Government grants and contracts for small business

Our July 2014 Catalyst Café featured an expert overview of government grants and contracts by Sandy DiCosola of Summit Contract Management, LLC, a company that manages such contracts for the full procurement cycle.

Sandy has agreed to share her PowerPoint "Grantwriting and Government Contracts for Small Business," where she encouraged small business owners to search and see if there are government solicitations for what your business provides. She is often surprised by the goods and services that the Federal government contracts is looking for.

Here are my notes from her presentation:

  • To get ready: you'll need a
  • Allow for lots of time to go through the process, at least 6 months.
  • Government Grant vs. Contract:
    • Grants are for research that leads to commercial products that don't exist yet.
    • Contracts are for existing goods and services.
  • Research the granting agency so you know current news and all about their mission. The library can help you here!
  • Have 2 kinds of readers: a colleague reviewer who is knowledgeable on the subject, and a detail-oriented, non-expert reviewer who can catch jargon and holes in the logic.
  • If the application is to be submitted electronically, upload it before the deadline to allow for "Murphy's Law."
  • If you are not chosen, you can follow up and ask for a debrief of the reasons.
  • If you're looking for local partners, talk to the UA's Tech Launch Arizona, a clearinghouse for licensed local innovation and products.