- Business and Employment
Grants for Starting a Small Business: Myth or Fact?
You've seen the infomercials claiming that the government is handing out free grant money to everyone who asks for it. The people in the infomercials make it sound like all you have to do is ask Uncle Sam for money and you are bound to get it. A common selling point of the infomercial is free money from the government to start a small business. Are there really grants for starting a small business that are available for anyone and for any business?
When viewing such infomercials, the audience must understand that it's a commercial. They are trying to sell something. They are selling information about how to obtain free money. It's a great idea. Everyone wants free money. But, the commercials are misleading at best.
Are there government small business grants? Of course, there are. BUT, the vast majority of small business grants are for very specific types of businesses. Unless you want to start a medical research facility or other highly scientific, specialized businesses, the chances of getting a grant to start a business is extremely low in some and non-existent in most states.
States? Yes, states. Many infomercials imply that grant money is given by the federal government and in some cases it is. But, US government grants are most often given to states and agencies rather than individuals. For example, research grants are given to colleges and businesses to research a specific field. Federal human service grants are given to organizations that either research or serve the community in specific ways such as drug abuse rehabilitation or fighting homelessness.
According to the US Small Business Administration, there are no grants from them to finance the start of a small business. If you click the link to take you to their "Grants" section, the page is titled "For Borrowers" and is about their loan programs. An existing business has a small chance of getting a grant from the SBA, but a person cannot get a grant to start a business.
Some people may think that I am being a little harsh in reference to the infomercials. But the fact is, the information that they sell is free to the public. It's not hidden. It's no secret. It's free and a matter of public record. I feel passionately about helping people find what's free for them to know rather than overpaying for fluff, conjecture, and the dream of free money. I feel that some people have taken advantage of the financial desperation of the times.
For more information about government grants, please visit my website: grant-programs.org