Free Help from Uncle Sam to Start or Expand Your Business. Fred Hess
from Uncle Sam
to Start Your
(Or Expand the One You Have)
Sixth Edition, Completely Revised
Chuckwalla Press, Palm Springs, CA 92263
Copyright 2012 Fred Hess,
All rights reserved.
Published in eBook format by eBookIt.com
No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means including information storage and retrieval systems, without permission in writing from the author. The only exception is by a reviewer, who may quote short excerpts in a review.
To my wife, Jeanne, who endured the long hours. To Bill Alarid, for his great advice and counsel. And finally, to the excellent workers on my oDesk team for the research work, editing and cover design.
About the Author
Fred Hess is an entrepreneur who has used government aid to start several small businesses. He worked for IBM for 23 years before striking out on his own. He has consulted for many companies, large, medium and small. Fred is an engineer by degree, but has used that training in logic to apply to business startup and improvement. He resides in Long Beach and Palm Springs, California, with his wife Jeanne.
In down times or up times, entrepreneurship goes on and on and on like The Energizer. There always are and always will be those who say "to hell with prognosticators." These men and women see an opportunity, an opening in the economic fabric of our nation, and they jump into it with both feet, or head first. Never mind that only 80 percent of them will survive the first five years.
The true entrepreneur is a bit of a gambler, but a concerned and calculating gambler. The more knowledgeable he or she is, the greater his or her chances of survival. Knowledge, then, is the ace in the hole. Money? Sure, that’s important too. Money is vital as a lubricant, but it’s not the driver that steers the vehicle. The entrepreneur is the driver, and it is knowledge and all the human characteristics that make up the complex and somewhat mysterious entrepreneur, that first of all motivates him or her.
Money comes next. And that’s the topic we take on in this book. Much money flows from one of the thousand agencies and offices of the federal government and that of the 50 states. Not that Uncle Sam’s money is a leaky faucet -- quite the contrary. Money from Uncle Sam is getting more difficult to tap -- but not impossibly so. It just takes know-how and know-who.
Throughout this 6th edition of Free Help from Uncle Sam, we’ve trod on the side of fiscal conservatism. The sources you find listed and the suggestions we’ve made are realistic and pragmatic ones. We’ve tried to avoid the blue sky and rose-colored glasses that some books focus on.
Uncle Sam’s money, don’t forget, is our money. The only source of income for the treasury of the United States is your and my taxes. As the custodian of our money, our government is charged with dispensing -- investing, if you will -- some of that money in viable private businesses. In order to get that money, you in private enterprise must regard the source as realistically and honestly as you do the neighborhood bank.
The government, on the other hand, has become more banker-like, since those lush days of free and easy money during past years. Now commercial bank refusals, financial statements, valid collateral, pragmatic cash flow schedules, and a credible payback plan must accompany every application for Uncle Sam’s money (that is, our money!). There are few exceptions. Normally, you wouldn't want those "exceptions" -- disabilities, disasters, and dramatic social disadvantages -- that could result in direct government loans at lower interest rates. However, in these exigencies, such loans do exist and it’s only right that you should know about them.
In this 6th edition we have also emphasized more and new case histories and success stories. Few portions of a written record are as inspirational and stimulating as actual life happenings from which you can draw experience and incentives. Also, included for you are new contacts, updated addresses, phone numbers and live links to websites, which are accurate up to publication time.
Incidentally, the many parts of Uncle Sam are always on the move and change frequently. If you notice that any part of the book is out of date or not correct, please go to my www.buyfreehelp.com website and let us know.
More emphasis has also been placed on entrepreneurial areas that are growing -- such as international trade (primarily export) and minority enterprises.
You should also be advised of some new trends. More and more men and women in their middle years are getting their "parachutes" and are floating to earth without a preconceived place to land. These folks are squeezed out by increasing corporate mergers. Many of them are mid- to upper-level executives who, instead of the proverbial gold watch, are sent into temporary "retirement" with a sizable pension fund poke or financial settlement. Members of the Armed Forces and even longtime employees of Civil Service are taking early retirement. In most cases these men and women take with them profound skills and accumulated fiscal security. Many of them will apply these twin assets to new businesses, or to the acquisition of existing businesses. Sometimes these skills and contacts can even be converted into doing business with their former employers.
According to the 2009 Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurial Activity, approximately 558,000 entrepreneurs in the US started a business each month in 2009. With allowances for the economy, this means that about 6,000,000 entrepreneurs will start a business this year. Most of them follow their dreams regardless of the risks inherent in entrepreneurship. However, you should be mindful of the reality that the businessperson who minimizes the risk is the one who is going to survive -- and prosper -- the longest and best. Usually, inspiration, enthusiasm, motivation, hard work and persistence are great propellants. Knowledge, nonetheless, is the glue that holds them all together. Money is the great lubricant that keeps them all flowing. Much of that funding comes from and flows through U.S. agencies and state governments.
How to get some of that help, where to get, and from whom to get, is the job of Free Help from Uncle Sam…
The first two chapters are about companies like yours and people like you. They stories are inspirational and are included to give you comfort and the spirit to keep going when those bad days show up. Starting and growing a business is hard work but very rewarding. So read these chapters if you have the time. However, if you are seeking immediate assistance, Chapter 3 is where the help begins.
It’s up to you now to find the right reference and to follow the rules. Be complete, be realistic, and be professional about your contact and follow-up. Be patient, too. The U.S. Government is a vast bureaucracy, sometimes staffed by brilliant fellow-citizens, sometimes by petty bureaucrats and time wasters who are just waiting for pension-time. Often it seems like all that red tape is not worth the effort, but remember that it’s your money you are applying for -- and the purpose of your request must be to generate profits and benefits for you and yours and for your fellow citizens.
CHAPTER 1 - Success Stories about Some of Uncle Sam’s Citizens
With 1,000 different loan programs, two dozen agencies, and congressionally mandated