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Access to Government Grant Programs
The scarcity of capital available to small-business owners has prompted a proliferation of online companies that promise to help entrepreneurs raise government grant money. Here’s how it works: An entrepreneur receives an unsolicited e-mail that leads him or her to a sophisticated-seeming website that suggests ways to raise thousands of dollars through a federal program. As part of the operation, the business owner is allegedly asked to pay several hundred dollars via wire or money order. Complainants say they never heard back from the fundraising company after the payment went through. Advising businesses to steer clear of such offers, the BBB has blacklisted groups such as CDI Resources. In a press release issued in March, the BBB called the organization a “grant scam,” and warned that similar companies “operate under many different names and phone numbers, take your money, then leave town to start all over again.” Inc. attempted but could not reach CDI Resources by phone, and their website appears to be disabled.