Small businesses employ about half of the workers in the U.S. and accounted for 65 percent (9.8 million) of the 15 million net new jobs created between 1993 and 2009.
There are over 450,000 small businesses in New York State, 55,000 of which are located in the Western New York/Finger Lakes regions. Small businesses are major economic drivers within 14 counties of Western New York and employ in excess of 450,000 people.
Credit conditions for small business are improving, making it a little easier to get started. In 2010, Commercial banks began to ease the tight lending conditions on small businesses that began a few years back. Credit has also continued to flow, as loans under $1 million totaled $695 billion in FY 2009. Venture capital investment which had been on the decline increased in mid-2010 as well. Further, the Small Business Administration (SBA) offers a variety of loan programs to small businesses and entrepreneurs.
In addition towww.sba.gov, theUS Small Business Association Website, following are links to a few great resources for entrepreneurs looking to get started:
· U.S. Business Advisor, http://www.business.gov/
· Sample Business Plans (no endorsement), http://www.bplans.com/
· Angel Capital Foundation, http://www.angelcapitaleducation.org/
· Manufacturing Extension Partnership, http://www.mep.nist.gov/
· Grant Opportunities, http://www.grants.gov/
· Foundation Center, http://www.fdncenter.org/
· Community Development Financial Institutions, http://www.cdfi.org/
· Council of Development Finance Agencies, http://www.cdfa.net/
· Export-Import Bank of the United States, http://www.exim.gov/
· U.S. Department of Energy Inventions and Innovations, www.1.eere.energy.gov/industry
· Peer Lending (no endorsement), http://www.peerlendingnetwork.com/
· Factoring (no endorsement), www.factorhelp.com/associations.php
Foundations & Organizations:
· Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, http://www.kauffman.org/
· Edward Lowe Foundation, http://www.edwardlowe.org/
· National Federation of Independent Business Owners, http://www.nfib.com/
· National Business Incubation Association, http://www.nbia.org/
· Angel Capital Association, http://www.angelcaptialassociation.org/
· Association for Enterprise Opportunity, http://www.microenterpriseworks.org/
More local information is available at www.buffaloniagara.org/Doing_Business/StartingOut .
Buffalo Business Online also notes some great resources for local entrepreneurs and highlights useful tools for businesses just getting started.
I also encourage you to check out the upcoming 2012 Venture Forum May 16-17, 2012. To register, go to http://www.brightbuffaloniagara.com/
Buffalo Niagara Enterprise
Business Development Manager