5 Grant Application Tips for Cash-Strapped Businesses

Despite a booming economy, many businesses are facing tight budgets. Even the most successful of companies are having a difficult time boosting their bottom lines: it’s more expensive to borrow, provincial governments are slapping the private sector with additional costs, and it seems like every enterprise is competing – directly or indirectly – with Amazon.

Simply put: private firms are opening their pockets and wondering what’s next.

For cash-strapped businesses, particularly of the smaller persuasion, there could be a lucrative solution: seeking out grants sponsored by governments, academia, non-profit organizations, or even corporations. Grants for small businesses can provide that funding stream you’ve desperately craved.

Of course, in an environment where every business is looking for some reprieve, the competition is fierce. However, with the right know-how and a little bit of luck, you can succeed.

Here are five grant tips for cash-strapped small businesses:

1. Can Your Business Contribute to the Economy?

Sure, your startup, small business, or idea can fill your bank account, wallets, and corporate budgets. But can your startup, small business, or idea contribute to the economy?

It is true that your profits will help expand the economy, but it is also important to highlight about your corporate endeavour can help create jobs, create new opportunities, and serve a greater portion of the population.

In other words, you may need to portray your company as a sort of non-profit entity.

2. Find Grant Alternatives Across Canada

Tax credits. Guaranteed Loans. Subsidies.

Although grants are ubiquitous, there are so many alternatives to grants across Canada. You just need to know where to look. Whether it is scouring through online government resources or searching endless through search engines to find a new source of funding, you may need to look beyond the traditional term of grants.

3. Submit Applications All Over the Place

Congratulations! You have found one grant source to add some funds to your business. You are reading the guidelines, submitting an application, and putting all your eggs in one basket.

Bad idea!

Rather than twiddling your thumbs and waiting to hear back from the bureaucrats or academics, it would be wise to submit applications all over the place. If you have found several sources, then you need to consider them as well.

What if you get rejected by one or more? You need to think of the possibilities.

4. Tap into Politician-Loving Industries

Let’s face it: when you’re relying on public funds to get ahead, you need to think like a politician. What are some of the pet projects for elected officials today? Green energy, infrastructure, technology. Does your business focus on any of these industries?

If not, then it’s about time that you start doing so.

Again, let’s be honest: if your company is concentrating on fossil fuels, or fashion design, or a fine dining, then you likely will not receive any grant funding from the government or academia.

5. Read & Abide by All Application Instructions

It is remarkably common for us to make mistakes in grant applications. Everything from failing to correctly read the instructions outlined to making plenty of typos in the application itself, many startups, entrepreneurs, and small businesses see their proposals rejected because they did not include a certain document, or they filled in the wrong information.

These instances should heed caution: read and abide by all application instructions and guidelines. Otherwise, you will not get the money you want to expand your company.

Small business grants are a tough business. Because of the immense desire among the Canadian population to start an enterprise, you’re beginning to see a significant uptick in the number of applications for grants, and other funding mechanisms, in the public and private sectors.

Not everyone will be given a grant. There is a myriad of factors the bureaucrats need to consider: contributions to the economy, the industry you specialize in, the business plan, and even the proposal you submitted.

That said, there is no harm in trying. If you don’t try, then how will you succeed?

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