Small Business Help Resources Are Available
Small business help is always welcome, whether it’s about getting your start, emerging from a tight situation, or building on success. So, as we celebrate Small Business Week, let’s look at some of the resources that are available.
Advice and Mentoring
The Western Washington University Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is an excellent source for small business help. Whether you’re just starting or have been going for a while, they aim to help you find opportunities, break through road blocks, grow your business and more. They use one-on-one consultations to help you take advantage of national, state and local resources. The SBDC also has training events, and small business market research and strategies.
SCORE is a network of experienced small business mentors. The volunteers work with you for free, and are ready to help no matter what stage your business is at. They also understand the special challenges faced by different kinds of business owners. They have particular resources tailored to Black, Hispanic, women, veteran and Asian-American/Pacific Islander entrepreneurs.
The SBA can make it easier for you to secure business financing. They have connections with specially vetted local lenders who are ready to work with small businesses. Those lenders are more likely to work with you, too, since the SBA is backing the loan and reducing the risk.
Grants are essentially free money – everyone’s favorite kind of small business help! But usually grant programs have specific criteria geared toward particular kinds of businesses and business owners. A good source for federal grants is grants.gov. The US Department of Commerce has its Economic Development Association that can connect you with a variety of state and regional grants.
There are even corporate sources for grants. For example, every year FedEx has its Small Business Grant Contest that awards grants to 10 small businesses nationwide. The National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE) has a Growth Grant program that awards small business grants of up to $4,000 to its members.
Small Business Help: Your Accountant
Don’t forget to take advantage of a resource for small business help that you probably already have: your accountant! Our office, for example, helps small business owners starting out to navigate the local and federal regulatory regulations. Another example: we’ll help you prepare to hire your first employee, and take care of the federal and state payroll taxes. And we stay on top of new challenges (the COVID pandemic, for example) and help you take advantage of new resources (we helped scores of our clients procure PPP loans to weather that pandemic). Don’t hesitate to get ahold of us to see if we can help you, or steer you in the right direction.
The SBA lists 10 steps to follow to start your business.
Not sure yet what kind of business you want to start? Hubspot has 60 suggestions for you.
Lastly, you can learn more about our services here!