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What Small Business Grants Are, What They Are Not, and 5 Tips for Winning Grants.

Updated: Jul 7, 2022

There is quite a level of interest in grants for small businesses, especially following the COVID-19 Pandemic. However, while the interest from small business owners is high, it is evident that there is a level of misconception and confusion of what small business grants are and are not. This article addresses some of the confusion about small business grants, provides several tips key to be awarded a grant, as well as provides a list of places where small business owners can go to apply for small business grants.

By Thomas Tramaglini, Managing Director at BRP Onesta About Thomas Tramaglini

What Are Small Business Grants?

Small business grants are sums of money provided by various agencies, public and private organizations, and government agencies. The sums of money provided in grants do not need to be paid back to the organization providing the grant.

Purpose – Along with most grants is purpose. That is, grants have purposes. For instance, State grants or Federal grants may focus on a bigger picture such as developing jobs or creating a new product that might help the public.

Restrictions as well as Reporting - Grants have restrictions and reporting requirements which generally ensure that the grant is being used the correct way. Further most grants have time limits for attaining results and reporting those results to an overseeing organization or entity.

Matching Funds – Many grants come along with a requirement for the organization to match the funds from the grant with their business’s funds. Matching funds can be tricky as many small business owners apply for grants with matching funds and do not even know that matching is a requirement.

What Small Business Grants Are NOT

Grants are not FREE money for small business owners to just use for their businesses for whatever reason they so choose. The grants that are typically available are not funds which are easy to get and as previously mentioned, the recipient needs to use the funds to satisfy the goals and objectives of the grant providers.

Further, typically grants are given to organizations which are stable and are not seeking funds to bridge a gap in the business’s financials. So, if you are a small business owner and