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calendar    Jun 02, 2024

Small Business Funding Programs In Idaho- 2024 Guide

Updated on June 1, 2024

Overview of Idaho Small Business Funding

Idaho offers a variety of financial resources to help small businesses thrive. The state has designed numerous programs to provide access to capital and funding, supporting both short-term needs and long-term growth.

Grants and Incentives

Businesses can access a range of grants and incentives through Idaho Commerce. These programs aim to facilitate job creation, business expansion, and international trade.

Small Business Administration (SBA) Programs

The SBA provides grants and loans to assist in starting, expanding, or purchasing a business. These programs include various loan guarantees, making it easier for small businesses to secure funding from banks.


For businesses unable to qualify for traditional loans, microloans are available. The Altura Microloan program offers funds starting at $5,000. This helps in business purchases and collateralized financing.

Idaho Housing and Finance Association

Small business loans from the Idaho Housing and Finance Association provide financing to meet real estate, equipment, and working capital needs. This supports both emerging and established businesses.

Federal Grants

Grants from federal agencies are also accessible. Programs like the SBIR and NASA Idaho Space Grant are designed to stimulate innovation and growth. SBDC Idaho offers guidance and assistance in applying for these competitive grants.

Idaho's diverse funding options contribute significantly to the state's economic vitality by empowering small businesses through accessible financial support.

State-Run Financing Programs in Idaho

Idaho offers various state-run financing programs that provide essential support for small businesses. These initiatives focus on grants, loans, and other forms of funding to stimulate economic growth and job creation within the state.

Idaho Commerce Funding Options

The Idaho Opportunity Fund (IOF) stands out as a significant program designed to aid local businesses. It serves as a "deal-closing fund," making Idaho an attractive destination for business expansion and new investments. This program primarily focuses on creating new jobs and fostering economic development.

Additionally, Idaho Commerce offers guidance on navigating various funding resources. Detailed information on grants and incentives can be accessed to help businesses find suitable financial support.

Idaho Small Business Development Center Services

The Idaho Small Business Development Center (SBDC) provides critical support to entrepreneurs through funding assistance and business planning services. Federal agencies offer competitive grants, such as those from the SBIR program, which can be explored via SBDC resources.

The SBDC’s mission is to assist small businesses in securing necessary funds for starting or expanding their operations. They offer personalized guidance and resources to ensure businesses thrive in Idaho’s competitive marketplace.

Idaho Department of Agriculture Programs

The Idaho Department of Agriculture provides specific financing programs tailored to the agricultural sector. These initiatives include grants and loans aimed at enhancing agricultural practices, expanding farming businesses, and improving overall productivity.

One notable program is the Idaho Specialty Crop Block Grant Program, designed to support projects that enhance the competitiveness of Idaho's specialty crops. More information on available programs can be explored by reaching out directly to the Idaho Department of Agriculture for detailed funding opportunities.

Federal and Local Collaborations in Idaho

Collaboration between federal and local entities is essential for providing comprehensive support to Idaho's small businesses. Effective partnerships focus on funding, resources, and expertise to drive economic growth and development.

Small Business Administration Partnership

The Small Business Administration (SBA) works closely with Idaho's local agencies to offer a wide range of funding options and support services. The SBA facilitates loans, grants, and counseling programs tailored to emerging businesses.

Local entities like the Idaho Small Business Development Center provide critical guidance in navigating SBA programs. These collaborations maximize access to federal resources and ensure entrepreneurs have the tools needed to succeed.

The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program is another critical component. It provides competitive grants aimed at fostering technological innovation in small businesses. Interested parties can find more information at

Rural Development Associations Support

Rural communities in Idaho benefit significantly from partnerships with federal and local development agencies. The Rural Economic Development Loan & Grant Program is one example, offering grants and loans to support local projects.

These collaborations are crucial for creating and maintaining a Revolving Loan Fund, which provides ongoing financial assistance to rural businesses. Local utilities often apply for USDA funding on behalf of these projects, ensuring capital is available for community growth.

In particular, up to $2 million can be loaned for eligible projects, and up to 10% of grant funds can cover operational expenses. This sustained support helps rural businesses thrive, fostering long-term economic health.

Grants and Incentives in Idaho

Idaho offers a range of grants and tax incentives to support small businesses. These programs aim to reduce operational costs, foster economic growth, and provide additional support through various initiatives.

Business Grants Opportunities

Idaho provides several business grants to help companies grow. The Idaho Commerce Department lists various grants, including the Idaho Broadband Grant Program, which aids public organizations in acquiring broadband infrastructure. The Workforce Development Council offers funding for workforce training and unique programs such as the preceptorship training initiative supported by the Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health. For businesses seeking more localized assistance, Small Business Development Centers and programs like the NASA Idaho Space Grant Consortium are available.

Tax Incentive Programs

Idaho is a favorable state for businesses due to its tax incentive programs. The Idaho Commerce Department provides a variety of tax incentives aimed at reducing operating costs, such as property tax exemptions and corporate income tax credits. Additionally, businesses can benefit from workforce training grants that offset the costs associated with employee training and development. These incentives are designed to create a predictable tax structure, making Idaho an attractive location for new and expanding businesses.

Economic Growth Initiatives

Idaho supports economic growth through several targeted initiatives. One key program is the Opportunity Zone initiative, which offers tax advantages to businesses investing in designated economically distressed areas. These zones provide an impetus for job creation and economic development. Additionally, the state encourages international expansion and job creation via comprehensive support resources, helping businesses tap into global markets while maintaining robust local operations.

Loan and Financing Programs in Idaho

In Idaho, small businesses have access to a range of loan programs tailored to meet specific needs. These options include general business loans, loans for agricultural and manufacturing sectors, and a dedicated transportation loan program.

General Business Loans

Idaho offers several loan programs for general business purposes. The 7(a) Loan Program is the most common Small Business Administration (SBA) loan, providing funds for a wide array of uses, such as working capital and equipment purchases. The Microloan Program guarantees loans up to $50,000, which are particularly useful for small startups with limited capital needs. Additionally, CAPLines provides short-term and cyclical working capital loans for established businesses. More comprehensive loan options can be explored here.

Agricultural and Manufacturing Loans

For businesses in the agricultural and manufacturing sectors, specialized loan programs are available to support growth and development. These loans typically focus on helping businesses purchase necessary equipment, expand facilities, or improve processes. 504 Loans, offered through Certified Development Companies, provide long-term, fixed-rate financing for major fixed assets, such as real estate and equipment purchases. These loans are designed to promote economic development by ensuring that businesses in key sectors have the resources they need for substantial investments. Details on specific loans can be found here.

Transportation Loan Program

The Transportation Loan Program in Idaho is tailored to meet the financial needs of businesses within the transportation sector. By providing loans for the purchase of vehicles, expansion of fleets, or upgrades to transportation facilities, this program supports the logistical backbone of many businesses. These loans often require specific collateral and are designed to enable businesses to maintain or expand their transportation capabilities, which is critical for growth and operational efficiency. More information on the program can be accessed here.

Idaho’s targeted loan programs are crucial for ensuring that small businesses have the financial tools necessary to thrive and expand in various industries.

Specialized Support for Small Businesses in Idaho

Specialized support initiatives in Idaho aim to enhance the growth and success of small businesses by providing unique resources. These efforts include targeted programs such as Elevate Idaho and dedicated support for women and minority-owned enterprises.

Elevate Idaho Initiatives

Elevate Idaho provides crucial assistance for small businesses through competitive grants. This includes grants from various federal agencies designed to stimulate innovation and job creation. In addition to financial aid, Elevate Idaho offers technical support to help businesses navigate the complexities of securing funding and scaling their operations. Their programs aim to boost economic development while ensuring that small enterprises have the resources they need to thrive.

Women and Minority-Owned Business Resources

Idaho provides targeted support to women and minority-owned businesses through programs that bridge funding gaps and offer specialized consulting. These initiatives are designed to reduce economic disparities and promote inclusivity in the business community. By offering tailored financing options and expert guidance, Idaho supports the unique needs of these businesses, fostering a more diverse and equitable economic landscape. This support includes long-term funding opportunities and resources to improve business sustainability and scalability.

Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Idaho

Idaho fosters entrepreneurship through diverse funding programs aimed at startups and businesses looking to expand, as well as grants specifically for innovation and technology development.

Startup and Expansion Funding

Starting a business in Idaho is supported by multiple funding programs. Resources like the Teton Business and Education Center provide significant support for business owners. This center, financed with a $3.8 million grant, offers facilities designed to help startups grow efficiently.

Another key program, Elevate Idaho, focuses on early-stage innovators. It helps them compete for federal research and development funds through initiatives like the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. These programs are crucial for turning innovative ideas into viable businesses.

Innovation and Technology Grants

Innovation and technology are critical in Idaho’s entrepreneurial landscape. Programs like Elevate Idaho play a pivotal role here. They connect startups to essential resources, offering tailored support to help them achieve success.

Federal agencies offer competitive grants for technology development. Information on these grants is available at Those qualifying can also access assistance through Small Business Development Centers, which provide comprehensive guidance for application processes. These initiatives ensure that innovative businesses in Idaho can access the funding needed to advance cutting-edge technologies.

Business Education and Training in Idaho

Business education and training opportunities in Idaho provide essential support for both new and established businesses. Programs focus on workforce development and offer a range of educational resources and counseling to help businesses thrive.

Workforce Development Programs

Idaho offers several workforce development programs aimed at enhancing the skills of its workforce. The Idaho Workforce Development Council utilizes state, federal, and private funds to finance projects that boost the state's economy. Their initiatives develop the workforce pipeline through various training programs.

These programs target specific skills required by industries within the state, ensuring that employees are prepared for modern business challenges. Employers can take advantage of these initiatives to receive funding for training new employees or upskilling existing staff. It's a strategic approach that not only benefits businesses by improving their workforce but also aids employees in advancing their careers.

Educational Resources and Counseling

Small businesses in Idaho have access to numerous educational resources and counseling services. For example, the Idaho Small Business Development Center provides guidance on applying for federal grants and other financial assistance programs. They offer workshops, training sessions, and one-on-one counseling to help business owners navigate various challenges.

Additionally, the Idaho Commerce department assists businesses with creating jobs, expanding, and finding suitable spaces. They provide resources for international business expansion and help companies understand where to go next in their growth journey.

Educational resources are complemented by personalized counseling services that tackle specific business needs. This includes business planning, financial management, marketing strategies, and operational efficiency. These services are designed to ensure that businesses have the knowledge and support they need to succeed in a competitive market.

Rural and Community Development in Idaho

Rural and community development programs in Idaho aim to upgrade infrastructure, enhance public services, and drive economic growth in targeted regions. These programs support small and emerging businesses and improve the quality of life in rural areas.

Infrastructure and Public Services Enhancement

Idaho's rural communities benefit from grants like the Rural Community Investment Fund (RCIF) which finance infrastructure improvements focused on business development and job creation. Eligible entities include cities with populations under 25,000, counties, and Tribes.

Grants from the Rural Economic Development Loan & Grant Program also play a vital role. They provide up to $2 million in loans and $300,000 in grants to establish Revolving Loan Funds. These funds support utilities applying for financial aid on behalf of specific local projects.

These initiatives target essential infrastructure such as water and sewer systems, transportation upgrades, and public facilities to make rural areas more attractive for business and resident activities.

Economic Development in Targeted Regions

Economic development in Idaho's rural regions is stimulated by programs like the Rural Business Development Grants (RBDG). There are two main types of RBDG projects: Opportunity Grants and Enterprise Grants. Opportunity Grants, which are limited to 10% of annual funding, aim to explore new business possibilities. Enterprise Grants focus on supporting small and emerging businesses in rural areas.

Additionally, the Rural Community Development Initiative Grants help by fostering partnerships between private, nonprofit, and public sectors to address the needs of rural areas. These grants enhance the capacity of regional development alliances to plan and implement economic development projects.

These programs are key to securing economic stability and growth in Idaho's rural communities by fostering local entrepreneurship and business expansion opportunities. They ensure that resources reach those in need and that projects align with regional development goals.

Access to Resources and Consultation in Idaho

Idaho offers a variety of resources and consulting services tailored to help small businesses thrive. These services include government contracting initiatives and business consulting through various programs.

Government Contracting Initiatives

Small businesses in Idaho can benefit significantly from government contracting opportunities. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) provides critical support in this area, offering federal contracting certifications and assisting businesses in securing government contracts. The SBA's Boise office is a key contact for these services and can connect businesses to partner organizations that facilitate participation in federal programs.

In addition, the Idaho Opportunity Fund supports local businesses by enhancing their competitive edge. This fund is designed to assist in closing deals that encourage business expansion and job creation within the state. Entrepreneurs should explore these opportunities by contacting relevant agencies that can provide guidance on the application processes and compliance requirements.

Business Consulting and Advising

A range of consulting and advising services are available to Idaho small businesses. The SBA, along with its program SCORE, offers consulting to support business growth. Entrepreneurs can access these consulting resources in Boise, Idaho Falls, and through the Spokane office for those in north Idaho.

The Idaho Small Business Development Center (SBDC) further enhances these efforts by providing grants and personalized business advice. Their collaboration with the NASA Idaho Space Grant Consortium facilitates access to specialized grants, fostering innovation and development. For comprehensive support, businesses may also refer to the assistance resources page, which details various state and federal programs available.

Consulting services through these entities help businesses navigate challenges and leverage opportunities for growth effectively.

Financial Assistance for Emerging Markets in Idaho

Idaho offers funding programs aimed at promoting international trade and supporting low-income and emerging sectors. These programs help fuel economic growth and create new jobs.

International Trade and Export Funding

The state provides resources to assist businesses in expanding their reach to international markets. Programs like the State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) offer grants to small businesses aiming to enter or expand into global markets. These grants can cover costs related to marketing, trade shows, and export training.

Additionally, the Idaho Opportunity Fund serves as a "deal-closing fund." It strengthens Idaho's competitive ability to support the expansion of existing businesses and attract new companies. This, in turn, helps create jobs and stimulate economic growth.

Investment in Low-Income and Emerging Sectors

Various grant and loan programs are available to support businesses in low-income and emerging sectors. The Idaho State Department of Agriculture provides grants and loans for agricultural businesses, addressing both traditional and innovative market needs.

Programs like the Small Business Investment Act offer financial assistance to small businesses through different loan programs. These initiatives help fuel growth in sectors that may struggle to secure conventional funding but hold significant potential for economic development and job creation.

Additional Financial Opportunities in Idaho

Idaho offers various financial opportunities to help small businesses grow and thrive. Two notable programs include the Microloan Program and Tax-Free Bonds for Businesses.

Microloan Program

The Microloan Program in Idaho is designed to provide small loans to businesses that need financial assistance but might not qualify for traditional bank loans. Loan amounts can range up to $10,000, making it an ideal choice for startups and small enterprises.

These microloans are aimed at helping businesses with working capital, purchasing inventory, or acquiring equipment. The Southeast Idaho Revolving Loan Program is one such initiative, serving counties like Bannock, Bear Lake, and Bingham. Eligibility and terms vary, but the application process is straightforward and aims to be accessible to many small business owners.

By offering smaller loan amounts with typically lower interest rates, the Microloan Program helps stimulate local economies and encourages entrepreneurship. This program provides crucial support for those looking to start or expand their business ventures in Idaho.

Tax-Free Bonds for Businesses

Tax-Free Bonds for businesses can be another valuable financial opportunity in Idaho. These bonds allow businesses to access capital without the burden of federal income tax on the interest earned, lowering the overall cost of borrowing. It makes them a particularly attractive option for larger projects that require substantial financial investment.

Idaho's tax-free bond initiatives support a variety of business needs, including real estate purchases, facility expansions, and infrastructure improvements. They help reduce the financial strain on businesses engaging in long-term investments or capital-intensive projects.

The predictable tax structure in Idaho further complements these bonds by providing a stable fiscal environment. Companies often find using tax-free bonds aligns well with their financial planning and growth strategies.

By minimizing tax liabilities, these bonds can offer significant savings to businesses, making them a key part of Idaho's support network for economic development.

Support Networks and Partnerships in Idaho

Idaho's small businesses benefit from a robust network of collaborations and partnerships that enhance their access to resources, financial opportunities, and expert guidance. These alliances include educational institutions, interagency cooperation, and non-profit organizations.

Collaboration with Educational Institutions

Educational institutions in Idaho play a pivotal role in supporting small businesses. Universities and colleges often provide research opportunities, training programs, and incubation spaces that foster innovation and growth. For instance, Boise State University partners with local businesses to deliver tailored workforce development programs.

These institutions also host events like startup competitions and workshops that connect business owners with industry experts and investors. The University of Idaho's Office of Economic Development works closely with small businesses to provide consultation services and access to technological advancements, ensuring that local enterprises stay competitive and innovative.

Interagency and Non-Profit Coordination

Interagency collaboration and support from non-profit organizations significantly bolster small business operations in Idaho. Agencies such as the Idaho Department of Commerce and the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) offer a suite of services including funding programs, counseling, and certification assistance to streamline business processes.

Non-profits like Elevate Idaho and the Idaho Nonprofit Center provide mentorship, networking opportunities, and specialized grants that cater to diverse business needs. The U.S. Small Business Administration also collaborates with various local organizations to facilitate access to federal resources, making it easier for Idaho's small businesses to thrive in a competitive marketplace.

Frequently Asked Questions

Idaho offers a range of funding options for small businesses, including grants, state-funded programs, loans, and financial assistance for both entrepreneurs and families.

What types of small business grants are available in Idaho?

Several grants are available to Idaho's small businesses. These include the Idaho Broadband Grant Program designed to fund broadband infrastructure and other grants that can cover various business needs, from startup costs to expansion efforts.

How can startups in Idaho access state-funded programs?

Startups can access state-funded programs by consulting resources available through the Small Business Administration (SBA) and contacting local offices such as the Idaho Small Business Development Center. These organizations provide guidance and assistance on qualifying and applying for different funding programs.

What are the eligibility requirements for the $7,500 small business grant in Idaho?

The $7,500 small business grant in Idaho typically requires businesses to meet specific criteria such as being registered in the state, having a certain number of employees, and demonstrating financial need or potential for growth. Detailed eligibility requirements can be obtained from Idaho Commerce.

Are there specific loan programs for small businesses in Idaho?

Yes, Idaho offers specific loan programs for small businesses. The Idaho Housing and Finance Association provides small business loans to help meet various financial needs. Additionally, SBA-backed loans can support everything from startups to expansions.

What financial assistance is offered to individual entrepreneurs in Idaho?

Individual entrepreneurs in Idaho can access financial assistance through mentoring and funding programs provided by the SCORE mentors and SBA counseling services. These programs offer free advice, resources, and sometimes direct financial aid to help entrepreneurs succeed.

Do families in Idaho have access to grants that support small business ventures?

Families in Idaho can access grants specifically designed to support small business ventures, often through community development programs. Additionally, grants like those provided by the Idaho Housing and Finance Association can benefit entire families by fostering entrepreneurial efforts.

This post is to be used for informational purposes only and does not constitute formal legal, business, or tax advice. Each person should consult his or her own attorney, business advisor, or tax advisor with respect to matters referenced in this post. Resolve assumes no liability for actions taken in reliance upon the information contained herein.

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