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California: Business Incentives in your State

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Almost every small business or startup needs some funding to grow and nourish. Business owners might get into debt or loans with some interest rates that might be strenuous for startup business owners to pay back. In this scenario, the best option someone can opt for is a grant. 

If you are starting your business in California, there are five small business grants you should be aware of.

1. Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) 

The federal government wants to provide women-owned small companies at least 5% of all federal contracting funds each year. A company can compete for federal contracts designated for the program's certified participants by enrolling in the WOSB Federal Contract program.

For a company to qualify for the WOSB Federal Contract program, they must: 

  • Be a small business as defined by SBA size guidelines. Read more about SBA size guidelines here. 
  • Be at least 51% owned and run by women who are citizens of the United States. 
  • They put women in charge of daily operations and long-term decision-making. 

2. Management and Technical Assistance Program

The SBA wants to help qualified firms be competitive for federal, state, and local government contracts by offering them high-quality support. Companies participating in the program get training, executive education, one-on-one advising, and access to a variety of other activities, including the chance to take courses in the following areas: Accounting, Marketing, Strategic and operational planning, Financial analysis, Business Development, Contract Management, Compliance, and Various business-related software programs. 

A small business must fit one or more of the following criteria in order to be eligible for this program: 

  • Situated in places with a lot of unemployment or few resources.
  • Owned by people with modest incomes. 
  • Licensed as a HUBZone small company, 8(a) participant, or economically disadvantaged women-owned small business. 

3. 8(a) Business Development program

For socially and economically disadvantaged small company owners who have been in operation for at least two years and want to increase their presence in the federal market, the 8(a) program can be a useful resource. The 8(a) program provides distinctive and beneficial company support. Although the 8(a) certification does not ensure contract awards, it is a useful tool for pursuing and seizing new government opportunities. 

The following requirements must be satisfied by companies in order to be eligible for the 8(a) program:

  • They haven’t participated in the 8(a) program previously.
  • At least 51% owned and governed by Americans who are underprivileged in both social and economic ways. 
  • Possess assets of no more than $6.5 million, an adjusted gross income of no more than $400k, and a personal net worth of no more than $850k.
  • Show your moral integrity.
  • Show your potential for success, for example, by demonstrating that you've been in business for two years. 

4. Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR). 

Through small company innovation and research, the federal government may promote scientific advancement and varied entrepreneurship. America's Seed Fund offers non-dilutive funding via the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) to help you develop your concept and choose the best course for commercialization. 

Eligibility criteria: 

  • A business that is established as a for-profit firm. 
  • Non-profit organizations are not eligible (with the exception of research universities participating in the STTR Program). 
  • One or more persons must be a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident. Additional for-profit small company operations. 
  • A number of private equity, hedge fund, or venture capital operating businesses, or any combination of these, as long as no one of these firms owns or controls more than 50% of the stock. 

5. Small Business Technology Transfer Program (STTR)

The goal of the STTR program is to foster scientific innovation and excellence by allocating federal research funding to vital American objectives that will strengthen the country's economy. The program's objectives include:

  • Encourage new technical developments. 
  • Fill the demand for federal research and development. 
  • Encourage women and those from underprivileged backgrounds to participate in innovation and entrepreneurship. 
  • Promote the commercialization of discoveries resulting from federally funded research and development in the private sector. 

Eligibility criteria: 

  • Organized for profit and having a place of business in the US.
  • More than 50% owned and controlled by one or more citizens, permanent residents, or other small business concerns that are each more than 50% owned and controlled by citizens, permanent residents, or other small business concerns. 
  • No more than 500 workers, including affiliates. 

Wrapping Up

Businesses that wish to relocate to California, remain put and expand there, and generate high-quality, full-time employment in the state can apply for the California Grant Program. Although the CalCompetes Tax Credit program has been extremely effective at encouraging firms to pick California, many businesses seeking to expand or locate there may not profit from a non-refundable tax credit but may be able to make use of a grant instead. 

Tax and Business Incentives

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