As consumers becoming increasingly aware of the benefits of herbal medicine, herbal stores are growing in demand. To get your herbal store off to the best possible start, you may want to look into both public and private grants that can boost or sustain your business.
The first place you should look is within the archives of the federal grant system. Grants.gov is a service of the federal government that puts individuals in touch with federal and state agencies that award grant monies. You can browse by category or agency, or you can conduct a keyword search. This site also provides tips for writing grant applications and familiarizing yourself with the grant process.
Specific Government Agencies
There are a few government agencies that are more likely to provide grants related to purpose and concerns of an herbal store. As you conduct your search of www.grants.gov, pay special attention to listings within the Department of Commerce, the Department of Health and Human Services and the National Council on Disability. Depending on your store’s specific focus or services, you may be able to take advantage of programs offered by these agencies.
The Small Business Administration is a government agency specifically designed to aid smaller businesses in their development and maintenance. Your herbal business will most likely be considered a small business, qualifying your for aid from this agency. Search www.sba.gov for resource, mentors and grants available in your area.
Private foundations and endowments are established by individuals or companies who want to offer assistance to the others. They make these monies available for an endless variety of reasons and purposes. However, if your goals, background or services are in keeping with their missions, you have a chance at using some of this money for your herbal store. Check out www.foundations.org for an extensive list of grant-makers.
If you are female, disabled, a veteran or a member of racial or ethnic minority, be sure to search for small business grants that are designed to assist people in these categories. Also, if you are a member of a particular religious group or professional organization, ask administrators within the organization about grant opportunities for members.
Laura Britton is a graduate of Indiana University and a former English teacher. She is the managing editor of "The Balefire" magazine, and her work has appeared in several magazines and journals. Britton has been writing professionally for 10 years.