NASE Blogs

From the Trenches ... Government Grants; Fact or Fiction?

Aug 09, 2010


I am starting a business that will create jobs and support other local businesses. I hear a lot about how much grant money is available for small business but I haven't been able to find any. Where can I get sources for grants?


As the adage goes, there is a lot more talk than there is reality! Particularly when it comes to the supposed amounts of government and private grants for small businesses. That is not to say that there are not assistance programs, just that they are very limited.

Actually, the first source for you to check into that is real is the NASE. For several years the NASE has been giving grants out to members and the application process is pretty simple. Just go to and do a search for grants and you will find all the other information you need to apply.

As for the mass of information you hear about the government having millions of dollars to give away to small business ... Again, while there are some grant programs for small business the vast majority of information you read or hear is followed by ... "Just send in $49.95 to buy my book" or "just sign up on line for $495 to find your free money". The real secret here is that anyone asking for upfront money to find you money is probably a scam and the only one getting any money are the people you are sending it to.

The best sources to find out what money might be available for you is the Small Business Administration. If you go to their website at and do a search for grants, you will come up with a list of various government websites and information on the types of grants available.

It would also be wise to contact your local SBA office. The majority of grants for small business are done through block grant programs which means that federal money is fed to local organizations that then distribute the money. So, there might be grant programs in some cities that are not available in others. So, contact your local small business sources like the SBA is how you find out what is available in your area.

Along with the SBA, it is also a good idea to contact the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) in your area and go through the same process to discover if they have information on the local small business money scene.

It's important to be prepared and remember that when looking for a grant when you are venturing out on a for profit business you are in reality asking for a hand out so be prepared to show just how much that money could put back into the community and economy through new jobs or other benefits that would be reason enough to entice an organization to contribute to you business.

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