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Job Creation Grants

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Job Creation Grants

By Davidh, SBA Official
Published: June 29, 2011

 

By David Hall

A big part of the American Dream is the possibility of owning and running your business. That, of course, takes money, which begs the question how to finance your dream.

There’s a widespread misconception, fueled by (sometimes unscrupulous) late-night infomercials, that there is money galore out there in the form of grants to start or expand your own business. While the popular, wishful approach to financing your business with OPM, Other People’s Money, is certainly attractive, it usually doesn’t work that way, and those infomercials, books and publications promising free money from the government are misleading at best.

Now, that doesn’t mean there are no grants out there for people to benefit from. As a matter of fact, it is true that there are many sources of grant money, both public and private, available to those who know where to look, qualify and know how to compete for it. The big misconception we want to dispel here right upfront is that the government has grant money to give out to current or potential entrepreneurs to start or expand their businesses. It is not true.

Government grants

The government, however, does provide grant money to help businesses, indirectly, and in the process create jobs, which is essential to a healthy economy.

The key to understanding how this works is the word “indirectly.” The federal government, through many of its agencies, provides grant money to state governments, non-profit organizations, educational, civic and faith-based institutions whose mission is to provide assistance mostly for affordable housing, social services and economic development within a community.

Use the Loans and Grants Search Tool to view a full list of programs for which you might qualify.

 The subject of federal and state grants to pursue all the goals mentioned above would be too broad to tackle here, so let’s focus exclusively on grants for business assistance and job creation.

Business-related, job-creating grants

If the government doesn’t give out grants to businesses, how then does it help businesses and job creation through grants?

As explained above, the federal government, through its agencies, provides grants to entities which, in turn, assist small businesses and promote job creation.

The SBA is the main federal agency in charge of helping small businesses start, grow and succeed. While most of SBA’s financial assistance is in the form of guaranteed loans, the SBA does provide grants to resource partners and non-profit intermediary lenders that help small businesses not only financially but also –and in some cases mainly- with training and counseling.

  Grants to lending institutions

Among SBA’s financial assistance programs, the Microlending program is probably among the most popular with startups and businesses that need relatively small amounts of money. Non-profit, micro lending institutions associated with SBA can make small business loans up to $50,000 for working capital, purchasing inventory, supplies, equipment, machinery or furniture. These intermediaries are required to provide technical assistance and counseling to the small business borrower to improve their chances of success. The SBA gives grants to these intermediaries to help finance the technical assistance.  The SBA does not give grants to small businesses, small business owners, or other individuals under this program.

SBIR

The Small Business Innovation and Research program is a trans-agency initiative that helps small businesses explore their technological potential and benefit from its commercialization. There are 11 federal agencies that are required by law to set aside part of their Research and Development budgets and award it, through competition, to small businesses involved in R&D in certain areas such as defense, health care, and environmental protection, among others. The SBA coordinates and directs the program, reviews the agencies’ progress and reports on it to Congress.

Grants for technical assistance, training and counseling to small businesses

Many of SBA’s services to small businesses are delivered through resource partners that, by their very nature, are closely involved in the economic development of the communities they serve. These resource partners are the Women Business Centers, Small Business Development Centers and SCORE.  All these organizations receive grant money from the SBA to help small businesses start, grow and succeed and, in the process, create jobs.

The main service offered by WBCs, SBDCs and SCORE chapters is low-cost training and free business counseling to businesses that are either starting up or already in operation. The grant money provided by SBA goes to finance those activities. Businesses using these services attribute growth in sales and profitability to the support they receive.

So, yes, there is grant money to help small businesses, but as a current or future business owner, it is important that you know the nature, source and purpose of those grants.

 

Sources:

http://www.grants.gov/

http://www.sba.gov/content/microloan-program

http://www.sba.gov/content/research-grants-small-businesses

http://www.sba.gov/content/small-business-innovation-research-program-sbir-0

http://www.sba.gov/content/womens-business-center-grant-opportunities

http://www.sba.gov/content/small-business-development-centers-sbdcs

http://www.sba.gov/content/score

About the Author:

David J. Hall

SBA Official

Hi, my name is David and I'm serving as a Moderator for the SBA Community. Our goal is to continually improve this site to meet your needs, so we appreciate your feedback and participation.

Comments:

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I'm considering an application for one of SBA's financial assistance programs, for small businesses including 7(a), 504 and disaster assistance loans.
Hey There. I found your blog using msn. This is an extremely well written article. I will be sure to bookmark it and return to read more of your useful info. Thanks for the post. I will certainly return.
Grants are so important to small business growth and future infrastructure. So many good ideas are funded and stay alive because of grant funding. This in turn leads to thousands of jobs created and innovation.
Grants are a vital part of the economy, more so because of the current financial circumstance. The only way out of this depression is for the government to spend its way out. There has never been such a need for new businesses and that takes backing. This is true for all levels of start up business as well as existing businesses who need to expand .
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This helps the government and of great value to people who want to start your business a good incentive for employees but entrepreneurs can use to expand its business or even start one. my site como ganhar dinheiro
This truly is helpful for students just finishing school and wanting to venture in he business world. Giving out grants is a good way in keeping people in our country instead of them going overseas to work or open their business. It would be fun if big businesses marketing tablet pcs would build those devices here instead of using cheap labor in China. We'd have higher quality products.
I wish it is possible in reality to get grant here in Nigeria from Government for Small businesses or to Start a business,even though the Government always says there is grant through MFB, the requirement and the interest the MFB will demand makes impossible for people like me

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