Small businesses make up the backbone of the United States. Without them, our economy would surely fail. There are billions of dollars in government grants set aside every year to help small businesses get started and expand. Almost anyone can apply for these funds, and unlike loans, they do not have to be paid back. Finding out whether or not you qualify for grants is often as simple as determining if you fit into one of the following categories:
Disability, Ethnicity, Gender or Race
Many of the grants that are available to small business owners are provided based on the ethnicity, gender or race of their employees—or whether or not they have any disabilities. This is because the government wants to see diversity in the workplace and equal opportunity employment. Therefore, business owners who hire a diverse range of individuals as employees will be eligible for grants based on this alone. In some cases, the grant will be provided based upon the race, ethnicity, disability or gender of the business owner. As an example, there are multiple grants out there for women, Latinos, African-Americans and disabled veterans of war.
Since the government will only provide a grant with the expectation that it will help to stimulate the economy—whether local or national—then it only makes sense that small, rural areas that need help with such stimulation would be the target of location-based federal grants. Business owners who operate in locations where the economy is very slow or non-existent can apply for a grant; the business then becomes federally-sponsored and essentially boosts the local economy in that region. In some cases, the federal government will target certain areas for such grants; business owners can actually relocate in order to receive the funds necessary to start their business ventures.
Agriculture and Farming
A lot of emphasis has been placed on the agricultural industry over the last several years, and this is because food production is incredibly important to the entire country’s economy. Due to this, there are numerous grants available to individuals who want to start or expand their farming and agricultural operations. Similarly, there are grants out there designed to protect farmers in the event of unforeseen weather events or other things that may cause crop damage. If the business owner grows food that will be shipped overseas, then he or she may qualify for another type of grant that is aimed toward businesses specializing in overseas exports.
Businesses that ship their products overseas can also qualify for some impressive federal grants. The government sets this grant money aside in order to cut down on trade deficit and ensure that more of the American money stays within the country. Without foreign export, the economy of the entire nation would surely falter. By providing small business grants, the government ensures that small businesses have the means and the ability to export their goods. All in all, in this case, the grants serve as an incentive to deal in international trade.
Federal projects are essentially activities that the federal government cannot perform on its own, and this means that it will hire outside companies or contractors to complete them. This covers a wide range of industries including construction, healthcare, teaching, security and more. The grants that are provided in this category seek to help individuals start small businesses or expand them when necessary to comply with the needs of the government.
Business owners who are interested in grants to expand their businesses will be glad to find that there are plenty of options available to them in a wide range of categories. Whether the business is agricultural in nature, is located in an area that is devoid of economic activity, or is simply working to provide equal opportunity employment to many different groups, these grants represent fantastic opportunities to become successful and boost the nation’s economy.