When people refer to the SBA grants, they are generally referring to grants that can be found through the SBA website. The SBA does not provide grants to start or grow small businesses, but it does list many agencies that do provide such business grants. Grants to some extent may be viewed as “free money” in that the grantor generally does not take an equity stake in your company or expect a cut of revenues or profits. Of course, there are ‘strings attached’ generally as you need to adhere to certain requirements to get a grant and then usually have to follow some type of reporting requirement to the entity providing the grant.
To see the various sources provided by the SBA, visit this government site: http://www.sba.gov/smallbusinessplanner/start/financestartup/SERV_GRANTRES.html
However, the SBA does provide some grant programs that generally support non-profit organizations, intermediary lending institutions, and state and local governments that offer small business technical, management and financial assistance.