I talk to a lot of small business owners that could use some help with funding. Finding government grants for small businesses that fits your needs can be somewhat easy. However, securing government grants for small businesses can be a competitive and stressful endeavor. The competition for government grants for small businesses is steep but plenty of support is available for those business owners who know where to go. Follow these steps to find government grants for small businesses so you can secure the future of your budding business.

1. Begin by checking with your state government to see what government grants for small businesses are available. Go to your local government’s website or state office to inquire about government grants for small businesses.

2. Calculate your need. Estimate the funds you will need to begin your business and any overhead or possible emergencies that could come up within the first year; it is best to overestimate your need at first.

3. Obtain assistance from an accountant with the fiscal estimates for your business. This help will be especially useful if you are a first time grant candidate.

4.Find a lawyer or other professional familiar with the grant application process. Check federal agencies such as the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) for leads on Federal Grants. They are often small agencies but a good place to start.

5. Get a hold of the grant application and read over all aspects of the application very carefully. Check into any specialized grants such as minority grants, art endowments, research government grants for small businesses, etc. Become familiar with your grant officer and the office as they will be indispensable to helping secure your grant.

6. Prepare a very detailed and professional business plan to accompany your grant application. Have someone familiar with business plans go over your plan, preferably your grant officer or someone in the grant office.

There are some programs out there that can expedite the process and get you access to government grants for small businesses quicker. Here are some resources you may want to check out