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How to Obtain Grant Funding

“What kinds of grants are available to start my business?” That’s a commonly asked question the Albany-Colonie Regional Chamber hears from entrepreneurs eager to start down the road to business ownership. But the truth is, opportunities for grant money for starting a business are not as common as you might think. This is true even if you are a minority, woman or veteran.

A grant is a direct financial contribution made without requirement of repayment but is tied to specific expectations and outcomes. For example, you may obtain grants or subsidies if you set up your company in a depressed area such as an inner city that may not be attractive for most businesses. Also, if your business is targeted to a specific industry such as transportation, health care, alternative fuels, community and regional development or job training, there may be funds available to help your firm.

It is important for you, as the entrepreneur, to understand what types of businesses, the locations desired for business and the type of workforce the government wants to support, in order to obtain grant funding.

The U.S. Small Business Administration provides an excellent resource on money available through the federal government. More information on federal assistance. Please note that you do not have to pay another organization to obtain information on government programs.

You may be more successful obtaining a business loan. Through SBA, numerous loan programs are available to assist small businesses. While SBA does not offer loans to small business, it is primarily a guarantor of loans made by private and other institutions. More information on SBA loans or contact Kevin Catalano at the Albany-Colonie Regional Chamber at (518) 431-1423.

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