>There are many different ways to finance a small business: bank loans, savings, or capital investment from other third parties. Most entrepreneurs need money to get their business off the ground, for buying equipment, renting office space, and pretty much everything. Once the business is up and running, you may need further funds to develop new products or branch out into the wider market. So in order to build your business, you are going to need money, but unless you have very deep pockets, it is a good idea to investigate what government grants are available.
What Is A Government Grant?
Government grants are funds made available to businesses for a multitude of purposes. This type of money from the public purse is normally designed to help small businesses prosper and grow and can be used for all kinds of purposes. A government grant does not normally need to be repaid, although you may be expected to provide evidence to show that the money was spent legitimately as opposed to being used to pay for a holiday in the Seychelles.
Applying For A Government Grant
There are several thousand grants available to small businesses at any given time and not all have the same funding criteria. In most cases, you will have to fulfill specific criteria in order to qualify for the grant, so you should do your research and read the application information thoroughly to ensure you are not wasting your valuable time filling in a lengthy application for a grant your business is not eligible for. If in doubt about which grants your business is eligible for, it is worth taking advice from an organization such as Business Link, or even paying a consultant to guide you through the entire process if there is a large sum of money at stake.
Do You Really Need The Money?
No organization is going to hand over cash without seeing proof that your business is likely to benefit from an injection of funds. The grant application process will probably require supporting documentation. You may also need to include a business plan to illustrate how you intend on using the extra money, so if you do not already have one, start working on it now.
How Difficult Is It To Secure A Government Grant?
It is not easy to obtain government grants, but nor is it impossible. Depending on the amount of the grant, it may take from a few days up to several months to go through the application process. Competition for some grants can be quite fierce, so be prepared to jump through hoops if necessary. However, once you have been awarded one government grant, it is much easier to apply for further grants because you are familiar with the application process and are likely to have gained valuable contacts inside the funding organization.
What Happens If I Don’t Use The Funds Properly?
Grants can always be revoked and if you fail to use the funds awarded legitimately, it is possible that you will be forced to pay back the money, so be prepared to demonstrate the money was used as intended.