There is a common assumption that the government restrains small businesses when it actually does considerably to help encourage business activity. Most small businesses have mixed feelings about the government. Some require assistance from it, while some do not want interference from it. Helping small businesses start and grow is a win-win situation for the government.
While starting and running a small business, there’s all that official procedures you have to follow like permits, business taxes, verifying employees, compliance with laws and regulations, and so much more.
Despite such regulations and hurdles, the government is still supporting small businesses to foster growth. Here’s how local, state, and federal government can help your small business grow.
Local government takes direct actions to assist small businesses in their area, like offering low-interest business loans to help them make essential upgrades and expansion, foster energy efficiency, and more. In order to see the availability and types of assistance services in your area, check with your local government office.
There are local Small Business Administration (SBA) offices that are resources from the U.S. government to help small businesses thrive. You can look for their offices on the SBA website and get help on applicable business laws, counseling, training, access to a variety of resources, and guidance on matters like local incubators, financing programs, and networking events. The SBA provides support via different programs including The Small Business Development Centers, Women Business Ownership, Entrepreneurship Education, SCORE, Native American Affairs and the Small Business Training Network.
Every state has its own laws and regulations with one thing in common: a special interest in helping small businesses grow and succeed. New York State also offers resources similar to the SBA, including the lending programs and financial resources for minority-owned and women-owned businesses, technical assistance programs for businesses such as Business Mentor NY, Entrepreneurship Assistance Centers, New York Manufacturing Extension Partnership, Procurement Assistance Program, NYS-Certified Business Incubator, and Innovation Hot Spot Program. They also work with lenders throughout the state to ease the availability and fundability of working capital loans to small businesses.
Moreover, your local or state government can also become your client – giving you more business and growth opportunities. For that, you need to research your state’s contracting practices and check out for new proposal requests. If you want to become a government contractor, learn more here.
The federal government is always supporting small businesses and in certain cases, they’ve put their money behind it. Many federal government programs aimed at helping small businesses from the Startup America Partnership to the SBA Entrepreneurial Mentor Corps and the IRS Virtual Small Business Workshop. For a comprehensive list of resources, click here.
In addition, there are federal departments that provide guidance in their areas of expertise to small businesses such as the Department of Agriculture provide useful insights to U.S. agriculture and reliable reference on agricultural production, supplies, consumption, costs, etc. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is responsible for granting U.S. patents and registering trademarks and provides support on export regulations, R&D grants, or tax incentive programs. You can also get detailed market research from the U.S. Census data – serving as the best marketing research in the nation. For a comprehensive list of federal government resources, click here
The Bottom Line
It’s worth considering the resources and assistance programs the government provides to help small business owners. However, you are going to spend time on those permits, taxes, and compliance, so you may as well get some benefits in exchange.