Resellers to Get Economic Stimulus Package Grant Funding Help

By Jessica Davis  |  Print this article Print

Help is on the way for solution providers and resellers looking to tap into grant funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act -- the Obama administration's economic stimulus package. Ingram Micro has expanded its partnership with The Grants Office to generate leads for solution providers and coach them through the grant submission process.

Looking for advice on how to tap into the grant money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, also known as the Obama administration’s economic stimulus package?  

Ingram Micro has expanded its partnership with The Grants Office, a company that specializes in identifying grants and creating grant submissions, in an effort to help resellers and solution providers get a piece of the stimulus pie.

The stimulus package calls for anywhere from $60 billion to $80 billion of IT spend, according to Bob Laclede, vice president of business development at Ingram Micro U.S.

"Sixty percent of those IT stimulus dollars are through line item budgets, and 40 percent are through the grants process," Laclede says. In the grants process, federal agencies—Health and Human Services, for example—set up rules for how grant money will be awarded. Then those who are eligible apply for the grants.

"If the solution provider can get in and help the end user figure out what they want to buy, craft the solutions and maybe wrap some services in there—and then help with the grant request—the solution provider has a better chance of winning," Laclede says.

Solution providers pay a fee of $2,500 to participate in the program. In exchange they get a list of leads—Ingram Micro customers whose technology purchasing needs are mapped against the Grant Office’s database of technology grant eligibility and sources of funds. Then The Grants Office can help coach the solution provider through the grant process, serving as a kind of a help desk for grant writing and submission, says Laclede.

The $2,500 fee, charged on a per sales representative seat/team basis, is also eligible to be rebated to the solution provider as deals are fulfilled through Ingram Micro. Once a sales representative is engaged in the process, he or she works with a firewalled representative within The Grants Office to prevent any conflicts between VARs that may be going after the same deals.

Laclede says Ingram Micro has piloted the program with two solution providers so far, and many more are looking to participate. Ingram Micro is looking to formally launch the program in July, and Laclede warns that the grant process can take anywhere from three to six months.

Ingram Micro has previously partnered with The Grants Office for help with some of its initiatives aimed at the education market in the form of the eRate program. The new program is exclusive to Ingram Micro, says Laclede.

Jessica Davis covers the channel for eWeek and Channel Insider. Her technology journalism career began well before anyone heard of the World Wide Web and has included stints at Infoworld, Electronic News/EDN, and the Philadelphia Business Journal. Her work has also appeared on CNN and Forbes.com. She has covered hardware, software and networking, as well as the business side of technology. She has won several journalism awards, including a national ASBPE award for best staff-written column, and was named Marketing Computers hardest working tech journalist on their inaugural list of top tech journalists. Jessica can be reached at jessica.davis@ziffdavisenterprise.com

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