We've all seen the headlines: "Millions in free government money for your business." Late-night infomercials and Internet advertisements promise grants to start or expand a business. Sound too good to be true? It is.
The federal government does not provide grants for starting and expanding a business.
Grants from the federal government are only available to non-commercial organizations, such as non-profits and educational institutions in areas such as, medicine, education, scientific research and technology development. The federal government also provides grants to state and local governments to assist them with economic development.
Some business grants are available through state and local programs, non-profit organizations and other groups. For example, some states provide grants for expanding child care centers; creating energy efficient technology; and developing marketing campaigns for tourism. These grants are not necessarily free money, and usually require the recipient to match funds or combine the grant with other forms of financing such as a loan.
If you are not one of these specialized business, both federal and state government agencies provide financial assistance programs that helps small business owners obtain low-interest loans and venture capital financing from commercial lenders.
Visit the Finance, Money & Taxes Community Forum to get answers to your questions, and discuss financing issues with other small business owners and industry experts.
If you are a small business owner, use our Small Business Loans and Grants Search Toolto find specialized small business grant programs.
If you are a non-profit organization or a for-profit business involved in scientific and technology research and development, consult the following resources:
The following is a selection of major grant programs provided by federal government agencies.
Arts, Humanities and Education
Community and Social Services
Health and Medicine
Science, Technology and Environment