Fri 26 Mar 2010
We've all heard about the federal stimulus package that has dollars earmarked for helping small businesses. But what about your local community? With the federal government recognizing that small businesses are the backbone of the American economy, what is your city doing to help your small business grow and succeed through economic downtimes?
According to a recent New York Times article, many cities and states are stepping up to the plate and offering to help small businesses succeed. What are they doing to help?
To help reduce the unemployment rate, the city of San Francisco is offering a 100% hiring subsidy for small businesses who hire certain new employees. That means the city will pay the wages of new employees, as long as the small business owner pays the regular Social Security and unemployment insurance. The stipulation is that the new employee must have been unemployed for at least 30 days prior to hire. Through the program, San Francisco has helped hire over 1,800 employees.
Cleveland is attempting to encourage consumers to spend money locally. They have set up a website where local small businesses offer special offers and discounts for northeast Ohioans. So far over 300 small businesses have signed up, and about two dozen more sign up each month. The result? Over the last six months, they have recognized a 40% increase in purchasing activity through the website deals.
The state of Connecticut is helping manufacturing businesses through grants. Small manufacturing firms can obtain grants ranging from $5,000 to $25,000 through the Connecticut Small Business Innovation and Research Office. Companies must be a locally registered manufacturing plant (and plan to keep it in the state) and provide at least three years of financial data.
And if you live in the state of North Carolina, you could get free financial advice for your small business. Since the fall of 2009, the program, called BizBoost, has helped over 158 small businesses with cash flow advice, money management strategies, and even lining up financing. Typical businesses who receive help have about 10 employees or less.
Check with your local government, both city and state, and find out how you can receive help for your small business. All it may take is a phone call or simply filling out an application.