No Free Money - Welcome to 'No Free Money'

Welcome to 'No Free Money'

Money in the news:

Ohio has extended the HEAP application deadline for 2014 to April 15th.

For those who have exhausted all other sources of assistance for their gas heating bills, Columbia Gas has started a new fund, the Columbia Fuel Fund. You have to be within 200% of the poverty level to qualify. For more information, call the Customer Contact Center at 1-800-344-4077.

Free neutering/spaying for both feral and "owned" cats in the 43605, 43609, and 43615 zip codes of Toledo by Humane Ohio. For more information, call them at 419-266-5607.

Truth and nonsense:

1) Billions in grant dollars are just lying around, waiting for deserving individuals to apply.

Truth: Most federal grants are earmarked for state and local governments and nonprofits. There are few funds that go directly from the federal government to individuals. In turn, those nonprofits, local and state governments create aid programs that are often in the form of reduced rate loans, loan guarantees, and tax breaks and incentives, and they vary from one state or locality to another. There are very few outright grants.

2) Lots of new business owners are eligible for grants.

Truth: Most aid that comes to businesses comes in the form of loans, loan guarantees, and tax incentives. In most instances, businesses that get outright grants have received them because they have 1) invested a great deal of money in a location, and the state or local government at that location gave them a grant to “sweeten the pot” and attract big business 2) suffered a disaster and got a disaster grant 3) promised to create a certain amount of jobs in the jurisdiction giving the grant. Many other “grants” touted on “free money” books and websites are in fact contracts with the government to create goods or services.

3) Minorities and women get lots of grants set aside just for them.

Truth: Except for education, few grants are set asides just for women and minorities. In some jurisdictions, set aside percentages have been created at government purchasing agencies to buy a certain amount of goods and services from women or minority owned companies, but these are payments for services, not grants. Many grants are created to give government agencies and nonprofit organizations money to create programs that help minorities and women, often in the form of counseling and loans.

***NOW: find strange new sources of (non)free money and financial help at the blog: Free Money Ate My Brain.*** Follow me on Twitter at: Toledolinda.

Linda Koss is the Grantsmanship Specialist for the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library, a position she has held since 1995.