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The Green Financing Guide For Small Businesses

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The Green Financing Guide For Small Businesses

By NicoleD
Published: October 21, 2010

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
technology innovation.

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
efficient upgrades
.

Tax Incentives

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
IRS.gov.

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
Fleets

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.

Need Assistance?

  • You
    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
  • You
    can try to reach someone at your local economic development office to learn if there are
    employment grants in your area.
  • Consider
    partnering with local solar manufactures or trade groups and associations for
    additional financial assistance or mentoring.

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