Monday, May 18, 2015

Finding Federal Resources for Small Businesses

If you’ve ever wanted to research federal resources available to minority business owners and weren’t sure where to start or focus, you’re not alone. Navigating the volume of web pages and PDFs can be daunting if you’re not sure which programs apply to your business.

BusinessUSA.gov was created in partnership with 28 federal agencies to solve that specific challenge. Launched in 2012, the online portal serves as a single access point to valuable business services and information spread across different federal, state and local government agencies. BusinessUSA helps business owners of all types and sizes do everything from accessing capital and developing a marketing plan to finding mentors and understanding small business tax credits included in the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

BusinessUSA also delivers targeted content for minority business owners on a range of topics unique to their circumstances, including federal contracting opportunities specifically available to them.

For one, BusinessUSA includes information on the Minority Business Development Agency’s (MBDA) Minority Business Centers, where business advisors help entrepreneurs grow and become more competitive. Located in areas with high concentrations of minority businesses and staffed by minority business specialists, these centers can help with:
  • Exporting: Minority businesses make great candidates for global trade given their cultural diversity and language skills
  • Contracting opportunities: The MBDA’s Phoenix-Opportunity Matching System is a free online bid-matching service for minority-owned businesses
  • Access to capital: The MBDA can help minority businesses with grants and loans required to finance growth
BusinessUSA directly offers a wide portfolio of additional tools to help small and minority business owners with:
  • Starting a business: BusinessUSA's Start a Business tool helps entrepreneurs with everything from conducting market research to determining which business permits are required
  • Growing a business: BusinessUSA’s collection of resources for established companies addresses a range of complex issues including forecasting for growth
  • Learning and networking: BusinessUSA’s online directory of events and webinars to develop professionally and meet like-minded business owners who may be facing the same challenges and opportunities
These are a few of the ways BusinessUSA can assist small and minority-owned businesses. Be sure to visit BusinessUSA.gov for the full set of tools and resources, including those for women business owners, and to sign up for our email newsletters to stay up on the latest news and content.

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