Funding Options

Understand what types of government funding options are available for businesses and which agencies offer them.

Grants

The federal government does NOT provide grants for starting and expanding a business.

Grants from the federal government are only available to non-commercial organizations, such as nonprofits and educational institutions in areas such as, medicine, education, scientific research, and technology development. The federal government also provides grants to state and local governments to assist them with economic development.

If you are not one of these specialized businesses, both federal and state government agencies provide financial assistance programs that help small business owners obtain low-interest loans and venture capital financing from commercial lenders.

Loans

Some federal agencies have loan programs to help you start or grow your business.  Each agency has different loan requirements and applications processes.  

GovLoans offers federal loan information and is specifically designed to help determine which loans may be right for you.  You can browse the different types of business loans and find out more about the application process for each loan.  

The Small Business Administration (SBA) offers a broad range of funding options including loans to fit your business needs.

Other Funding Options

Federal agencies provide a variety of funding programs. These programs usually work with state and local governments to increase the availability of funding from private lenders to local businesses.    

  • The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) guaranteed loan program bolsters the existing private credit structure through the guaranteeing of loans for rural businesses, allowing private lenders to extend more credit than they would typically be able to.

  • The Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) Program works with private investment funds licensed as SBICs to provide growth capital to U.S. small businesses.

  • The Small Business Lending Fund provides capital to qualified community banks and community development loan funds (CDLFs) to encourage small business lending.

Challenges

Challenge.gov is a listing of challenge and prize competitions, all of which are run by more than 80 agencies across federal government seeking innovative solutions to solve mission-centric problems.

Government Agencies Providing Financial Options for Your Business

These are the government programs and agencies offering financial resources that could benefit your business:

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