For many business owners and entrepreneurs, this could be the first time they’re considering asking for grants and assistance from the government. While owning and running a thriving business is often a source of pride, the opposite happens when the business falters, and outside help is needed for it to survive.
But should you feel ashamed or even guilty about getting assistance from the government? Read onto know why this shouldn’t be the case.
What is a Business Grant?
A business grant is a form of financial support, usually in cash given by the government to help small businesses thrive or stay afloat especially during crises. Business grants are not loans– they don’t have to be paid back and business owners are not required to give up equity to receive a grant. There are many types of grants, from government awarded grants to research companies and tech start-ups, state-funded grants that are given based on the ability to match the grant, as well as local small business grants handed out to small businesses that are helping the community.
It is exactly this nature of grants that make it hard for business owners and entrepreneurs to ask for it. Even if they qualify for the grant, asking for help is still clouded in the stigma of shame and embarrassment of not being able to follow through with a goal without outside help. This tendency is especially common in Asian countries, even in progressive business hubs like Singapore. A Singapore business grant, even if given out by the government, does not mean businesses will take it up easily.
Keeping your business alive helps the economy
While it is true that taxpayers will be paying a part of the cost for government grants handed out to businesses, this assistance is not money wasted. It is being actively used to keep the economy going, which can be crucial during times of economic turmoil. Grant money is used in various ways to help a business get off the ground or continue operating, from paying employees to making sure raw materials are sourced and arrive on time. Without these businesses, out-of-work employees will have to file for unemployment. There will be a drop in demand for raw materials that will affect manufacturing workers. Unemployment for all these lost jobs will be shouldered by the taxpayer as well. It’s not really hard to understand that keeping businesses going offers more benefits than allowing businesses to close down, even if it means using taxpayer money to support private enterprises.
Keeping your business alive builds your brand and reputation as a business
Aside from helping businesses survive tough times, government business programmes such as the Digital Resilience Bonus allow business owners and entrepreneurs to build positive relationships with both government and private lenders while making sure that the company is poised for survival. Compliance with the terms and meeting your target goals according to your business plan will help build a positive reputation for any business and this is something that every business owner should be proud of. If you have a good relationship with the government, you are in a better position to receive further aid down the road, if and when you need it.
Customers and lenders are willing to help
Government grants are there to shoulder the majority of the load when it comes to assistance to businesses. but you can find a surprising ally in the people who patronize your service. Customers are willing to help keep their favorite businesses afloat and this is not a recent thing. There are many widely-known examples of crowd-funded initiatives like Wikipedia, the National Public Radio, among others. They exist and are thriving solely because of donations and financial support from customers and patrons willing to give private grants. Don’t be afraid even if you are running a non-essential business, whether you own a wine-bar or a flower shop. If you are paying employees and working with suppliers, your business is contributing to the economy and deserves help to stay in operation.
Thinking about asking for a business grant? Study the parameters and conditions, factor in your ability to keep the business going with this kind of government support, and present a solid business plan. All these can help you build the confidence you need to ask for help. By keeping your business alive, you are keeping the economy going and this is something every business owner should be proud of.