Whether you are starting a small business, need funding for expansion, training or buying new equipment, you can find financial aid through grants. A number of grant providers offer incentives to businesses that hire disabled employees. This is a great way to help skilled disabled individuals become self-sufficient.
Usually, grants are awarded to small businesses that hire disabled individuals to cover additional costs that the business will incur to accommodate the disabled worker. This can come in the form of special equipment, special software, additional training for both the disabled person and the individual who will supervise the person with disability. Grants can also cover for the wages of a disabled employee, which usually lasts for one year while the disabled person is being trained by the business on-the-job. Tax incentives are also available depending on the program the small business applies for.
Here are some suggestions on finding grants for a small business that hires disabled workers.
Identify the job that can be done by a disabled worker. In your proposal, clearly state the tasks involved in the job that you plan to assign to the person with disability. There are different types of disabilities and different tasks. Some tasks can be done by deaf individuals but not by those who are blind.
Check with your local government. Locate your state's website through USA.gov. Check all the grants available to you in your state. In some states, grants are awarded to small businesses that employ disabled veterans. In California for example, the Department of Rehabilitation (DOR) is "in partnership with consumers and other stakeholders to provide services and advocacy resulting in employment, independent living and equality for individuals with disabilities." They offer grants to businesses looking to hire disabled individuals.
Visit FederalGrantsWire.com. This free service has a list of all federal grants available in the United States. Narrow your search for small businesses that hire disabled workers and evaluate the grants listed. If you are eligible, check for application requirements. Also search both the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) and GovBenefits.gov websites for possible grants for your small business.
Get useful information from the Small Business Administration (SBA). The SBA does not provide financial assistance to any business. However, they can help you find possible sources of funding through grants if you are interested. Take advantage of the wealth of resources available to you on their site. You can find mentors who can assist you in planning, starting and maintaining your business. Some of these mentors have experience in employing disabled workers.
Look for grants provided by the US Department of Labor. Visit the DOL website and search for possible grants. The DOL is all for hiring persons with disabilities. If you cannot find the type of grant that matches your proposal, contact the local DOL office and set up a meeting with them to explore your options.
Persons with disabilities can contribute so much to small businesses. Many of them are skilled and dedicated workers. If funding for your small business is a problem, there are grants available from both public and private sources. These grants often cover the cost to provide training for the disabled worker or to purchase various tools and equipment that can help the disabled employee perform his job to the best of his abilities. With your help and the help of grant providers, people with disabilities can find employment in order to become self-sufficient members of society.