Once upon a time there was a boy named Jack. Jack ran a small business with his mother selling milk from their cow. However, they weren’t reaping enough profits. They could barely make enough to meet their daily needs. After a while, the business collapsed because their cash cow dried up. Jack and his mother decided to cut their losses and sell their business. On the way to the market, Jack met a man who offered him “the answer to all his problems” in exchange for his cow. Jack thought it over and decided that magical beans were the way to go. These beans are what I like to call “myths”. This is information we hear through the grapevine that has no real backing. I have heard several times that when you start a small business you can apply for a grant from the Small Business Administration/SBA or other funding organizations to cover the cost. I did some research over the past few days and discovered that this information is simply incorrect. The SBA does not offer “free money” for people looking to start a new business. The grants that are available are for specific groups, activities or organizations. On the other hand, they do offer guidance on how to start a business. They offer information on writing a business plan and training on how to start a business. However, there is a tiny ray of hope for those hoping to receive a grant. If you are dead set on a grant you can look into what your state offers. You can check with the local economic development agency. I’ve posted a link below that contains the websites for the local economic development agency in each state. I’ve also posted a link that lists the different federal grants that are offered in the event you wanted to check for yourself. To go back to Jack, I can tell you that after several phone calls and online searches I’ve learned that you should be leery of sites offering you access to federal grants for you to start your small business. Some of these sites even ask you for money in exchange for a list of grants you can use. Don’t let them scam you. In the end, Jack made it up the beanstalk only to find a Giant that chased him back to where he started and he frantically tried to cut his ties with his investment (magic beans) by chopping the tree down.
Federal Grants – http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/home.html
Local Economic Development Agencies http://www.sba.gov/content/economic-development-agencies