I just responded to an email sent by a visitor asking about government grants and whether he can get one to start his business. This is a common question that I suppose is on a lot of people’s minds. Even on Yahoo Answers where I am the #1 in the Business and Finance category, this is my bread-and-butter question (or where I get most of my best answers) as there are a lot of people asking this question day in and day out.
The Small Business Administration even included the question of whether there are grants for starting or expanding a business in the Most Requested Items section in their website http://www.sba.gov/mostrequesteditems/CON_FAQ2.html
“The U.S. Small Business Administration does not offer grants to start or expand small businesses, although it does offer a wide variety of loan programs. (See
http://www.sba.gov/financing for more information) While SBA does offer some grant programs, these are generally designed to expand and enhance organizations that provide small business management, technical, or financial assistance. These grants generally support non-profit organizations, intermediary lending institutions, and state and local governments.”
You may also want to read the warnings FTC has issued against these “grant” companies:
Here is also one of the warnings issued by the Better Business Bureau http://www.concord.bbb.org/tips_timesharescams.html
If you want information on grants, the only places to go are government websites: the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) http://www.cfda.gov/ and Grants.gov http://www.grants.gov/ – these are two sites created by the federal government to provide transparency and information on grants. Browse through the CFDA listings and see if you can find any grant that would support a for-profit venture. Once you find the grant where you can qualify, go to Grants.gov and download the application form of the relevant grant. You will be asked the CFDA number of the grant.
When you hear or see offers of companies promising to give you grants, treat it with a grain of salt and be very skeptical about it. Uncle Sam does not call or email or write to people to tell that they can get grant money. I have previously written about grants at http://www.powerhomebiz.com/guide/cases/shirleyisabel.htm