Small business grants are fund given by government, corporation, foundation and trust to a non-profit entity, educational institute, business or an individual.
Small business grants is the money or financial assistance which are not loan that is made available to small businesses and do not need to be paid back.
In order to receive grants, you will need to write grants proposal. Grants proposals have a deadline for applying, so you need not delay your application. Writing grants proposal is like writing a business plan. It should clearly state the use of the fund and how the grants will benefit your company and the community.
If you just want to start a business or you already own a business and money is your biggest concern. Consider going for a grants, but getting it is not easy. There are countless schemes, each with their own set of criteria, which you can apply for.
All publicly funded schemes are designed to encourage new and growing businesses, to bring wealth and ultimately create jobs. To help achieve this, the government makes available a portion of taxpayers' money to help and encourage enterprise. This cash gets distributed through a variety of ministries, departments, and agencies on a national and local basis.
There are different types of grants for small businesses. The grants support for small business comes in a number of forms and will be discuss below:
Direct grant is a form of grant where money is offered to the small business for activities like Training, Employment, Export Development, Recruitment or Capital Investment Projects.
This is for conservation work to privately owned and commercial historic buildings. Grants are offered up to 70% of eligible costs, and are repayable on the sale or transfer of the property.
Here, the terms and conditions of repayment are made softer if the loan were made available under normal commercial terms. The interest rate may be less, or there may be no interest to pay at all, and the repayment terms could also be for a longer period.
Equity finance is share capital invested in a business where the investors do not expect interest or repayment of the loan. But the investor takes an equity share (shares or stocks) in the business with the hope that the value of the shares will appreciate in the future, enabling the sale of the stake at a profit.
This is a form of grants where an organisation/business lacks a particular skill and the skill in order for the business to grow. This is achieved by paying all or part of the fees of the approved consultants who possess the skills the organisation lacks. Sometimes it can be free to get the consultancy services.
Access to Resources
Small businesses don't have the facilities to develop particular projects. This can be the case particularly in manufacturing or research and development projects, where access to specialised testing equipment can be a drawback. Some schemes recognise this problem and provide access to publicly owned facilities
Technology and Best Practice Transfer
Here technologies, methods of manufacturing, knowledge, samples of manufacturing and facilities among government and other institutions are transferred in order to make sure that scientific and technological developments are accessible to various users who can develop and exploit the technology into new products, processes, applications, materials or services. The transfer of technological advances and new best practice initiatives can often take a long time filtering down to smaller businesses. The government has set up schemes, which aim to overcome this through business support networks.
Shared Cost Contract
The cost of research and development programmes can be difficult for small businesses. So sharing the cost of the programmes with others whereby all participants share in the cost contract. Sometimes it is partly financed by public bodies and institutions. When it comes to research and development, the costs involved can prevent small firms from taking part. But the problem can be avoided by sharing the costs with other businesses, and also sharing the expertise.
Advice and Information
Small businesses needs to research on the information require to develop products, services and markets but it can be time-consuming and costly at times. Public bodies has provides a significant input of advisory and information services.
It can be very tricky for small businesses that want to apply for grants and it is not always easy getting it. But if you can keep the tips that will be discuss below in mind, you’ll be well equipped to tackle the process and also have confidence to move on irrespective of the companies that are competing with you. Consider the following tips:
Don’t delay your application – The best time to apply for a grants is when it first opens because the money will there for you to get easily. There won’t be much competition and the administrator of scheme will be kind enough to get their grants awarded.
Contact one of the awarding body – Talk to somebody about the scheme before you apply but don’t be rude and it should be a professional manner. By doing so, you will get advice on whether it’s worth applying, and also help in completing your application. The person can also be giving information as your application progress.
Keep updated – Grants are constantly being introduced and updated and there are very few venues for finding out this information, you just have to keep your eyes open.
Make sure apply before starting your project – Small business should take note of this. If you are applying for start-up grants to start your business and start your project/business before applying for the grants. The awarding body is going to jump into conclusion that you don’t need the money anyway. They will think that you don’t need their assistance because if need it you won’t have start the business.
Make sure you have a good reason for your application -- Grants are given out most of the time if only your application is connected with a specific project because the awarding body checks the reason for your application not only to fund business growth. So if you need new equipment or more staff to launch a new product, emphasize on the product not the equipment. Also analyse the advantages of the products.
Write your application proposals -- When writing your application proposals make sure it draws the attention of the awarding body. Make sure you mention the benefits the project will bring particularly to the local community and environment.
Be truthful –Think about the implications of your project. Though it might a difficult thing to do but it’s better to be truthful and straight forward.
Let you business plan be unique if you are asked to bring it. It should show your understanding of the business. It should include your business idea, marketing strategy and show how the money will bring the benefit the government agency wants.
Make sure you include a work plan and a breakdown of costing. You should also ensure you’ve given a good account of your company’s business history so as to convince the awarding body that you are going to behave responsibly with it.
And finally, make sure an alternative fund is available. You know it’s not common to be given 100% grants to finance the costs of any project.
Finding small business grants program has been easier over the years with the internet. Try to know the type of grant your business is eligible for and make application to the relevant body.
The awarding bodies based the eligibility on location, years you have been running the business, current sales revenue, sex, race, and purpose of funding.
If you are a small business owner and you need fund by going for small business grants, consider the following:
1. See that you have enough resources and time to search and apply for small business grants.
2. Can you hire a consultant or learn the small business grants application process by yourself?
3. Does your business need the money now for expansion or can you wait up to a year?
4. If you do undertake the grants process, will it hurt your business taking away time from selling and marketing?
Here is one of the best small business grant facilities. Use it to get the right grant for your situation. Follow the this link.
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