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    4 Replies Latest reply on Apr 9, 2008 2:49 PM by clewis4000

    Equipment loans or grants?

    clewis4000 Newbie

      I own a small janitorial business in a small college town area. Due to the ruralness of the area, I have been successful in gaining a lot of commercial business due to the length of time we have been here and because we are members of the local BBB. We are getting so many inquiries lately because our proximity to a larger metropolitan area is over 50 miles away. While we would like to take every inquiry we have had, we are limited in the availability of equipment.

      Equipment can be found used but it is usually in the larger cities such as Spokane or Seattle. I have a certified equipment specialist available to maintain the used equipment but the up front cost of such equipment is just too much all at once to buy outright.

      I also would like to look into building a website for our company so that we can be more easily found in local searches. I have found a company that can build our site and host it with very positive, successful results in Google searches. This will cost approximately $1000. Currently, we can only be found online through Yellowpages.com and this listing is still under my home phone and NOT the business name as I run the business out of my home.

       


      We are also looking to register as an LLC as we are continuously growing would like to expand into some of the other metopolitan areas. There are more competitors in these area but we feel we have a unique style and training to take on these odds.

      My 1st question is: How do I become a certified woman owned business? We heard of this reference from one of our contractors asking if we were one. I have been told that we would be more apt to be financed with this cerification.

      And my 2nd question is: Are grants available for businesses such as mine? Grants to increase management, training, and equipment availability. Or would it be better to get a small business loan and go from there?

       


      Thanks,

       

      Christine
        • Re: Equipment loans or grants?
          LUCKIEST Guide
          Equipment loans or grants, Welcome to this web site and good luck.
          Do you know about SCORE. SCORE is FREE and helps business people succeed.
          Do you have a Business and Marketing Plan?? SCORE can help you develop one.
          You should register as an LLC, and you can do that on line by going to "IRS.gov"
          Do you have an Accountant?? Lawyer?? Insurance Agent??
          LUCKIEST
            • Re: Equipment loans or grants?
              clewis4000 Newbie
              I want to thank you for your imput as now I have some more background to research. I have been working on a business plan for a month now and I have it almost in place. I havent a lawyer yet nor an accountant but I do have one of the best insurance agents around. These two position are easy to fill as I have many friends and business clients willing to pitch in for me!

              I had not heard about SCORE but now I have a new research field to look into. Thanks so much for the info!

              Christine
            • Re: Equipment loans or grants?
              MyrtleBchMama Newbie
              It sounds like you have some great opportunities available to you if you can figure out how to manage the challenges. First, you should definitely incorporate ASAP. The liability protection and the tax benefits are worth the nominal fees to make it happen. Visit the website for your Secretary of State and you should be able to find info on the different types of classifications, as well as the forms and fees to do so. You should have a business plan put together at some point. You can file your LLC paperwork w/o it, but you should still get it done. You can refer to your local SCORE office for help with that. You can get a woman owned business certification through the Sec. of State site also. However, you may have to be incorporated to do so and you may have to have a few years of records to support your claim. You must own over 51% of the business. If all this is in place, there are still a lot of hoops and paperwork that must be done to achieve the certification. You may get consideration from lenders, but you may also get consideration from lenders if you run an effective business with good bookeeping and if you deal with smaller local banks (your gender may not matter as much). Grants for women in business are no longer available (probably because we are not as much a minority anymore). There are grants that are available for training your staff. If you find your local (or regional) Work Force Center -often attached to your local employment center - they have a grant for training your incumbent workers. By training your employees, they are better trained and will be less likely to be laid off and have the potential to earn higher wages. See what you can find. When in doubt, search the internet. Just enter in the key words and spend time looking at what comes up. Good Luck! Never doubt the determination of a woman!
                • Re: Equipment loans or grants?
                  clewis4000 Newbie
                  Thanks so much for info on the woman owned business cerification. I knew it was going to be a lot of hoops just wasnt sure how to go about it. Also the info about getting incorporated was extremely helpful in that I was told it would cost me $5000.00 to complete this endeavor. Since then I have found out that there are other websites out there such as Legalzoom.com that will help with the forms to file for a very small fee! I greatly appreciate your input. I feel that these are not such daunting tasks after all!

                  Christine