Starting a restaurant or cafe is an expensive venture, which is why many people never realize their dream. If you want to build your own business in the food industry, but lack the capital, you should consider applying for a government small business grant. These grants are essentially free money to start your business... unlike loans there is no interest and you don't have to pay them back. Getting Started The first thing you should do when applying for a government small business grant is determine your budget. How much do you need in order to start your restaurant? This will help decide which grants to apply for and will also determine how many you need. You may have some of the money already, but it can't hurt to apply for more grants than you really need, since competition can be stiff and you aren't guaranteed to get any of them. Next, you'll need to find a good source of government grant listings. There are over 2,000 grants in general available in the US, so you wa nt to find a website that lists them all so you can be sure to check out all of your options. There are a number of specialized grants and while you may wish to apply for the more general ones, as well, these can be your best bet. Often they are for slightly less money, but it is easier to get them, so it's a good tradeoff. Look for a government small business grant that will give you everything you need. For example, you might find one that is geared toward the food industry or even toward your particular type of restaurant or cafe. These will have less competition, so they are good ones to go for. However, don't rule out those that are merely for small business in general. If you are a woman, single parent or minority, these may also be qualifications that you can use to narrow your search. Applying for the Government Small Business Grant In order to get that grant money, you'll need to apply. Most grant applications are fairly detailed because they want to know exactly wh at you will be using the money for and why. Be prepared to offer up a business plan, a budget and any other information that is required. You'll need to give them your reasons for requesting the grant money and be sure to get very detailed. The more details you give, the easier it will be for the powers that be to choose you over the next person who skipped a few too many numbers in his or her application. If yours looks better, you'll be moved to the top of the list. It can be time consuming to fill out a government grant application, particularly if you aren't certain how to go about it. However, if you have a good tutorial (often found on sites where you find extensive listings of government grants) on how to fill everything out and what is expected, it shouldn't be too difficult. For those who really don't have the time, there are grant writers available who have the experience necessary to turn out timely and professional applications that will catch the eyes of those m aking the decisions. Getting a government grant isn't just a matter of luck. You can greatly improve your odds by providing top quality information, filling out the application correctly and, of course, being sure to select a government small business grant which has as little competition as possible. Do that and you have a very good chance of getting the money to make your restaurant dream a reality at long last.
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