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Resources for Businesses

The federal government provides business tools, resources and opportunities for entrepreneurs and business owners. There are also programs specifically for minorities and women-owned businesses.

The System for Award Management (SAM) is an official website of the U.S. government. There is no cost to use SAM. You can use this site for FREE to: register to do business with the U.S. government, update or renew your entity registration, check status of an entity registration, and search for entity registration and exclusion records.

Below is not an exhaustive list but a helpful list of the variety of opportunities available throughout the federal government.

  • Department/Agency: EXIM Bank

Resources: EXIM Bank Direct Support for Minority and Women-Owned Businesses

Resources for minority and women-owned businesses to work with government agencies and business development associations focused on minority trade to help spread awareness about EXIM Financing and create opportunities for export-ready U.S. businesses. EXIM Bank has a business development team devoted to minority and women-owned businesses which works exclusively with these businesses. They provide hands-on guidance to small businesses and MWOB companies that wish to export and learn how to qualify for EXIM Bank financing which includes Working Capital Guarantees, Credit Insurance, Loan Guarantees and Direct Loans.

  • Department/Agency: Minority Business Development Agency Business (MBDA), U.S. Department of Commerce

Resources: MBDA & MBDA Business Centers

The U.S. Department of Commerce, Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) is the only federal agency solely dedicated to the growth and global competitiveness of minority business enterprises. Minority-owned firms seeking to penetrate new markets — domestic & global — and growing in size and scale, can access business experts at a MBDA Business Center. Whether it’s securing capital, competing for a contract, identifying a strategic partner or becoming export-ready, your success is our priority. The Centers are in areas with the largest concentration of minority populations and the largest number of minority businesses.

  • Department/Agency: International Trade Administration (ITA), U.S. Department of Commerce

Resources: Resources for Current Exporters & Resources for New Exporters
Resources and services for businesses currently participating in exporting as well as new to exporting.

  • Department/Agency: Office of Space Commerce, U.S. Department of Commerce

Resources: Resources for Space Entrepreneurs
This is a one-stop shop of resources for Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses to discover opportunities to partner with the federal government, conducting research, technology development, testing, and applying for grants. 

  • Department/Agency: U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC)

Resources: Services for Businesses
Services for businesses ranging from data solutions, export solutions, intellectual property, and minority business growth resources. Includes redirects to DOC agencies and bureaus: U.S. Census Bureau, International Trade Administration, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and the Minority Business Development Agency.

  • Department/Agency: U.S. Census Bureau

Resources: Census Business Builder (CBB)
The Census Business Builder (CBB) is a suite of services that provide selected demographic and economic data from the Census Bureau tailored to specific types of users in a simple to access and use format.

  • Department/Agency: U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC)

Resources: Grant and Federal Procurement Opportunities
Resources to learn more about grant and contracting opportunities through the Department of Commerce and its bureaus. Includes resources for contractors through the Office of Small and Disadvantage Business Utilization (OSDBU) and grant opportunities at all DOC bureaus, including the Economic Development Administration (EDA), International Trade Administration (ITA), National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

  • Department/Agency: U.S. General Services Administration

Resources: Small Business Federal Contracts and Trainings

Information for small businesses interested in doing business with the federal government. Get started by learning to research the government market, understand how it purchases products, what training is required, and how to register your business. Explore the federal marketplace to consider the different contracting options available and decide which suits your small business best.   

  • Department/Agency: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)

Resources: Inventor and Entrepreneur Resources

USPTO’s hub for resources and information for inventors, entrepreneurs, and small businesses. This page provides you centralized access to a variety of products and services available from the USPTO and encourages active participation in the innovation ecosystem.

  • Department/Agency: U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)

Resources: Coronavirus Relief Options

SBA provides loan and debt relief options for businesses affected by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, including the Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL), Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) as well as guidance for businesses and employers. The economic relief resources also apply to not for profit organizations experiencing revenue loss. SBA also provides materials coronavirus recovery information in several Asian languages.

  • Department/Agency: U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)

Resources: Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs Resources
Resources for small business innovation research and small business technology transfer (STTR) programs.

  • Department/Agency: Office of Women’s Business Ownership, U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)

Resources: Women Business Centers

OWBO reaches out to women entrepreneurs through a number of programs that are coordinated through every SBA district office. OWBO’s programs provide business training and counseling, access to credit and capital, and marketing opportunities, including federal contracts. There are Women’s Business Centers in almost every state. These centers, along with SBA district offices and other SBA resource partners at thousands of locations nationwide help women entrepreneurs start and grow successful businesses. Each Women’s Business Center tailors its services to the needs of its individual community. Each provides training in finance, management, marketing, and the Internet, as well as offering access to all of the SBA’s financial and procurement assistance programs.

  • Department/Agency: U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)

Resources: 7(j) Management and Technical Assistance program

The 7(j) program provides assistance such as training, executive education, and one-on-one consulting in a wide range of business activities, including marketing, accounting, opportunity development and capture, contract management, compliance, and financial analysis.

  • Department/Agency: U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)

Resources: 8(a) Business Development Program

The federal government's goal is to award at least five percent of all federal contracting dollars to small disadvantaged businesses each year. To help provide a level playing field for small businesses owned by socially and economically disadvantaged people or entities, the government limits competition for certain contracts to businesses that participate in the 8(a) Business Development program. Disadvantaged businesses in the 8(a) Program can: compete for set-aside and sole-source contracts in the program;

get a Business Opportunity Specialist to help navigate federal contracting; form joint ventures with established businesses through the SBA's mentor-protégé program; receive management and technical assistance, including business training, counseling, marketing assistance, and high-level executive development.

  • Department/Agency: U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)

Resources: Counseling and Help for Small Businesses
Whether you’re trying to win your first government contract or you’re an experienced contractor, the SBA and its partner organizations can be valuable resources. Procurement Center Representatives (PCRs) help small businesses win federal contracts. Subcontracting Program Assistance (SPA) can help you with subcontracting questions after a contract is awarded. The SBA offers free online courses to help small businesses understand government contracting. You can find these video classes in the SBA Learning Center. Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTACs) help small businesses that are interested in government contracting. PTACs can help you determine if your business is ready for government contracting, register in the proper databases, find and bid on contracts, and more.

SCORE is a nonprofit association of thousands of volunteer business counselors around the country who educate small business owners. SCORE provides free in-person and online counseling, as well as educational workshops. Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) offer free, one-on-one counseling and low-cost training services. Business owners can go to SBDCs for help with procurement and contracting, market research, 8(a) program support, and more.

  • Department/Agency: U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)

Resources: United States Export Assistance Centers
This is a list of SBA staff located in 21 U.S. Export Assistance Centers are co-located with the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Export-Import Bank of the United States.

Many federal agencies have what’s called an Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) or an Office of Small Business Programs (OSBP). These offices work to identify opportunities to contract with small businesses.

U.S. Department of Education

U.S. Department of Commerce

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

U.S. Department of State

U.S. Department of Transportation

U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM)

U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)

U.S. Department of the Treasury

U.S. Department of Defense

U.S. Department of Justice

U.S. Department of the Interior

U.S. Department of Agriculture

U.S. Department of Labor

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

U.S. Department of Energy

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

U.S. Department of Homeland Security

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

 U.S. Social Security Administration