Grants are difficult to obtain and can have a variety of conditions attached. Many are not available to startup businesses. People also have a misconception that funds are available specifically for women and minority owned businesses. Also, the retail industry rarely has any grant opportunities.
Grants exist to help businesses that will have impact on the community as a whole. Impact on the community may come in the form of job creation, value added (agriculture benefits), or more revenue brought to the area in general — perhaps through a sector such as tourism. Now saying, “Well I will be creating a job for myself” doesn’t count or saying, “I will be bringing revenue in for my family” doesn’t count. Generally, money used for grants are public tax dollars; the state wants to see how your business, with the assistance of a grant, will impact as many residents as possible.
Yes, it is true you can find grant opportunities in some limited circumstances, such as when jobs are created, but you can’t rely on grants as a primary means to start or expand a business. Rather, in limited situations, grants can be pursued to help a business try something new or pursue a specific opportunity.