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Beware of Free Grant Claims

The National Grants Coference is coming to Omaha for two conferences this week and next. The basic premise to NDC is that they bring people into to the conference to sell them a program or book on how to actually FIND the grants that are out there and available to small businesses, home owners etc.  The amount of the program is about $900 to $1000.  

What you should know about investing in this service is that federal grant information is public information and that there are free resources that will help sort through the process.  The SBDC’s are one such resource.  The SBDC’s in Iowa and in Nebraska have been helping businesses for over 25 years.  Each regional SBDC office is very familiar with local and federal financing options and will readily explore new options that come available so that we can better serve our clients.

The harsh reality about federal “free money” is that it is very, very rare for private businesses to be eligible.  Usually, local, non-profit organizations are eligible for federal grants.  These entities apply for funding and then in turn may provide programs on a local level for businesses and business start ups.  The SBDC’s keep track of these programs and help clients utilize them to their full potential.  These programs may include grants, but most likely include incentives, loans, and other forms of help.  Before you invest any kind of $$’s into finding “free money” investigate the company thoroughly.  Visit the Better Business Bureau and make use of our friend Google.  Last but not least, Here is an older, but active blog post regarding NDC from the  Del Mar College Small Business Development Center Blog.

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