Right now, there is so much uncertainty in the world, and small businesses are feeling it more than most. With more than 30 million small businesses nationwide, these businesses are the lifeblood of the American economy but they are often overlooked, even forgotten about, in favor of the major players. After the first round of the CARES act was passed (and quickly drained by small and not-so-small businesses), the government has rolled a second round of loans for the SBA to administer to small businesses and startups. Perhaps you’re in the queue of businesses waiting on a loan, or perhaps you were left out of applying because your bank had stipulations around who could apply.
The good news is, whether you’ve been able to access an SBA loan or are waiting on approval to your application (or haven’t yet applied), there is hope. Now more than ever, there are so many great resources available to small businesses, both financial and informational. We’re taking a look at a few of our favorites.
Small Business Grants
There is a seemingly-unending list of grants for small businesses, at the federal, state, and local levels, as well as from the private sector. To put it lightly, a grant is basically free money (that doesn’t have to be paid back and doesn’t accrue interest), so can be an amazing resource for brands that are getting started and need a push to get through the current crisis or grow from it. No matter what type of business you own, or what your needs are, we’re willing to bet you can find something that works for your business. Here are a few great resources.
Grants.gov: the de facto database on all federal grants, this site has it all when it comes to finding what you need, and applying for it. Use the search tool within the website to help you find exactly the right grant for your business, using keyword and category searches.
U.S. Economic Development Administration: This U.S. Department of Commerce agency provides grants, resources and technical assistance to communities to support economic growth and encourage entrepreneurship and innovation. Each state’s agency helps businesses find financing (including state or regional grants), secure locations and recruit employees. You can search for regional offices and local resources at the EDA’s website.
Corporate Grants: Big corporations like Verizon, FedEx, and more offer grants for small businesses and startups of all kinds. Find small business grants specific to your industry (like environmental, fashion, healthcare, and more), and then apply for them. Grantswatch is a great place to start, but a quick Google search of “small business grants for ______ businesses” should also get you going on the right track.
If you’re not looking for a grant, but rather, trustworthy sources of information as you navigate these tough times, look no further. We’ve got a TON of local and regional resources that are ready and waiting to support you.
If your business wasn’t able to take advantage of the initial rollout of EIDL or Payroll Protection Program loans, the sba.gov website still has a number of great resources that can help you. They offer a range of services to small business owners, including business counseling, support for qualifying for government contract work and more.
Local to Ohio, GBQ is an amazing accounting and consulting resource for small businesses. They exist to empower businesses with the tools they need to create a solid financial foundation, with services like tax accounting and assurance. They’ve been providing some amazing resources to their subscribers including a COVID-19 Checklist and more that our team has been grateful to receive and share.
Similar to GBQ, BDO provides tax and assurance services, as well as advisory and legal services to businesses around the country.
Law firm Thompson Hine has a host of great resources for small businesses, but perhaps their best product for startups is a tool called Quick Launch. Quick Launch is their proprietary tool that helps startups launch quickly and efficiently using customizable boilerplate documents.
Not to toot our own horn, but we are here to help! If you need support for your startup, reach out and schedule a time to chat. Book+Street provides outsourced CFO, finance + accounting, talent acquisition and stock plan design + administration services for startups in the midwest and beyond. If we can’t help, we can guide you to any number of other resources.
If these aren’t turning up what you’re looking for, don’t worry! This is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the millions of resources that exist for helping small businesses. A quick (but specific) Google search can help you find exactly what you’re looking for. Still not sure where to start? Reach out to our team at Book+Street!