Community Quick Links

Resources to help your businesses and communities deliver better, with topics from advocacy to data collection, art to agriculture to tech.

Common resources for ESOs, DBEs, microenterprises, small businesses and entrepreneurs.

Resources: State (s) and Federal (f)

About Grants

Grants…The main thing we can say here: 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 directly to the individual business owners. Most federal grants are awarded to nonprofits, governmental entities or educational institutions to provide services and/or loans to those types of businesses.

The state of Tennessee bases its incentives primarily on job creation and investment within qualified industry sectors. The company must also create jobs over a specific period of time and meet certain capital investment criteria. The 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). 

If you want to search for grants for your business, be careful about the information you provide. To search for available grants go to, which is a federal database of grants, or go to Grants and Resources, a compilation of various grants and resources in Tennessee.

  • Your credit matters when it comes to financing your business. Be sure to know where you stand.

Credit - Free Annual Credit Report and Credit Repair Kit

Nonprofit assistance – Alliance for Better Nonprofits (East TN), CNM, the Center for Nonprofit Management (Middle TN) and Alliance for Nonprofit Excellence (West TN)

From programs to advocacy to data, and from art to agriculture to tech, accessing resources helps you deliver better.

Locate, access and deliver better education, tools and resources from art to agriculture to tech for the small business, entrepreneurs and DBEs in your community.