Several businesses have benefited by applying for and receiving grants from the Department of commerce of their states. These grants are designed to help various small businesses operate and develop within that particular state. Small businesses needing information about the grants from the department of commerce can contact the local area development managers, local development organizations, regional planning commissions or the small business information centers for more detailed information.
Profile of Eligible Candidates to Apply For the Grants:
U.S. based, for-profit businesses are eligible. Individuals or groups of individuals can apply for the grants even before the creation of a company but established businesses have a better chance of getting a grant, as they will have time to focus on the project rather than on creating the company. It must be at least 51% owned by American citizens.
The business must be a small business and can qualify for the grant only if it conforms to the definition of a small business of the U.S. Small Business Administration.
They must use technology and innovations regularly in their operations.
It will be an additional qualification, if an experienced and committed individual, who will ensure the success of the project, heads the company. They will have to have the experience in researching and writing proposals as well as be knowledgeable about using emails and the Internet.
They must present the proposals on how to carry out the project and who will help them such as university faculty who may guide them.
The Small Business Innovation Research program offered by the various state departments of commerce, is very helpful and an excellent opportunity for small businesses to avail non-repayable grants. Businesses can apply and compete to make use of up to 1 million dollars given annually as grants. The department offers free counseling for any individual or groups wanting to explore the possibilities of getting a grant. Various businesses compete annually to get these grants and only 1 out of 10 get these grants, as competition is tough.
Small Business Technology Transfer program is another very important grant available to small technology companies. This grant was designed to allow small businesses to collaborate with non-profit research institutions to bring innovative technologies to the market.
It is necessary for individuals to have a good plan ready and they can seek professional help in planning how they will accomplish the project. The researcher must be well qualified, have adequate research and development experience and have good project management experience. These are just some of the small business grants from the department of commerce. Other grants such as The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG-ED) Economic Development Program, The Customized Labor Training (CLT) Fund, the Entrepreneurial Training Program (ETP), The Recycling Demonstration Grant Program etc are also provided by the department of commerce in the state of Wisconsin.
There are firms that offer services as well as products to help run a successful business.