While the federal government does not provide grants for starting or growing small businesses, it does provide a myriad of services to assist entrepreneurs in pursuit of their dreams. One of the mechanisms in place to promote small business growth and economic development is the Community Development Financial Institution Fund managed by the US Department of the Treasury. In the current fiscal year the federal government is allocating more than $12 Million to support CDFIs.
Community Development Financial Institutions fall into four categories:
The genesis of the Community Development Financial Institution Fund was the Riegle Community Development and Regulatory Improvement Act of 1994. The reason for the fund's existence is to foster economic revitalization and community development.
The Program for Investment in Micro-Entrepreneurs Technical Assistance Program is designed to decrease the number of disadvantaged micro-entrepreneurs by helping them enhance their management capabilities, by way of providing them with technical assistance and training in the areas concerning activities that are associated with starting, expanding and growing their businesses.
The Value-Added Producer Grants program is geared towards helping the Independent Producers of Agricultural Commodities, Agriculture Producer Groups, Farmer and Rancher Cooperatives, and Majority-Controlled Producer-Based Business Ventures in developing techniques that would create marketing opportunities and establish business plans involving viable marketing opportunities that involve the production of bio-based products from agricultural commodities.