Applying for provincial grant funding can easily become a tumultuous process for small business owners. However, applying for small business grants can be highly beneficial to your BC venture and is definitely worth the effort. In the province of British Columbia, small business entrepreneurs can access and apply for any number of grants made available by the government and private benefactors each year.
BC businesses can apply for these sources of free money for various development and operating costs. Some of these include:
- Subsidized pay for employees
- Employee training costs
- Start-up and expansion costs
- Equipment, supplies, and tools
Small business grants are unique in nature and each one has different criteria for businesses to meet. Because of this, every application should be considered individually with due diligence and care. There are ways to make the application process less bumpy and potentially increase your chances of success, regardless of the grant you’re applying for.
In this article, we’re sharing our insight as expert online bookkeepers on how small businesses and entrepreneurs can make the grant application process in British Columbia more effective and manageable.
Know Where to Find Available Small Business Grant Funds
Finding small business grants that meet your needs, are open to new applicants, and are willing to consider your small business as a beneficiary isn’t easy. However, there is a considerable amount of money available to small businesses in the form of grant funds if you know where to look.
Some grants are easy to find, such as ones listed on the BC Provincial website. Others, including many private or municipality-based grants, require a bit more leg work to access them.
Searching online, calling local city halls, contacting charitable organizations, are all super ideas when sourcing relevant grant fund opportunities. Using paid grant-finding services may be a worthwhile investment, however, be sure you understand the terms and conditions of those services very well.
What will the money be used for?
Additionally, knowing what you need money for before sourcing small business grants is crucial to find the right fund to support your endeavour.
Will the money be used to further eco-friendly initiatives?
Will purchasing new materials and equipment be the focus of how you’ll spend incoming grant funds?
Or, is hiring and training new talent an area where you’d like to improve your company?
The plan on how to use grant monies will greatly impact which funds a business can apply for.
Prepare a Bulletproof Business Plan
While no two grant applications are the same, there are certain financial documents you’ll need when applying for the majority of small business grants in BC, and a rock-solid business plan is one of them. Having this key document and associated information ready to go before starting a grant application is a smart choice. It will help the process move more quickly and prevent errors from occurring.
A thorough business plan is beneficial for most provincial and federal grant applications, including the following:
- Jobs and Growth Fund in Western Canada
- BC Arts Council: Book Publishers – Operating
- Canadian International Innovation Program
Other benefits entrepreneurs will likely experience when creating a thorough business plan include:
- Understand the financial status of the business
- Identify opportunities to improve payroll management
- Explore ways to save time and money.
Take the Grant Funding Application Process Seriously
Securing grant funding for your business can easily mimic the thrill of winning the lottery. However, how these equally treasured windfalls are won couldn’t be more different. While jackpot winners are selected at random, securing grant funding for a business requires research and preparation.
Know the Small Business Grants You’re Applying For
Just as individual businesses are as unique as the entrepreneurs that run them, so too are public and private grants. Most grants have a targeted type of recipient in mind, so be sure your endeavour meets the grant’s unique eligibility requirements. Before spending valuable time filling out a grant application, make sure it’s one that’s suitable to you and your business goals.
Take Your Time
With dozens of provincially funded small business grants up for grabs in British Columbia, it can be tempting to rush through as many applications as possible and then hope for the best. This approach is unlikely to yield favourable outcomes, however. While it can be time-consuming and redundant, to secure the best results, fill out every application as if it’s the only one you’re seeking.
Consider Professional Help
If the thought of grant applications is too overwhelming, consider seeking technical assistance from professionals with experience and expertise in grant applications. Our office can help with several different grant applications or, we can help guide you through the process.
BC Small Business Grants: An Opportunity for Growth
How entrepreneurs finance small business ventures varies greatly. Personal finance resources, small business loans, and privately sourced investments are common avenues proprietors explore to fund a business. However, each of those financing options introduces risk at levels that may be unfeasible for the company.
By securing public and private small business grants, business owners can fund and grow their businesses with less risk than taking out a loan. For more information on how to apply for provincial, local, or federal grants for your small business, or to learn more about our bookkeeping services, reach out to us at Source Online Bookkeeping.