Small business owners know better than anyone the sacrifices involved in launching and supporting a new venture and sometimes those sacrifices can be more than one can bear, leading to the end of the business. It doesn’t have to be this way though, there are grants available to small business owners that can help them launch and run their own business successfully.

While small business loans are also available for business owners, grants differ in that the business owner does not repay the money, however grants are generally very restrictive when it comes to qualifications and reporting responsibilities. There are several different types of grants available to small business owners, including government grants, state and local programs, and privately offered grants.

Government Grants

The United States government offers a variety of grants for small business owners through funding by the American tax payers, however grant applicants will have to adhere to strict guidelines for application and grant use/budget reporting. The Small Business Association has collected the needed applications for both non-construction and construction grants, so that you can have a jump start on all the paperwork and provides many different resources for prospective small business owners to help equip them for success.

To learn more about and apply for grants available through the federal government visit Once you’ve researched the best grants and best practices for application, search the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance for federally funded programs you may qualify to be included in.

State & Local Programs

Like the federal government, most states offer some sort of small business grant program and like the federal government, state issued small business grants have heavily regulated guidelines that small business owners must follow or meet in order to qualify. Business owners can most easily find grant information through the individual state’s government website, for instance California’s state grants are listed on a Grants page and are easily searched for relevance.

States will usually also link to other valuable resources, including links for help on proposal writing. Search Business.USA’s United States map to see how your state can help you get the funding you need.

Private Small Business Grants

Recently there have been more and more privately funded small business grants becoming available, but these can be the most difficult to search out since they aren’t as widely advertised. One such grant programs is the newly released small business grant competition from FedEx which will award a total of $50,000 to six deserving U.S. small businesses. The top winner will receive a $25,000 grant and the remaining five winners will receive grants of $5,000 each.

Get Trained to Succeed

If you’re unsure of where or how to start, don’t let feelings of stress overwhelm you. You can receive training from the Foundation Center on how to plan for, research, and craft grant winning proposals for your small business. They also offer free basic fundraising training for small business owners who are just starting out.

So, what’s stopping you?

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