Owning a business, especially a small business, has the potential to be a wonderful experience. Likewise, owning a business can be stressful and a source of great frustration. Seeking funds to operate and expand a business can also produce the same mixed feelings. Businesses looking to expand their operations have two main sources of funding to consider: bank loans or business expansion grants. Bank loans, unlike business expansion grants, have to be repaid. Business expansion grants do not have to be repaid as long as the business complies with the requirements of the funder.

A number of business expansion grants are currently being administered by each state to assist in job creation with the hopes of boosting our present economic downfall. For example, in 2009 the Ohio Department of Development approved more than $3.25 million in business expansion grants to assist local businesses in growing and expanding. Local businesses were allocated business expansion grants from these funds to assist in covering the costs associated with expanding their businesses and creating additional jobs. For more information visit: techcolumbus.org.

Secondly, local municipalities across the United States are developing business expansion grant opportunities in an effort to revitalize their communities. As another example in Ohio demonstrates, in March of 2011 the Charter One Foundation partnered with the Ohio City Near West neighborhood and awarded $40,000 to seven businesses seeking to expand their operations in their neighborhood. For more information visit: cleveland.com.

Thirdly, private foundations that are deeply rooted in their communities may also have a vested interest in providing business expansion grants. For example in July of 2011 in Arkansas, the Walton Family Foundation provided a $95,000 business expansion grant to the Delta Bridge Project for the implementation of a business expansion and business retention program in conjunction with the Phillips Chamber of Commerce.

If you plan on attempting to obtain a business expansion grant you should contact your local Chamber of Commerce, your local government department, and your state Department of Development to see what opportunities are available in your area. Additionally, of great importance in applying for any business expansion grant is the development and utilization of a strong business plan that includes a sound and rational project budget.

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Our membership fee also comes with a GUARANTEE which states: If you apply for funding using one of the applications you find on our website and you don’t receive funding, your membership fees will be refunded to you immediately. All you have to do is provide us with the name of the funding opportunity you applied for and a copy of the rejection letter you received from the funder.