Government grants: Help for entrepreneurs

Getting a government grant in these difficult times is rarely an easy process. However, there is plenty you can do to help yourself. Here are some top tips for success.

Are you looking for government grants?

If you have recently set up a small business, or if you have a business idea or plan which is ready to go and waiting for funds to get it started, then some sort of government grants must have crossed your mind. It is a simple fact that setting up any new business requires a lot of help, and a lot of money. Even the most basic businesses have setting up costs – whether you need to buy specialized equipment, or employ staff members, or even have a professional website built, everything requires you to pay somebody and have access to funds. Government grants are not necessarily easy to come by, but they are available for people who have the time and patience to apply for them and follow up their applications with accurate and well written business plans. With a government grant, you can cover some or all of those setting up costs, or get some assistance in expanding your business to a more successful level. There is also plenty of free help and assistance in the form of training, planning and all sorts of other related services for the new entrepreneur.

Start locally

One of the best tips for anybody looking to set up a new business and get access to government grants is to start their search locally. Because the central government at this time is not offering government grants to new businesses, the focus has shifted to local governments and other sources of local money. Often, the quickest and easiest places to look for help and advice, as well as grants, are your city halls, county offices, places of learning, local large corporations and private companies. A lot of these places and organisations receive funding from the government specifically for helping new businesses and people in need of advice, assistance and cash for which to set up their enterprises.

Be prepared to wait

There are many other things to keep in mind if you want to have success in your application for government grants. Firstly, you must be prepared to wait. Because these grants are in fierce demand by a lot of different people, with a lot of different business, when a grant is offered, a huge amount of applications are sent in. Obviously, each of these applications and proposals needs to be looked at carefully by a relatively small group of individuals, who are not willing to throw cash at anybody who comes along. As such, processing these applications can take a very long time to do.

Top tips for success

You can help yourself in your quest for a successful application by first making sure your proposal is as professional as it can be, but also by following up your application by contacting your grant officer. Of course, you should avoid being pushy, but simply making enquiries about your application, or the limitations and criteria of the grant can help your chances a lot, and make sure that your papers are not simply filed away and forgotten about. Not only this, but getting to know how the grant works, what it is they are looking for and how they can help you can massively improve your next application, if your first is unsuccessful.

This article is written by Jon Emge who is a Senior Debt Advisor writing for a range of financial sites including www.debtadvice.net and www.debtconsolidationloans.org.uk