December 6, 2022

By Rosalie Murphy

How do you get a grant for your business? Know where to look, and be prepared to apply.

This article is reprinted by permission from NerdWallet.

Business grants may seem like the holy grail for small-business owners, since they offer cash you don’t have to pay back.

But finding one can feel as futile as searching for lost treasure.

“Everybody wants to know: How do I get free money for my business?” says Jenn Steinfeld, director of entrepreneurship and economic development at the National League of Cities, an organization that supports local government officials nationwide. “And the answer that I have is: It’s just not that easy.”

That doesn’t mean small-business grants aren’t worth pursuing — as long as you manage your expectations. Here are five tips to remember as you search.

1. Prepare in advance

Grant competition application windows can be short. Prepare in advance so you’re ready to take advantage of good opportunities.

Salt Lake City-based Niche Snowboards has been in business since 2009, but the company leaders had never applied for a grant before they learned about the FedEx (FDX) Small Business Grant Contest just four days before the application deadline. But they’d already invested time and resources in a strong mission statement and marketing assets like photos and videos — which helped them pull everything together in time.

“We had all the building blocks there,” says Ana Van Pelt, creative…

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