Grants for Businesses
According to the SBA, Small Business Administration, there are no federal grants available for businesses. Most grants by private foundations are to non-profit organizations. There are some programs that make the grant to the non-profit organization, who then hires a for-profit business entity to complete the work or research specified in the grant. When you see headlines that say some well known company got started with government money, what they mean is that the company got an SBA loan, not a grant.
Small Business Innovation Research Grants
These grants are by the federal government for research and development in the private sector by independent companies who are not dominant in their industry. The person applying for the grant must work full time in the company receiving the grant. There are two phases. Phase I and Phase II, only those companies who have already received a Phase I grant are eligible for Phase II grants. Grant amounts range from $50,000 to $500,000 and are competitive.
If you can present your company in such a way that it benefits society, you may be able to qualify for a foundation grant directly. Think creatively but not deceptively.
Grants By Cities And Local Organizations
Grants by cities for local redevelopment projects or restoration projects are occasionally available to qualifying businesses. These grants for the most part are for established businesses located in economically depressed areas.
Tax Credits and Services in lieu of Cash Many cities and states offer tax credits for a variety of programs, including training of employees and efforts to increase employment. There are also free services provided in the areas of business planning, marketing, and financial advice. Consulting services are provided for these areas at substantially discounted rates as well by participating professionals. Check with your local city, chamber of commerce and Small Business Development Center to see what’s available.