Black business planet

DirectDegree - Leading directory of colleges



Minority grants and more

* Grant writer Business Plans


Free Money
What is free money? Usually it means grants or other programs where you donít have to pay back the money you receive. People who have contacted the Small Business Administration asking about free money programs were told that there is no such thing. That is partially true. The Small Business Administration does not offer grants. They specialize in loans and loan guarantees. But there are dozens of other government organizations that do offer grants to businesses. The following is a sample list of national and local government organizations that offer grants or other forms of money you donít have to pay back, like venture capital.

This is not a complete list of programs available. But it certainly does offer you an idea of the opportunities that are out there waiting, and it dispels the myth that there are no government grants for businesses.

Used Tire Grants
The Used Tire Recovery Unitís mission is to develop self-sustaining markets for used and waste tires. The program offers funding in the form of grants and loans for projects, which reuse, recycle, or recover energy from used tires.

For more information, contact: Used Tire Recovery Unit
Bureau of Energy and Recycling
Illinois Department of Commerce and Community Affairs
620 Adams St. Springfield, IL 62701
217- 785-3999

Recycled Materials
The Market Development Program provides funding assistance in the form of loans and grants for the purchase or conversion of equipment to manufacture products from recycled products, and procurement and end-use testing of recycled content products.

For more information, contact: Resource Development Section Bureau of Energy and Recycling
Illinois Department of Commerce and Community Affairs
620 Adams St. Springfield, IL 62701

To Upgrade Employees Skills
The Competitiveness Improvement Program allows an employer to upgrade the skills of existing employees, thus improving the productivity of the business.
The program awards matching grants of up to $25,000 per company through a competitive proposal process. Businesses are urged to work through trade associations and local colleges and universities to increase the effectiveness of the training programs.

For more information, contact:
Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation
One West Exchange St. Providence, R1 02903

Capital for Low-Income Entrepreneurs
Marylandís Equity Participation Investment Program provides investments in technology-based businesses and business acquisitions that will be owned 70% or more by disabled, socially, or economically disadvantaged persons. The amount of money available ranges from $100,000 to
$3 million and can be used to purchase machinery and equipment, inventory, working capital, real estate acquisitions, and more.

For more information, contact:
Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development
Division of Marketing
217 E. Redwood St. Baltimore, MD 21202
800-811-0051 (follow links)

5,000 To Learn New Technology
Rapid changes require rapid and effective responses. To meet your organizational needs, the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation can afford you the opportunity to increase your overall productivity. The intent of the Project Upgrade funds is to upgrade skills of currently employed workers who are being impacted by technological or organizational changes in the workplace. A maximum $5,000 Project Upgrade grant can be obligated to each eligible company.

For more information, contact:
Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation
One West Exchange St., Providence, R1 02903

Venture Capital From New York
High tech entrepreneurs, companies with technologies ready for market, and leading-edge enterprises each have different needs for investment capital. New York State has the seed and growth capital that will enable your high tech business to grow. The Small Business Technology investment Fund Program (STBIF) is a source of early-stage debt and equity funding for high tech companies. Initial investments can come to as much as $300,000 and later stage investments
can go up to $500,000. New York State is banking on a strong high tech future.

For more information, contact:
Empire State Development/Small Business Technology Investment Fund
30 S. Pearl St., 6th Floor

Albany, NY 12245

To Improve Energy Efficiency
The National Industrial Competitiveness Through Energy, Environment and Economics Grant is a federal grant with possible state matching money to improve energy efficiency, promote a cleaner production process and improve the competitiveness of industry. Those eligible include manufacturers in industrial glass, metals, chemicals, forest products, petroleum, steel, and aluminum. The maximum grant is $400,000 and a 55% match is required.

For more information contact: Indiana Department of Commerce
Energy Policy Division, Alternative Energy Program
One North Capital, Suite 700
Indianapolis, IN 46204
317- 232-8940

To Go Overseas
The Trade Show Assistance Program provides financial assistance to Indiana manufacturers by reimbursing a portion of the costs incurred while exhibiting their products at overseas trade shows. Reimbursement includes 100% of exhibit space rental or $5,000; whichever is less. Eligible companies may use this program one time per fiscal year and may not use the grant for the same show in two consecutive years. Applicants must be ready to export, have available manufacturing capacity for export and have basic export knowledge.

For more information, contact: Indiana Department of Commerce International Trade Division
One North Capital, Suite 700
Indianapolis, IN 46204

Technology Money
Not-yet-possible technologies are the domain of the National Institute of Standards and Technologyís Advanced Technology Program (ATP). The ATP is a unique partnership between government and private industry to accelerate the development of high-risk technologies that promise significant commercial payoffs and widespread benefits for the economy. ATP projects focus on the technology needs of the U.S. industry. The ATP does not fund product development. It supports enabling technologies that are essential to the development of new products, processes, and services across diverse application areas. There are strict cost-sharing rules and peer-review competitions.
For more information on how to apply for funding, contact: Advanced Technology Program
National Institute of Standards and Technology
A 407 Administration Building, Gaithersburg, MD 20899

800-ATP-FUND (287-38630

To Save Energy
The U.S. Department of Energy sponsors an innovative, cost-sharing program to promote energy efficiency, clean production, and economic competitiveness in industry. The grant program, known as NICE3 (National Industrial Competitiveness through Energy, Environment, and Economics), provides funding to state and industry partnerships for projects that develop and
demonstrate advances in energy efficiency and clean production technologies. The overall goal of NICE3 is to improve industry energy efficiency, reduce industryís costs, and promote clean production. Grants support innovative technology deployment that can significantly conserve energy and energy-intensive feed stocks, reduce industrial wastes, prevent pollution, and improve industrial cost competitiveness.

For more information, contact: U S. Department of Energy
Office of Industrial Technologies
Golden Field Office
1617 Cole Blvd., 17-3
Golden, CO 80401
303-275- 4728

The Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Program is a highly competitive program that reserves a specific percentage of federal research and development funding for awarding to small business and nonprofit research institution partners.
Small business has long been where innovation and innovators thrive, and nonprofit research laboratories are instrumental in developing high-tech innovations. STTR combines the strengths of both entities by introducing entrepreneurial skills to hi-tech research efforts. There are specific requirements that must be met.
To learn more about how to apply and the various agencies involved, contact: Office of Technology
US. Small Business Administration,
409 Third St., SW Washington, DC 20416

For Technical Assistance
The Microenterprise Assistance Grants help start-up entrepreneurs and expanding businesses receive technical assistance and, in some cases, financial support through selected nonprofit business development organizations. Technical assistance may include assisting business owners in evaluating their abilities and/ or needs of their business; making knowledgeable choices about their business operations; developing new management or operations skills; and underwriting expenses related to the implementation of their business plans.

For more information, contact:
Minnesota Department of Trade and Economic Development
500 Metro Square, 121 7th Place East
St. Paul, MN 55101
800- 657-3858

Do you have a plan to develop a company based on your energy-saving invention or innovation? Have you been searching for financial and technical support to bring your idea to market? The U.S. Department of Energyís Inventions and Innovation Program can help. This program provides financial assistance for establishing technical performance and conducting early development of innovative ideas and inventions. Ideas that have a significant energy savings impact and future commercial market potential are chosen for financial support through a competitive solicitation process. In addition to financial assistance, this program offers technical guidance and commercialization support to successful applicants.

For more information, contact: U S. Department of Energy, Golden Field Office
Inventions and Innovation Program
1617 Cole Blvd., 17-3
Golden, CO 80401
303- 275-4744

For Air Service
The Airline Deregulation Act gave airlines almost total freedom to determine which markets to serve domestically and what fares to charge for that service. The Essential Air Service Program was put into place to guarantee that small communities that were served by certified air carriers before deregulation maintain a minimal level of scheduled air service. The Department of Transportation currently subsidizes commuter airlines to serve approximately 100 rural communities across the country that otherwise would not receive any scheduled air service.

For more information, contact: Office of Aviation Analysis
Office of the Assistant Secretary
U.S. Department of Transportation
400 7th St., SW Washington, DC 20590

The Foreign Market Development Cooperator Program is designed to develop, maintain, and expand long-term export markets for U.S. agricultural products. The program has fostered a trad
promotion partnership between the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and U.S. agricultural producers and processors who are represented by nonprofit commodity or trade associations called cooperators. The USDA and the cooperators pool their technical and financial resources to conduct market development activities outside the United States. Trade organizations compete for funds on the basis of the following allocation criteria: past export performance, past demand expansion performance, future demand expansion goals, and contribution levels. Projects include market research, trade servicing and more.

For more information, contact: Foreign Agriculture Service
Marketing Operations Staff, Stop Code 1042
US. Department of Agriculture, Washington, DC 20250
202- 720-4327

Venture Capital
The Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) programs are privately organized and privately managed investment firms that are licensed by the Small Business Administration. With their own capital and with funds borrowed at favorable rates through the federal government, SBICs
provide venture capital to small independent businesses, both new and already established. A major incentive for the SBICs to invest in small businesses is the chance to share in the success of the small business if it grows and prospers. Small businesses qualifying for assistance from the SBIC program are able to receive equity capital, long-term loans, and expert management assistance.

For more information on SBICs or for a Directory of Small Business Investment Companies, contact:
Investment Division
US. Small Business Administration
409 Third St., SW Washington, DC 20416

By Imports (PC1)?
The Economic Development Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce funds the Trade Adjustment Assistance Program. If your company is affected by import competition, you may file a petition for certification of impact. If your firm is certified, you may then apply for technical assistance in diagnosing your problems, and assessing your opportunities. Once approved, your firm can apply for technical assistance to implement the recovery strategy. The average grant is for over $700,000.

For more information, contact: Economic Development Administration U S. Department of Commerce
14th and Constitution Ave. NW, Room 7804
Washington, DC 20230

Billion To Work On Ideas
The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program is a highly competitive program that encourages small businesses to explore their technological potential and provides the incentive to profit from its commercialization. Each year, ten federal departments and agencies are required
to reserve a portion of their research and development funds to award to small businesses. SBIR funds the critical start-up and development stages and it encourages the commercialization of the technology, product, or service.
There are three phases to the program: Start-up

To learn more about how to apply and about the various agencies involved, contact
Office of Technology,
US. Small Business Administration,
409 Third St., SW Washington, DC 20416

For Every New Job Created
The goal of the Vocational Rehabilitation Economic Development Partnership is to increase employment opportunities for Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) clients by providing equipment grants, technical assistance grants, customized technical assistance and other assistance to companies that will hire persons with disabilities. Companies interested in applying should contact:

Wisconsin Department of Commerce
Bureau of Minority Business Development, Job Creation Program
101 W Pleasant St., Suite 100A Milwaukee, WI 53212


  The web sites, agencies, companies, publications or entities listed below are purely for informational and referential purposes. We are not linked to, nor do we endorse their contents. Most of us have dream projects that we would love to get started Ö if only. If only we had the funding! Ever thought of the government helping you realize your dreams? Some people have. This information is a result of their research. 

Countless individuals have received a portion of the billions of dollars of funding the federal government budgets for aiding individuals, groups and associations, in reaching their goals. Our goal is to point you in the right direction by providing URLs and the names of publications to help you more readily find programs suited to your goals. Therefore, this article contains only a sample of programs available .© Blackbusinessplanet 2002 - 2008 All Rights Reserved. Privacy policy