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By Debbie Gregory.

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In addition to Federal small business grants, each state offers some good grant as well.   Please be mindful that state grants are a somewhat more specific and tend to provide less funding. The state grants generally require your company to match the dollar amount of the grant too. One of the major upsides to state grants is that less people apply for them, so there is a lot less competition to be awarded the grant.

 

Below are a few easy to find grants in your state as well as resources for loans in the event that grants will not work for you:

 

1.) Google Your State – The easiest way to find state grants is to simply open your browser and type in “[your state] small business grants” and see what comes up.

 

2.) Economic Development Administration (EDA) – You can also check your local Economic Development Administration (EDA) to learn about the small business services they offer. Most Economic Development Administrations offer help with grants, technical assistance and other resources to help small businesses grow.

 

3.) Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) – Your local Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) usually offer free business consulting and a variety of low-cost services such including:

  • 8(a) program support
  • Business plan development
  • Disaster recovery assistance
  • Exporting and importing support
  • Financial packaging and lending assistance
  • Healthcare guidance
  • Manufacturing assistance
  • Market research help
  • Procurement and contracting aid

 

4.) Government Business Loans – If you find that grants aren’t are not a viable option for your business or situation, you can always look at obtaining a loan for your financing needs. The Small Business Association (SBA) is well known for Veteran business loans. The two most popular are:

 

5.) Private Business Loans – Sometimes private loans, or peer-to-peer loans, are easier to obtain than Government loans. Below are two popular options specifically tailored for Veterans:

  • StreetShares– which is an online, peer-to-peer lending service that was started by veterans, for veterans. They offer small to medium sized loans with a range of interest rates and other options.
  • Hivers and Strivers– is an investment group that specifically invests in the early stage startups that are founded and run by graduates of U.S. Military Academies.

 

6.) Other sources to consider for funding:

  • Angel Investors
  • Borrow from Friends and Family
  • Crowdfunding
  • Private Investors
  • Venture Capital & Series Seed Funding

 

As you can see, there are several excellent options for Veteran Owned Small Businesses to find and obtain funding both in the form of grants you do not need to repay as well as loans that you do.

 

What if you need more assistance than simply funding? Our next article in this three part series will provide you some outstanding resources that you can utilize to nurture and grow your small business.  Stay tuned!

Business Grants for Veterans : Part 1 of 3

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By Debbie Gregory.

LinkedIN Debbie Gregory VAMBOA VAMBOA Facebook VAMBOA Twitter

 

Looking for a business grant? Are you a Veteran Owned Small Business? There are quite a few grants out there that are offered by a variety of institutions.   Grants are time sensitive and are open for a specific period and then they are no longer available.  It does not make sense to list grants in this article because by the time you read this article, they may no longer be available.  However, you certainly can find them!

 

This is a three part series on Business Grants for Veterans and Part 1 will detail a few good places to find grants and other financial assistance for your Veteran Owned Small Business. Please keep in mind that just because you don’t see a specific grant or site listed within this article, there are many other grants that you can locate by performing a comprehensive search with specific criteria that applies to you.  It may take some energy, research and time to locate the right grants and financing options but consider it a treasure hunt that will always be worth it to your Veteran Owned Business.

 

The best place to begin your search for grants is the Federal Government’s database for small business grants at.Grants.gov. You should check the site often as grant opportunities begin and end frequently. Once you have found a grant (or two) that will work for your needs, you need to determine your next steps.  Grants.gov provides a very clear and specific process for applying for grants.   Below are some specific areas that will assist you on their website:

  1. Learn about grants: Their learning page includes a brief instructional video to help guide you.
  2. Check eligibility: This page will help you determine whether or not your business is eligible to apply for a federal grant.
  3. Search grants: You can search for grants by keyword, opportunity number, as well as other criteria.
  4. Register: If you find a grant you would like to apply for you will need to register for an account.
  5. Apply for a grant: The apply page includes helpful videos on how to use the system to properly apply for your chosen grant.
  6. Track your application: This page gives you the ability to keep an eye on how your application is progressing.

 

If you are looking specifically for Research and Development (R&D) grants from the Federal Government, there are two other programs that you may wish to consider:

 

Even though Grants.gov is an outstanding resource to locate grants, the Federal Government is not the only place to look for grants for your Veteran Owned Small Business. Our next article in this series will cover specific state offered business grants that you should explore as well.   Stay tuned!

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