Organizations often wonder if government funding is available to them for security improvements.
The answer? Possibly, but it depends on your organization. Both federal and local governments are often tasked with improving critical infrastructure or facilities that need to meet certain security benchmarks. That means that the federal government often provides grants that allow states, governmental agencies, and private businesses to make critical and very specific improvements.
These grants are often provided through the Department of Homeland Security or other governmental agencies to the states. Organizations can then apply through the states themselves.
Which organizations are likely to get funding?
Unfortunately, when it comes to federal grants for security improvements, not all organizations are eligible, and the grants are usually extremely focused on specific groups or types of improvements.
Federal money is often earmarked for the protection of specific organizations that are often targeted by violence, like schools, community centers, churches, and other faith-based groups. For example, after the school shootings in Parkland, Fla., Congress passed the STOP School Violence Act, which set aside $50 million on programs and security measures for schools.
Other organizations likely to be eligible for funding are those considered part of the country’s critical infrastructure, like hospitals, utilities, and essential services. It’s important to note that the kinds of businesses that will be supported by grants are likely to change during the Covid-19 pandemic, since the definition of “essential” often shifts to fit an area’s needs. So, if you’re the owner of a grocery store, for example, it might be worth checking regularly to see if there are some federal grants that apply to your business.
How can an organization find these resources?
If you’re seeking a grant that will help improve your organization’s security, or you’re wondering if an existing grant applies to you, you should start with your local government. Your city, town, or county emergency manager should know if there are grants you can apply for. If you’re located in an area without an emergency manager, you may want to contact your state emergency manager or your local representative’s office.
A security consultant can also help you find and locate grants; security subject experts are well-versed in the funds that are available, and may even be able to help you write the grant. While their fees aren’t typically covered by the government, the expense is often worth it — a knowledgeably-written grant can mean funding for your organization and better security for your employees, clients and assets.
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