Federal, state and local governments in the United States offer a number of financial resources and support for small businesses across all industries. Whether you’re running a start-up operation or have purchased an existing small business, the U.S. government can provide funding for operations and can even extend some tax breaks. Running a small business can be challenging and even intimidating at first, but business owners do have access to several resources to help their business grow and thrive.
Loans and Grants for Small Businesses
The U.S. Government provides several loans and grants for small business owners through federal, state and local programs. These include:
– Small business loans
– Seed and venture capital
– Free grants
Small business owners can apply for these loans and grants online through sites such as Grants.gov and use the Business.gov’s Loans and Grants Tool to find financing programs and grants that best suit their needs.
Some types of government loans and refinancing programs can help a small business better manage their debt and handle the costs of general business operations. Requirements for each loan and grant vary by program, and small businesses that are approved for financial help can use the funds to pay for machinery and equipment, working capital, or for the purchase of buildings and land.
Assistance from the U.S. Small Business Administration
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is an independent agency of the federal government and works to help small businesses grow and stay competitive in a changing marketplace. The goal of the SBA is to support small businesses with all of their endeavors, and provide local contacts, mentors and other resources free of charge.
As a small business owner, you have access to SBA district offices in your state, as well as training programs, mentors and business outreach centers that can help you succeed.
Some of the SBA Resource Partners include:
– SCORE- an organization that offers counseling, business planning and advice for small business owners
-Office of Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) – provide management assistance and outreach programs to small business owners in the community.
– Office of Women’s Business Ownership (OWBO) – a network of Women’s Business Centers (WBCs) that provide management assistance, technical assistance and entrepreneurial advice and training to women.
– Office of Veterans Business Development – centers that help Veterans, Service-Disabled Veterans, Reserve Component Members and their Dependents or Survivors build and run their small business operations successfully
– International Trade programs – designed for small business owners who are importing and exporting goods and want to stay competitive in the global marketplace.