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What is Business Assistance

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Business assistance is the general name for a series of state-based initiative programs that seek to help develop and expand small businesses by working with new owners and entrepreneurs through the various stages of business development and operation, providing them with resources and advice to achieve their goals for the company. The details of the programs vary according to the state, though they all share some basic similarities.

Business financing assistance

One of the main goals of all of the varying business assistance programs is to provide reasonable financing for new and developing business owners to help them expand their business to a competitive level in their field. This is accomplished not only through provision of funds, but by giving the companies assistance with accounting practices, management structuring, and technical development, as well as the distribution of information concerning local business issues and program services that are available to support small business growth. Most business assistance programs offer both low-interest loans and unattached funding that does not need to be repaid; additionally, the extra services such as consulting and presentations are done free of charge.

Job investment

Some states' business assistance programs also offer job investment opportunities for new and growing businesses. These opportunities help with the expansion of existing local businesses and the start-up of new businesses by addressing one of the main problems that new and developing businesses face: finding and training a set of reliable, skilled employees. These job investment programs exist to help create private sector jobs, by offsetting recruiting and training costs incurred by companies that are attempting to either create new jobs or implement new technology into the company's infrastructure. These investment programs provide both direct funding and practical assistance, such as helping with challenges related to developing a dependable workforce and holding organizational development workshops for companies seeking to effectively organize their structure.

Business consulting

Business assistance programs frequently offer a wide range of consulting opportunities for small business owners to take advantage of, usually free of charge. The types of consulting assistance available include:

  • Accounting assistance – here the consultant helps the owner develop a financial plan for the business and help get its accounting practices off the ground.
  • Technological consulting - assistance with developing a working and effective website, as well as installing the technological infrastructure the company requires to run efficiently.
  • Marketing consulting - giving the company advice regarding the way to develop ads so that they have the greatest effect at the lowest cost.

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