Every once in awhile, you start a small business with little or no capital. Suddenly you find yourself in a position of needing money, yet you’re not sure you could ever pay back a loan.

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There are business grants offered by many entities that might be able to help you through a tough period. Some are totally free, whereas others might have regulations tied to them that you have to meet in order to not have to pay it back.

There are state grants that you can apply for that you don’t have to worry about paying back. Many state grants have attached to them riders such as needing to employ so many people within a certain amount of time, or having to establish a business within a certain area of the state. You will need a product and business plan; you’ll never get a business grant for services except in certain circumstances.

Those circumstances are if you’re a woman or minority owned business. There are more grants for you if you fit within these categories, but there are also more hoops you have to go through to first get the certification, then the grants. Many of the questions might seem invasive, such as a listing of all your jewelry and furniture and its worth, but if you can get beyond that you could find yourself eligible for all sorts of grant money.

There are also grants given to small businesses in certain fields on a yearly basis. Grants of this sort include general business grants, grants for technology, and almost anything related to being “green” will qualify. Also, grants that will create jobs will often qualify.

It’s important to put together a great business plan before going for a grant. Be ready to answer questions about fiscal viability and to have your business knowledge. After all, this will be free money; no one gives it away without a good reason.

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