Mayor Michael Nutter of Philadelphia has recently announced that small businesses in the Philadelphia area will soon be able to compete for more than $27 million in loans and grants. Available through stimulus-funded programs, the funds are brand new for 2010.
The funds will be allocated in the following manner:
$4.5 million will be available for gap financing for “last in” capital for shovel ready development projects;
$9 million will be available for Greenworks loan programs for energy efficiency improvements to buildings and equipment, which will be available in loans from about $100,000 to $1 million or more;
$500,000 will be available in Greenworks rebates for energy efficiency improvements to buildings and equipment, which will be available as rebates of up to $10,000; and
$13 million will be available in Recovery Zone Facility Bonds for capital projects — new construction, rehabilitation and expansion of existing facilities.
To learn more about the gap financing programs, interested ones should plan to attend a free information session on February 5th at 1pm downtown at 1500 Market St. (Centre Square West), 26th floor.
To learn more about the Greenworks rebate program, interested ones should plan to attend a free information session on February 9th at 2 pm in the Mayor’s Reception Room at City Hall.
Or more information can be accessed online at www.pidc-pa.org/DevelopmentOpportunities.asp
Thursday, January 28, 2010
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
The convention will be held on May 3-6, 2010 at McCormick Place near downtown Chicago, and up to 20,000 people from 40 states and 50 countries are expected to attend.
Interested and qualified companies can apply for either the Small Business Scholarship Program for BIO 2010, the Trade Show Grant Program of the state Department of Commerce - or both.
The Small Business Scholarship Program for BIO 2010 is designed to help small biotech companies in medical, agriculture, energy or other sectors, including medical devices, to participate in the convention’s One-on-One Partnering or company presentation forums.
Up to 12 awards of $750 - $1,500 will be made to companies that apply and are approved. The deadline is February 19th.
For more details and/or to apply, visit: www.bioforward.org/BIO2010.php
Thursday, January 21, 2010
What's good about the show is that the panel is brutally honest with the entrepreneur contestants. If they present a weak idea or have not done their homework, they are given honest and hard-hitting feedback. In addition, if they are asking for too much money in exchange for too little equity, they are harshly criticized.
The show is good and worthwhile watching if you're interested in obtaining business funding, even if you're only interested in getting business grants. It teaches you how to be realistic, how to view the bigger picture, and how to be effective in your presentations when asking for funding.
The show is already in Season 2, but Season 1 is just as good. You can watch the show on ABC on Fridays 9/8c or you can view the episodes online at http://abc.go.com/shows/shark-tank/
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
The 8-week summer program is designed to provide seed funding for technology teams to build a product and launch their company. Up to 10 teams will be given $20,000 in funding, office space, mentorship, and guidance in exchange for a small piece of equity in whatever they build.
At the end of the summer, groups will present their work to investors with the hope of finding additional funding.
Seed Start is a partnership between ITAC, New York City Investment Fund, The New York State Foundation for Science, Technology and Innovation, New York City Economic Development Corporation, and Polytechnic Institute of NYU.
The deadline to apply is February 28, 2010. Finalists will be notified by March 15, 2010.
For more details, visit:
Thursday, January 14, 2010
MFIs, if you didn't know, are organizations that offer financial services to very poor citizens in countries such as Bangladesh, India, Brazil, Ethiopia, and more.
Several of the grants will help the institutions expand their portfolios and make savings accounts available to more than 11 million people.
Also, because banks are not located in remote areas in many countries - at least one grant award will focus on agent banking, mobile banks, and access to savings accounts over mobile phones.
Other grants will enable the institutions to send employees out on motorbikes with handheld PDAs to travel to clients in outlying communities.
Other problems to be addressed with the funding include insufficient staffing, poor marketing strategies, and lack of financial education.
For more details, visit:
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Funded entirely by the county, the grant funds can be used for minor repairs or to purchase equipment, supplies, inventory, advertising and insurance.
Grant recipients also receive technical assistance from the local Neighbors And Neighbors Association, a nonprofit that helps small businesses in poor communities solve technical problems and apply for funding.
Unlike many counties, Miami-Dade makes a special effort each year to set aside money from its general budget for the program. Reportedly, more than $1 million is available this year to applicants.
Since the program's inception in 1999, the county has given away more than $9 million to help more than 1,000 businesses.
To apply, small business owners should call (305) 756-0605 to obtain an application, and to register to attend a mandatory workshop on how to run a small business.
For more details, visit:
Friday, January 8, 2010
Preliminary data reveals that during the three-month period, the SBA processed over 12,000 loans of more than $3.8 billion - a drastic increase from the year before with just 9,000+ loans of nearly $2 billion.
The Obama Administration's stimulus package is being credited for the success.
Despite the great improvements, small business lending is still lower than what it was when the economy was fully healthy. For instance, in the fourth quarter of 2007, the SBA backed more than 20,000 small business loans - nearly double the amount from our most recent quarter.
So progress is duly noted, but obviously more growth is needed for a full recovery.
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
However, lying on a grant application is much different.
If you're applying for a government grant, you can actually be guilty of a federal or state crime if you decide to be untruthful in the paperwork. Remember that you're dealing with government money, and the government (especially the federal government) does not like to be cheated out of funding - even though they themselves have bad reputations when it comes to honesty.
If you're applying for a grant funded by a corporation, you may find yourself in a corporate lawsuit if you lie on your application - especially if you get approved. Corporations that distribute grant money are generously giving away money to enhance the local economies and communities, but if it's determined that you were dishonest - they will want their money back.
In both cases, if caught, you would also ruin your future chances of ever getting a grant from that organization. Perhaps, you apply one year and are denied - but may be eligible for next year. Well, if you're caught lying - you'll be immediately disqualified from every applying again.
So, just tell the truth. You don't have to exaggerate details, or tell half-truths. Just be honest. Remember that business grants are usually designed to help struggling businesses anyways, so you don't have to make your situation sound worse than it really is.