There are many grants available for small businesses, with most of them being fairly straightforward to access. If you’re operating as a small business, it is likely that you will be eligible for a grant. Let’s take a look at how difficult it is to get a small business grant.
What is a Small Business Grant?
A small business grant is a type of funding that is offered by a government, philanthropic organization, or other types of funding providers. The funds are given to a business to help fund business growth and development.
Small business grants are often given by organizations or government bodies in order to promote local economic growth. If you’re running a small business, you are highly likely to be able to access a grant.
Many different types of grants are available, and they can be used for various things. Here are some potential uses of a small business grant:
The key to accessing a small business grant is to identify the grants that are offered in your area. In most cases, you will be looking for a government or non-profit organization that is offering the funds.
A majority of these bodies will want to know about the issues facing your local economy and how you intend to address these issues with your company’s growth.
Is It Easy to Get a Small Business Grant?
Most small business grants are fairly straightforward to access. The key however, is to be able to prove that you are viable. Large businesses will often receive much larger grants than small businesses, so you will need to take this into consideration. Usually, they will only want to fund firms that are likely to make a positive return on investment.
In reality, when it comes to obtaining a small business grant, your chances are very good. The only caveat is that you must show how your business will address the challenges facing your local economy.
Types of Small Business Grants
There are many types of grants available to small businesses. Some are fairly straightforward to access and others are something that you will have to be quite creative to get. The following is a list of some of the different types of grants available.
Business Start-Up Grants
A business start-up grant could be one that is available as part of a government scheme or it could be a scheme set up by a local council or business hub. Whatever the source, if you are setting up a business and need money for a business start-up grant it is likely that you will be eligible. It is advisable to contact your local government office before applying.
Business Innovation Grant
A business innovation grant is a type of grant that is available to help you turn your idea into a successful business. There are many ways this could be achieved. The money could help you develop the product or service, find new markets and generally increase your chances of success.
Small Business Grants
The small business grants that are available will usually be available as part of a scheme that the government is currently running.
Private Sector Grants
There are many private sector grants available. Some of the biggest companies in the world can seriously back a small business with no strings attached. The key thing to remember here is that these grants will only be available if your small business is offering something that the market needs and there is enough demand for it. You will need to provide a lot of evidence and proof to convince them otherwise.
Requirements to Get a Small Business Grant
The requirements for getting a small business grant vary from grant to grant. Generally speaking, there are some common requirements that must be fulfilled.
Many government grants require you to fill out a form and provide your relevant business details before being approved. Most government grants also require proof that you are running a small business, such as having an ABN or TFN.
Business Planning Requirements
Some grants will also require you to provide evidence of your financial status, such as bank statements and tax returns. You will also have to provide evidence of a business plan, along with other requirements. It is important that you read through the application form thoroughly so you know what documents you need to provide.
Community Impact Plan
It is important that your business will be helping the community it is operating in. For example, a lot of grants require you to have a plan on how you will be providing a social or environmental benefit to the community. This is something that you should include in your business plan.
Your business plan will be the most important thing you put in your grant application. The plan gives the impression of your business and gives the government the opportunity to understand what you are planning to do before they agree to provide you with funding.
Requirements Vary For Each Grant
Some grants do not have these requirements in place. For example, the Small Business Enterprise Grant Fund is available to self-employed individuals and sole traders. The application for this grant is only a one page school report-style report.
These grants are also not competitive, so you do not need to worry about other applicants. There are no business plan requirements or community impact plans that you need to submit.
A Small Business Grant Will Probably Cover These Costs
Many government grants will cover certain costs that you may have. For example, grants will often help with the cost of premises and equipment, rebuilding after a natural disaster, or other business related expenses.
How to Apply For a Small Business Grant?
The application process for small business grants varies greatly from one grant provider to another. Some grant providers will allow you to apply online, while others will require you to submit an application in writing.
Once you have applied for a grant, wait for the grant provider to review your application. If your application is accepted, you will need to provide the grant provider with an agreement detailing the terms of the grant.
The terms of a grant will vary from one grant provider to another. For example, some grant providers will ask you to repay the grant amount in a certain amount of time, while others will ask you to provide equity in your business in exchange for the grant.
Tips on How to Increase Your Chances of Getting a Small Business Grant
The most important thing to do when trying to get a small business grant is to do your research. Find out which grant providers are currently accepting applications and what the requirements for applying are. Make sure that you follow the application’s instructions exactly so that there is no chance that your application is rejected.
Start Applying Early
When it comes to applying for a grant, don’t wait until the last minute, especially with SBA loans. In order to be sure that you apply for small business grants on time, start early and give yourself as much time as possible. Always remember that waiting too long can result in your grant being awarded to another person or company.
Get Professional Help
Never underestimate the importance of having a professional by your side. If you’re operating a small business, then you need to make sure that your application is as strong as possible. Having a professional helping you in this process will increase the effectiveness of your application.
Research Past Grant Winners
You should also take the time to research past grant winners that have applied to the same type of small business grant, as this will help you to get a better idea of what kind of companies typically receive these grants.
Show Your Passion for Your Work
The most important thing to remember about small business grants is that you need to show that you have passion for what you’re doing. You should be able to demonstrate how much of a difference your company will make in the world as a result of receiving this small business grant.
Contact Answer Aide to Discuss How an Answering Service Can Help
A telephone answering service can be a great asset to any business. As your company applies for and receives grants, it’s important that someone is always available to answer the phone and provide top notch customer service. That’s where Answer Aide comes in. We can help provide your customers and grant application reviewers with a professional customer service experience by answering the phone each time that it rings, even when your team is busy. In some cases, we can answer your business phone after hours and on the weekends, if needed.