Small business grants are typically awarded to companies that are participating in a specific program that benefits the local community or the general public within a state. Other small business grants are awarded to companies conducting innovative research and development in industries such as technology.
Most small business grants are not given out directly by the federal government. Grants are not given to companies for starting a business or to cover general operating expenses. In fact, business grants are available sporadically and are highly competitive when available. Because taxpayer money funds government grants, grant applicants must meet strict requirements and abide by certain rules. Thus, when a business puts forth a grant proposal, it must be done after considering how the business meets every requirement.
Businesses can find grant program information at the Small Business Administration website or state websites. The grant process is open to small companies that do research and development in certain industries. In this case, a grant proposal is allowed to have commercial potential as long as it meets the specific objectives of the grant program. For example, a small business involved in developing green energy fuels for automobiles may qualify for a grant program offered by the U.S. Department of Energy.