Wednesday, May 18, 2011

It's Not Really About Business Grants Like it Says it is, but Look at it Anyway

Back when I was a wee girl in Detroit, sometimes there used to be an ad deep in the sports section that had SEX in big letters. When your eye got there, the small print underneath said, "now that we have your attention..."  It says a lot about me and the whole ad game that I can't even tell you what the ad was really for. 
I just saw a variation of this in the website Startup Nation, dedicated to small business startups.  It has "Grants to Start a Business" in the headlines, and goes on to write about... the Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) program.  It's very legit, but it's not grants.  It's a federally-funded, but privately run, program, a string of about 450 outfits that give loans and equity financing (money raised by selling a share of your business) to small businesses.  It often provides this financing when banks won't step in.  It's money for your business, but it ain't grants.  Which is fine, but please...If you need money for your business, and banks are not helping, this is one way to find some loan money. 
The site gives links to two good sites: The National Association of Small Business Investment Companies, and the National Association of Investment Companies, which is geared more towards minority and women-owned firms.  The best thing about the NASBIC website is that it has links to state development department websites, where, as it notes, much of the real direct government aid to businesses happens.  So go.  Enjoy.  And find some business (mostly) loan money and other incentives.  But they need to check more diligently for dead links!  Keep on top of it, people.

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