How to Find Small Business Grants

Small Business funding can be somewhat elusive, but does exist. You just need to look to local, state, and federal government agencies.

Kallee Feuz Apr 12, 2018

The lure of free money is certainly appealing — especially for small businesses searching for much-needed business funding. But be warned: tracking down small business grants can be somewhat like hunting for buried treasure. Along the way you’ll encounter plenty of false leads and dead ends in the form of expired web pages, broken internet links, and phony offers.

Nonetheless, legitimate small business grants, though elusive, do exist, mostly through local, state and federal government agencies. Occasionally, nonprofits and private corporations will also offer business grants (FedEx, for example, holds an annual small business grant contest).

Grants, unlike small business loans, don’t have to be repaid. However, they often have strict requirements as to who qualifies and how the money can be used.

If you dream of striking gold in the form of a small business grant, consider the following resources: 

State and regional small business grants

You’ll save time in your grant-finding quest by first seeking the support of local government agencies. Regional economic development offices and Small Business Development Centers can provide you with area-specific information on small business funding, including grant opportunities like these:

Utah Small Business Grant Resources

  • Technology Commercialization and Innovation Program (TCIP). Some Utah-based tech companies may qualify for a TCIP grant, administered by the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, which aims to accelerate the commercialization of their innovative technologies.
  • Rural Fast Track (RFT) Program. If you own a small company in rural Utah, you may be eligible for an RFT grant, which provides incentives for creating high paying jobs in the rural areas of the state.

Idaho Small Business Grant Resources

Federal small business grants

Certain businesses, particularly those in high-tech fields, may qualify for small business funding in the form of federal grant money.

Beware of third-party websites, sometimes masquerading as government sites, which promise to reveal valuable government grant information or apply for grants on your behalf in exchange for money and/or personal information.

There should never be a cost to you in applying for a federal grant and any financial information required should be submitted directly through a government website like one of the following:

  • Small Business Innovation Research. If your small business is involved in scientific research and development, you may qualify for federal grants under the Small Business Innovation Research and the Small Business Technology Transfer programs.
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development. The USDA provides a variety of grant programs, including rural business development grants, for small businesses serving rural communities.
  • This government-administered website features a database where individuals and entities can find and apply for federal grants. The search feature allows you to filter by eligibility, category and agency to find small business grants specific to your needs.

If grant funding for your business proves to be completely elusive, consider a U.S. Small Business Administration loan from Zions Bank. SBA loans have a variety of uses, including for purchasing real estate, working capital or export financing. You can talk to a Zions Bank representative by phone or at any Zions Bank branch to determine which SBA loan is right for your small business and to answer any further questions you have about SBA loan rates, SBA loan amounts and repayment terms.

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