Businesses Seeking Grants

Colorado Grants does not develop proposals for for-profit companies, and does not research grants available to the for-profit sector. We do NOT provide any services to people seeking funding for their business (we only serve tax-exempt charitable organizations). Please use caution when seeking grants for your business.

Listed below are several Colorado resources that may help you find financing for your company.

The myth of federal grants for businesses

"The truth is that federal and state governments do not provide grants for starting and expanding small businesses."

- Federal government guide to financing small businesses

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

- Business.gov: facts about government grants

Many have heard that there are grants available to private businesses. With extremely rare exceptions, it simply is not true! There are a lot of unscrupulous predators pitching their products who want you to believe that there are government grants. The free money they refer to is often free money we are familiar with: student grant programs, Medicaid, Medicare, food stamps, research grants for university professors, and other similar "free money." Lots of folks do not believe us when we say it, but there is no free money available to new businesses, or to expand an existing business. For other expert opinions on this issue, see:

http://www.bankrate.com/brm/news/biz/adviser/20010828a.asp
http://www.missouribusiness.net/hbb/myth_about_grants.asp
http://www.lib.msu.edu/harris23/grants/2biz.htm
http://www.consumeraffairs.com/scam_alerts/grant.html
http://www.business.gov/guides/finance/financing/loans.html
http://www.idahobizhelp.org/grant_scams.htm

Help on financing your business can be found from these legitimate organizations and resources:

Colorado’s Office of Economic Development guide to financing a business
Rocky Mountain Microfinance Institute
Colorado Small Business Development Center
Denver Small Business Development Center

Warning: Do not pay money for guides that promise free money and grants for your business.

The New York Consumer Protection Board released a report detailing why guides to government grants for businesses and those who promise free or guaranteed government grants are misleading at best and scam artists at worst. Many of the grants these books claim are given out by the government are in fact highly specialized awards.

For example, a 2004 article from MSNBC details a claim by Matthew Lesko that a researcher had won a $500,000 grant to travel the world. In reality, the person awarded a grant was a quantum physicist and Georgetown University researcher who received a grant for research and travel related to that research from the National Science Foundation.

The MSNBC article quotes Mary Hoffman, executive director of the Small Business Development center at Adams State College in Colorado, which is listed in Lesko’s book as a source for grants. Because of that listing, Hoffman says about five money-seekers a week come to her center looking for funding, with very few qualifying for assistance. "They're being sent on wild goose chases. ... A lot of our clients end up paying good money they can't afford for books like this," she said.

The State of Colorado’s Office of Economic Development says this about finding government grants for starting a business: “Unfortunately, there are really no government grants, state or federal, available for starting a business. There are very specific targeted government grants but they rarely apply to start ups. These grants are called Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) grants. SBIR grants are usually issued by a federal agency that is seeking research and development in specific areas including military weapons development, biotechnology and other high-tech fields. SBIR Colorado, 303.427.5226, is a non-profit organization that will assist entrepreneurs, scientists and researchers identify SBIR grant opportunities.” 

There are some specialized high-tech and research grants available, often to researchers at universities but sometimes to corporations, through departments such as the National Science Foundation.


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