What We Wish Everyone Knew About Small Business Assistance
Are You Struggling to Get the Small Business Assistance You Need?
In a 2017 survey of small business owners, half of all respondents agreed that the U.S government wasn’t doing enough to support them. Startups face constant cash flow concerns, financing difficulties, and a genuine chance of failure within the first four years. It’s easy to see why so many startups feel as if they’re fighting against the odds. But the truth is that there is a wealth of resources available for small business assistance if you know where to look. Government grants and tax incentives allow much easier success if you took advantage of some of these great opportunities.
Why National Development Planning Focuses on Small Business
National development planning is often set up to promote the interests of large corporations. However, newer ventures play a much more significant role in driving growth across the economy. These agile, forward-thinking firms add much-needed competition. Without competition, it would be like having a really stale business market. Likewise, these firms help bring down prices and produce more innovative products and services. Unlike national companies, small businesses usually hire from places like the local workforce. This in turn also helps create more opportunities in an otherwise neglected job market.
Every entrepreneur can stand to benefit from free funding. After all, budgetary constraints are one of the main obstacles restricting startup growth. Unfortunately, Federal and private grants can be somewhat tricky to come by. However, small business assistance programs tend to favor non-profits and educational providers. If a commercial venture does manage to qualify for a Federal grant, it usually involves relocating to another city or State. For example, the Texas Enterprise Fund provides small business assistance in the form of cash grants. Thes grants though are only accessible to businesses that can reliably create at least 75 jobs in urban areas. For instance, a place like Austin, Texas would be an ideal place. Or you might also qualify by creating a minimum of 25 jobs in rural communities across the state in question.
However, there are funding opportunities available to startups that wish to remain in their own industry and area. The Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR) is set up to encourage small businesses. This program currently boasts a budget of $100 million and at least 11 different agencies participate with SBIR. The Small Business Technology Transfer Program (STTR) serves a similar purpose although participants in this program are required to work closely with their sponsoring agencies after grant approval.
Indeed, there are also a host of private grants that are available through some corporate contests. With this in mind, every year organizations like FedEx, Wal-Mart, and Chase offer thousands of dollars in funding to small businesses across the country.
Even the most experienced accountant can sometimes struggle with the complexity of business taxes. But if you’re savvy enough to identify the hundreds of loopholes and incentives available for small business assistance, then you can cut your annual operating costs quite significantly. Here is a rundown of some highly effective deductions that you should be taking full advantage of.
- If you work from a home office, then you can claim all rent, mortgages, insurance payments and utilities associated with the working area (calculated by square footage). Any furniture, equipment, and stationery required to maintain your home office are also considered to be a deductible expense.
- You can also deduct any travel expenses incurred for business. This includes mileage costs, toll fees, parking costs, and even your car lease payments. Make sure to keep detailed notes about all business-related trips so that you can make accurate deductions.
- Self-employed individuals can deduct all payments made towards health insurance premiums for themselves and their families.
- If your small business runs any employee benefit programs, then you can claim these expenses as valid deductions on your tax filings.
- Any money you spend on training programs, professional development books and classes can be claimed as valid business deductions.
All initial start-up costs including business registration fees, salaries for temporary staff, legal costs and accounting fees are valid deductions. Our virtual assistants in Austin, Texas can help you identify and calculate these expenses during the startup phase.
Apart from the specific educational resources available through agency websites, there are also 900 Small Business Development Centres across the United States that any entrepreneur can feel free to use. SBDCs run in partnership with the Small Business Administration (SBA), a government organization that is specifically dedicated to providing a range of small business assistance services. These services include business planning, specialist support, license and permit assistance, and help to obtain Federal contracts.
Entrepreneurs often struggle to get the necessary financing in order to establish or grow their business. In most cases, banks and other lending institutions also impose extremely high credit restrictions. Even the most financially astute business owner can struggle to meet the guidelines set forth. In these situations, the SBA can provide additional guarantees to help secure a critical loan. Through its new initiative LINC, the SBA also connects startups with angel investors who can provide the necessary funding they need.
At A2ZVA in Austin, Texas our virtual assistants can help you gain access to all the resources you need to ensure the strength and financial stability of your new venture.