Government grants provide financial assistance from federal agencies to people with various endeavors. This includes a college education, small business, first time home buying, home improvement and other categories.  The purpose of government grants is to carry out a public purpose of support stimulation authorized by a law of the United States.

What does it take to get a grant and what are the qualifications? Obviously, different grants may have specific variations on those requirements but there also common requirements as well. With the understanding that most grants are given for the purpose of helping the public, this establishes that there should be a qualifying purpose to receive the grant.

What are the popular grant categories outside of federal grants for education? These include:
–    Disaster Relief and Prevention
–    Energy
–    Environmental Quality
–    Housing
–    Natural Resources
–    Regional Development
–    Agriculture
–    Community Development

While this not an extensive list, it does represent the most common categories and does give you direction for the grant you may be seeking. Online research on one of the government sites that offer factual information is a great place to start. You can narrow your search after you begin if you cannot directly locate your category by starting with the category and then narrowing by agency and/or state. The more specific you are with the details, the more likely you will be able to find the grant for which you want to apply.

One of the things you can do to find out if there are grants in your category is to subscribe to a site by email or paid subscription in that category. What happens here is that when funding becomes available, you receive an email supplying the detailed information. Government grants require that certain criteria be met within a certain timeframe. You will need to make sure that you fulfill those requirements and submit your application in a timely fashion.

In order to clarify what it takes to obtain a government grant, the process for a business grant is clarified here. First, understand how government grants for business can be used. Here are some of the factors that come into play. If you are starting a small or medium-size business; if you are acquiring property or land for this business; if you are planning research, renovation or expansion; or if you are buying new equipment or a building for your business. These reasons or factors open the doors for government grant assistance.

What are the sources for these factors? Well, the government organizations include state, local and city branches as well as American tribal governments and special district government. Non-profit organizations can supply grants as long as their status is not 501 (c3) with the IRS.

Who can apply for business grants and what is the difference between a small business and the larger businesses? First, the wholes trade industries need 100 employees as established by the Small Business Administration. These requirements really do help to regulate the funding and allow grants for the specific applicants who meet those requirements. Also, there are average revenue requirements like $0.75 million for the agricultural industry as an example. Details are based your particular information and other qualifying factors.

One significant thing to applying for a business grant is to have a very strong business plan. Start up businesses need to have a very clear picture of that business. Do research and be very organized and detailed. Being scattered and unorganized does not promote confidence in how you will handle the funding. There are other business grants that can be applied for like acquisition, business growth and small business.

The government does allocate $100,000,000 per year to federal programs to help small businesses. This money is distributed in various categories and locations. And, where your business is located may affect you receiving the grant. This means that the areas that are slow or diminishing may not be so quick to receive.

There are three steps that you can take to help increase the chances of receiving a government grant. The first step is to find the right funding organization. While you may have a great business plan, if you are submitting to the wrong agency, more than likely you will be turned down. Also, your time is valuable and you certainly do not want to waste it on an unavailable opportunity.

The next step is preparation. Take the time to prepare your grant application professionally. Make sure you have all the correct information you need before finalizing the application. Research the information you need to make sure you represent your business in the proper perspective. The importance of a grammatically correct application cannot be underestimated. Professionalism is a requirement when you are asking for large sums of money.

Do not forget who you are in the application process. If your business is something different or unique, clarify what that means for your business. You are asking for financial providers to trust you with the funding, and while it is a grant, it is still important to make sure they understand your objectives for the business. Be clear and direct, especially about the part of your business that makes you stand out. While questions may be inevitable in the final decision process, the fewer questions asked means the clearer the understanding. Of course, there may be exceptions to the rule but not many.

There is an enormous amount of information available on government grants and certainly cannot be given justice here. However, the purpose of this article was to clarify understanding and provide direction and confidence that this is a process that will help move you forward in your business goals. Grants do require that certain criteria be met; that professional standards are applied; and, that you present your business in the best light possible to receive the assistance that you need. Take the time to do the research about the grant that you seek, the funding organization, and the best way to present your particular business to those agencies.

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