The Green Financing Guide For Small Businesses
by NicoleD, Former Moderator
- Created: October 21, 2010, 7:03 am
Green businesses many be eligible for grants, loans, and
other financial incentives. Read on to
find out more about green financing opportunities for your business.
Loans and Grants
If you are looking for environmental financing for your
business, your first stop should be the Loans and Grants
tool on Business.gov. After
answering a brief questionnaire about your business, yo;ll receive information
on financing programs that you may be eligible for.
Remember- the federal government does not provide grants
for starting or expanding a business.
However, if your startup invented a new green product or
technology that is in the national interest or creates new jobs, it may
qualify for small business innovation grants, such as the Small Business
Innovation Research (SBIR), Small Business Technology Transfer (SBTT), or USDA Rural Development
programs. Even in these cases, the
competition is stiff and you may be required to match funding that you receive.
To learn more about these and related
financing opportunities for entrepreneurs, read Business.go-s guide on green
Additionally, your state government may have other grant
opportunities for green innovation or efficiency upgrades. Check with your state
department of energy resources for details.
If you do not qualify for a grant, you may find financing
alternatives in loans. Use Business.gov
to find lenders in your state that provide loans to small businesses interested
in making energy
Another way to save is through energy efficient tax
incentives. A tax credit can provide
significant savings by reducing the amount of income tax you have to pay.
Unlike a deduction, which reduces the amount of income subject to tax, a tax
credit directly reduces the tax itself.
Tax credits are available to manufacturers, for small business that
upgrade commercial buildings, and for home builders. Learn the basics of federal
tax credits for energy efficiency on Business.gov.
The newly-passed American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of
2009 (Economic Stimulus) includes new and extended
energy efficiency incentives for consumers and small businesses. Read Business.go's
article on green
tax incentives for a detailed list of new incentives - but keep in mind
that the eligibility dates vary, and some are close to expiring.
For the most up-to-date guidance on tax incentives, speak
with your attorney or review the Energy
Incentives for Businesses in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act at
Other Ways to Save
Aside from financing opportunities, Business.go's Green Business Guide includes a whole host of
resources and initiatives that help small businesses expand their businesses
while saving energy costs.
Green Commuting and Green
- Commuting is a hassle at the best of times, but
employers who take advantage of teleworking options can help improve their
employee' work life, productivity, and carbon footprint. Even better for
business owners, the federal government offers a variety of financial
incentives to employers and employees to pursue green commuting options. Read'Green Commuting Options' From Teleworking
Programs to Transit and Ride Share Tax Incentives
- Another area that has a huge impact on the
environment and your business bottom line is your business fleet. It need't be
so, because just a few simple measures' planning an efficient route or picking
the right vehicle for the job - can help you save money and reduce carbon
emissions. Read more in Greening Your Business Fleet - A 5 Step
Approach that Can Save you Money.
- Another area that has a huge impact on the
Greening Your Office
- Supporting the green movement helps the
environment and shows clients that your business cares about affecting it in a
positive way. By going paperless, you'll
save mass amounts of paper through electronic documentation as well as other
storage equipment such as folders and storage units. Energy savings can also be
found by minimizing the use of print and copy machines. Learn more by reading Save
Time and Money by Going Paperless.
- There are many ways for home-based businesses to
'go green'. It might start with simple actions like recycling used
paper and ink cartridges, and powering off electrical equipment when not in
use. In fact, 'going green' is limitless - for example, a home-based
child daycare business might consider reducing its carbon footprint by using
cold water wash cycles for laundry, buying furniture and toys from thrift
stores and garage sales, and using reusable dishes at mealtimes.
Read this list of additional ways
to green your home-based business at Business.gov.
- Finally, see if you can lock in additional
savings on utilities by inquiring if your gas and electric providers offers any
rebates on green improvements.
may want to visit a small business development center or a SCORE office in
your area. Both offer free counseling and they are knowledgable about the
various government loan programs currently available. Read more about in-person services near you at Business.gov
can try to reach someone at your local economic development office to learn if there are
employment grants in your area.
partnering with local solar manufactures or trade groups and associations for
additional financial assistance or mentoring.
- Read more about environmental
loans, grants, and incentives on Business.gov.
the Home Office to Main Street - The Ultimate Guide to Green Small
Business - Even baby steps can make a difference - from
encouraging telework policies to greening your home-based business - going
green isn't an expensive pipe dream, and can even save you money. Read a summary of ideas, insights, and
resources that can help your business play its part in greening America.
- Save Money Through Energy Efficiency Laws - Small
businesses can cut more than 25% off of their energy expenses when they
follow an energy saving plan. Read on to learn more about how to save
money through energy-saving tax credits, grants and other incentives.
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