Money to Start or Expand a Small Business

Think SBA Loans, Not Grants

Owners of small bakery with their products
Mardis Coers/Moment Mobile

Right off the top... The U.S. government does not currently provide direct grants to individuals for starting or expanding a small business. However, the government does offer plenty of free help in planning how to start or improve your business and in securing low-interest SBA-backed small business loans. In addition, many states DO offer small business grants to individuals.

SBA does not offer grants to start or expand small businesses. SBA's grant programs generally support non-profit organizations, intermediary lending institutions, and state and local governments in an effort to expand and enhance small business technical and financial assistance. -- Source: SBA

The "SBA" is the U.S. Small Business Administration. Since 1953, the SBA has helped thousands of Americans start small businesses. Today. SBA offices in every state, the District of Columbia, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico assist with planning, financing, training and advocacy for small firms. In addition, the SBA works with thousands of lending, educational and training institutions nationwide.\

Can the SBA help you?

If your business is or will be independently owned and operated, not dominant in its field, and meets the maximum business size standards required, then yes, the SBA can help you. Here's how:

Federal Government Contracting Resources

Small businesses sell billions of dollars worth of goods and services to the US federal government every year. Many government agencies require that some percentage of their contracts for goods and services be awarded to small businesses. Here you will find the resources you need to help your small business become established as a federal contractor, find business opportunities, and the rules and regulations that federal contractors need to follow.

Government Resources for Women-owned Businesses

According to the Census Bureau, women-owned nearly 30 percent of all nonfarm businesses in the United States in 2002, when the nearly 6.5 million women-owned businesses generated more than $940 billion in revenue, up 15 percent from 1997. Here you will find information on US government programs that help women entrepreneurs start, grow and expand their businesses.

Finding State-Based Small Business Grants and Funding Hot Prospects

Small business financing incentives are an important part of every state's economic growth plan. Some states even offer small business grants. Other small business incentives could include subsidized rates on SBA loans, tax breaks and participation in business "incubator" programs.

Small Business Lending Fund (SBLF)

The SBLF will ultimately provide up to $30 billion to small community banks to be used for making small business loans. The dividend rate a community bank pays on SBLF funding is reduced as that bank increases its lending to small businesses -- providing a strong incentive for new lending to small businesses so they can expand and create jobs.

State Small Business Credit Initiative

In the tradition of the best sources of funding for small businesses coming from state governments, the new State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) - a component of the Small Business Jobs Act - will strive to generate at least $15 billion in locally-available small business loan programs intended to help small business grow and create new jobs.

Small Business Health Care Tax Credit

The health care reform law - the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act - provides an immediate small business tax credit to help small businesses afford health insurance coverage for their employees.