Applying for Grants Overview:

Grants in any state have a very specific objective to support. The grant-giving organization needs to know that its spent dollars are going to support this objective, which means that grants typically have a significant amount of reporting responsibilities attached to them.

When you apply for a grant, you need to be sure that your objectives align and that you can show a potential pathway to success. You also need to be sure that your financial objectives are already clear and well-documented.

There are differences between seeking grants for non-profit organizations and for for-profit businesses. There are more grants available for causes, but that doesn’t mean that for-profit businesses don’t have grant opportunities. Grants can be awarded to start-ups or existing businesses provided they follow the protocol of the issuing organization.  

Before you start, it would be helpful to write a summary of what you want to accomplish, the amount and types of support you need, what you (and your team) bring to the project, and potential partners in the community.

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What do grants typically cover in a small business?

Grants typically cover capital expenditures such as plant and equipment or bricks and mortar.  They are not normally used for operating expenses, although there are occasional matching grants that support new hires. 

Where are these grants?

This changes all the time. You can do some initial research by using Google and asking for ‘business grants in Connecticut’. By getting even more specific in your Google search, you can narrow the results further. Such as “business grants in ct for women”.

The results will be bountiful. You’ll need to sort through them, note what has potential, and then begin a research and follow-up process. (Note that there are services that say they will compile opportunities for you. You will still have to do your homework to find a match.)

Here are a few examples:

The Department of Economic Development (DECD), a CT State Agency, has a wealth of information on current grants:

Connecticut Innovations, focus on grants for businesses with high potential.

Depending on what you are doing, you can also Google "foundations for grant funding”.  These results will show Foundations that have funds to offer to reach their very specific objectives.

Next, compile a list of prospects and refine your list to potential funders. Finding a way to organize all this data will be important to your success. When ready, begin the application process.

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