Best Small Business Resources by State
In the United States, small businesses employ 57% of the country’s private workforce. And, no matter where you are in the country, the impact that small businesses have on a state is growing. In order to give local businesses the best chance of success, each state provides its own unique resources to small business owners. From the Carolina Small Business Development Fund to the California Business Portal, we’ve got you covered from “Sea to Shining Sea”!
See what organizations are available in your state to help your business succeed:
Atlas Alabama: Atlas Alabama serves small business owners and entrepreneurs looking to grow or start their business. The website provides links to locate requirements, tips, news, and contact information for resource centers. While Atlas Alabama includes national agencies, more specialized local opportunities are listed by county.
Small Business Economic Development Loan Program: In order to support private sector employment growth, the State of Alaska runs a loan program for small businesses. Funds are primarily for communities of 30,000 or less, but more are available for companies in larger cities on a limited basis. Visit their website to view full requirements and to fill out an application.
Arizona STEP Program: AZ STEP assists Arizona small businesses to enter exports or expand into new markets for the first time. With funding from the Small Business Administration and the Arizona Commerce Authority, STEP works to enable businesses to create more jobs and spur economic growth in Arizona.
In addition to financing, the program offers a variety of services and tools to help small businesses go global.
Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center: The Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center offers help with business creation, management, and operation. Headquartered at the University of Arkansas Little Rock College of Business, the center has seven offices around the state.
Not only does the center provides services, they provide results. Over the last decade, ASBTDC clients have 13.2% higher than average sales growth and 14.8% higher employment growth than the average business in the state. Their services are either affordable or completely free in order to make them accessible to all.
California Business Portal: The California Business Portal provides easy access to all government-provided small business assistance. Whether you have questions about permits, financing, or expanding your business, the portal has the answers. And, if you don’t see what you need on their website, you can submit your question to the help desk to get a response.
Choose Colorado – Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade: Choose Colorado provides a small business resource guide for everyone looking to grow or start a business in the state. They also provide information on different financing options throughout the state, including the CDBG Business Loan Funds.
Connecticut Small Business Express Program: Connecticut’s Department of Economic and Community Development provides loans and grants to small businesses through the Small Business Express Program. Funding is provided in order to spur job creation and growth within the state. The Program provides a Project Manager to all potential applicants in order to help them throughout the process.
Delaware Small Business Chamber: This independent chamber of commerce works with local small businesses with 0-100 employees as well as larger companies that support the small business community. The chamber offers networking and educational opportunities to help businesses succeed. Membership is required to take advantage of their resources.
Visit Florida Small Business Grant Program: Visit Florida’s goal is to establish the state as the number 1 travel destination in the world. In order to achieve this goal, they provide small business grants for partners to promote the destination. Full requirements and funding information is provided on their website.
Georgia USA Small Business Directory: The Small Business Directory provides information for people wanting to start, grow, or finance their business. The website provides answers to frequently asked questions in these categories as well as links to applicable information. They also provide access to mentoring and education, certifications, and business research opportunities.
HTDC: HTDC provides funding programs to support research & development, manufacturing growth, and technology community activities in order to stimulate the creation of high-paying jobs. Originally only providing matching grants to companies that received Federal Small Business Innovation Research Grants, the organization expanded in 2016 to help companies moving technology products from research into the market.
Idaho Commerce Business Resources: Idaho Commerce offers expert guidance, hands-on assistance, and financial tools to help Idaho businesses achieve their goals. This includes no-cost consulting, technical assistance to improve products and processes, employee training and recruitment, as well as financial options.
The agency’s website provides information on tax incentives for small businesses in the state. There are also external financing options and State of Idaho grants to help fund research, market access, infrastructure improvements, and more.
Illinois Finance Authority: The Illinois Finance Authority’s purpose is to foster economic development, create and retain jobs, and improve the quality of life for Illinois residents. They provides access to low-cost capital to public and private institutions that strive to reach these goals.
Indiana Economic Development Corporation: The IEDC is Indiana’s lead economic development agency. The organization is committed to supporting business investment and creating new jobs. They offer a variety of programs and initiatives to serve small business owners. This includes the Capital Access Program State Small Business Credit Initiative, which is a credit enhancement program for small businesses in the state.
IA Source Link: IA Source Link’s mission is to help small businesses in Iowa grow and succeed. In order to accomplish this goal, they provide firms with free, easy access to the help that they need.
The organization has a network of over 360 nonprofits that provide business services for Iowa’s small business owners. They also provide access to the Resource Navigator, which is a directory of public organizations that provide business services at little to no cost throughout the state, and host monthly webinars on business topics.
Kansas Department of Commerce: The Kansas Department of Commerce provides small business services through the Business & Community Development Division.
The organization provides Small Business Innovation Resources, as well as the PIPELINE program for those needing a crash-course in business ownership. The Community Development Assistance Program assists businesses looking to reach the next level by developing incentive proposals and creating strategic plans for growth.
Think Kentucky – Cabinet for Economic Development: The Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development has placed a special focus on the needs of entrepreneurs and small businesses in the state. In order to do so, they created Think Kentucky. Their services include mentoring, access to capital, business advocacy, and expansion into new markets.
Louisiana Economic Development – Grow A Business: Working with a variety of programs and partners throughout the state, Louisiana Economic Development provides the expertise needed to fuel the growth of any small business. Whether you’re looking for a program to work on honing technical skills or access to financing and capital, LED can help.
SCORE Maine: SCORE offers free and low-cost business education workshops on a wide range of topics. 121 mentors provide free services across the state. Volunteers come from a variety of backgrounds, but all are experienced business executives and owners who want to help others grow their businesses. The organization helped to create 578 jobs in 2017.
Open Maryland: Maryland is investing in small business and providing resources to help you expand yours. Their website provides information on incentives offered by the Department of Commerce, links to benefits for small, minority, and women-owned businesses, as well as resources for veteran-owned businesses.
MassDevelopment: MassDevelopment is the Commonwealth’s economic development and finance authority. They aim to stimulate business, drive economic growth, and help communities thrive across Massachusetts. In order to help small businesses grow, MassDevelopment provides a variety of financing options and specialty programs.
Michipreneur: Michipreneur provides a list of resources, websites, and assistance available to the small business and startup communities in Michigan. This includes links to government programs, business incubators, financing opportunities, and informational articles on relevant topics.
Minnesota Employment and Economic Development – Small Business Assistance Office: The state’s Small Business Assistance Office places a special emphasis on providing in-depth information that might otherwise be too expensive for small business owners to access. The office provides individual consultations as well as a series of comprehensive guidebooks.
Mississippi Development Authority: The MDA is Mississippi’s lead economic and community development agency. They work to expand Mississippi industry and business. In order to do so, they provide technical and financial assistance to small business owners, as well as to minority and women-owned businesses.
Missouri FIRST Small Business Program: This initiative was founded with the goal to expand the Missouri economy and strengthen communities statewide. The Missouri Linked Deposit Program for Small Business provides the state’s small businesses with low interest loans. In order to be eligible, a business must have between 25 and 100 full-time employees.
Montana Office of Tourism and Business Development: The Montana Office of Tourism and Business Development’s goal is to sustain and enhance the quality of life for all Montanans and their communities. They support businesses through technical assistance, research, and access to grants and loans. Check out their Business Assistance Bureau for small business counseling and assistance in marketing and exports. They also provide a list of specialized financing options for small businesses in different industries.
Center for Rural Affairs – REAP Program: The Rural Enterprise Assistance Program (REAP) is committed to strengthening rural communities. They offer assistance for all aspects of running a small business. So whether you’re looking to strategize, network, need some technical help, or are looking for funds to expand, REAP can help.
NevadaSmallBusiness.com: NevadaSmallBusiness.com is a one-stop digital resource for business owners, executives, and entrepreneurs. Hosted by Nevada State Bank, the website provides informational articles on different aspects of running a business. The organization also hosts webinars and provides a newsletter to keep Nevada business owners up to date on the state’s business climate.
Center for Women & Enterprise: The Center for Women & Enterprise has worked with more than 37,300 people to start and grow their companies. They offer affordable courses on growing a business that help you learn while networking with other business owners. They also operate the Veterans Business Outreach Center to work with veteran-owned businesses.
New Jersey Economic Development Authority: The New Jersey EDA provides creative and versatile loan solutions to small and mid-size businesses. In addition to financing, they also partner with several organizations to provide an array of services to New Jersey small businesses and entrepreneurs.
Grow It!: Grow It! Is an economic development initiative created by the New Mexico Municipal League in partnership with Finance New Mexico. Their website has resources for starting and growing a business, as well as a Municipal Index which shows what business resources are available in your area.
Empire State Development: Empire State Development’s Small Business Division supports the development and expansion of businesses with under 100 employees. The Division directs an array of programs and initiatives to support and grow your business while helping maximize opportunities for success.
Enter information about your business into New York Business Express to find programs and services catered towards your needs. Check out the small business programs directory and business guide to find assistance for your business questions. You can also find more information on becoming a state contractor to produce a new stream of revenue.
Carolina Small Business Development Fund: The CSBDF is a non-profit and certified CDFI. Their mission is to foster economic development in underserved communities by providing capital, business services, and policy research to support small businesses in the state.
Center for Technology & Business: The Center helps small business owners succeed through training, technology, and business development. Business advising is available to small businesses in all stages of growth. The Center also provides resources specifically for women and veteran owned businesses. The IDEA Center helps early-stage businesses take a product from idea to market.
JobsOhio – Incentives: Ohio offers incentives to businesses in the state based on performance. This includes the Economic Development Grant, the Growth Fund, and more. Tax credits are also available to those who qualify.
Oklahoma Department of Commerce: The Oklahoma Department of Commerce provides resources for small business owners. The website provides online guides and resource directories, while team members are available around the state to provide one-on-one business counseling in person. Businesses looking to expand can learn more about available incentives. Resources for minority and women-owned businesses are also available.
Oregon Business Xpress: Provided by the state of Oregon, Business Xpress connects small business owners with resources that will help business run smoothly. They provide resources to help Oregon’s small businesses contract with ODOT, information on the Lewis & Clark Law School’s Small Business Legal Clinic, as well as resources for minority, women, and veteran-owned businesses.
Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development: Pennsylvania’s governor created the Business One-Stop Shop to support small businesses at all stages of development. The website includes online guides to navigate common business questions, as well as contact information to for the Partnerships for Regional Economic Performance (PREP). The PREP network includes experts from different fields who can offer assistance and resources to business owners. Use the interactive map to find contact information for your region.
Rhode Island Commerce Corporation: The official economic development organization for the state of Rhode Island aims to promote the state’s long-term economic health and prosperity. They offer business assistance, access to funding, and red tape reduction to all sizes of companies.
For small businesses, they offer a team of business advisors to help you meet your goals. The Commerce Corporation also has an extensive list of partners that can help with any of your business needs.
Business Development Corporation of SC: The BDC was established as a non-bank commercial lending company by the South Carolina State Legislature. They lead development lending and job creation in South Carolina, having approved over 2,745 loans.
South Dakota Business Help: South Dakota Business Help provides online guides to running a business as well as links to financing options within the state. They link business owners in the state with programs that help small businesses and partners with organizations that provide a variety of resources.
Tennessee SmartStart: Tennessee SmartStart matches your business to the resources that can help you. Simply create an account, enter some information about your business, and you’re good to go! The tool can connect you with a mentor, networking, and other resources statewide. Tennessee SmartStart is run by the Department of Economic & Community Development.
Central Texas Business Resource Center: The Central Texas Business Resource Center (BRC) assists small business owners through business counseling and trainings. They also host a variety of community events for learning and networking opportunities.
Miller Business Resource Center: The MBRC offers a range of services and support to Utah’s small businesses. Community and industry partners provide valuable networking and learning opportunities. The MBRC is also home to the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program, which provides small businesses with the tools and professional support to create a customized growth plan.
Vermont Economic Development Authority: VEDA’s Vermont Small Business Loan Program assists growing small businesses with access to capital. Applicants are strongly encouraged to discuss their project proposals with a staff member before applying.
Virginia Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity: Nearly 95% of businesses in Virginia are small businesses, and the state’s Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity (SBSD) is dedicated to helping them. This government website provides resources for businesses in all stages, including those looking to expand or searching for financing.
Washington BusinessHub: Washington BusinessHub provides resources for small businesses in any stage. Whether you’re focused on improving your internal processes or looking to expand your business, the website has resources to help. Run by the government, this site provides extensive information on taxes. They also provide links to funding organizations and market information.
West Virginia Small Business Development Center: The West Virginia SBDC provides services and assistance to small businesses in any stage of growth. The organization provides business coaches with certifications in everything from finance to exporting. Check out their website for a training calendar, resources, and a small business blog.
Forward Wisconsin: Run by the Wisconsin Economic Development Institute, Forward Wisconsin provides resources for Wisconsin business. They assist businesses looking to open a new location, expand, or start a new venture. The Business Toolkit provides a list of business assistance and economic development organizations that can help with everything from business counseling to resources for funding.
Wyoming Business Council – State of Wyoming’s Economic Development Agency: This organization provides resources for businesses to enter new markets, receive financing, and other specialized opportunities.
Wyoming Women’s Business Center: Established to help, encourage, and support women in starting and running a small business. They offer in-person business training opportunities as well as monthly roundtables to help Wyoming’s business women network and learn from each other. They also run a micro-loan program to help start or expand small businesses across the state.