Small business grants are a part of money that is delegated by Congress each year. If grant money is not used by the end of the fiscal year it goes back to the government. It is referred to “use it or lose it” with the the government employees who help to implement these grant programs. Government grant and loan programs often work in tandem. The biggest difference being that, grants do not have to be paid back. Two places that a small business owner may turn to, when applying for a grant, would be either their local Rural Development or Urban Development offices. The proposed project would fall under one of these jurisdictions. The project is one that should be well thought and planned out. The process has major guidelines. They are:
1) Show the need,
2) Show the ability
3) Show the purpose.
Some people think that you just fill in an application, and then get approved , and go pick up your check. It is not that easy. Specifically for minority groups. Minorities need to pay a very close attention to details when completing the application and follow up on any other documents needed to get the grant. The good news is that minority grant applications are looked at more closely because the governments benefits the most from a successful minority individual. Your will have to have a business plan, be a non for profit, and/or faith based organization, help and/or hire the elderly/handicapped or minority. It is always advised, but not required to hire an attorney. There are some attorneys who have specialized experience working with and for non for profit organizations.
One of the many good things about being a non for profit, are the tax breaks that they are eligible for. Therefore it is also a good idea to hire a good tax accountant. They too can offer valuable information and guidance. Your business plan needs to be professionally written. Professional “Grant Writing” is a profession in itself. And, even considered close to an art form. A Grant Writer can make as much, if not more than an attorney and well worth their pay. Having your grant proposal written and submitted correctly is the difference between being approved or being turned down. While, it is not a rule that you hire anyone at all to assist in your application, it is highly recommended. A good example of a grant proposal would be a housing project in a rural area that will offer low income housing to minorities, the elderly, and the disabled. Along with offering the low income housing your project could also be eligible to offer rental assistance through the area agency in the projects jurisdiction.
One of the good things of hiring a grant writer is; they will put most of or all of their fee in the grant proposal, along with the fees for all the other professionals (as mentioned previously) involved in your organization. One of the other rules is that your project be for a certain predetermined amount of money. For instance, a housing project would have to be for at least one million dollars or more. The actual applications and guidelines are available on line or you can call the agency directly to request the application package be sent to you. If you and your organization truly wants to help people with decent housing, education or medical facilities, clean water and waste facilities and bringing jobs to your area. You can make your dreams come true. It is a lot of hard work and takes a lot of time. But, if you have a great project in mind and can follow the rules and guidelines. And have the strong desire to follow through with all that is required, you may be able to see your ideas become a reality.
Small business Grants for Minorities:
Small business grants for minorities are very useful in that they are essentially free money which you do not need to repay at any point in the future. This makes them much more appealing than other kinds of funding such as loans which must be repaid within a certain time frame. The expenses of starting a business can be incredibly high. These expenses just get larger and larger as the months pass and the company expands. Finding small business grants for minorities can provide the relief you need as a small business owner. When you are awarded a grant, the grantor will often ask that you send annual financial statements to indicate how the grants were spent and the success the business has been afforded. It is important that you apply to as many grants as possible with thorough business plans and proposals.
Free small business grants for minorities are easier to come by than others. There are billions of dollars set aside by local and state governments to help minorities who want to start companies. Getting loans can be trying and expensive given the accrued interest. With small business grants for minorities you do not have to repay.
When you start applying for small business grants for minorities you need to begin at the state level. This means turning to your state government to find grant programs specifically for increasing minority-business ownership. Each state has this through the Minority Business Development Agency. You can search their website in order to find contact information for your state branch.
The United States Department of Commerce offers many grant programs for minorities in areas which are deemed in need of enhancement or of economic assistance. If you live in these areas or are planning on starting a business in these areas you can find grant programs from local departments of commerce.
After you find the grant programs you must write a proposal or a single page query to obtain additional information. In that you must follow strict template guidelines and include a statement of purpose which will be used to define your marketplace goals. This includes a mission statement which can be used to alleviate which competing potential recipients are given additional consideration and which potential recipients are denied.
Once you begin preparing your proposal you should include a budget. This will lay out the monthly expenses you anticipate, as well as the quarterly and annual expenses you anticipate. Generally small business grants for minorities are meant for a specific purpose such as hiring new employees for purchasing communication equipment. Have a budget prepared can help to convince any potential grantors that you are a competent business owner.
You should be able to provide grantors with details about any future services or products which will be influenced thanks to the grant you might receive. You need to provide a convincing application which will show the grantor how their funds can be used for a present need which affects your future business. As a minority, be sure to search outside of parameters just for minorities. There are many business grants available and you can apply to ones which fit your company parameters as well.