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Gov't Grants

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by MikeLT1Z28, Sep 15, 2002.

  1. MikeLT1Z28

    MikeLT1Z28 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,732

    does anyone know how to go about applying for gov't grants for small business'? you know, like that screaming idoit matthew lesko pushes with his books? just don't want to spend the money for his book to find everything but lawncare and landscaping in it.
  2. The Mowerdude

    The Mowerdude LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 372

    I haven't bought his books, but I do know this much.

    Nothing in life is free. In order for the government to give you something, they need a good reason and some kind of assurance that you will help them with their problems as well.

    For example. I want to start a company that makes widgets. I apply to the government for a grant. They ask me if my factory workers can be elderly or disabled or can I make use of minorities with powerful representation and I can help get their lobby groups pacified. If I can help them with those problems, they will be more inclined to help me with a grant or forgivable loan. But if I'm trying to the same thing as every other widget co. they'll most likely tell me no. But that's the whole key. You'll have to figure out what the in vogue crisis for the government is at the time and then figure out how you can incorporate the solution for that crises into your business plan.

    I have a really good friend that's been in the lawn biz for about 3 years. He's having a hard time because he's started out on a shoe string budget like so many of us. He's a good lawn man, but the marketing end of things has been a pretty tough nut for him to crack and he does not have a lot of business savy. Recently he called me and wanted me to know if I could help him figure bids on several large government contracts. I went with him to look at them and we figured the bids. During the process I commented that I had no idea how he even knew these were up for bids. He said that ever since he got his business license, he's been getting these notices in the mail. That's because he's black and the government wants to help minority businesses like his. In fact, since it came up, I've found out that he's gotten quite a bit of help from nonprofit groups who offer free business advice, free advertising and other things.

    He quipped that he was sorry a white dude like myself couldn't take advantage of stuff like this. I said don't be. If it comes your way, take advantage of it. If he doesn't take advantage of it, the opportunity will be lost and then what good does it do? And really, among white culture, so often we have a family history of running businesses that black folks haven't had. So what the heck? If anyone can succeed without help, it should be us.

    Anyway, this is what I'm saying. I think if you have to go looking for free government money, you won't find it. If you have something to offer them, they'll find you.

    So maybe some things are free afterall. But that dude on TV is only selling books.
  3. walker-talker

    walker-talker LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 4,771

    What mowerdude said. I did some research on this subject about a year ago. If you are looking for free money....give up now, you are wasting your time. If you are looking for free help and advice.....that is out there. SBA offers a lot of free help. Here in my city, there are lot of seminars every month....FREE. I can even go to a business consultant with one on one advice.....FREE. Go to the SBA website, there is a lot of information there that can help you. This site is offers a tremendous amout of advice.....sometimes more than what you ask for. It's even quite possible that what you are reading now is more than you asked for...haha.

  4. There is not one single page in that book that is not part of the public domain. All that loud mouth did was gather it up and put it all in one spot. His book.

    If you spent the time and energy building your business instead of looking for a hand out you will probably find that you are going to be far ahead.

    As for the government. Why do you think it is that anyone with a I.Q. of 2 or more heads for the hills when someone shows up and says "Hi, I am from the government and am here to Help"
  5. vardener

    vardener LawnSite Member
    from MD 7
    Posts: 49

    Man, My wife went to a National grants confrence a few months ago, It cost about 1,500 bucks to get a couple of binders and a motivational speaker. She assured me that it would pay for itself, what with all the gov't grants we would get for buying and selling houses, money for my landscape business... guess what? We live in a politically correct country, therefore, since I am not a minority, and I don't employ people with disabilities, I will likely never see $20,000 worth of equip sitting on a trailer that I didn't have to buy. I honestly have no Idea HOW I will get past a rusty pick-up and a bed full of shovels, but I will. Somehow, I too can make a list of all of MY toys and put it at the end of all of my messages. By that time I will probably be a senior member and probably a SUPER moderator, but it wouldn't hurt to apply. The SBA can even help you with that.

    I'm not mad at my wife, though, if anything she learned a lesson with a $1,500 price tag:

    Nothing in life is free. (At least from the government)
  6. MikeLT1Z28

    MikeLT1Z28 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,732

    maybe i'm taking this the wrong way, but it sounds a bit harsh. i'm not even sure it was directed at me.

    if it WAS however.. i'll be more than happy and courteous to take it to email.
  7. IBGreen

    IBGreen LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 726

    Sounds like most people here have researched this subject. I did as well and found out that the government only gives out small business grants for research in a high tech field, or you need help funding a science type business. So basically it has to wind up helping the government.

    Brandon Shaw
    Evergreen Landscaping Concepts

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