Where to go for Grants

Dear M & M:

I am thinking about starting a business and want to know where to go for that grant I keep hearing about?

-Jack

Dear Jack:

Be cautious when you see those claims that there is money out there just waiting to help you start your business. According to the SBA, “It’s not unreasonable to expect that the government provides grants for small businesses.  People all over the internet are telling you it’s possible, and some will charge you for giving you “details.”

The fact is, government grants are funded by your tax dollars and, therefore, require very stringent compliance and reporting measures to ensure the money is well spent.  As you can imagine, grants are not given away casually. Whatever you’ve heard from speakers or read on the internet, federal and state governments do not provide grants for any of the following: starting a business, paying off debt or covering operational expenses.

That being said, some federal government grants are available to small businesses. But here’s the catch —federal grants for businesses are typically aimed at specific industries and targeted causes identified by the government, such as scientific and medical research, conservation efforts, and so on. In a nutshell, if you are seeking “free money” to launch or expand your business, forget about it.

You are far better off focusing your efforts on developing a sound business plan that capitalizes on a viable market, a compelling product or service, and a passion for business. Grants from the Federal government are authorized and appropriated through bills passed by Congress and signed by the President. The grant authority varies widely among agencies.

SBA has authority to make grants to non-profit and educational organizations in many of its counseling and training programs, but does not have authority to make grants to small businesses. The announcements for the counseling and training grants will appear on grants.gov. If Congress authorizes Specific Initiative Grants, organizations receiving such grants will receive individual notifications.” – SBA

-M&M

To ask your questions: Call the Small Business Development Center(SBDC) at Cochise College (520)-515-5478 or email schmittm@cochise.edu or contact the Sierra Vista Economic Development Foundation(EDF) at 520-458-6948 or email  hollism@svedf.org

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