The money has been awarded to 169 companies by business support service Velocity delivered on behalf of the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership.
The largest single grant of £50,000 went to Towcester Racecourse towards its new greyhound track.
Other funds have helped a cider distillery in Milton Keynes, a remote controlled drone created by a firm in Stony Stratford and a reality games campaign in Luton.
Velocity chief executive Daniel Mouawad pictured said: “It is vital that ambitious businesses have access to the funds they need to help them grow. The Velocity grants have done exactly that, helping to stimulate growth and create new jobs.
“We are now starting to see the impact these grants are having, with companies able to expand and put into practise projects that perhaps would have been able to get off the ground without this funding.”
A new round of grant funding is to begin later this year.