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calendar    Jun 03, 2024

Small Business Funding Programs In New Hampshire- 2024 Guide

Updated on June 2, 2024

Overview of Small Business Funding in New Hampshire

New Hampshire offers a variety of funding programs designed to support small businesses in their growth and development. These programs include grants, loans, and other financing options.

The State Trade Expansion Program (STEP), managed by the BEA's Office of International Commerce, helps small businesses enter or expand in global markets. This program provides both funding and programming tailored to meet the needs of these businesses.

The Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC) is a federal-state partnership aimed at economic development. This initiative focuses on enhancing economic opportunities for New Hampshire's businesses, particularly in the rural northern regions.

The New Hampshire Small Business Development Center (NH SBDC) has a significant economic impact on the state. In 2023 alone, NH SBDC clients accessed $37 million in new capital and created or retained 628 jobs.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) supports small businesses through various grants. For example, the University of New Hampshire received a $125,000 SBA grant to support women-owned and rural-based small businesses as well as those that are socially-economically disadvantaged.

The Business Finance Authority (BFA) offers temporary loans ranging from $100,000 to $2 million for businesses across New Hampshire. This funding can be used for short-term capital needs. Recently, BFA announced $61 million in new lending programs aimed at boosting the post-pandemic economy for Granite State businesses.

These programs indicate strong levels of support available to small businesses in New Hampshire, enabling them to thrive and contribute to the state's overall economic health.

Types of Available Funding Programs in New Hampshire

New Hampshire provides a range of funding programs to support small businesses. These include various loans, grants aimed at facilitating business growth, and tax incentives designed to encourage job creation and investment.

Loans and Loan Guarantees

The Capital Access Program (CAP) helps banks provide loans to small businesses in New Hampshire. This program includes term loans and lines of credit, with guarantees up to $500,000.

New Hampshire's 10 Regional Development Corporations offer financing assistance, ensuring businesses have access to the necessary capital for expansion and operations. These corporations are proactive in addressing the unique financial needs of businesses in their regions.

Furthermore, the New Hampshire Business Finance Authority provides loan guarantees and direct lending options, enhancing credit access for businesses unable to secure conventional bank loans. These loan guarantees reduce the risk for lenders and enable small businesses to obtain needed financing.

Grant Programs for Startups and Growth

The State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) helps small businesses expand into global markets, providing both funding and programming support. This initiative is critical for businesses looking to grow internationally and increase their exports.

The Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC) offers grants to support economic development in economically distressed Northern Border areas, focusing on infrastructure and business growth.

Additionally, the Federal and State Technology (FAST) Partnership program, administered locally by the University of New Hampshire, supports small businesses, particularly those owned by women, located in rural areas, or socially-economically disadvantaged. The grants provided help these businesses improve their outcomes and capabilities.

Tax Credits and Incentives for Small Business Owners

The Coos County Job Creation tax credit targets businesses that create new, full-time jobs with wages at least 150% higher than the minimum wage. This tax credit incentivizes job growth and higher wages in one of New Hampshire's economically distressed regions.

New Hampshire also offers various business tax credits through its 10 Regional Development Corporations. These credits are designed to stimulate investment and development within the state, providing financial relief and investment incentives for small businesses.

Overall, these tax incentives and credits are crucial tools for small business owners seeking to reduce their tax burden while promoting job creation and economic growth in New Hampshire.

The Role of the Small Business Administration (SBA) in New Hampshire

The SBA plays a pivotal role in supporting small businesses in New Hampshire. This includes facilitating access to loan programs and providing essential training and education resources.

SBA Loan Programs

The SBA offers a variety of loan programs to assist entrepreneurs in securing the funding they need to start or grow their businesses. One prominent program is the SBA 7(a) Loan, which provides flexible terms and can be used for various business purposes, including working capital and equipment purchases.

Another significant offering is the 504 Loan Program, designed to help small businesses acquire fixed assets like real estate and machinery. Unlike the 7(a) loans, 504 loans are structured to promote economic development within communities by offering long-term, fixed-rate financing.

The New Hampshire District Office in Concord helps local businesses navigate these programs, ensuring they meet eligibility criteria and complete the necessary paperwork. These business loans are instrumental in driving economic growth and job creation throughout the state.

Training and Education Resources

Besides financial assistance, the SBA provides comprehensive training and education resources to small business owners. This includes workshops, webinars, and resources that cover essential topics such as business planning, marketing strategies, and financial management.

Through the SBA Learning Center, entrepreneurs can access an array of online courses tailored to various business stages and needs. The New Hampshire District Office also collaborates with local organizations to host events that connect business owners with industry experts and mentors.

By offering these resources, the SBA empowers small business owners with the knowledge and skills needed to overcome challenges and achieve long-term success. Such initiatives are critical in fostering a robust small business community in New Hampshire.

State-Sponsored Business Finance Authority (BFA) Programs in New Hampshire

The New Hampshire Business Finance Authority (BFA) offers a range of financial tools aimed at assisting local businesses. These tools include direct loans, credit enhancements, and bonding programs designed to provide necessary capital and reduce financial risks.

Direct Loans and Credit Enhancements

The BFA provides direct loans ranging from $100,000 to $2 million to New Hampshire businesses. These loans are often used for capital needs, whether short-term or long-term, and they can be instrumental in business expansion.

Additionally, the BFA offers lines of credit that help businesses manage cash flow fluctuations. Term loans and credit lines can be customized to fit specific business requirements, offering flexibility and essential financial support.

Moreover, the BFA supports loan guarantees, which can enhance a business's creditworthiness. These guarantees assure lenders that a portion of the loan will be repaid, encouraging the approval of loans that might otherwise be deemed too risky by traditional financial institutions.

Bonding and Capital Access Programs

The BFA's bonding programs include various options such as Industrial Revenue Bonds (IRBs) and Recovery Zone Facility Bonds (RZFBs). These bonds are focused on providing low-cost financing for industrial and commercial projects, which can make a significant impact on local economic development.

Capital Access Programs (CAPs) are another critical offering by the BFA. These programs help smaller businesses gain access to capital through a network of participating lenders. CAPs typically involve the creation of a loan loss reserve fund that shares the risk of potential loan losses between the lender and the BFA.

By implementing these bonding and capital access options, the New Hampshire Business Finance Authority aims to offer comprehensive support to businesses, fostering growth and stability within the state's economic landscape.

Nonprofit and Community Financial Resources in New Hampshire

Nonprofit and community financial resources in New Hampshire provide essential support for small businesses and nonprofit organizations. These resources often include community loan opportunities and nonprofit-specific funding options, critical for the growth and sustainability of these entities.

Community Loan Opportunities

Community loan funds are valuable for small businesses seeking financial assistance. The New Hampshire Community Loan Fund connects small-business owners with the financing and expertise they need to thrive. These loans typically focus on job creation and economic development.

The Community Navigators Program, launched by the CFDA and the US Small Business Administration, is another vital resource. This program was designed to aid underrepresented and underserved entrepreneurs in accessing necessary tools and resources, including financing options, making it a key player in New Hampshire's economic landscape.

Nonprofit-Specific Funding Options

Nonprofit organizations in New Hampshire have specific funding options available to them. The NH Charitable Foundation offers a Nonprofit Loan Program to support those who have exhausted other financing avenues. Nonprofits can contact the Foundation's loan program officer to discuss eligibility and complete the application process.

The NH Funders Forum Directory lists private grantmaking institutions that invest in New Hampshire. This annually updated directory includes profiles of 29 funders, offering nonprofits various options for grant support. Whether for unrestricted funds or project-based grants, these resources are crucial for the operational and programmatic success of nonprofit organizations.

Specialized Funding for Targeted Groups in New Hampshire

New Hampshire offers several funding programs aimed at supporting women entrepreneurs and minority-owned businesses. These initiatives provide financial assistance and other resources to help these groups thrive in a competitive market.

Programs for Women Entrepreneurs

Women-owned businesses in New Hampshire can benefit from specialized funding and support programs. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) provides grants such as the Federal and State Technology (FAST) Partnership program. This program helps women-owned businesses with grant proposals and training.

Additionally, universities like the University of New Hampshire have received grants aimed at aiding women entrepreneurs. These grants provide the necessary funding for resources like educational programs and confidential business advising.

The NH Small Business Development Center also offers one-on-one counseling and workshops tailored to women business owners. This comprehensive support ensures that women entrepreneurs have the knowledge and resources they need to succeed.

Initiatives for Minority-Owned Businesses

Minority-owned businesses have access to several initiatives in New Hampshire designed to address their unique challenges. The Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC) offers financial assistance to help minority businesses expand and diversify.

Moreover, the New Hampshire Community Navigators Program was created to reduce barriers for underserved entrepreneurs, including minorities. This program provides tools and resources to help them start or expand their businesses.

Financial assistance is also available through various grants provided by the SBA, targeted at socially and economically disadvantaged businesses. These grants help minority-owned enterprises with funding, training, and access to critical business development resources.

COVID-19 Specific Financial Support in New Hampshire

Small businesses in New Hampshire have various COVID-19 specific financial support options to help them endure and recover from the pandemic's economic impact. Two key programs include the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Post-Pandemic Recovery Loans.

Paycheck Protection Program Details

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) was established to provide small businesses with forgivable loans to keep their workforce employed during the COVID-19 crisis. Eligibility for PPP loans required businesses to have 500 or fewer employees, including sole proprietors, independent contractors, and self-employed individuals.

Loans under the PPP could be used for payroll costs, mortgage interest, rent, and utilities. Forgiveness was available if at least 60% of the funds were used for payroll expenses. For details, the NH Small Business Development Center's COVID-19 webpage is a valuable resource.

Post-Pandemic Recovery Loans

Post-pandemic recovery loans aimed to provide additional support as businesses moved from immediate relief to long-term recovery. For instance, the Main Street Relief Fund allocated $100 million from the CARES Act to support businesses facing disruptions due to COVID-19. The Governor's Office for Emergency Relief and Recovery provided detailed information on the application process and eligibility.

These loans helped cover various costs incurred during the pandemic, such as operational expenses and health guideline compliance. These programs were designed to stabilize business operations and promote economic recovery.

Strategic Advice and Business Planning in New Hampshire

Effective strategic advice in business planning often emphasizes the importance of financial sustainability and strong marketing efforts. Business owners seeking growth should focus on creating a robust financial strategy and developing a clear and compelling brand.

Financial Strategy for Sustainable Growth

A balanced financial strategy is essential for sustaining growth. This involves managing cash flow efficiently, securing diverse funding sources, and planning for long-term financial health.

Cash flow management is critical. Business owners need to monitor cash inflows and outflows carefully to avoid liquidity issues. Effective budgeting can help in predicting and managing future financial needs.

Securing funding sources such as loans or grants can provide the necessary capital for expansion. Programs like the Temporary Loans offered by the Business Finance Authority offer significant support.

Long-term planning requires setting financial goals, such as achieving specific revenue targets or maintaining a certain profit margin. Regularly reviewing financial performance against these goals ensures that the business remains on track.

Marketing and Brand Development

Marketing and brand development play a crucial role in business growth. A well-defined marketing plan helps in reaching the target audience efficiently and differentiating the business in a competitive market.

Market research is the foundation. Understanding customer needs and preferences allows businesses to tailor their offerings and marketing messages accordingly.

Brand development involves creating a unique identity that resonates with customers. This includes designing a memorable logo, crafting a compelling brand story, and maintaining consistent messaging across all channels.

Digital marketing strategies such as search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing, and email campaigns are crucial. These approaches help in reaching a wider audience and engaging potential customers effectively.

Adopters of these strategies are better positioned to achieve sustainable growth and build a strong market presence.

Operational Finance Management in New Hampshire

Effective management of operational finances is crucial for the sustainability and growth of small businesses. This includes careful handling of cash flow and securing financing for expansion efforts to ensure a steady operational course.

Managing Cash Flow

Cash flow management is integral to ensuring that a business can meet its day-to-day financial obligations. Businesses need to monitor their receivables and payables closely. Ensuring timely invoicing and following up on overdue payments can prevent cash shortages.

Maintaining a cushion of working capital helps cover unexpected expenses such as emergency inventory restocks. Predicting cash flow needs involves regularly updating financial forecasts based on historical data and upcoming obligations.

Regularly reviewing expenses, such as payroll, helps identify areas where costs can be reduced. Automated tools and accounting software can streamline the process of cash flow monitoring and analysis, providing real-time insights that are vital for making informed financial decisions.

Financing for Expansion

Securing financing for business expansion can come from various sources. Programs like the Business Finance Authority offer direct loans between $100,000 and $2 million, which can be crucial for businesses looking to scale. These loans can be used to purchase equipment, expand facilities, or increase staffing.

Grants such as the State Trade Expansion Program by BEA's Office of International Commerce support businesses expanding into global markets.

It's important to evaluate the terms of any loans or grants, including repayment schedules and interest rates. Aligning the financing with the business's strategic goals ensures that the expansion enhances the overall financial health without overextending resources.

Frequently Asked Questions

New Hampshire offers a variety of funding opportunities tailored to small businesses, including grants for startups, pandemic relief funds, and specific programs for women-owned businesses. Below are some common queries and detailed explanations about obtaining financial assistance in the state.

What grants are available for startups in New Hampshire?

Startups in New Hampshire can benefit from the State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) offered by the BEA's Office of International Commerce. This program helps small businesses that aim to enter or expand their presence in global markets.

How can individuals in New Hampshire obtain funding for small businesses?

Individuals can apply for direct loans provided by the Business Finance Authority, which ranges from $100,000 to $2 million. Further details and application procedures are available through the Manchester Development Corp.

What are some free funding resources for small businesses in New Hampshire?

Free funding resources include various grant programs such as the Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC), a federal-state partnership designed to support economic development. Information on these programs is available on the NH Economy website.

Which funding programs are considered the best for small businesses in New Hampshire?

Programs like the Main Street Relief Fund 2.0 are highly regarded as they offer substantial financial support. This initiative has allocated $100 million to assist small businesses impacted by the pandemic, as detailed on the Governor's Office for Emergency Relief and Recovery website.

What financial assistance is available for New Hampshire small businesses affected by COVID-19?

The Main Street Relief Fund and Self Employed Livelihood Fund (SELF) provide significant aid to businesses suffering due to COVID-19. Eligibility and application details can be found on the Governor's Office for Emergency Relief and Recovery page.

Are there any specific grants for women-owned businesses in New Hampshire?

Information on specific grants for women-owned businesses may not be prominently listed in the available resources. However, programs like STEP and NBRC do not discriminate based on the ownership's gender and provide substantial support to all recipients.

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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