Individuals often call or visit the SBA asking for;grants or "free money" to start their business. In many cases, they have read or heard about this free money and how easy it is to get through late night talk shows or in some obscure publication. In most cases, the information is incorrect and misleading. In other cases, it is close to a scam, at times asking for money for additional information. SBA and most other funding organizations in Wyoming do not provide grants or "free money" for starting or developing a business. Although there are some grants available, they generally are targeted towards specific groups, types of organizations, or activities.
SBA provides some grants, but they are generally awarded to organizations to provide specific technical assistance to small business owners. These grants may be targeted to nonprofits or educational institutions. SBA has funded grants and contracts to help small businesses develop and maintain a drug-free workplace. These awards went to nonprofit organizations and Small Business Development Centers(SBDC) who demonstrated the ability to assist in this effort. For more information go to Drug Free Workplace.
Wyomingites seeking grant assistance from U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyoming, can now get the same high level of service a little closer to home. Richard Hawley, grant coordinator for Enzi, has relocated to Enzi's Casper office to help provide better service to Wyoming constituents who need help finding and accessing grant money. Hawley was working in Enzi's Washington, D.C. office. "Having Richard in the state will be more effective for Wyomingites because he will be able to get a look at some of the projects in progress and get a better idea of how to assist those looking for funding. Richard is now in a much better position to meet personally with more constituents and discuss their grant needs," said Enzi. Hawley assists constituents in need of grant funding for foundations, businesses, organizations or special projects by locating funding from both the federal government and private organizations. Hawley uses a data base of about 92,000 (+) private foundations to research information on available grants. He also has access to similar data bases for the federal government containing over 1,600 programs.
Wyoming groups received over $99 million in federal grant funding last year and so far over $70 million has been announced this year. Wilson also plans to attend various conferences and workshops around the state to help answer constituent questions about grant funding. Hawley can be reached in Enzi's Casper office by calling (307) 261-6572.