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Applying for Small Business Grants

March 8, 2020

Grants are great if you can get them. There are many different types of business grants that are available through government programs which are created primarily to incentivize economic development and promote entrepreneurship and free enterprise. 

The Challenge with Grants

The challenge with grants is that they usually require a lot of work and can be very time consuming to get, if you get one at all. It is possible to spend a great deal of effort putting together your application and related materials only to have it rejected, or simply receive no response. 

Increasing Your Odds

When applying for a grant it is important to understand that there are likely a lot of other applications, many of which are just as good if not better than yours. Even if your application is the best, you still may not get the grant. Keep in mind that your application is likely in a stack and can easily be overlooked or at least not given the consideration that it deserves. Assuming all things are relatively equal as far as the quality of your application vs the other top applications, you need to ensure that you get the attention of the grant reviewer. This means finding out who the reviewer is, that is the decision maker is, or who recommends to the decision makers, and then putting your application front and center in their mind. This is done through frequent contacts. You don’t want to pester them and keep asking the status once submitted as this can have negative consequences. It means developing a one on one relationship with the reviewer. The process begins long before your application is submitted. Once you find out who the reviewer is, you need to reach out by phone or email, preferably the former, and ask regular questions about the grant. Even if you already know the answer to the question you are asking, you still call as it keeps your company fresh in the reviewers mind. Don’t hesitate to reach out every day or two.  The goal is that by the time you submit your grant application, the reviewer is so familiar with your company that he/she doesn’t even need to read it.

Rather than look for a specific type of grant, explore all available grants and then figure out which ones your company would qualify for. Searches for grants produce links to many websites, usually government related, that will list all of the possible grants and summaries of qualifications and deadlines for application submission.

For more information on raising capital and handling the other unique challenges of running a small business, visit our site at  Register to receive a free copy of our upcoming “Small Business Survival Guide” book and connect with accredited investors to potentially fund your startup.

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