Small Business Government Grants- Help Carry Out Your Enterprise
Small business owners often have good ideas, but limited cash and capital to carry out their enterprise. Small business grants is an avenue to generate funding to turn a business into a successful endeavor. However, small businesses must be cautioned that grant funding is limited.
Research & Development Grants
Government grants to small business are extremely limited, but some types of companies and activities are eligible for grants. Research and Development (R&D) activities are available to small businesses through a select number of federal agencies. These two grant opportunities are called Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR). These grant awards give small businesses a chance to compete for R&D funding with larger businesses.
SBIR and STTR grants only amount to 3% of extramural research funding from the federal government. However, these grants amount to over $100 million in funding. Although the Small Business Administration oversees the SBIR/STTR programs, this agency does not award any federal grants to small business. Instead, a select number of federal agencies provide these research grants to small businesses.
Eleven federal agencies give SBIR small business grants and five agencies award STTR grants. These opportunities can be found on Grants.gov. Additional information and technical assistance on these small business grants are available on the federal site, SBIR.gov.
Start up and expansion grants to small businesses do not exist from the federal government. Many have criticized the federal government for not providing more assistance. However, there are some small business grants available on the State and local level. The Small Business Administration has a search feature on its web site for grants and loans. Searches on the site may identify grant opportunities.
Some States and local municipalities provide small grants for converting to energy efficient technology. These grants may provide capital to purchase new equipment or renovate. Usually these grants are modest and under $10,000.
Technical Assistance to Small Businesses
While there are few small business grants, there are technical assistance resources available. This technical assistance may save the small business time and money in starting up their business. The Small Business Administration provides a large amount of free help with starting a small business. There are assessments for readiness to start a business along with Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ). In addition, the SBA has information on developing a Business Plan. Included in this technical assistance is a template and guidance on writing a business plan.