Lots of people dream about starting their own business.
And, in fact, the number of entrepreneur-driven startups has boomed in recent years.
There are now over 33 million small businesses in the US.
Today, 99% of all US businesses are “small” businesses. That’s an actual statistic!
There are, however, some big obstacles to getting started. One of the top hurdles is finances. Thankfully, today’s show might provide one solution to this problem.
Joining me is a special guest, a self-proclaimed “serial entrepreneur”, and one of the leadership coaches on our team, Justin Lair. Get ready to learn a TON on this show.
We’re going to work through the stigmas associated with obtaining a small business grant, taking a look at the pros and cons, as well as how to qualify and how to apply.
We would love your feedback and questions after the show, so feel free to reach out. Send comments and questions to [email protected].
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Enjoy today’s episode!
521 | Getting a Grip on Grants
Chris LoCurto 0:00
What is a grant? Why would I want one? And how can I get it all of that is up next with a leadership coach Justin Lair.
Welcome to the Chris LoCurto show where we discuss leadership and life and discover that business is what you do, not who you are. Welcome to the show, folks. I hope you're having a fabulous day, wherever you are. Today we are talking about small business grants. That's the theme of the show today. And I'm excited to get into this since it's something we haven't ever really talked about, and at least not in any depth in any long while. So let me kind of define what we're talking about today. What is a grant, what are they? And then I'm going to introduce our guest who is going to help us to dig down deeper. So a small business grant is a sum of money usually awarded to a small business as a form of financial aid. Now, these grants are awarded by government agencies as well as nonprofit organizations. And they are designed to help small businesses grow. Now that may be offered for a variety of purposes, such as initial startup costs, or research and development or marketing expenses, or expansion. And additionally, some grants may even be targeted specifically at businesses that are owned by women or minority groups. Now, it's important to note that small business grants are not loans, and therefore do not need to be repaid. However, they often come with specific conditions and requirements such as the need to use the funds for a specific purpose or to report on the progress of the project. And at this point, I'm assuming all of that is clear as well. Well, I've invited an expert on the show today to help us sort through this information. And it's our very own Justin Lair, who is a leadership coach here at the plumbing group. So welcome to the show, Justin, good to have you on.
Justin Lair 2:04
Thanks, Chris. It's exciting to be here. I appreciate it.
Chris LoCurto 2:08
I know we have got a lot of stuff to hit, we've got a lot of facts that we've got to get out there for people to understand. And I'm assuming right now, there's a decent number of people with, you know, some objections to this whole idea. So I want to kind of hit all of these aspects and just leave it out there for people to decide. But before we do that, how about you introduce yourself, give your background, you know, work experience all that stuff, including, obviously, your current role with us.
Speaker 2 2:38
Right. So I am a self-proclaimed serial entrepreneur, I've been doing business my whole life, I started my first business when I was 15 years old. I did have a stint in the Marine Corps after high school that essentially ended that first business for me. And then after the Marine Corps, I just jumped right back into business. I've started nine businesses throughout my life at this point, I currently own a couple of businesses as well as my role here with the deployment group as a leadership coach. I take care of the Key Leader Program here. And my experience with Grant started a couple of years back, I was involved in running a local nonprofit that helped entrepreneurs build their businesses here in our local community, and being in the nonprofit you're just in the grant space. And I learned so much about grants. And I realized that there was as a small business owner for like my whole life. I knew nothing about this. And I think we've all seen that infomercial in the middle of the night. I'm not sure if it I don't watch TV anymore. I don't know if it still plays or not. But there was a guy that running around in this purple suit, I think if I recall correctly that had question marks all over it. And he was like selling this book that could get you all these grants. I think I remember him saying there's like trillions of dollars of free grant money gone to waste every year that you could go get and
Chris LoCurto 4:03
I totally remember that book. Yeah, that was a long time ago.
Speaker 2 4:07
Yeah. And so that was always in my mind. And my wife as well. She was the one that pushed me. She's like, you know, you need to go get a grant. There's this free money out there. And you're just missing out. And so, of course, being the great husband that I tried to be, I was like, Okay, I'll go entertain my wife and look into this grant stuff. And so I entered the world of grants. It was I learned so much and I will sometimes hear entrepreneurs talking about the desire to pursue grants. And there's so much I want to tell them of like I realized most entrepreneurs don't even really know what they're asking for. And well.
Chris LoCurto 4:51
Yeah, there's also so many bad stigmas with grants and just you know, oh, you're just taking our tax money, and yeah, yada, yada. So I think there's probably, you know, one not understanding what grants are. But also, like, as we go through this, I'm wondering how many people are going? Well, I would never do something like that right digit. Do you experience that from time to time with people?
Speaker 2 5:15
Yeah, a little bit more. So it's like, Oh, I'm gonna go get the free money.
Chris LoCurto 5:21
A lot of people like that for that park.
Speaker 2 5:23
Right, right. But I do hear that some folks don't want anything to do with grants, because they, you know, they figure it's government money, and they just don't want anything to do with the government, or they don't want to get tied in with that either. And that's unfortunate as well because there are some great grant opportunities out there that people can take advantage of, for good reason.
Chris LoCurto 5:40
Yeah, I can totally see that there are some folks that are just excited about free money. And you know, which, if that's your major focus, you probably don't have a great business idea to start with anyways. But I could see that a lot of folks are probably stuck on that. Alright, so as we get into this, let's start with the most important question, what is a grant? You know, is it? Is it actually just free money? Is it? You know, why don't we hear more about this stuff? And, you know, do we have to pay them back? Are there things that we should avoid all that kind of fun information?
Speaker 2 6:14
Yeah. So what I would like to do is kind of paint a picture of what a grant is. And in this analogy, I think we'll just get everybody, you know, answer a lot of questions that get everybody's mind wrapped around this thing. So if we just think about the government, is a giant entity that has so many, you know, arms of operation and so much stuff going on. So let's just say there's a problem in the world or in our country that the government is interested in, in finding a resolution to or solving it or preventing it. So because I live in the Pacific Northwest, we deal with a really horrible fire season every year. So I'm going to use that as an example. So let's say the government realizes that the damages that wildfires are causing and the emergencies and all this stuff in the Pacific Northwest, are a problem. And it's costing a lot of money and putting a lot of people through a lot of trouble. And so they want to do something to help prevent forest fires. So they have a couple of options, they could develop their own forest firearm of the government, and they could get the employees in place and get all the resources in place and build a strategy and almost, you know, build a business right in, in figuring out how to solve this wildfire problem. And kind of start from scratch, they could do that.
Chris LoCurto 7:33
And we know the government's great at solving all problems themselves,
Justin Lair 2 7:38
right. And so but the amount of money and time that it would take for them to kind of start this thing up from scratch, is something to think about. So the other thing they could do is use organizations out there in the world that already exist, that already have the professionals in place to have the tools in place that have the knowledge to be able to begin to tackle a problem like this, they could use their thing that's already in place and created, then they could fund that by way of grant and say, hey, if there's any organization out there that has a desire to figure out a way that we could prevent forest fires, that we could then use to help us solve this problem, then we will give you money to tackle it. So they'll create a thing called an RFP a request for proposal, saying, Hey, if you have a project proposal out there in your organization that you would love to do, but you just don't have the resources to fully tackle it right now. We would love to hear your proposal. And if it makes sense, if it fits our criteria, and we feel like we will be able to get something out of it then government will be able to get something out of it, then we are willing to pay you to go and do it. That's really what a grant is. And so, in this case, the government will, you'll choose one organization or choose multiple organizations to be able to go do the thing, but they need to be able to make sure they get something out of it, that their money, it's it's not technically free money, it's they're gonna hire you basically by giving you this grant money to accomplish this project. The project before you get the grant is good. It needs to be very detailed. And you know, there's a timeframe and there's a, you know, this is what we're going to accomplish and this was we're going to use the money for and it has to fit inside the box that they've created and then they will give you the money to go do it.
Chris LoCurto 9:45
And I think so many folks now, obviously are their ridiculous grants out there. Totally. There are there are some grants out there and money is you know, there's definitely some things that have been pushed through and Have you know that have you we would probably disagree with no money should not go to measuring the flow of ketchup. Yes, there's definitely some ridiculous stuff out there. But what you're talking about, for the average business owner who has a product that can help people a product that can solve things, is that there are opportunities out there that the government is saying, we're going to pour money into this one way or another. We're going to try and solve this on our own. Or we can find people who are way better at it than the government is, who have already been pushing in that direction, and funded them to make this something that is more widely available. Is that would that decently accurate?
Justin Lair 10:46
Chris LoCurto 10:50
So in that, again, it you know, it is funny to see the dude who used to run around it. So it took me a second to remember that commercial as you were bringing that up. But it is funny to see the dude who's running around in the the question mark suit, talking about all the amazing grants. The truth is, what he's saying is accurate. Those exist out there, somebody's going to get it. The question is, is it going to be something that helps business to solve a problem that the government sees? exists? Correct, right?
Unknown Speaker 11:26
Chris LoCurto 11:27
So other aspects of what a grant is? How can we don't hear about this more? And also, is this something that you know, are there ones that we should avoid? And are there ones that have to be paid back?
Justin Lair 11:39
Yeah. So question mark suit guys is a perfect example of why we don't hear about them more. If you start the algorithms, and you start looking for grants, right, and then Google says, Oh, you want to know more about grants, or I'll show them to you, the vast majority of that stuff is gonna be kind of fraudulent. Just like the question mark suit guy, he was making money off selling this book, he wasn't doing anything to help you actually get grants rather than provide you with just a ridiculous amount of organizations that have at some point in the past provided a grant for something, whether that information is updated. And I can't imagine that it's updated a published book, because the Grant Space is changing every day, there's new grants coming out and stuff like that. But anyway, there's a lot of online resources that will say, hey, we'll help you get a grant passed the fee to have access to our amazing list of grants. And we'll show you all this free money that you could get. So a lot of the resources out there that people might stumble on that don't know what they're looking for, unfortunately, we'll be taking advantage of them. Because the real grant information is, is available for free. You don't have to pay to get access to this stuff. You just have to know where to look and the proper places to look. So that's one reason why we don't hear about them, because the algorithm isn't showing you that it or the information that you might be seeing is going to be kind of fraudulent or questionable stuff that, you know, sounds too good to be true, and most of the time it is.
Chris LoCurto 13:15
So what you're saying is we can't rely on Google for accurate information.
Speaker 2 13:22
If you hear it that way. Yes. That's what I'm saying. I'm afraid of saying what I'm saying because Google to hear it.
Chris LoCurto 13:33
was listening to our show. But hey, yeah. Interesting that that's exactly how people go about researching. I mean, people don't know, right, I don't know how to go get a grant. I don't know where to find a grant. I assume I just Google it. And Google is gonna give me the great information.
Speaker 2 13:48
Right. The other thing is that the organizations that are offering the grants, they don't necessarily have a whole lot of money to spend in marketing. And so it's not like a Coca-Cola, you know, where it's like, they've got a ton of money to spend on marketing, they want everybody to go buy Coca-Cola. And the reason for that also is the organizations that are offering these grants, the people that they want the grants for, are very aware of these, of where to find the grants. And so anyway, every state every city, and county, they have what is called economic development district or the state has an economic development agency for the state. And that is where all the grant information is going to be for your county for your city for your state will be held in your economic development district.
Chris LoCurto 14:50
Okay, so if I am going to go and look for a grant, this is the place I start.
Speaker 2 14:57
Yeah, yeah, you will just type in your state In Google right type in your state, economic development district, or Edd, and it will come up so like for Oregon is called our state's economic development district is called Business Oregon, and on the business, Oregon website is all of the information that you would ever need to find out what grants are out there. And, you know, if there's one that fits, you know, my, my thing, whatever I do know,
Chris LoCurto 15:27
are there. So, as we dig in, I'm sure there's a ton Is there stuff that we want to avoid? What are grants and things that we want to avoid?
Speaker 2 15:38
Well, your, if you, the people giving the grant, if you don't have, if there's not a really good reason why you should be awarded that thing, you're not going to get it. So I think it'd be tough for you to get involved in a grant that you really should have avoided. But there are certain intricate things about grants that you should know about to know if it's good for you or not like some grants will pay you the money upfront. There are other grants that are reimbursement grants, that you have to spend the money before you're going to get the money. But when it's all said and done, and your project management is all you know, proper, you will know how much money you will spend when it's all said and done. And you will know how much money you will get back, there are also grants and a lot of them will be mad, they will have a matching component that you will not receive any of the money until you've spent 15% of the total grant award until you've spent that on your own. And then after you spend that 15% of the total grant award, then you will start to receive the money from the grant. So if you don't have any money to spend, but you're just trying to get the free money, then that would be one that you would need to avoid. But again, that would all be washed out in your RFP process. And like an interview process and stuff like that. So you would, it would be hard to get involved in that grant or be awarded that grant with those criteria. without you knowing that that was a criterion, right? That was a part of the criteria. So but there are some aspects of different grants are different. So some you're gonna get the money upfront, some you're gonna have to spend money before you get it some you're gonna have to spend your own money before you even start getting the reimbursement or whatever the case is. So and then the last part of that question, do they have to be paid back? The answer is no. If you complete your project as talked about, it's like a contract, you're entering into a contract, we will give you this money, if you do this thing that you've described this project that you put together, if you end up getting through that grant period, and you don't complete your part of the deal, then you would in a lot of cases have to pay that money back.
Chris LoCurto 17:51
The amazing thing is how contradictory This is to like that, you know, infomercial what the dude running around is all you need is this book, and then all this money is going to flow in your direction. There's actually a lot of work in this, what does the RFP process look like?
Speaker 2 18:05
Yeah, it is. It is very detailed. It is very much like a job application. Oftentimes, it is a competition, there are a lot of people that are going to submit RFPs. And then the committee, the grant committee, or whoever they typically will receive all of them, they will read about your project, they will determine you know, how close how does it align with what they're trying to accomplish the ultimate goal, they will have some sort of a point, like a grading system where they will apply points to your application, and, you know, determine who's going to be the winner, right. So it's very competitive. There is a whole, just like you have a bunch of people that can like, you know, that are professionals in writing resumes. Same thing here, there are organizations out there that will hire grant writers, people with a very specific skill of being able to write grants in a specific vernacular, with, you know, a very specific way of writing so that it will speak to those people who are reviewing the grants in a way that makes them believe that your project is the best project to be awarded. A lot of work. Yeah, it's
Chris LoCurto 19:18
a lot of work. It's a lot of work. It's not just you know, you buy a book and all of a sudden, you know, in a couple of weeks, you're gonna have a lot of money. So the question is who can actually get a grant?
Justin Lair 19:29
Yeah, so this is interesting. The unfortunate thing is that a lot of entrepreneurs because I think have this stigma, right at this question, Mark, suit guy, I wish we knew his name or whatever. But uh, like that, yeah, that that. Make people think that there's just free money out there, go get it. It's easy, you know, it's really not easy. And so prior to COVID grants for for-profit companies, entrepreneurs did almost not exist. that. I mean, think about it. If you think about the scenario that I, the example I gave of the government needs something your organization can help them get to that end goal. So it's worth it for them to give you the money to go do it right. What is the government benefit from just giving you money to grow your business or startup your business? They, don't necessarily benefit from that. I mean, there's a large argument, we could talk for hours on that topic all by itself. But generally speaking, the government is not just going to give any entrepreneur money just to go start a business and just try it out.
Chris LoCurto 20:35
See how it goes start doesn't actually benefit the country, right, just being a business.
Justin Lair 20:42
And so prior to COVID, grants for for-profit businesses were almost nonexistent. There is however a seasonality to it. Sometimes, depending on what's going on in the world, in the country, whatever. Sometimes there are things that happen that grants for for-profit businesses do happen, but generally speaking, they don't exist. When COVID came that flipped upside down, they were giving grant money to just anybody and everybody. So the for-profit thing really became a possibility where you could go out and get grant money for a for-profit business. So a lot of grants are mostly available to nonprofits. It's another reason why I think this topic is so important, because we have a lot of clients who are for-profit businesses and entrepreneurs and wasting a lot of time trying to pursue this, this pipe dream, trying to pursue this pie in the sky, that they could go out and get this free money, and they're just wasting their time, because it really just doesn't exist for for-profits, generally speaking.
Chris LoCurto 21:50
So if you are for-profit, which I think most of the people listening to this probably are operating a for-profit business, why does this conversation even matter?
Justin Lair 22:0
Yeah, because there are opportunities for profit granted, typically, those are in the economic development space. So what does that mean? How does that work? So in Oregon, I'm gonna give us organisms example, Oregon, because this is this will be very obvious or very easy to understand. Oregon is a nonsales tax state. So they don't make tax money from just sales happening in our state. So they have to make tax money from something else. What do we what is the state of Oregon? How do they run their business? Right? How do they get the money to run their business as a state, and that's through income tax and property tax? So the more jobs that are created in the state of Oregon, equals more money for the state of Oregon. So economic development grants are widely available here in Oregon for profit, so if the government can give you as Chris as the business owner, more money to grow your business, with the end goal being that you end up with more jobs when it's all said and done, then the government will be able to recoup their money and, in fact, make money off of you. From the jobs you created. Not only that, as you create more jobs, living wage jobs, then you provide more people the opportunity to buy a new house, or as you expand your business, you will buy a new building, you will expand your building, they will be able to generate more money for the state by property taxes and income taxes. And so there is a lot of opportunity for for-profit companies to get grants in the economic development space, if you could build our economy, we will give you money, because when it's all said and done, if the government, the state or you know, county government or the city government can spend a million dollars to help local businesses grow. But they will be able to, you know, net, several more millions of dollars in tax money than it's worth it for them.
Chris LoCurto 24:08
So this is where, you know, I think so many people look at government decision making and government, you know, how they operate their business as just they don't know what the heck they're doing. And in so many cases, people are absolutely correct. But if you look at this from a business sense, it makes sense. It makes sense why and that was taught specifically speaking to state grants right at this moment, but the state is hedging itself and saying that if we can create more jobs, maybe we will draw on more people from other you know, first off, if anybody's done employed then that that drops that rate, it gets more people making money, the more people making money, that we're going to tax their income. We're going to tax you know, if they own homes, we're going to tax their properties. So if we can get more businesses going, then the people who are unemployed in our state, that's going to create more revenue. So if we throw out a million dollars here, we're hoping as a state that it's going to come back in $10 million down here. And on top of that, if we can continue to grow, and we have something to offer, you know, hey, let's promote the beauty and the amazingness of the Oregon coast or, you know, the, you know, the pine trees in the mountains, and this and this, and this, and this, and we can start drawing people in. You know, I know, that's something that people love about, you know, Tennessee is that there are aspects that they're not taxed on. And it does tend to draw some folks to a state like Tennessee. But if we can draw more people in, then as we bring those folks in, obviously, you have to have the ability to move here and pay for yourself to be here, which should create the opportunity for more income tax and more property tax. So really, from the state aspect, this is, you know, it's not looking at this going, Hey, we're stealing the tax money of the everyday worker. The hope for the state is that, hey, we're doing this so that we can create more revenue that we can utilize in the state as a business period, correct?
Unknown Speaker 26:24
Chris LoCurto 26:28
Is it the same on the federal level?
Justin Lair 26:32
It is, generally speaking, everything I've talked about with the grants is this, there's really no difference between state, county, city, or even federal, oftentimes, the grant money you're getting from the state came from a grant that the state got from the federal government, the federal government says, Hey, we need to do this. And this each all the states, they submitted RFP to the government saying, hey, our people can do that. Give me the money. So I give it to my people in my state to go do that thing. And then it's, it's grant money that's given to grant to give out more grant money to, you know, to each individual state.
Chris LoCurto 27:12
And this is where we are taxing the individuals, which, obviously, there's going to be a decent, this is where people are probably going to be frustrated with while but if I'm paying my taxes then and, you know, in my state and some other states getting that money, well, why isn't that coming back to my state? So there is an understanding that this can be a frustration for some who would you agree?
Justin Lair 27:38
Totally. And it's so confusing, right? What's, how could this be confusing? Chris is right. Exactly. The government? Right? Yeah. It's pretty clear, I think that some people would think it's clear, but unfortunately, all those people just are the ones doing it in the government, it's not clear to everybody else.
Chris LoCurto 27:57
I know, I'm gonna probably screw this up. But I think, you know, Reagan said the worst eight were words, you know, I'm from the government, I'm here to help, or something like that. But at the end of the day, what we're still looking at is, is there the opportunity, somebody's going to get this, this is gonna go out there? Do you have the ability, and again, while they're limited for the for-profits, is there the opportunity for you to create something that is going to not only take care of you and your team members and their families, and so on, and so forth, and your customers and your vendors, but in the long run, it's also going to be a benefit to the those that are giving the grants as well. So third question is, do I really want a grant?
Speaker 2 28:44
This is the most important part, I mean, other than understanding what a grant is, man, this, this is a question you have to ask yourself, and you have to understand, it's not necessarily just free money, go get it, and let's have a party. You are. So the moment that you commit to getting this grant and you go through the process and you are awarded this grant money. You have you now have another person a new person to answer to, as a business owner, we typically don't answer to anybody other than our clients and our team, you know, in that aspect, but I mean, we don't necessarily have a boss. When you say yes to the grant money, you sign on the line, then you start receiving that grant money. You have a new boss, and it's the government. It's this
Chris LoCurto 29:41
no problem with that right there. No problem having the KGB over your shoulder,
Justin Lair 29:46
right. It's this entity that you got the grant money. Now. There is this is the site of grants that I don't think most people don't if you've never gotten a grant yourself, you probably don't know that this hap Since there is a reporting process, there is a check-in process, you have a new boss that will be calling on you and asking you how things are going, where's the money? Where did you spend it, I need my quarterly report. The report has to consist of all of this information so we could keep track, and make sure you're doing what you said you were going to do with the money. I mean, it is a whole nother level of accounting, it is you're creating a whole new job for yourself. They want receipts for everything, they want proof of everything. And there is a timeline that you have to do it by. And this is like, serious stuff. And so if you as an entrepreneur are not ready to have a new boss, specifically, that boss being the government in some aspect, that a grant is not for you, you really don't want the grant, you think you might want the free money, but you really don't want it. There is there's so much stuff that has to happen, that you are tied to, there is no way around it once you say yes, you are you're in for the long haul. And you've got somebody else to answer to moving forward.
Chris LoCurto 31:16
So one of the things, one of the things we talked about, in Next Level Mastermind, we, you know, with all of our leaders and business owners is that quite often, a business owner or an entrepreneur actually becomes that because they are tired of somebody telling them what to do. They don't want somebody over their shoulder, they don't want that much input into what they're doing as far as the business goes. So why would I want to do this as a business owner? What I mean, obviously, you know, definitely, it's giving me the ability to have somebody to make something happen or push something forward. Show me the scale here, what's what are the pros and cons what outweighs the cons, what are the pros? Well,
Speaker 2 32:06
I mean, money is got carries a lot of weight right? There, there might be something that you've always wanted to do. But you just, you know, you don't have the capital to take care of it or the resources or whatever the case is. And this could be the thing that gets you to a point that could take your business to, you know, another level that you've had on your list, right of like your wish list or things like that. There are so many great aspects to it, of what you're trying to do and how a grant can help you get there. I love the idea of grants. And I've worked off grants for three years in the nonprofit, one of my businesses has personally received two grants, that have helped us take things to another level. So there are some great opportunities, the most important thing about this conversation is to just really understand what it is and what you're getting into. So that you're not wasting a whole. I've also seen the other side of it, where entrepreneurs are just so dead focused on getting this free money, and they waste so much time and energy on something they don't even know what it is they're asking for. And then and then once they get it, they get there. And then they're like, What did I do? Like? Why did I want this? This isn't what I thought it was, because they just had no idea. And so that's the most important thing is I don't want to see our clients, the listeners of this podcast, spend a whole lot of time and resources on this. This fake thing of free money, when if they fully understood what they were, what they were getting into, they could determine if it was worth their time and efforts. You know, before going all the way through.
Chris LoCurto 33:52
I think that's that last sentence there. That last phrase is the part that anybody who's considering this needs to understand. If your focus is I do not want anybody looking over my shoulder don't go this direction, you know, if your focus is I want to 100% be, you know, self-sufficient, telling myself what to do nobody's input yada yada yada, great. Grants are not for you. It doesn't matter. Grants are not for you, if you can wait this out, man, if I got a million dollars to go do this thing. Could I have the focus of having to report on and give information on and show progress on you know, yada yada yada for the next number of years? Is that level of reporting? Something that's worth it to me because if I, you know, if my idea is amazing, you know, this million dollars, might I might be able to turn that into $100 million, right? But if I do this correctly, or 50 million or 20 million or whatever, and so Because of that, it would be worth the energy and the output of reporting on what we're doing until that is over. Because once it's over what's the grant writing? Or what are the grants over once that time period? And I'd love for you to hit what those timelines look like the ones that timeline is over, we're essentially severing that relationship, correct?
Justin Lair 35:21
Yeah, totally. The only thing that might connect it forever, is your remember, right? There's always got to be something in it for them, the people giving you the money, right? So that IP that they paid you to create, they might be able to have access to it forever, you created it for them, you created it for you. And you, you will be able to use it and do whatever you do with it or whatever. But you also created it for them. And so they will continue to be able to use it also in their capacity. And that's the whole reason why they gave you the money to create the thing. So there might be a relationship there that you always have. But when the grant period is over, the reporting is over. You spent the money you did what you said you were going to do, they gave you the money. You completed it, and it's over.
Chris LoCurto 36:08
Yeah. And I think if you really think about it, the thing that is probably looming over this whole discussion is the word government. Because if we want to be venture capitalists, what's the difference? You know, if you went to somebody who's going to pour money into your business, which by the way, if they take a piece of your business, then they always own that piece of your business and let you shine unless you've got something that says that a certain point you buy them back out. But if you it's no different than going to somebody who's going to, you know if you go to a venture capitalist who is going to give you a million dollars, they don't go away. It's not like they're they don't want to understand whether or not you're doing something with that money. They want to see that you're doing something with that money, right? They want to understand there's going to be reporting all that kind of fun stuff. I think the big key here is the question of do I trust the government. Well, if you're willing to understand what goes into this, the amount of effort on the front side, the amount of effort during the process and reporting, all that kind of fun stuff. And you're willing to say that amount of work is worth you know, if I get this X number of dollars, and by the way, do you know if they're I can't imagine there's an average grant amount, like they've looked across all of them in the psychology 2.4 million? Is there any average amount? There?
Speaker 2 37:31
They're private, if you Google that I'm sure it'll come up with some sort of number. But no, I don't know. It's
Chris LoCurto 37:37
all over. It's all over the place. It's, it's just crazy. But you know, if for if I'm able to get this dollar, am I willing to put this effort into it? So I think that's the thing that you've got to understand. So folks, here's the thing that I want you to know. And hopefully, you're getting out of this. If you're struggling in this area, or any area of your business, where you're not getting the greater perspective, like this show, I think there's a good number of you out there that are listening to this that now are really gaining greater perspective on opportunities that you have. Do I think you should not go and get a grant? No, that's not at all. Do I think you should? Not necessarily, what is the key, it's getting to the right perspective that fits you. It's getting to the right perspective that helps you in your leadership, and make the right decisions for you. So if you're a solopreneur, this might be just this sounds fantastic. I want you to know, I can go get this money, I don't mind doing a little bit of reporting. But guess what, if you're a solopreneur, you've got to do all the work of the reporting as well, you've got to do the RFP process. I mean, unless you can pay somebody, you know, you've got to, you've got to put a lot of effort into this. What if you were a somewhat larger, you know, small business that has people that can administratively handle all of that reporting and handle those, and it takes that level of stress off of you? The key is, are you gaining a greater perspective on what you can do? And that is something that if you're struggling in the area of gaining perspective, as a leader, we want to help out with that. So head on over to ChrisLocurto.com and click what we do to find the right fit for you and your business team to find the right fit for you and your leadership team to find out how we can help you to gain greater perspective on making decisions as you go forward. So again, ChrisLocurto.com. Click on what we do, and find out how we can support you in that process. So with all of this, let's pull all of this together. Justin, what I would love for you to do is kind of summarize what we're talking about here summarize the thoughts and the offerings the advice on the offerings, and all that kind of fun stuff. And do you have specific recommendations?
Justin Lair 40:05
Yeah, so understand that the idea of there's trillions and trillions of dollars of free money just sitting out there for you to just go get. It's, it's, it's not quite that that there is a process. And it is either for you or it's not for you. And I don't want you to, you know, waste a whole lot of time and resources and chasing this, this free money without understanding, you know, what you're getting into, and what all is required of you during that grant process and all that stuff. There are some great opportunities for you to go out and find some grants that can help you grow your business, and do some great things, for your business, for your community, for your, for your state, you know, things like that. So don't be deterred by any of the things that we're saying. But just get that knowledge and understand what it is you're actually wishing for, and make sure that you really want what you're wishing for.
Chris LoCurto 41:10
Exactly. And it's so important, again, to get advice from somebody who knows who's been there has, has gone through this process, and actually knows exactly what that looks like and, and what you're gonna experience. So how do folks get started with the grant process right now?
Speaker 2 41:27
Yeah, so remember, I talked about the economic development districts, so you have a local, either within your city or your county, for sure, you will have a local economic development district. And then your state has an economic development district, also locally, another organization that could help you get connected into the real, you know, places to go find real grants, will be your local SBDC, or small business development center, your chamber of commerce, they will have access to those resources as well. Those people are in the grant space all the time. And the grant spaces is changing all the time. There are new grants that come out all the time. And they could, they are very, it's very likely that they are up to speed with what's coming out what's just currently come out timelines, and things like that. And so build a relationship with those organizations locally, and they will be great resources to help you navigate through the even the SBDC can help you write the grant, they could help you go through the process of making sure you do a good job, you know, in preparing all of your information for the grant and things like that, if you've never done it before.
Chris LoCurto 42:44
Phenomenal. And obviously you as an expert in this area, have done this multiple times before. There's a reason. You've had great reasons to make this happen and put this to success, or we would definitely not be talking about this today. So thank you, brother, I appreciate you joining me on the show today and giving all this great information.
Unknown Speaker 43:02
Thanks, Chris. I appreciate it.
Chris LoCurto 43:05
All right, folks, there you have it. Hopefully, this is helpful to you today. Again, this is just some of the stuff that as we dig in deeper and discover, you know, what are areas that people are missing out on are things that they are they don't know about? Hopefully, we can bring that information to you on the show and get you pointed in every possible right direction. That's our goal is to give you the best perspective, so you can make the best decisions. So as always, we hope that you take this information today. Change your leadership, change your business, change your life. And join us on the next episode.