Take advantage of the many free resources and support for small businesses found at the Federal, State and local level. Here is a list of services available throughout the country.
Local, State, and Federal Resources for Your Business
Starting and growing a business can be very rewarding, but it can also be one of the most challenging endeavors anyone can undertake. Fortunately, business owners don’t have to go it alone. An abundance of free resources and support for small businesses can be found at the local, state, and federal level, offering access to funding, training, networking, and other valuable services.
Though their availability may vary depending on your locale, here is a list of services available in many communities and states.
Local Chamber of Commerce: Most communities have a local Chamber of Commerce serving a particular town, city, or region. Chambers of Commerce provide networking opportunities, business directories, and access to local events for marketing your business.
Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs): SBDCs are an arm of the Small Business Administration (SBA) that provide counseling and training to small businesses, providing them with informational tools and support in areas of finance, marketing, production, and organization.
Local Economic Development Agencies (LED): LED agencies help businesses harness government resources available to them to achieve sustainable economic growth and development, leading to increased economic benefits and quality of life in their communities.
Business Incubators/Accelerators: Incubators and accelerators are programs run by private investors or companies to assist in developing ideas or startup companies. Incubators cultivate innovative ideas into reality, while accelerators provide mentorship, infrastructure, and resources to early-stage businesses.
Local Government Offices: Check with your city or county for business licensing information, permits, zoning regulations, and other local requirements.
State Economic Development Agencies (EDAs): State EDAs are tasked with coordinating state and local resources and funding to support existing businesses, encourage entrepreneurship, and recruit new businesses.
State Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs): Similar to local SBDCs, state-level SBDCs provide assistance, training, and counseling to small businesses.
State Funding Programs: Most states have state-specific funding programs such as loans, grants, and tax incentives designed to support local businesses and industries.
State Procurement Offices: If your business provides goods or services to the government, these offices offer information and guidance on government contracting.
Small Business Administration (SBA): The SBA is a cabinet-level organization in the executive branch of government offering a wide range of resources, including loans, grants, counseling, and contracting opportunities. The SBA guarantees loans offered by designated banks to small businesses.
SCORE: A resource partner of the SBA, SCORE is a national organization of retired business professionals providing free mentorship and counseling to local small businesses.
Business.USA.gov: BusinessUSA is an online portal connecting businesses to various federal resources, including financing options, permitting and licensing information, and contracting opportunities.
Grants.gov: This government-run site offers a comprehensive database of federal grants available to businesses, non-profits, and other organizations.
IRS Small Business and Self-Employed Tax Center: Provides resources, guides, and information on federal tax requirements for small businesses.
While federal resources are available to small businesses across the country, the availability of local and state resources may vary. So, it would be important to research and consult with local and state organizations such as the Chamber of Commerce or state Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) to identify the specific resources available to your business.
Preparing Your Business to Borrow - Prepare your business for capital access: strong cash flow, profitability, healthy balance sheet, solid plan ensure readiness for growth.
Is Your Business Prepared for Generation Z? - Gen Z’s impact on business is profound: prioritize authenticity, social consciousness, and career growth to attract and retain this dynamic workforce.
Small Business Trends You Don’t Want to Miss in 2024 - Small businesses in 2024 embrace AI marketing, AR/VR, and content creation trends. Soft skills, cybersecurity, and authenticity remain essential for success.
Ideas on How to Improve the Customer Experience - Enhancing customer experience: Prioritize vision, personalized service, seamless channels, proactive support, and continuous improvement.
Do You Use Website Analytics to Learn About Your Customers’ Interests? - Harness website analytics for smarter decisions, lead generation, and enhanced user experiences, propelling business growth.
5 Strategies to Incorporate into Your Business for 2024 - Incorporate these 5 pivotal strategies: Embrace tech, prioritize CX, innovate marketing, foster an employee-centric culture, and bolster cybersecurity. Adjust and tailor to thrive in a dynamic business landscape.
- Should You Have a Blog on Your Website?
- Best Practices for Protecting My Business Online
- Using ACH to Improve Cash Flow
- 10 Ideas to Help You Recruit New Talent
- How AI Could Improve Your Business
- Using a Small Business Loan to Expand Your Services
- Local, State, and Federal Resources for Your Business
- Security Essentials for Keeping Business Data Safe
- Leveraging Your Bank’s Cash Management Services to Improve Your Business
- When is the Best Time to Obtain a Business Loan?
- How Much Insurance Do I Need for My Business?
- Incorporating the Latest Merchant Services Technology for Your Business
- A Checklist for Getting Your Small Business Tax Compliant
- How Third-Party Data Can Help Target Marketing
- Is Your Small Business Taking on too Much Debt? Steps to Take to Pay it Down More Quickly
- Leveraging Digital, Direct Mail, and Social Media to Drive Business Customer Acquisition
- Businesses Should Plan Ahead for Year-End Tax Strategies
- Cash Flow Management Tips for Small Businesses
- Recruiting Top-Tier Talent in a Tight Job Market
- Sales or Marketing – Banks Need Both to Grow Revenues
- The Biggest Security Threat to Your Business
- How to Prevent Employee Fraud in Your Business
- There's Still Time to Claim the Employee Retention Credit. What is it, and How to Qualify
- Preparing Your Business to Borrow
- Insurance Essentials for Managing the Many Small Business Risks
- Employers are finding that remote work can be an effective way to increase productivity and lower cost
- Is Your Business Prepared for Generation Z?
- Don't Let Your Business be the Next Ransomware Victim
- Taking Advantage of Bank Cash Management Technology
- How to Take Your Digital Marketing to the Next Level
- How Annual Assessments Can Prevent Fraud in Your Business
- How to Position Your Bank as a Trusted Advisor for Small Businesses - And Why it Matters
- Getting to Yes with a Solid Loan Proposal