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 Small Business Administration was established in 1953. Since that time the agency has dispensed millions of dollars in loans and loan guarantees, contracts, consulting assistance and other programs for small business across the United States.
The The Minority Business Development Agency has recently constituted the Minority Business Enterprise Centers (MBEC) Program wherein it aims to support minority-owned businesses by providing them with electronic and one-on-one business development services for a reasonably nominal fee.