Small Business Grants In Kentucky

Last Updated on October 3, 2023 by Lori Pace

Are you an entrepreneur in Kentucky looking for funding and support to grow your small business? Look no further! Kentucky offers many grant opportunities that can provide the financial boost and resources you need. With over $11,366 million dollars in grants available, along with additional local government funding sources, Kentucky is committed to fostering economic growth through small businesses.

Whether you’re just starting out or looking to expand, understanding the types of grants available and following best practices for applications is crucial to increase your chances of success.

In this article, we will explore the various grant opportunities in Kentucky, including the Kentucky Small Business Tax Credit (KSBTC) Program, Kentucky Small Business Development Center (KSBDC) Grants and Resources, Kentucky Innovation Investment Program (KIIP), Access Ventures, and the African American Chamber of Commerce. We will discuss their eligibility requirements and provide tips on effectively navigating the grant application process.

Additionally, we will share alternative resources available for small businesses in Kentucky, ensuring you have all the information you need to secure the funding and support necessary for your entrepreneurial journey. 

Kentucky Small Business Tax Credit (KSBTC) Program

The Kentucky Small Business Tax Credit (KSBTC) Program is specifically designed to support small businesses in Kentucky by providing tax credits to eligible businesses.

Although it does not offer direct access to capital funds, the tax credit still is a big help for entrepreneurs seeking to offset or reduce the portion of their state tax liabilities. The KSBTC program grants a tax credit of $3,500 per employee for new jobs created and sustained. 

Aside from job hiring, businesses must also make at least $5,000 worth of investment for new equipment or upgrade in technology. 

In the end, the KSBTC Program is a win-win for small businesses. It provides financial support and encourages business expansion, job creation, and economic growth in Kentucky.


Kentucky Small Business Development Center (KSBDC) Grants and Resources

The Kentucky Small Business Development Center (KSBDC) offers various services to support business owners, including guidance in developing comprehensive business plans and access to government grant programs. They also provide assistance in navigating business assistance programs and connections to business support organizations.

Even though KSBDC does not provide direct cash assistance, the program can help entrepreneurs secure business loans instead. In addition, the program also assists entrepreneurs in securing funding from various state, federal, and local grants and financial programs. 

The KSBDC is committed to helping all types of businesses succeed, including disadvantaged business owners, and provides resources tailored to their specific needs. Whether you’re starting a new business or looking to grow an existing one, the Kentucky Small Business Development Center is an invaluable resource to support and guide you on your entrepreneurial journey. 

Kentucky Innovation Investment Program (KIIP)

The Kentucky Innovation Investment Program (KIIP) provides eligible small businesses with various funding programs and technical assistance to support their entrepreneurial endeavors.

The program aims to promote economic development and job creation in Kentucky by providing grant funds to technology-based businesses with high potential for commercialization. In addition to supporting startups and small businesses, KIIP also provides grants to nonprofit organizations and rural business incubators.

Although KIIP is available to certain business sectors only, including IT and communications, bioscience, materials science, advanced manufacturing, and environmental and energy technologies, if your business belongs to any of these areas, you can use the state-funded KIIP to enhance your access to capital and technical resources. 

Access Ventures

Access Ventures, a nonprofit organization, offers an array of funding opportunities and resources to fuel innovation and economic growth in the vibrant state of Kentucky. They provide support for entrepreneurs and small businesses through various programs and initiatives.

Access Ventures bridges the gap between traditional funding sources, underserved communities, and business owners, including women, LGBTQ, and minority groups. They offer financial coaching and business development programs to help entrepreneurs achieve their business goals.

In addition, Access Ventures provides access to capital through bank loans, equity investments, and state-funded small business grants. They also assist businesses in developing long-term strategic plans and financial projections.

Their commitment to community economic development is evident in their dedication to providing resources and opportunities for small businesses in Kentucky. 

African American Chamber of Commerce

The African American Chamber of Commerce in Kentucky provides a powerful platform for black-owned businesses to thrive and flourish in the state, igniting a wave of economic empowerment and inspiring future generations.

Through their business incentives and state-funded small business grants, the chamber supports the growth and development of black-owned businesses, ensuring they have the resources they need to succeed.

The chamber also offers business counseling and guidance, connecting entrepreneurs with business program specialists who can provide valuable advice and assistance.

Additionally, the chamber actively promotes community development in disadvantaged communities, helping create a more inclusive and equitable business landscape in Kentucky.

By providing these opportunities and support, the African American Chamber of Commerce plays a vital role in fostering economic growth and empowerment within the black business community in Kentucky. 

Metropolitan Business Development Corporation (METCO) Loan Programs

Immerse yourself in the vibrant and bustling world of the Metropolitan Business Development Corporation (METCO), where opportunities flourish, and dreams take flight, as this organization propels local businesses in Louisville and Jefferson County to new heights of success.

METCO plays a crucial role in supporting small businesses in Kentucky by offering state-funded loan programs for small enterprises. These grants provide valuable financial assistance to eligible businesses, allowing them to grow, innovate, and thrive in the competitive market.

METCO accepts applications from businesses across various industries, and the benefits of receiving a small business grant are extensive. In addition to financial support, grant recipients gain access to business accelerator programs that equip them to navigate the challenges of entrepreneurship better.

Through its comprehensive approach and dedication to fostering economic growth, METCO is a driving force behind the success of small businesses in Louisville and Jefferson County. 

Kentucky Small Business Development Center

Explore the vibrant world of Kentucky’s Small Business Development Center, where you’ll discover a wealth of resources and guidance to help your entrepreneurial dreams take flight.

Whether you’re a business startup or looking to grow your existing business, the Kentucky Small Business Development Center offers state-funded small business grants that can provide the financial support you need to achieve business success.

With a focus on community development, the center also offers assistance in business plan development and training programs to help you create a solid foundation for your business.

Additionally, the center collaborates with the community foundation to support the development of community projects, fostering an equitable community where businesses thrive. 

Louisville Power to Prosper Minority Business Accelerator

The Louisville Power to Prosper Minority Business Accelerator is a transformative program designed to empower and uplift minority-owned businesses in the Greater Louisville region. It provides them with the necessary resources and support to thrive in the competitive market.

This business accelerator program is specifically tailored to meet the needs of business entrepreneurs belonging to minority groups. Aside from free grant money, this state-funded program offers technical assistance with a comprehensive and strategic approach to business growth.

Through this program, entrepreneurs can develop a long-term business strategic plan. They can also learn valuable skills and knowledge through workshops and mentoring sessions. Additionally, they gain access to a network of corporate investors and business companies.

The Louisville Power to Prosper Minority Business Accelerator also provides opportunities for minority-owned businesses to access capital and funding. This enables them to expand their business ventures and achieve their goals. 

How to Find the Right Grants for Your Small Business?

To discover the perfect funding opportunities for your small enterprise, knowing the right strategies for locating suitable grants is essential. Here are three tips to help you find the right grants for your small business in Kentucky:

  1. Start by researching government grants specifically designed for small businesses in Kentucky. The state government and various agencies offer grants to support local businesses and promote economic growth. Check the Kentucky Small Business Development Center (KSBDC) website for information on available grants and eligibility criteria.
  2. Network with other small business owners in your industry or local community. They may have valuable insights and recommendations on grants they’ve successfully applied for. Attend business events, join industry associations, and join networking groups to expand your connections and access potential grant opportunities.
  3. Familiarize yourself with the application process for grants. Each grant may have specific requirements and guidelines, so it’s crucial to understand what information and documents you need to provide. Pay attention to deadlines and ensure your application is complete and compelling, highlighting the potential impact of your business and how the grant will help you achieve your goals.

By following these strategies, you can increase your chances of finding the right grants and securing funding for your small business in Kentucky. 

Application Requirements and Guidelines for Small Business Grants in Kentucky

To successfully apply for funding in Kentucky, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the specific requirements and guidelines outlined by each grant program. Here are some important considerations to keep in mind:

  • People of color and individuals from underserved communities may have access to specific grant programs that aim to promote diversity and inclusion in the business sector.
  • Grant applications may require detailed information about your company’s employees, including the number of employees, their roles, and the impact the grant funding will have on their jobs.
  • Some grant programs may prioritize funding for projects that directly benefit employee salaries and payroll, ensuring the financial stability of small businesses and their workforce.
  • Capital investments, such as purchasing machinery or upgrading equipment, may be eligible for grant funding, as these investments can contribute to business growth and productivity.
  • Academic, healthcare and educational institutions may have specific grant opportunities tailored to their needs, focusing on research, innovation, and community impact.
  • Poor credit history doesn’t necessarily disqualify you from applying for grants, as some programs may consider other factors, such as your business plan, the potential for growth, and the positive impact your business can have on the community.

Understanding and meeting the application requirements and guidelines can increase your chances of securing the funding necessary to start or expand your small business in Kentucky. 

Alternative Resources for Small Businesses in Kentucky

Explore other avenues and resources available to support your small enterprise in the state of Kentucky. In addition to small business grants, several alternative resources can provide valuable assistance to entrepreneurs.

SCORE, a nonprofit organization, offers mentoring services to help small companies start, form, maintain, and expand businesses. Kentucky-certified specialists can also improve your chances of obtaining small business grants by providing expertise and guidance throughout the application process.

The Kentucky Chamber of Commerce is another valuable resource that educates individuals about grants tailored to small businesses. Additionally, city-specific business award listings can help promote small business opportunities in Kentucky.

It’s important to note that government venture funds are unrelated to state grants, so exploring all available options is crucial. Remember, financial records and credit history play a significant role in grant eligibility, so having them in order is important.

By tapping into these alternative resources, you can increase your chances of securing funding and support for your small business in Kentucky.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can small businesses in Kentucky access grants and resources provided by the Kentucky Small Business Development Center (KSBDC)?

To access grants and resources provided by the Kentucky Small Business Development Center (KSBDC), small businesses in Kentucky can visit their website or contact their local KSBDC office. They offer assistance with business planning, financial analysis, and connecting businesses with funding opportunities.

What is the purpose of the Kentucky Innovation Investment Program (KIIP), and how can small businesses benefit from it?

The Kentucky Innovation Investment Program (KIIP) aims to support startups in Kentucky by providing funding for developing and commercializing innovative products or services. Small businesses can benefit from KIIP by receiving capital to fuel their growth and innovation.

What types of support and resources does Access Ventures provide to small businesses in Kentucky?

Access Ventures provides a range of support and resources for small businesses in Kentucky. They offer funding, mentorship, and strategic guidance to help entrepreneurs succeed. Their programs empower underserved communities and foster economic growth in the state.

How can small businesses in Kentucky benefit from the services and programs offered by the African American Chamber of Commerce and the Metropolitan Business Development Corporation (METCO)?

Small businesses in Kentucky can benefit from the services and programs offered by the African American Chamber of Commerce and the Metropolitan Business Development Corporation (METCO) by accessing networking opportunities, business development resources, and support in navigating the local business landscape. 


In conclusion, small business grants in Kentucky present a valuable opportunity for entrepreneurs to secure funding and support for their ventures. With a diverse range of grant programs available, such as the Kentucky Small Business Tax Credit Program, Kentucky Small Business Development Center Grants, and the Kentucky Innovation Investment Program, there are ample resources for small business owners to tap into.

However, it’s important to thoroughly research and identify the grants that align with your business needs and eligibility criteria. To increase your chances of success in securing funding, it’s crucial to carefully review and understand the application requirements and guidelines for each grant program. This includes gathering all necessary documentation, such as financial statements, business plans, and proof of eligibility.

While grants offer a valuable funding source, it’s important to note that alternative resources are available for small businesses in Kentucky. These include loans, crowdfunding platforms, and local government funding sources. By exploring all available options and utilizing the resources and support networks in Kentucky, entrepreneurs can increase their chances of success and contribute to the state’s economic growth.

Lori Pace
Lori Pace

Lori Pace is a single mother of three daughters ages 7 and under. As a working mom from home, she balances kids, work and two crazy dogs with humor and love. Follow Lori as she honestly gives tips and advice based on her own experiences as a single mom!