Lehigh University
Small Business Development Center
Helping Businesses Start, Grow, and Prosper

Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q.)

Are there any grants to help start my business?

Facts About Government Grants:

SBA does NOT provide grants for starting and expanding a business.

Government grants are funded by your tax dollars and, therefore, require very stringent compliance and reporting measures to ensure the money is well spent.  As you can imagine, grants are not given away indiscriminately.

Grants from the Federal government are authorized and appropriated through bills passed by Congress and signed by the President. The grant authority varies widely among agencies. SBA has authority to make grants to non-profit and educational organizations in many of its counseling and training programs, but does not have authority to make grants to small businesses. The announcements for the counseling and training grants will appear on grants.gov. If Congress authorizes Specific Initiative Grants, organizations receiving such grants will receive individual notifications.

Some business grants are available through state and local programs, nonprofit 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. The amount of the grant money available varies with each business and each grantor.

Resource Link:

Loans & Grants Search API  Description 
SBA.gov's Loans & Grants Search API provides access to a collection of links to Federal, state, and local financial assistance programs that help small businesses get started or expand operations. Each program is categorized to several attributes, including specialized types of financing (e.g., start-up loans for women entrepreneurs).
http://www.sba.gov/about-sba-services/7616

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