Resources for Business Capital Part 1 : Small Business Grants

Resources for Business Capital Part 1 : Small Business Grants

Most of you who have created a business plan are probably going to need money one way or another to fund your start-up, growth and expansion, or just to get through some trying times. The question is how does one find where to get those funds if they are not going to use their cash, go to their family or local bank, or refinance their home or assets? Over the next few articles I write I will point out places to find money whether it be through grants, venture capital, angel investing, and loans. This article will concentrate on links to places that I’ve found that point to grants. After all the best money to fund your start-up is free money isn’t it? The Small Business Administration has been in the business of helping businesses since 1953. American tax dollars fund the SBA who are charged with the responsibility by Congress to “aid, counsel, assist and protect, insofar as is possible, the interests of small business concerns” and also to give “fair proportion of government contracts and sales of surplus property.” The first thing you should do while surfing around the SBA’s website is learn the facts about government grants. You will learn where grant money comes from, compliance, and reporting measures to maintain transparency. You will also find many forms here in regards to construction and non-construction grants. The SBA also provides links to loans and VC financing if you want to check that out too. Technology and scientific research are huge these days and our government recognizes that. If you’re small business is engaged in research and development, innovation, and/or technology than you will want to read more about SBA research grants for small businesses. Lastly regarding the SBA’s website and perhaps the most important is where to start finding grants. By clicking on the Loans and Grants Search Tool you can immediately start entering information that the website will then use to help narrow down your search. Grants.gov is partnered with the Department of Health and Human Services and is a source to finding and applying for federal grants. They also have a number of links to various government programs like Recovery.gov which are recovery-act specific grants and Benefits.gov which provides information on government benefits and assistance programs. Another website that I liked because of its detailed, need-oriented database is Federal Money Retriever. Not only do...

Read More

Eight Government Resources for Business Plan Development

Eight Government Resources for Business Plan Development

In your quest to develop your business plan you will want to obtain information regarding industry analysis, international information and data, legal and regulatory statutes, manufacturing, training and counseling, and maybe even corporate financial information. This is just a few of the areas you can research through our government’s online resources. Though they are free and free is often synonymous with undervalued they are indeed not free. Your tax dollars pay for them and the information is rich and vast. These government resources are put there to help you succeed so there is no better place to start your research than with the resources you pay for. The U.S. Census Bureau, Department of Commerce, Small Business Administration, Internal Revenue Service, The State Department, FedStats, Export.gov, and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission all have information that you will find helpful. I will talk a little about each one, what they do and how you can use them, and provide links to different areas for easy navigation. So without further adieu let’s begin. The first place you may want to start with your investigation on industry analysis is through The Department of Commerce. The DoC is comprised of twelve separate agencies responsible for many things regarding business from weather forecasts to patent protection. Their mission statement states exactly what they do and there is no better way to sum it up, “The DoC touches the daily lives of the American people in many ways, with a wide range of responsibilities in the areas of trade, economic development, technology, entrepreneurship and business development, environmental stewardship, and statistical research and analysis.” There is much to the DoC so in addition to the link provided above that leads to their website they are also a portal to several other government agencies and partners that you may find useful. The U.S. Census Bureau, a derivative of the DoC, is a great resource for industry analysis and they are arguably the most important branch of the DoC for demographic information ranging from population breakdown, income , education levels, and housing to name just a few in the Peoples and Households section. The Census Bureau also collects massive amounts of data on economic activity. You may need to search the industry code for the particular type of business you’re in or looking for, by searching its NAICS code. You can break information down from a national...

Read More