Guide To Free Government Grants
Anyone thinking about going into business for themselves, or wanting to expand an existing business should rush for the world’s largest “one-step-money-stop” where free money to start or expand a business is being held for you by the Federal Government. It sounds absolutely incredible that people living right here in the United States of America would not know that each year the world’s largest source of free business help delivers:
* Over $30 billion dollars in free grants and low-interest loans;
* Over one-half trillion dollars in procurement contracts;
* Over $32 billion dollars in FREE consulting and research grants.
With an economy that remains unpredictable and a need for even greater economic development on all fronts, the federal government is more willing than ever before to give you the money you need to own your own business and become your own boss! In spite of the perception that people should not look to the government for help, the great government give-away programs have remained so incredibility huge if each of the approximately 8 million businesses applied for an equal share, they would each receive over $70,000. Most people never apply for a free grant because they somehow feel it is not for them, there is too much red-tape, or simply do not know who to contact. The fact is however, that people from all walks of life do receive free grant money and other benefits from the government and you should also.
HOW TO FIND FUNDING SOURCES WORTH BILLIONS
As with all grant seeking, the key to obtaining grants is preparation and knowledge about funding sources. Preparation means identifying programs that are available and determining if you fall within their restrictions. The following sources will be invaluable to you in locating thousands of sources of free money:
This daily publication contains changes, proposed changes and notices about rules and regulations affecting all government agencies and their programs. Federal agencies must publish the program description, eligibility requirements and program guidelines in the Federal Register. For current subscription costs write to: Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402.
CATALOG OF FEDERAL DOMESTIC ASSISTANCE
This publication lists a complete description of every program in the federal government that makes funds available to private business. Write to the U.S.Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402.
COMMERCE BUSINESS DAILY
This publication contains a daily listing of U.S. Government procurement invitations, contract awards, sub-contracting leads, sales of surplus property and foreign business opportunities. For current annual subscriptions costs write to the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402.
THE FOUNDATION CENTER
888 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10019 will provide you with a listing of philanthropic foundations.
FREE FEDERAL MONEY GIVEN AWAY TO ASSIST BUSINESSES GRANT MONEY FOR BUSINESSES IN POOR ECONOMIC AREAS
Contact the Economic Adjustment Division, Director, Economic Development Administration, Herbert Hoover Bldg., Room H-7217, Washington, DC 20230.
GRANT MONEY FOR MINORITY BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
Grants are awarded up to $2 million dollars to stimulate business growth. Contact the Minority Business development Agency, Department of Commerce, Washington, DC 20230.
FREE MONEY TO PROVIDE ASSISTANCE TO ECONOMICALLY DISADVANTAGED BUSINESSES
Management and technical assistance is provided free to disadvantaged business. Contact the Associate Administrator for Small Business, 1441, L Street, NW, Room 602, Washington, DC 20416.
GRANT MONEY FOR INVESTORS IN RENTAL APARTMENT BUILDINGS WHO ARE IN FINANCIAL TROUBLE
Contact the Chief, Program Support Branch, Management Operations Division, Office of Multi-Family Housing Management, Department of Housing and Development, Washington, DC 20420.
GRANT MONEY FOR WOMEN’S ENTERPRISES
Up to $200,000 dollar grants are awarded to women in business annually. Contact the Grants Management Office, Small Business Administration, 1441 L Street, NW, Washington, DC 20416.
GRANT MONEY FOR REAL ESTATE INVESTORS WHO RENT TO ELDERLY OR HANDICAPPED PEOPLE
Contact the Director, Office of Multi-Family Housing Management, Dept. of Housing and Urban Development, Washington, DC 20410.
GRANT MONEY FOR INDIAN-OWNED BUSINESSES
Contact the Office of Indian Services Director, Bureau of Indian Affairs, 18th & C Streets, NW, Room 4600, Washington, DC 20240.
FREE STATE GRANT MONEY
There simply is not enough room in this report to begin listing all the free money programs that are available from the federal and state governments. We can tell you however, the general types of programs that are available and where to begin. As you contact different agencies for grant money, learn not to accept “no” as a final answer. There are so many new programs being offered each year that often an agency’s own employees will not be aware they are offering the one you ask about. If being persistence does not help, get in touch with your Congressman and let them track down a program that meets your needs.
TYPES OF PROGRAMS THROUGH STATE & FEDERAL AGENCIES:
Usually through direct grants that do not have to be paid back.
Free management advice is offered on almost every business subject by the Department of Economic Development to minimize new business start-up management costs.
BUSINESS SITE SELECTION
State hired specialists are available to assist new entrepreneurs in selecting the best possible location for their new business.
Most states will assign specialists to work with a new business with one-on-one management training.
EMPLOYEE TRAINING ASSISTANCE
This program provides free money to train employees. Free money is also available to send employees to school.
RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT GRANTS
FREE MONEY is available to attract high-tech related companies:
States have highly trained management consultants who will locate Federal Grant Programs to help you through the application process.
FORMS & DOCUMENTS
State professionals will help a new business owner apply for permits, licenses or any other legal document a business may require.
VENTURE CAPITAL FINANCING
This method can provide free money in the sense you would not have to pay it back. You would, however, probably have to give up part of the ownership of your business in order to receive financing. Most states have their own venture capital finance firms that invest in high risk businesses.
MINORITIES & WOMEN
Free money grants are available in most states for women or minorities who want to start a business.
LOW INTEREST LOANS
A state may raise money through industrial revenue bonds to buy your fixed-asset equipment. The public, which invest in these bonds, do not pay taxes on the earned interest. When a low-interest loan is granted, the state does not guarantee that investors will get their money back if the business fails. If a state issues a general obligation bond, a public investment is then guaranteed. The states will also make direct loans at low-interest or even co-sign a commercial bank loan. If a state co-signs a loan for you, it may subsidize your interest and reduce an already low-interest rate lower yet.
SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT CENTERS
Every state has Small Business Development Centers who can match you with the right free money grant program. All development centers offer free counseling to anyone wishing to start or expand a business. Their services are varied but include; FREE seminars, workshops, business planning, feasibility studies, marketing research, management analysis, sales technique, financing, exporting, inventory control, accounting, record keeping, and grant application. Whatever your questions about free money grants or starting a business, refer to your telephone directory under State Offices and contact your Small Business Development Center.
GETTING FREE MONEY FROM VENTURE CAPITAL SOURCES
A venture capital company is another source for free money in financing your business plans. But since they are willing to assume some risk by investing in your business, they also expect some equity in the business itself. Venture capital companies invest in projects they feel will be successful and bring a return on their investment. If you are interested in asking a venture capital company to invest in your business refer to your telephone directory under Venture Capital Companies or Investment Companies and contact those who are in the same area you want to start your project in.
SMALL BUSINESS INVESTMENT COMPANIES
Small business investment companies can provide your business with the capital it needs by; 1) giving you a free loan; 2) making a stock investment in your business; or 3) offering a combination of the two. Small business investment companies are in the business of making money just like any other business. The biggest difference between them and another investor is:
1) They are privately managed firms who are licensed and partially financed by the federal government’s Small Business Administration.
2) All of its transactions are regulated by the government.
3) Their success depends on the growth and profits of companies they own stock in. They often give money in exchange for stocks.
4) Their loans usually carry lower interest rates than commercial banks.
5) Straight loans repayments are carried over a longer period of time.
6) Most businesses are eligible, especially if they are 50% minority owned.
For a complete listing of the thousands of Small Business Investment Companies, visit your local library and ask for the SBIC Catalog. Study the catalog and note the companies that specialize in your area of interest. Then write them and request more information on what they have to offer.
WRITING A SUCCESSFUL GRANT APPLICATION
To write a successful grant application for free money it should be well planned. You should be familiar with exactly how a particular agency prefers to have their grant proposals completed. If you have no experience in writing grant proposals, this is another area where your Small Business Development Centers can help.
WORK CLOSELY WITH THE FREE MONEY GRANTOR AGENCY
Once you decide which government agency you want free money from, contact them and ask for a grant application. Get to know some of the grantor agency personnel. Experts love to talk about their programs, so ask for advice, suggestions and criticisms about your proposed project. In most cases, the more the agency knows about your grant proposal, the better your chances will be of getting support from the personnel who ultimately approve your free money request.
Often it is to the grantor’s advantage to send their grant proposal summary to an agency official they have developed a contact relationship with and ask them to review and return it to you with their comments. Be certain this approach is acceptable with your agency. You would not first want a first draft mistakenly processed before it was finished.
Making a personal visit to the agency’s office in your area is also important. Face to face contact will help you understand eligibility requirements, deadlines, maximum free money amounts you can apply for and other details you want to know about. You can also utilize an agency’s library and determine through books, brochures and conversation if there are other agencies you could apply for free money. There is nothing that says that you ca not apply for two, three or more free money grants at one time!
ESTABLISH YOUR OWN PROFESSIONAL NETWORK
Do some networking and maintain continuous contact with people who can gather information for you about free money grants. Nothing can be substituted for personal contact with the decision-makers who are in charge of grant programs. Learn to use your personal influence (and theirs) to achieve your goals.
The U.S. Government Printing Office maintains a wealth of information that people never take advantage of! Write to them and ask for a copy of the “U.S. Government Directory” and ask for a list of books, brochures and documents that covers your field of interest. Tell them you are especially interested in obtaining information about free federal money that is available to private citizens.
Remember, “free federal money” does not mean you have to travel to Washington, DC. It just means finding out where the agencies are within your own state and local government. The contacts you want to make may be only minutes away. Investment companies are in the business of making money just like any other business. Tact will help you understand eligibility requirements, deadlines and maximum FREE MONEY amounts.