Regional Government Grants for small businesses

Because federal grants can be particularly competitive — and limited in number — you might also look into government small-business grants at the state and local levels. Start your search with options like these:

Economic Development Administration - The U.S. Economic Development Administration provides business grants, resources and technical assistance for communities to support economic growth and encourage entrepreneurship and innovation.

Each state’s agency helps small businesses find financing (including state or regional grants), secure locations and recruit employees. You can search the economic development directory for regional offices and local resources.

Small Business Development Center - Your local Small Business Development Center (SBDC) provides support for small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs. They’re often associated with local universities or a state’s economic development agency, and many can help connect you with small-business grants, as well as other business financing opportunities — plus, counseling, training and technical assistance.

Minority Business Development Agency centers - The MBDA runs a national network of business centers dedicated to growing and promoting minority-owned small businesses. These centers help business owners access capital, secure contracts and compete in emerging markets.

Your local MBDA center can help you apply for debt-based financing as well as federal, state and local business grants. The agency usually holds an annual small-business grant competition and provides contest updates on its website.

State Trade Expansion Program - The SBA funds state governments to implement the State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) grant, which helps small businesses cover costs to start or expand into international markets.

The available funding amounts and eligibility criteria of these government small-business grants vary based on your state, but capital can be used to participate in export trade shows, design international marketing products, support website globalization and more.