Are there any business grants available to start a business?

The reality is -- there is no such thing as free money from the federal government to start or expand your small business. Although there are government agencies, private organizations and institutions that provide grants to small businesses, their assistance is generally directed toward specific projects, charities, lending institutions, non-profit organizations and educational institutions. Very little money goes to individuals.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), an agency dedicated to the growth and success of the nation's small businesses, is no different. What few grant programs the SBA has are directed mainly to non-profits, intermediary lending institutions and programs administered by states and localities for purposes such as economic revitalization and technology research.

The books and late-night television infomercials that tout government grants for business are usually exercises in cleverly misleading entrepreneurship. Read the fine print carefully and "buyer beware."  The Kentucky Small Business Development Center has developed a wonderful guide called "Grants: Separating Myth from Fact" that provides information about the few grants that are available and how to decipher between the credible programs and the scams.

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