Welcome to Ask An Expert Businesss Series with Misty Lambrecht, the owner of Webfoot Marketing and Design. Over the years, as a business advisor and coach, I have frequently come across the misconception surrounding grants for starting a business. Many aspiring entrepreneurs often request information on grants, believing that the government has millions of dollars readily available to support local businesses. However, it is important to gain a clear understanding of what a grant actually is. A grant is a sum of money provided by
individuals, business organizations, government entities, or chambers of commerce,
with the primary goal of achieving specific objectives.
For instance, in Lincoln County, a grant was recently available to individuals aiming to
expand their childcare businesses. This grant utilized economic development funds to
address the shortage of daycare facilities in the county. By providing grants to
encourage the growth of daycare centers, the county aimed to meet the needs of
working families and childcare shortage. Similarly, during the COVID-19 pandemic,
various grants were offered to businesses. Some grants helped cover the costs of
installing plexiglass dividers in restaurant booths, while others assisted businesses in
providing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to their employees. These grants were
all designed to support specific goals.
It's crucial to understand that while there may be grants available for certain business
sectors or specific economic growth objectives, they are few and far between. Grants
targeted towards women-owned businesses, veteran-owned businesses, or businesses
owned by people of color may exist, but they are limited in number and highly focused.
For instance, there might be a small grant aimed at marketing a business in a particular
area, organized by a local chamber. However, it's important to realize that grants of
thousands or millions of dollars to start a business based solely on an idea or a
demographic of the owner are incredibly rare.
If you are planning to start a business and lack the necessary funds, I highly
recommend focusing on improving your personal credit and saving money. Building a
savings account, exploring partnerships with like-minded individuals who share similar
goals, and discussing potential investments with friends and family are viable options.
However, the chances of stumbling upon a stranger willing to provide millions of dollars
without repayment solely based on your business idea are extremely slim. Watch for next week's article on business loans.