Finance Your Business

Explore the variety of government-backed loans and funding programs for your business.

Small Business Loans

Government loan programs offer financial support to people starting or expanding a business. This helps those who may have trouble qualifying for a traditional bank loan. 

In these programs, you’ll apply by creating a loan package with a participating lender. The federal government will guarantee a portion of the loan and will repay the lender if you default. This government guarantee reduces the risk to the lender and increases the likelihood of a loan being offered. 

Use these government resources and services to find a loan that best suits your business needs: 

  • Small Business Administration (SBA) - Explore many types of loans for starting and expanding a business, handling disasters, and exporting goods. 

  • U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) - Get information on government-guaranteed loans for rural businesses and local program contacts.

  • GovLoans - Research many types of federal loans for your business and learn how to apply. 

  • Small Business Lending Fund (SBLF) - This Treasury Department initiative provides capital to qualified community banks and community development loan funds (CDLFs). This helps promote economic growth and create new jobs. 

No Federal Grants for Businesses 

The federal government does not offer grants for starting or growing a business. It only provides grants for nonprofit and educational institutions. These organizations focus mainly on medicine, technology development, and other related fields.

Some state and local programs offer business grants. They usually require you to match the funds. Or, they may expect you to combine the grant with other forms of financing, such as a loan.

Other Government Funding Options for Your Business

These federal and state programs can also help finance your business:

  • Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) Program - The Small Business Administration (SBA) partners with private investment funds licensed as SBICs to provide growth capital to small businesses. Find out if SBIC financing is right for your business.

  • Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program - This competitive, awards-based program encourages small businesses to pursue federal research or research and development (R/R&D) projects that can lead to opportunities for commercialization. Learn how to apply for the program.

  • State and Local Business Assistance - Find out about state and local business financial assistance where you live. This includes financing for business expansion, state credit initiatives, and more.
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Last Updated: September 13, 2019