The Biden Administration to Outline Small-Business Grant Opportunities Worth Billions

The White House hopes the new guide will be a 'one-stop shop' for businesses scouring for funding opportunities

The Biden Administration will announce new access to capital initiatives on Thursday aimed at catalyzing clean energy among the country's entrepreneurs.

The White House unveiled a new playbook, dubbed the Climate Capital Guidebook, that encompasses hundreds of billions worth of funding opportunities from the federal government, all of which are focused on climate and clean energy. The playbook breaks down funding opportunities by federal agency, program name, the amount of capital a business can receive, and a description of the given project.

"What we want is to create a one-stop shop whereby if small businesses have a question about whether there's a program that fits their business model, they can go online, find the Climate Capital Guidebook, and quickly navigate to the program," Lael Brainard, the White House's national economic council director, tells Inc.

One opportunity advertised within the book is the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Energy for America program, which extends loan guarantees of up to $25 million. Another is the Department of Energy's grant program on energy efficiency and renewable energy. The latter offering extends grants between $20,000 to more than $200 million.

It's intended to be a cross-agency guidebook, Brainard adds, though the U.S. Small Business Administration will be the go-to agency to promote the resource among entrepreneurs.

The key goal of the guide is to help smaller companies better compete with larger corporations, which tend to have more resources to locate, and therefore take advantage of these opportunities, compared with small businesses. Some of these projects extend multimillion-dollar awards and could be a great way for small businesses to start working with the government.

To further aid a transition to more efficient energy sources, the Small Business Administration expanded its 504 loan program at the end of April by lifting its loan cap for small businesses seeking capital to fund "energy public policy projects."

The program, which offers long-term capital with fixed rates, had historically allowed entrepreneurs to take out up to three loans, up to $5.5 million each. It's widely used for commercial real estate purposes, but it can also be used for buying new equipment, land, buildings, construction, renovation, and more.

"In lifting this cap, small businesses may now bundle multiple 504 loans to finance projects that leverage clean energy technologies to lower production costs, improve energy efficiency, and contribute to emissions reductions goals," a White House fact sheet reads.

Examples of projects entrepreneurs could use these loans for include making their businesses more energy efficient (i.e., retrofitting) or adding solar energy to their operations. (The 504 loan program's cap will remain in place for projects that are not related to clean energy.)

The White House said that small businesses are "critical" in achieving net zero emissions by 2050. The ambitious goal is laid out by an executive order the president signed in late 2021, which seeks to balance the output and removal of greenhouse gasses from the atmosphere.

Ultimately, adds Brainard: "We're hoping to see a distribution of entrepreneurial activity that is catalyzed by these laws to be more broadly dispersed across smaller communities across the country, former factory towns, former energy communities." Free money could help.

EXCLUSIVE: The Biden Administration to Outline Small-Business Grant Opportunities Worth Billions |

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#biden administration#clean energy#climate capital guidebook,#entrepreneurs#energy efficiency#504 loan program#net zero emissions#funding opportunities