Government Assistance for Entrepreneurs Key Terms
Find help from Big Brother by understanding key terms on government assistance for entrepreneursRather than fearing or resenting big government, learn to make the most of the system. Most businesses seem to labor under the assumption that they’re one banana peel step away from running afoul of a sour-faced bureaucrat bent on throwing them out of business and into jail. Actually, the federal government has a number of offices and portals in place to actively assist the entrepreneur in setting up and running a successful business. Check out the key terms below to get a jump start on a profitable venture with Uncle Sam.
Grants.gov for a specific definition and to find and apply for grants.
Guaranteed loansTo bolster the economic climate in rural areas, the government provides guaranteed loans to expand employment, convert or modernize business, purchase and develop buildings and land, and purchase or lease capital equipment or inventory, with as much as 80 percent of the loan guaranteed.
USDA Rural Development bureau explains the guaranteed loan program, including a link comparing the B&I Guaranteed Loan Program to the Rural Energy for America Program Guaranteed Loan and Grant.
ContractsRather than looking for a handout, look for a hand up. Federal agencies are required to target about one-fourth of their buying to small business. That's over $100 billion worth of contracts for goods and services set aside for small business, which depending on your industry sector, could be defined as high as $33 million (for general & heavy construction, as an example).
Small Business Administration (SBA) can step you through the procurement process.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)Rather than passively waiting for an energy or environmental audit to occur, the EPA offers ombudsman services to better understand environmental regulations, as well as their Regulatory Flexibility Act and Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act, so you can better enact environmentally sound business practices and feel less bullied by Big Brother.
EPA’s “Bottom Line” page for ways to get assistance, financing, contract work or financial models to test your own business’ energy savvy.
SDBUBoth the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Department of Defense (DoD) have a Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization office within their bureaus, to work with not just small business, but small businesses at least 51 percent owned by "socially and economically disadvantaged" individuals.
Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) page outlines a series of “customers,” from disadvantaged to firms owned by women, disabled veterans, even historically underutilized business zone businesses. The Department of Defense (DoD) publishes its goals and progress in assigning contracts to small businesses.
Truth in advertisingWhile late-night comedians may find fodder for their jokes about some loose claims, truth in advertising is no laughing matter, particularly with the increasing complexity of the food supply chain and the growing popularity of "green" products and services. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) enforces truth in advertising, setting a three-fold standard: a) advertising must be truthful and non-deceptive; b) advertisers must have evidence to back up claims; and c) advertisements cannot be unfair.
Business.gov, with specific links to product labeling, online marketing, telemarketing and environmental marketing.
Copyright © 2013 Business.com, Inc. All Rights Reserved.