TENNESSEE STATEWIDE AMBER ALERT: Elizabeth Thomas | Click for details from TBI.

Resource Links

The resources in this section are for and accessible to DBEs, microenterprises, small businesses and entrepreneurs alike.

State Resources

Federal Resources

About Grants

Grants…There is a lot of misinformation! When it comes to grants, while it is true that there are a number of federal grants available to assist small business, women-owned, minority-owned and/or veteran-owned businesses, very few of them actually go to individual business owners. Most federal grants are awarded to non-profits, governmental entities or educational institutions to provide services and/or loans to these targeted groups.
The state of Tennessee bases its incentives on job creation and investment within qualified industry sectors, which include manufacturing, warehouse and distribution facilities, data centers, headquarters, and call centers. In order to qualify for state incentives, a company must create 25 qualified jobs over a three-year period and meet a capital investment of at least $500,000. These incentives are provided to qualified companies in the form of tax credits and/or job training reimbursement programs. Most small businesses do not meet the requirements for these types of programs and turn to loans or self-financing as a more viable alternative for financing (see the TN the Smart Start Guide). 

For the most part, the grants that go to small business owners generally fall in three areas: value-added agriculture, technology development and commercialization, and vocational rehabilitation (self-employment match grants). 

To search for available grants go to www.grants.gov, which is a federal database of grants.