How to Qualify for Local Government Grants for Small Businesses
A 2018 study by Capital One found that two out of three of the biggest challenges small business owners face were related to money.
Many small business owners are continually searching for the right funding opportunities to expand, grow, and create stability, and for some, that means finding grants to grow business.
Florida small business owners have multiple grant opportunities at their fingertips, but there’s much to consider when it comes to finding the right grant.
Understanding what to look for will ensure that you qualify when you apply. Local government grants and private grants alike can be a great way to expand, but the reality is that it takes much more than simply completing an application to obtain a grant.
Instead, it takes an understanding of what it takes to get a grant, how to connect with the right one, and an extensive application process.
The Work Behind Obtaining a Grant
Applying for a grant for your Florida business can feel daunting. However, the work you put into finding the right grant and complete your application is time well spent.
The first step in the process is finding the right grant to meet your needs. Grants are typically created to target certain kinds of businesses based on a number of things.
For example, there are grants within certain industries, grants for types of business owners (like women, veterans, or minorities), and grants based on the area you serve. Other grants can be more general, but it’s important to note that the broader the requirements, the larger the pool of applicants. Many businesses seeking grants tend to be more successful with grants based on a facet of their business structure, ownership, or industry.
As you search for grants, keep the qualifications required in mind. Most grants have a list of requirements you must meet before you can apply. If you are unable to meet those requirements, this is not a circumstance in which you can justify that you should still get the grant because of exigent issues that were not properly added to your application. If you can’t meet those requirements, you simply won’t get the grant. In fact, your application won’t even be considered in most cases.
Consider this, if a grant is available for businesses that provide distance learning curriculum to workplaces, but your company provides an in-person learning curriculum, it’s probably not the right fit for you, even if it’s within the same industry. Applying for grants that have requirements your small business just can’t meet is only going to end in rejection.
Do not allow yourself to become discouraged if you don’t immediately find a grant opportunity that is right for your small business. Grants take time and you may feel inclined to apply for several before your application is actually accepted. Carve out the time you need to do research and complete your applications. Schedule an hour or two a day to find the right grants and apply without rushing to send them to the Grant Foundation.
You’ll also need to stay organized during this process. One way of keeping yourself organized is a simple spreadsheet. Use the sheet to include the small business grants in Florida you’re interested in, collect them, understand the requirements for each and the application process. Once you’ve found a grant that meets your needs, spend time completing the required paperwork as it may make or break whether or not it’s accepted.
Remember to factor in the application fees as you work to find the right Florida small business grant. The application fees can be costly for some grants and they may not pay off in the long run.
Think about what it’s going to cost to apply, how much time you’ll spend applying, and the benefits your business will actually get from the grant. Understanding whether right for you can assist in narrowing your search considerably. It can also help you understand which grants you should focus on now and which ones you may want to focus on as your business grows.
When you do find a grant that meets your needs, the next step is the application itself. The application will be fairly long, and you’ll want to be as thorough and detailed as possible while maintaining a persuasive tone.
You’ll have to gather quite a bit of information about your company and be able to back up any claims you make about your company with data. Ensure you leave yourself plenty of time to meet the grant’s deadline, as they can take time to complete. Of importance is the fact that many programs will not accept late applications.
Your Options Outside of Grants
Grants can be a great way to ensure your business gets the assistance it needs. Unfortunately, applying for a local government grant does not mean you’ll receive the assistance you want. That’s where we come in. AMB Performance Group – ActionCoach now Business Coaches can help your business develop and strategize ways to improve funding so you can move forward.