Federal grants for small business may be given to companies that meet the required size of businesses as established by the Small Business Administration. The following are ways on how to determine the eligibility of a business.
• Business owners should determine the type of grant that they like to apply for. There are different size standards set by the SBA. These standard sizes will help determine the type of grant being applied for. The standard sizes are as follows:
o Mining and manufacturing companies with not more than 500 employees.
o Wholesale trade companies with not more than 100 employees.
o Most service and retail industries with income not exceeding six million dollars.
o Heavy construction companies with income not exceeding twenty eight million dollars.
o For all kinds of trade contractors with income not exceeding twelve million dollars.
o For majority of agricultural businesses with income not exceeding seventy five thousand dollars.
• For small business owners who plan to submit grant applications, they should have their business registered as soon as possible.
• The most common grant offered by the SBA is the 7(a) loan. It provides loans of up to two million dollars. It is the most flexible program under SBA. A small business owner can either go for express programs, export loans programs, special purpose loans program, and rural lender advantage program.
• During the application process, an applicant must see to it that the information provided in the form is accurate. Incomplete applications are the usual cause of delay or worse, rejection.
• Applicants must also know who their grant officer is. They have to be able to communicate with the officer regarding the constraints and drawbacks of the grant.
• Federal grants for small business are usually awarded to small business owners who have a well thought out business plan. This involves presenting how the government agency will benefit from lending funds to a small business.