These are usually one-off payments, from European, national or regional government authorities, providing help with specific business projects. You don't pay any interest on grants nor do you usually have to repay the money or give up part of your company.
Grants are likely to cover no more than a portion of a project's costs, even if successfully applied for. The award of a grant is usually subject to conditions regarding eligibility and what the money can be spent on.
The main groups who award grants are:
* The government
* European Commission
* Regional development agencies
* Local authorities or local councils and local development agencies
* Chambers of Commerce
* County Enterprise Boards
* Some European and UK government funding is distributed through regional development agencies, colleges and the Learning and Skills Council.
We are still applying to have it, I will let you know how it goes though.