SMALL BUSINESS GRANTS

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SMALL BUSINESS GRANTS

In today’s economy, it might seem a little risky to start your own small business. If you are like most entrepreneurs and small business owners, however, you are not going to let risk stop you from fulfilling your dreams and ambitions. Besides, the truth is that there are resources out there that are designed to help people like you. Small business grants are offered every year to people just like you who have goals and a plan and who are only missing the access to cash. Cash flow is a key factor in any business’s operation. Without access to a line of credit, you cannot purchase equipment and pay labor. This is why the government offers affordable services and funding to help small business owners.

How to Apply for Small Business Grants
If you are ready to go through the process of getting small business grants, your first step should be to get your business registered officially. This is a relatively simply process. You will need to have all of your financial statements in order. You may also need to have a financial accountant organize papers regarding workforce and investments if you have reached this point in growth. Once you have received confirmation that your business has been registered, it’s a good idea to begin exploring the opportunities.

You will find that green initiatives are among the most popular. There also is much funding for business owners who would to build in communities that are week. Strong small businesses help challenged communities to recover.

Note that Small business loans and small business grants may be awarded to companies that meet the size standards that the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has established for most industries in the economy. The most common size standards are as follows:
* 500 employees for most manufacturing and mining industries
* 100 employees for all wholesale trade industries
* $6 million for most retail and service industries
* $28.5 million for most general & heavy construction industries
* $12 million for all special trade contractors
* $0.75 million for most agricultural industries

Here is a listing that can help one to get started with his/her business

Research Grants for Small Businesses. This page contains a listing of agencies that give research grants as part of the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Program.

Grants.gov . Through the Grants.gov website, you can search for and obtain updated listings of federal grant opportunities. You can do keyword searches, or you can search by a wide range of grant categories including business and commerce.

Government Agency Websites. Although most agencies and their divisions/departments announce their grant opportunities through grants.gov, you can sometimes also find these announcements on individual agency/division websites.

Business.gov. This website has an easy checklist tool that can help you search for business grants (as well as loans and other types of financing). Basically, you check off what you are looking for and the site returns a listing of possible grant and other sources of financing.

State Agencies. It is worth checking your own state’s website to see if there are any business grants or other types of financing available to small businesses. These might include, for example, grants for programs and activities related to tourism, daycare, energy, and exporting.

Disadvantages of a Small Business Complying with Government Regulations
Overall, small businesses suffer greater losses from complying with government regulations than large companies. Small businesses usually do not have an adequate amount of staff to keep up with rapidly changing laws, but the government does try to mitigate the lopsided effects that regulations tend to have on small companies.

Disadvantages
Small businesses pay $2,830 more, per employee, than larger firms to comply with government regulations, according to a September 2010 report by the Office of Advocacy of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). This amounts to a 36 percent difference, and in the eyes of Winslow Sargeant, SBA Chief Counsel for Advocacy, an injustice to America’s small business.

Why Regulations Hit Small Businesses Hard
Government regulations often hurt small business disproportionately because many carry a fixed cost. For instance, if all companies pay $1,000 to comply with a certain regulation, the costs per employee for a firm with 10 people are much higher than an organization with 1,000 people.

Effects
The larger percentage of costs burdened on small businesses hinders their growth. In the industrial-cleaning sector–comprised mostly of small firms–83 percent of these companies claim that government regulations prevent them from expanding their operations.

Prevention/Solution
Legislators often exempt extremely small businesses from having to comply with government regulations. This, however, may have the unintended effect of discouraging very small businesses from hiring more workers in order to skirt regulation. One of the biggest burdens on small businesses are health regulations. In 1996, Congress passed the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA) in response to concerns about the impact of the costs of regulation on small business. This bill reduces the fees for violations of government regulations and makes information more accessible to small businesses.

Tip
If you own a small business, do not ignore government regulations. You may get hit with fees or regulators might temporarily close the business. You can also voice your concerns over government regulations.