Thursday, May 13, 2010

Is a Federal Grant Right for Your Business?

Sometimes I get tired of feeling like the lone voice in the wilderness, probing patrons with nosy questions about their chances of realistically getting a government grant. Now the Idaho Department of Commerce is keeping me company. They have come out with a great web page, "Is a Federal Grant Right for You," written for for-profit businesses that are contemplating going for a federal grant. It asks--and answers questions about federal business grants with clarity and rigor.

They point out that many federal business grants are for innovative research ideas that need money to be taken to the next level, rather than things already developed, and that they should solve an important problem that the government has an interest in solving. Furthermore, they stress that such grants are highly competitive, and take place over a fairly long time. If you need quick cash, you should seek another source. Finally, they list Idaho state government resources that can help you develop your idea. But if you are an innovative business in another state, you should seek out the agency in your state that helps develop business opportunities. But the page itself is a great reality check for businesses anywhere in the U.S. that think they are candidates for a federal grant.

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