NYT: Though many small business owners never think to ask, the government doles out a lot of money in grants. To many owners, it may even seem counterintuitive to ask the government for help, but those owners could be missing an opportunity. Programs at the federal, state and municipal levels are available to help small businesses pay for new equipment, train employees, upgrade facilities and expand into new markets.

Grants, unlike loans, do not have to be paid back. They typically come with strict requirements and accountability measures. So where can you find a business grant? A good starting point is Grants.gov, a centralized site that allows owners to search and apply for more than 1,000 federal programs. The federal government last year allocated more than $500 billion to grants.