The purpose of this part of the USFR member area is not to give
advice on how to start or run a small business. It is to give direction
on where someone can go to gain the financial resources needed to get a
small business off the ground or give a boost to an existing business.
While there are some good sources on the Internet where people can get
advice about starting or running a business, (for example www.score.org
is a great resource for free small business planning or helpful advice)
that is not what we are attempting to do here. The focus of this
member area is to help small business owners identify financial
If you are starting or trying to expand a small business you probably
can use all the help you can get. There are a lot of programs that
offer assistance in the form of grants or loans but the key is finding
the right source for you. The federal government does not offer grants
directly to small businesses but there are programs they do offer that
can help fund a business. State and local governments sometimes do
offer grants. Every state has some type of assistance available whether
it is in the form of grants, loans or, at the very least, free advice
from professionals. There are other resources available to all US
citizens no matter where you live in the country. Below you will find
resources that are not specific to the area in which you are working or
living. You will also see links to resources that are specific to each
state. Take time to browse all the resources available. Everything may
not be right for your particular situation but undoubtedly there is a
program out there for you.
GovLoans.gov provides a very good directory to the many government
loans that are available. This site can help you get information for
the loan that will best meet your needs. There is information for
several different government agencies.
vFinance, Inc. is a company that specializes in helping small,
emerging companies find private or institutional investors to fund
This site allows you to search for opportunities to work with the
federal government. The system is a web-based portal that allows vendors
to review Federal Business Opportunities.
Minority-owned and women-owned businesses have even more resources at
their disposal than other businesses. The US Department of Commerce
has an agency dedicated to helping minority and women-owned businesses.
You can access information from that agency at the link above.
The US Small Business Administration has a loan program to help small
businesses. Here is a description directly from their web site:
The Microloan Program provides small, short-term loans to small business
concerns and certain types of not-for-profit child-care centers. The
SBA makes funds available to specially designated intermediary lenders,
which are nonprofit community-based organizations with experience in
lending as well as management and technical assistance. These
intermediaries make loans to eligible borrowers. The maximum loan amount
is $50,000, but the average microloan is about $13,000.
Small Business Teaming Pilot Program
On Sept. 27, 2010, President Obama signed into law the Small Business
Jobs Act, the most significant piece of small business legislation in
over a decade. The new law is providing critical resources to help small
businesses continue to drive economic recovery and create jobs. The new
law extended the successful SBA enhanced loan provisions while offering
billions more in lending support, tax cuts, and other opportunities for
entrepreneurs and small business owners.
The Department of Defense offers assistance through Procurement
Technical Assistance Centers(PTAC) to businesses that are interested
offering products or services to Federal, state and local governments.
Find your local PTAC by clicking the link above.