NO! There are no grants for small businesses that a normal enthusiast would like to start. OK, so do I want to say that grants for small businesses don’t exist at all. No, there are grants available for highly specialized businesses. State and local governments do offer grants but most day-to-day small businesses that you can think of starting will not meet the eligibility criteria. These grants are generally offered to non-profits, institutions involved in education, training and community benefits, agencies backed by local and state governments etc. Majority of the grants offered by the government focus on:
- Business and Commerce
- Community Development
- Consumer Protection
- Arts & Cultural Affairs
- Disaster Prevention and Relief
- Employment, Labor, and Training
- Food and Nutrition
- Income Security and Social Services
- Information and Statistics
- Law, Justice, and Legal Services
- Natural Resources Federal Grants
- Regional Development
- Science and Technology
The official government grants website Grants.gov provides a list of available government grants that you can look at and find out if your business fits into that.
On the Internet, you will often come across sites selling a grants database, information about grants & writing grants proposal etc. or guaranteeing grants award to you for some price that can range from $25-$250. All these sites are basically created to make money by luring in people into the idea of getting business capital from the government that doesn’t need to paid back even. All these sites fall under the category of Grants Scam.
Basically, all this information is freely available on the Internet through the official sources so charging for this information does not make sense. Moreover, no one can guarantee that a grant will certainly be awarded and anyone doing that is making false claims.
You will also come across sites that offer you help in getting money from the stimulus fund for small business signed by President Obama. Be cautious and never sign up for these services as this will be a complete loss of your money.
Also be cautious about sites that claim to unearth grant scams. They are actually made by scammers only who want to prove to you that are legitimate business concerns and trying to bring out the truth in front of you by informing you about grant scams. Most likely they will be promoting a similar service that they will promote as the most credible.
If not grants then what are the options for my small business financing needs?
The best option for you is to look for a loan. As far as government help is concerned, the government does not lend money to businesses itself. The help comes in the form of a guarantee that government makes to the lender. This helps cover the lender’s risk to an extent and increases the chances of loan being given to the applicant. You can visit the SBA website for more information about their guaranteed loan programs for small business.
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