The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) office is another government agency that gives grants. The SBIR specializes in small businesses looking for funding for high-risk technologies. The catch: Unlike the Advance Technology Program, the technology must meet the research and development needs of the federal government. Founded in 1982, the SBIR recently awarded $1.5 billion to startups, with grants going to software, biotechnology, health-care and defense companies. So if you're planning on opening a pizzeria, you might have trouble with this one.
But there are federal grants awarded to food and nutrition companies. For instance, a pizzeria that caters to children and specializes in serving nutritious, healthy pizzas may be able to win a grant. You can also check with your state or local government to see what's available--start with your local or state chamber of commerce.