Free Government Grants  

Free Grants for Personal Needs

Free Grants For Business, Personal Needs or School.

Small Business Development Centers

Program Descriptions

Program Number



Small Business Development Centers


Federal Agency




Small Business Act of 1953, Section 21, as amended, Public Laws 96-302, 98-395 and 105-135.






To provide management counseling, training, and technical assistance to the small business community through Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs).


Types of Assistance

Project Grants (Cooperative Agreements); Provision of Specialized Services; Advisory Services and Counseling; Dissemination of Technical Information.


Uses and Use Restrictions

Funds restricted to the use of assisting small businesses.


Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

SBA is authorized to make grants (including contracts and cooperative agreements) to any public or private institution of higher education, including but not limited to any land- grant college or university, any college or school of business, engineering, commerce, or agriculture, community college or junior college. SBA is also authorized to renew the funding of other entities currently funded as SBDCs providing SBA affirmatively determines that such applicants have their own budget and will primarily utilize institutions of higher education to provide the services to the small business community.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Current and potential Small business persons.


Documentation must include approval and support of the proposal from the State government for state hosted SBDCs. Documentation should also include, but not be limited to: (a) Endorsement of the proposal by State officials; (b) endorsement of the proposal by the university hierarchy; and (c) a statement of commitment by the agencies and organizations listed as resources in the proposal.


Application and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

Submission of proposal (including State endorsement) to the Central Office of SBA through The standard application forms as furnished by the Small Business Administration and required by the Code of Federal Regulations Chapter 13, Part 143 (13 CFR 143) must be used for this program. This program is eligible for coverage under E.O. 12372, "Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs." An applicant should consult the office or official designated as the single point of contact in his or her State for more information on the process the State requires to be followed in applying for assistance, if the State has selected the program for review.

Application Procedure

All eligible entities within a State interested in establishing an SBDC should coordinate with each other in order to develop a proposal for a statewide SBDC service plan. This program is subject to the provisions of 13 CFR 143 (for State and local governments) and A-110 for institutions of higher education and nonprofit organizations. The proposal should be submitted to the local SBA District Office, listed in Appendix IV of the Catalog.

Award Procedure

Central Office of SBA executes cooperative agreements to approved applicants.


Refer to the SBDC Program Announcement located at

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Varies with individual proposals.


Varies with individual proposals.



Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

The SBA will provide funds, the amount being determined on a pro-rata share of of approximately $89,000,000 based on the population to be served by the SBDC as compared to the total population in the United States, with no State receiving less than $500,000, or whichever is greater. The entity generally is required to provide nonfederal funds of at least a 1:1 match, although additional funds may also be contributed by nonfederal sources. At least 50 percent of matching funds must be in cash; the balance may be made up of in-kind contributions and indirect costs. Occasionally legislation will not require matching funds.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Cooperative agreements are usually limited to 1 year. Payments are made by cost reimbursement or in advance as specified in the Notice of Award.


Post Assistance Requirements


Quarterly or semi-annual reports to the local SBA office no later than 30 days following the end of the required time period. A final report is due 90 days after the end of the cooperative agreement year.


In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133 (Revised, June 27, 2003), "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Nonprofit Organizations," nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance of $500,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $500,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in OMB Circular No. A-133.


The SBDC shall maintain detailed, complete, and accurate client activity records of a sufficiency to reflect clearly the nature and variety of the SBDC service provided. Financial records must be maintained until 3 years after the completion of the grant project or submission of the final report, whichever is later.


Financial Information

Account Identification



Grants: FY 07 $88,973,000; FY 08 $97,120,000; and FY 09 $87,120,000. Administration: FY 07 $12,268,000; FY 08 $13,348,000; and FY 09 $14,480,000.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

From $500,000 to $5,927,231. Average: $1,298,246.


Program Accomplishments

In Fiscal Year 2004, SBDCs reported that they counseled 279,905 individuals and provided 27,371 training sessions to 445,894 people.


Regulations, Guidelines and Literature

SBDC Program Announcement, SBDC Policy Guidelines, SBDC Handbook for SBA Project Officers.


Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

For addresses of the field offices, see Appendix IV of the Catalog under the Small Business Administration.

Headquarters Office

Small Business Administration, Office of Small Business Development Center, 409 Third Street, S.W., 6th Floor, Washington, DC 20416. Telephone: (202) 205-6766 Fax: (202) 205-7727.

Web Site Address


Related Programs



Examples of Funded Projects



Criteria for Selecting Proposals

(1) Ability to match funds (2) Ability to provide technical assistance, training, counseling, and specialized services to the small business community, and (3) State approval.


  » FedProgramSearch

  » By CFDA Number

  » By Title

  » By Agency

  » By Assistance

  » By Subject

  » Search

  » Add Your Site

  » Resources