Although much of the conversation about economic policy in the US centers around large corporations, it’s important to remember that most jobs in this country are created and sustained by small businesses, not big ones. Over 65% of American jobs are in small businesses. However, in risky financial times, it’s not always easy for entrepreneurs to start a small business. Anyone who wants to do so has to look carefully for the financial aid for starting a business.
Here are some sources of financial aid for starting a business that you can look into
State grants. The federal government doesn’t offer grants to individual business owners, but it does offer block grants to states—who then distribute the grant funds to their local entrepreneurs. The best place to start is by checking the small business development center of your state.
- Count-me-in. This is a non-profit organization that makes low-interest loans to women entrepreneurs. Their website (www.count-me-in.org) also provides extensive resources for women looking for other sources of funding for their small businesses.
- Small Business Administration. This is a federal office administered by state and local offices. They make low-interest loans to people who want to start a small business. They will also help you write a business plan and find other organizational, tax, and financial resources. The SBA has extensive information pertaining to every area of starting and running a small business.
- Your bank. Banks don’t have grants, of course, but they might have loans, especially if they know you and you have decent credit. Bankers have strict guidelines they have to work with, but they do want to see you succeed. They have both money and financial expertise to offer.
- AccionUSA. This is a private micro-lender, meaning that it gives smaller-than-usual loans to entrepreneurs who can’t get loans elsewhere. For very small businesses, these are exactly what they need to stay on their feet and to build the credit they need for when they grow bigger. If you think you want to try for this financial aid for starting a business, you can apply at their website at http://www.accionusa.org/ .
If you plan to seek out financial aid for starting a business, there are several things you need to have ready when you apply. You’ll want your personal tax returns, your completed documents, and a thorough business plan. A business plan doesn’t have to be complex, but it will tell your financer that you are a serious businessperson, that you know what you’re doing, and that you’re a good risk.