Government Grants

What you need to know before applying for a grant

There’s a persistent myth that grants are available to pay for all sorts of things and that just about anybody can get one. That’s not surprising since the media are full of misleading ads promising nirvana once you get your “free money” from the government.

While it’s true that grants never have to be repaid, they are only approved for very specific purposes. They provide an efficient means for the government to invest in targeted areas of the economy.

While grants are a great deal if you can get one, the devil is in the details. They are rarely given to individuals, and most often they support an objective that benefits the general public. So, it’s not likely that you’ll receive a new grant to start or expand a private business. The most common grants are for development of public facilities, infrastructure, education improvements, and certain research projects.

Artisan Spotlight: Jacque Jones-Gross - face.body.feet

Like so many of our generation, I suppose, Jacque’s spark of inspiration came from Martha Stewart.

An exploration of the lifestyle diva’s bath tea recipe led her down the fragrant path and into the addictive world of handmade bath and body products. “I have always been an entrepreneur—never wanting to work for someone else—always wanting to have something that is mine. I've always had a thing for arts & crafts, but I never thought about it being something that I would actually start a business with.” Well, not until last spring.

Your Invited: New Cosmetic & Legislative Forum

Debbie May's Cosmetic & Legislative Forums

It is clear that once again things are going to heat up the first quarter of 2012.  I have several legislative trips to Washington DC set up  between now and the first of the year so that we can lay the groundwork for 2012. 

There is one bill I am trying to help improve and three draft bills I am hoping to influence so that our industry is not negatively impacted.

In an effort to put good information in your hands, I have started a dedicated forum for Cosmetic & Legislative topics.  This site will act as a clearing house for information on all state and federal cosmetic legislative topics.  It will store historical information that can be used in future dialogue.  It is my desire that the site is as transparent as possible and a place where you can find answers.

If you are interested in following legislative information for our industry, I hope you stop by and join the Cosmetic & Legislative Forum.  Consider posting questions and contributing to the content. 

You can view the new forum here:

There is also a link at the top of the Debbie website here.

Best Regards,

Debbie May

Artisan Spotlight: Katie Hart - Hart's Handmade Naturals

Katie Hart’s passion for soap and body scrub making grew out of her love for creative cooking. “I love to cook and love coming up with different recipes, and all the wonderful flavors that go well together. Soap-making is creativity at its finest: not only do I get to come up with wonderful exotic oil blends for the body butters and salves, but I get to figure out what essential oil blends evoke what mood.”
Although she’s kind of new on the scene she’s already learned a lot, not the least of which is “don’t put so much pressure on yourself; take each day as it comes.” She admits to being a bit ‘all over the board’ when she started. “I wanted to make too many different things—scrubs, bug spray, laundry detergents—and spent perhaps too much time and money on them. Now I know I need to narrow the focus.” She’s concentrating on sticking with core business and building those sales.

The Ins and Outs of Bankruptcy

The decision to file bankruptcy should not be taken lightly. Other options should be considered including debt settlement, debt consolidation, financial counseling, and additional income streams. Going bankrupt has many long-term consequences that can’t easily be undone.

If you’ve exhausted your options and can’t see a way out of your financial problems, consult with an attorney who specializes in bankruptcy. While bankruptcy is usually a measure of last resort, once undertaken it will shield you from creditors and may save your business.

There are three primary forms of bankruptcy which provide different approaches to resolving financial difficulties. Chapter 11 is not addressed in this article because it is used mostly by large corporations. Careful consideration should be given in deciding how you will file.