Government Grant Agencies That Work With Small Businesses

May 7th 2016
When you've spent your life putting your nose to the grindstone, working a 9 to 5 job to live out your entrepreneurial dreams, you deserve to reach your goals - but even then, finding the funds can be difficult. You don't have to go it completely alone, however. Federal, state and local government grant agencies work with small businesses to provide funding to those who need it. A grant gives you more flexibility than a loan, as you do not pay grant money back to the agency you received it from, making it a great option for budding entrepreneurs. Read on to find the best government agency to offer you a small business grant: 
Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development in Massachussetts
The Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development in Massachussetts provides a workforce training fund express program targeted at small businesses that have less than 100 employees. The main goals behind this grant are for workforce investment through training programs that help increase the skills of the employees to help with productivity goals, job retention and increased wages. This fund awards up to $1 million every year to eligible small businesses. 
The Department of Health and Human Services
The Department of Health and Human Services has quite a few grants available for small businesses involved in medical and biotech research, particularly if you're focused on curing a specific disease. These grant opportunities provide funding for a wide range of clinical trials, high-risk technical research and other research and development opportunities. The Small Business Innovation Research grant is an example of the federal grants offered through this agency. This grant helps small businesses seeking to get into federal research, promotes socially disadvantaged small businesses and seeks to increase the overall federal return on investment for research. This grant comes in three parts, with phase 1 initially defining what type of research the small business is going to accomplish, whether that research is feasible and what type of technical merit the research has. If the business passes this phase, phase 2 funding goes to actually paying for that research. 
Small Business Administration
The Small Business Administration has a funding opportunity called Boots to Business Training Program that promotes entrepreneurship training of various types. The main goal of the training is to increase global business to business services and exchanges. The SBA requires the applying business to create a group of instructors who teach the basic foundations of the entrepreneurship course and are willing to travel to military installations. Additional requirements include creating and making the course materials available, managing the course and adjusting it over time and reporting on the effectiveness of the training. The course materials also must remain compliant with the requirements of several government agencies in order to maintain program eligibility for the grant. The total funding provided by this program is $3 million. 
City of Chicago
The City of Chicago has a Small Business Improvement Fund to promote the development of small businesses in specific areas of Chicago. It provides funding for the renovation or repair of commercial and industrial buildings. Some repairs or renovations covered by this grant include windows, sign replacement, accessibility improvements, building expansion and HVAC systems. This fund price matches renovation and repair costs up to 75 percent, with an upper cap of $150,000. The city does not award the grant until after the renovations or repairs have been made and after they have confirmed that the work falls within the Small Business Improvement Fund coverage. 
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has a small business assistance program that helps with costs associated with following environmental regulations from that department. Its grant program provdes up to $9,500 set at a 50 percent match with what your business spends on adhering to environmental regulations. It covers pollution control and energy efficiency processes and products so the business doesn't have to deal with the cost burden all on its own.
References:
(1) http://www.mass.gov/lwd/employment-services/business-training-support/wtfp/express/
(2) http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PA-14-071.html
(3) http://www.grants.gov/search-grants.html?eligibilities%3D23%7CSmall%20businesses
(4) http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/dcd/provdrs/ec_dev/svcs/apply_for_a_smallbusinessimprovementfundgrant.html
(5) http://www.dep.state.pa.us/dep/DEPUTATE/airwaste/aq/Small_Business/small_business.htm

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