Where to Look for Government Business Grants and Financial Help
Grants.gov . Through the Grants.gov website, you can search for and obtain updated listings of federal grant opportunities. You can do keyword searches, or you can search by a wide range of grant categories including business and commerce. You can also search by specific agency. When the site returns a listing of grant opportunities, you can read a summary description of each grant to get information on what it is about, when you can apply, and what the eligibility requirements are. You can also access more detailed information about the grant and download an application package.
How to search for small business government grants on the grants.gov website:
1. Go to the grants.gov home page and click on "Find Grant Opportunities" on the menu on the left.
2. On the "Find Grant Opportunities" page, click on "Advanced Search".
3. On the "Advanced Search" page, go to the "Search by Eligibility" box and select "Small Business".
4. Select other search criteria as needed from the other boxes on the page.
5. Click on the "Search" button at the bottom of the page.
Research Grants for Small Businesses. This page, from the SBA website, contains a listing of agencies that give research grants as part of the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Program. (See my SBIR Page for more information and links relating to these programs.)
Government Agency Websites. Although most agencies and their divisions/departments announce their grant opportunities through grants.gov, you can sometimes also find these announcements on individual agency/division websites.
Business.gov. This website has an easy checklist tool that can help you search for business grants (as well as loans and other types of financing). Basically, you check off what you are looking for and the site returns a listing of possible grant and other sources of financing.
State Agencies. It is worth checking your own state's website to see if there are any business grants or other types of financing available to small businesses. These might include, for example, grants for programs and activities related to tourism, daycare, energy, and exporting. Do a search on your state's website for "Grants" and/or see if there is a Division of Business, Commerce or Economic Development. Here is an example of what is available in my own state, Maryland. Every state has different opportunities.
Foundation Business Grants. Most foundations are required to give grants only to non-profit organizations. But you might find a few foundations that give grants to for-profit businesses by checking this link for the Foundation Center's Google search results. But you want to be careful here. If you come across a website that tells you that there are millions of dollars of foundation funds that you can access for your business, don't believe it. It's a scam designed to get you to purchase a useless book, or to sign up for a costly "service" that claims it will find business grants for you. The Foundation Center is one of the world's foremost and trusted authority on grants. See what they have to say about grants for starting a small business.
If you are looking for funds for your business or other needs, take a look at my Government Loans and Other Financial Resources Page. There you'll find resources relating to Small Business Administration (SBA) loans, State and Local Economic Development Programs, non-government business funding, and funding for rural businesses, housing, and farms. You'll find information on other ways of getting money for your new or existing business (and for women and minorities) on my Small Business Page.
You can check with your state and local economic development agency and other state/local resources to see if there is any type of financial assistance that may be available to you:
Finally, you can contact the Small Business Administration, Small Business Development Center, or SCORE. They have offices in each state and can provide you with free advice and assistance for starting your business.
Related pages include:
- Other Government Grants
- Government Grants by Subject
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About Government Grants
- Grant information by Government Agency
- Other government grant-related Links
- Finding and getting Free Money
- Information on Recovery and Stimulus Grants and Funding
- Deceptive Grant Practices and Ripoffs
- My proposal writing Blog