What are the Different Types of Business Government Grants?

Michelle Burton

Business government grants provide financial assistance to both new and current businesses in the form of federal money that does not have to be repaid. Federal government grants are usually available to for-profit organizations other than small business, as well other groups that fall into one of six specific categories. These organizations include government, education, public housing, non-profit, small businesses, and individuals.

Recipients of federal business grants include education, housing, and other nonprofit groups.
Recipients of federal business grants include education, housing, and other nonprofit groups.

Many different countries offer business government grants to companies and organizations that operation within their borders. Even multinational political organizations, such as the European Union, make such grants available to companies within member countries, although there may be regional or other requirements. Although many of these grant programs have specific criteria that an applicant must meet, there are often similarities between the types of grants offered.

Business government grants can usually be categorized as one of two different types. Government grants may be used for general purposes or operating support, or they may be used for program development or project support. General purpose business government grants are used to support the day-to-day operating expenses of the organization or business. Operating expenses can range from office supplies and utility bills to the employee payroll.

Program development government grants are awarded to help organizations cover the costs for a specific program that has a beginning and an end. This type of grant is usually a "restricted" grant that may only be used for the program as outlined in the grant agreement. Project support grants typically support projects related to any form of charity. These business government grants may include those for equipment, planning, and start-up, to name just a few.

Public housing, non-profit, and education organizations tend to apply for program or project development grants most often, whereas small businesses and individuals more frequently tend to apply for general purpose government grants. There are hundreds of government grants available for each category, available through literally thousands of government agencies. Each grant has a specific number and close date.

Canadian government grants and United States government grants are very similar overall, but there are several small differences. Canadian government grants are offered at the federal and provincial levels, while US federal government grants are available to help state, city, and local governments. In addition, Canadian government grants are usually called "financial aid programs," whereas "financial aid" in the US usually refers to financial assistance for college students.

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