Don't bank on Uncle Sam buying you that pony ...
We've been in the grant writing business for a while, and every once in a while someone will ask us if we can help them get grant funding to start a business, expand their business, go back to school, buy a pony, etc. Let me share with you an unfriendly truth: federal grants for business and individuals are not easy to come by, and it's really unlikely that Uncle Sam is going to bankroll the purchase of your very own Seabiscuit.
Of course, if you Google search "free government grants," you will find a number of supposed "grant writing" agencies that tell you the exact opposite. At best, they might direct you to the same resources you can access for free online (e.g., grants.gov) and give you a semi-automatically-generated business plan for your "grant portfolio." At worst, your contact information might be sold. Either way, these offers probably are not worth your money or your time.
There are programs out there to help small businesses (SCORE comes to mind). There are loads of scholarships available for students. There are special bank loans available to encourage women-run, minority-run, and tribal-run businesses, and there are separate loans available if the business is located in a Historically Underutilized Business (HUB) zone. Private foundations provide a lot of funding, too, but those funds tend to be directed at non-for-profit corporations. For businesses and research institutions, the government does make a considerable amount of grant funding available for research and development (R&D) in specific areas. For example, the SBIR grant program funds R&D for small businesses.
But most grant writers and knowledgeable business advisors will tell you the same thing - be wary of any offers that promise you free, easy, government grants for standard business activities. (Photo source).