The conversation has come up three times in the past week with a few friends so I thought it’d be easier to share some information on business grants that some people may not know of and are searching for. If you’re looking at starting a business but need money for it and live within Miami-Dade County you may qualify for a grant towards your small business.
Mom and Pop Grants are offered once a year in the beginning of every year. The process usually opens up at the end of January and goes through May depending on the district you live in, if you’re a home-based business, or that your business is incorporated and located in.
In order to qualify, your business should be incorporated for at least a year and you need to have your taxes filled out from the previous year you’re applying for. There is a mandatory informational meeting at the beginning of the process that you must attend within your district where they give you all the information you need to begin the process and tell you how the application process goes.
Once you submit your application, you will have to go through an interview process where you will present in front of a panel what your business does and why you need the money and for what. Most of the time they’ll also ask you how much money you need and within a few weeks you’ll have the decision whether you qualify for it or not. Some districts offer up to $10,000 grants so that’s definitely one of the first things you need to find out. Now remember, a grant is money you never have to pay back but the purpose behind these Mom and Pop grants is to be able to help other small businesses within the county. You will never receive a check yourself towards your business or cash therefore, you must have proof of an invoice from a small corporation of where you’ll be making your purchases.
So for example, if you’re a photography company located within District 11 you go to your informational workshop meeting at the South Dade Government Center, pickup an application and begin the process. You then go ahead and have an interview in front of the panel where you may tell them you need $3,000 towards photography equipment (cameras, flashes, lenses, etc.) and $2,000 towards advertising and marketing. They may grant you all $5,000 or they may tell you they’ll give you the $3,000 you need towards gear. From there, you can go to a local store i.e. Pitman Photo Supply (no chain stores such as Best Buy or Brandsmart) because the whole point is to help other small businesses within the county and ask them to provide an invoice for you with the gear you need to buy. You then submit that invoice to the Commissioner’s office and they’ll write out a check for the amount your purchase is to the business where you’ll be purchasing your items from.
And there you have it. That’s how the Mom and Pop Grants work and they’re absolutely a great way to receive funding towards your business without having to take out loans or put it on credit cards.
If you need more information you can always access the link to the grants: Mom and Pop Small Business Grants and make sure to check every year in the beginning of the year for deadlines and information on when to apply and where to go for meetings.