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CDBG Can Be A Good Source for Small Business Grants

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has a program called the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program. The program provides funds to states who in turn offer grants within their communities to address community development needs. CDBG grants help create jobs through the expansion and retention of businesses, and also funds projects that ensure affordable housing.

The program began in 1974 and is one of HUD's oldest programs. Currently, 1209 states and local governments receive federal funding for this program. Programs that benefit from the grants must benefit the community, particularly low- and moderate-income residents. Some of the money is used by state and local governments to help with demolition of abandoned houses or refurbishing neighborhoods, to help people buy their first home, and to help small business owners start or expand their businesses.

Each state and local government decides how the money is to be allocated. Small business owners who are looking for grant funds may contact their local government to find out what the criteria is for small businesses to receive grant money. Many cities are focusing on downtown revitalization and offering grants for small businesses who are interested in being located in the downtown area. This small business focus would fit into the purpose of the CDBG program to improve neighborhoods, create jobs and expand business.

HUD also has a portal that provides a state-by-state search of contacts for inquiring about the CDBG program in each state.

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