Viewer question: Can I Get a Government Grant for My Small Business?

Photo (cc) by Tambako the Jaguar

Here’s a question I got yesterday: maybe it’s something you’ve wondered about as well…

Hi, I have a question. My name is Bonnie. My husband and I own a small business that we have put all of our savings into and now that the economy has gone south we are having a hard time. So I applied for a small business grant. I received a phone call 10/26/10 from a Mr. (redacted) from the web site (redacted) telling me we can apply for a fifty thousand dollar grant. If we give them $398.00 they will file the paper work and in 5 days we will know and it’s a money back guarantee. I would like to know if this is an upstanding web site. This is the second place to call me – the 1st one said I needed to give them twenty five hundred up front and three thousand at the end when we received the grant money and it sounded funny, so I declined the first call. Thank you for your time.

I get a lot of these types of questions: ones about the integrity of a specific business. Normally, they’re hard to answer, because other than the same techniques available to all – checking with the Better Business Bureau or sites like The Ripoff Report, there’s really no way for me to know whether a specific business or website is “upstanding.”

In this case, however, no problem. This website is BS. How do I know? Well, first, let’s have a look at some of what this site is promising to Bonnie and people like her: here’s a cut-and-paste.

Q: How much money is available?
A: The government gives out $400 billion in grants annually. You decide how much money you need, as long as it meets the government agencies criteria, the money is yours to keep and never has to be repaid! This money is non taxable & interest free. Individual grant amounts vary greatly, but are typically between $5,000 and $25,000. Please remember that other type of financial aid sometimes come in the form of low interest loans, loan’s collateral or guarantees which are not grants.
Q: Do I have to pay the money back?
A: Grant money is not a loan. Trying to get money through a conventional bank can be very time consuming and requires a lot of paperwork, only to find out you have been denied. These government agencies do not have to operate under the same stringent requirements that banks do.
Q: This sounds too good to be true…
A: The referral companies’ evaluating your file deal with the same government-backed institutions as George W. Bush did before he became President. In fact, he received $200,000,000 dollars to build his team a new baseball stadium, turning a $600,000 investment into $15,000,000.
Q: How does this work?
A: You submit a quick, two minute initial application over the web. Your information will be carefully reviewed by a government grants advisor from an independent company. Your grants advisor has access to a computerized database of over 1,499 different grants programs. If your advisor identifies one or more programs for you, he or she will call you to advise you and to let you know what the next steps are.
Q: Is there a fee involved?
A: The initial evaluation of your information is done without cost by an approved grants advisor. If your grants advisor finds one or more grants programs that match your profile, you will be contacted and explained the remaining steps. Your advisor will also explain the program fee that is due. It’s important to act quickly as many programs have changing criteria and expiration dates.
Q: Am I guaranteed to receive a grant?
A: No. This decision is made only by the government agency you are applying to. However, the grants specialist we will assign to work with you will maximize your chances by making sure you are applying correctly and to the right program. If for any reason you do not meet the qualifications for a particular program your grants specialist can help you find a different one to apply under.

Rather than subjecting you to a detailed list of the many things amiss in this drivel, I’ll let Uncle Sam himself deal the deathblow. Here’s a cut-and-paste from this page of Business.gov, which bills itself as the “official business link to the U.S. Government.”

Contrary to what you might see online or in the media, the federal government does not offer grants or “free money” to individuals to start a business, or cover personal expenses.

Moreover, it states:

If you received information stating you qualify for a “free grant,” it is probably a scam. Get information from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to help you learn to recognize and avoid grant scams. If you have been a victim of a grant scam, you can file a complaint with the FTC.

In short, there’s virtually no such thing as free money in the form of a government grant for a for-profit business. Anyone promising one in exchange for a fee is a liar and a thief.

I’ve said it in many posts before, but I’ll say it again: there’s a special place in hell reserved for people who steal money from those who can least afford to lose it. Your job is to prevent them from getting rich while they wait for their slot to open.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
Have You Heard of This Best Place to Retire in 2020?
Have You Heard of This Best Place to Retire in 2020?

The best place to retire in America is one you likely are not familiar with.

6 Types of People Who Can’t Count on Social Security
6 Types of People Who Can’t Count on Social Security

If you fall into one of these groups, don’t assume that you will receive benefits.

5 Ways Your Phone Can Slash Grocery Costs
5 Ways Your Phone Can Slash Grocery Costs

These free apps and websites can help you get cash back on groceries, shop more efficiently or squeeze the most from the ingredients you have on hand.

12 Products to Keep Your Car Clean and Organized
12 Products to Keep Your Car Clean and Organized

These items will help put your vehicular mess to rest — and each is available for less than $20 on Amazon.

7 Steps to Keep Your Car Looking Like New
7 Steps to Keep Your Car Looking Like New

Take a few steps to preserve the beauty of your car, and you stand to get a lot more money at trade-in time.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

How to Buy Gas At Costco Without a Membership
How to Buy Gas At Costco Without a Membership

The warehouse club often has some of the cheapest gas in town. Here’s how you can get it as a nonmember.

10 Things to Stop Buying If You Want a Clutter-Free Home
10 Things to Stop Buying If You Want a Clutter-Free Home

If you like to keep things simple, avoid these purchases.

A Simple Way to Silence Robocalls Today
A Simple Way to Silence Robocalls Today

A few steps can keep your phone from ringing when a spammer calls.

If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It

This iconic dinnerware is prized for everyday use as well as reselling for profit.

This Company Makes the Best Tires in America
This Company Makes the Best Tires in America

Driver satisfaction with tires is at an all-time high, but one brand stands out.

This Health Issue Can Hint at Dementia Years in Advance
This Health Issue Can Hint at Dementia Years in Advance

One type of pain is especially associated with cognitive decline.

Can I Switch to Spousal Social Security Benefits When My Ex Dies?
Can I Switch to Spousal Social Security Benefits When My Ex Dies?

Knowing when to claim can help you maximize benefits.

Medicare Will Not Cover These 6 Medical Costs
Medicare Will Not Cover These 6 Medical Costs

Don’t let these health care expenses catch you off guard in retirement.

Beware This Hidden Ingredient in Rotisserie Chicken
Beware This Hidden Ingredient in Rotisserie Chicken

Something foul may lurk in those delicious, ready-to-eat birds.

8 Things You Should Always Buy on Amazon
8 Things You Should Always Buy on Amazon

The giant retailer shines when it comes to these things, from basics to hard-to-find specialty goods.

5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free
5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free

Hesitant to drop $119 a year on an Amazon Prime membership? Here’s how to get it for free.

5 Ways to Fill Your Pantry With Free Food
5 Ways to Fill Your Pantry With Free Food

Anyone can take advantage of these resources.

Never Buy These 10 Things on Amazon
Never Buy These 10 Things on Amazon

Just because you can purchase something on Amazon doesn’t mean that you should.

7 Big Purchases You Should Never Make
7 Big Purchases You Should Never Make

Sometimes a big-ticket purchase is nothing more than a big waste of money.

5 States With the Worst Health Care for Retirees
5 States With the Worst Health Care for Retirees

All of these states are located in the same region of the nation.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

5 Products You Should Never Buy Generic
5 Products You Should Never Buy Generic

Sometimes the brand-name version is clearly superior.

6 Reasons You Should Stop Hiding Cash at Home
6 Reasons You Should Stop Hiding Cash at Home

Stashing money around the house is anything but harmless.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.