Grants can be found from three sources:

  • Federal or State Government
  • Private Foundations
  • Business Plan Writing Contests

The Federal Government has a web-site that lists all of the grant money available for education, housing, health care, elderly care, child care, non-profit businesses, and some, but very few, for-profit businesses. The website, lists all federal grant programs, how to apply, application deadlines, and eligibility requirements. DO NOT BUY GRANT INFO ON THE WEB! Main Street will periodically apply for grants at the state, federal and even local level. Check with the Main Street office to see if there are any available or upcoming opportunities.

Most publications on “free money” are outdated as soon as they are published. Why? Grants are available for a limited time period; they are not on-going.

Private Foundations may either be publicly held companies, such as Dell, Microsoft, General Mills, privately held businesses, or individuals. The best place to find out if a company has a foundation, is to look up the company on the internet, (most large corporations have a web-site) and look under their foundation tab on their web-site. Most foundations give to non-profit organizations, very few give to for-profit organizations.

Business Plan Writing Contests are increasing becoming a popular way to “win” grant money. Check your local Iowa SBDC office, the Chamber of Commerce, or Main Street for more information.

Periodically, Main Street Iowa may offer grant opportunities to building and business owners located in the Commercial Historic/Main Street District. For more information, contact the Fort Madison Main Street Program Director.