Grants for Small Businesses: Where to Look for Them?

Written by Dave Lavinsky

Although the government is a major source of grant funding, it is not the only source of money that doesn’t need to be repaid. There are many non-profit and philanthropic organizations that are ready to provide money for businesses that serve society or a local community. Most non-profit or philanthropic organizations will only fund other non-profit organizations, however. Government grants are available through either federal departments or agencies or state government departments.

Federal Grants

Research on federal grants can be initiated by first discovering the specific industry your company is in. You can do this by going to and using their system to figure out which industry your business falls under. After discovering the industry of your business, you can search the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance at The CFDA offers formula grants, project grants, direct payments for specified use, as well as direct loans from the SBA. In total there are around 26 federal grant providing agencies in the US. Examples of federal grant making organizations include the Small Business Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Social Security Administration.

State Grants

In addition to federal grants, each state allocates a certain portion of their budget to facilitating business in order to make their areas a hub of success. Most states have their grants listed on their respective websites as well as information such as qualifications for the grants. You can then determine you eligibility for the grants and whether or not you should apply.

Local Grants

In addition to grants handed out at the federal and state level, grants may be available for geographies as local your city or county. Check you city’s or county’s website for any grants that are available. As will state and federal grants, read the requirements and qualifications of the grant to determine whether or not your business or project is eligible.


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