Managing a small business requires knowledge of a wide range of subjects. A business owner should have at least a rudimentary understanding of accounting, tax laws and the various local, state and federal regulations that are required to be complied with.In addition to these skills, entrepreneurs and their employees should be familiar with technological and other skills that can be used to manage and expand their businesses. It is not easy to run a small enterprise and also spend the time and money required to acquire expertise in these diverse fields.
Fortunately, there are a number of government grants and funding programs that are available to help small business owners and their employees develop and enhance their work skills.
Public Workforce System
The U.S. Department of Labor has established the Public Workforce System to help employees of organizations develop their skills. In order to achieve this, the federal government finances and oversees workforce investment boards at the state and local levels.
These boards are tasked with facilitating the training of workers so that they can update and develop their expertise in various fields. The boards are composed of employers, educators and local business leaders who are familiar with the needs of the community. Contacting board members is a good way of getting to know about the programs and facilities that are available at the local level.
One Stop Career Centers
Another way to get to know about the federally funded business development and training resources available in your local area is to approach a "One Stop Career Center." Over 3,000 of these have been established across the country under the Public Workforce System.
The advantage that a One Stop Career Center offers is that it makes available full details of the entire range of programs at a single location.
Who else can I approach?
There are a number of state economic development agencies that can be of help. These offer grants associated with the specific training programs that they specialize in.
You can also contact your local community college and public university. They are the recipient of federal grants that they use to finance training programs. You can get help from the U.S. Department of Labor's Business Relations Group to zero in on the programs that are relevant to your industry. They will assist you in accessing the services of the state and local workforce investment system.
Writing grant proposals - an essential skill
In order to obtain funding, it is important that you write a grant proposal in an appropriate manner. In addition to talking about how the grant will benefit your company, you should discuss the manner in which investment in training will be of help to the local business community.
You must give also give details about what exactly you will achieve by using the grant amount. Remember to follow the instructions issued by the grant authority very carefully.
Obtaining a government grant for training is not an easy task. You will first need to carry out the research needed to identify a grant that you think you are eligible for.
Even after you put your best effort into making an application, success is not assured as you will be competing with a number of others for limited grant funds.
But if you have a sound proposal and put it across in the correct manner, it is likely that you will succeed as government-funded agencies are on the lookout for eligible organizations that can use the allotted funds productively.