How nice would it be to have money just given to you? One government website offers a great clearinghouse for hundreds of startup grants. These grants are offered by states and governmental associations, and the list promises to get bigger with all that stimulus money on the way. The grant process is generally not too onerous, and requires little more than a business plan and 10 to 15 pages of paperwork. And the rewards can be tremendous. Seek out foundations, minority programs, green programs, alternative energy, and other niches.
If you’re seeking grant money, you cast a wide net around any grants you may qualify for, then try to develop relationships with the people who hold the keys. It can be a long process, so the time to start digging up any appropriate grants is now. You will need a lot of patience due to the time frame in processing.