Resources

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BOOKS

The following books address different issues that small business owners face. This is a condensed list, so do not hesitate to call the publisher or check your local library or bookstore for other titles.

100 Insurance Tips for Small Business Owners: How to Get the Coverage You
Need. The Society of CPCU, Communications Department, P.O. Box 3009,
Malvern, PA 19355-0709. (215) 251-2743.
– A compilation of tips from the Society of Chartered Property
Casualty Underwriters’ 22,000 members.

Abrams, Rhonda, The Successful Business Plan: Secrets and Strategies, 2nd
edition. Oasis Press, 1993. (800) 228-2275.
– This book presents an excellent business plan for the small business
owner. It contains handy worksheets and is very thorough and
well-organized. The author also does a good job of explaining why business
plans are an integral part of a successful business.

Bangs, David, The Business Planning Guide: Creating a Plan for Success in
Your Own Small Business. Upstart Publishing, 1994. (800) 235-8866.
– This book leads business owners through the most important step in
founding a new business: putting together a complete and effective business
plan and financing proposal. Revised and updated, the latest edition comes
complete with examples, forms and worksheets that make this process
painless.

Brabec, Barbara, Homemade Money: How to Select, Start, Manage, Market and
Multiply the Profits of a Business At Home. Barbara Brabec Productions,
1994. P.O. Box 2137, Naperville, IL 60567.
– Written in an easy-to-read, conversational style, the book contains
16 chapters on every issue relevant to operating a home business.

Dickey, Terry, Budgeting for Small Business. Crisp Publications, 1993.
(800) 442-7477.
– This practical guide helps the owner of a small business
systematically plan, budget and control all related business expenses and
costs to achieve high-quality financial results. The author shows how a
cost-effective analysis of business budgets will lead to greater success.
Examples, worksheets, checklists and questions ensure that the reader not
only understands, but is able to apply, the concepts and applications
presented.

Eddings, Joshua, How the Internet Works. Ziff-Davis Press, 1994.
– Gives a broad picture on how you can reach resources around the
world, and of the basic Internet tools.

Environmental Compliance Straight Talk. Flintridge Consulting, 1994.
Pasadena, CA. For copies, call the Air Resources Board at (916) 322-2990.
– This guide helps small and mid-sized businesses identify strategies
that are both economically profitable and environmentally sound.

Finney, Robert G., Basics of Budgeting. Amacom, ISBN 0-8144-7822-0, 1994.
(800) 262-9699.
– Takes readers step by step through the entire budgeting process from
the management angle-including planning and building the budget, presenting
it for approval by higher management, and using it as a tool that protects
against irrationality and surprises.

Gerson, Richard, Marketing Strategies for Small Businesses. Crisp
Publications, 1994. (800) 442-7477.
– Successful marketing is the driving force behind successful
businesses. Designed for small business owners who want the most out of
their marketing money, this practical guide explains how to handle sales,
publicity, public relations, promotions and advertising cost-effectively.
Case studies and checklists are included to help readers apply the
strategies.

The Home Office Computing Handbook, by the editors of Home Office
Computing. (800) 325-6149.
– Includes hundreds of tips and techniques for running your business
with the latest technology.

Kamaroff, Bernard, Small-Time Operator. Bell Springs Publishing, 1994.
(707) 984-6746.
– Includes information on how to start your own small business, keep
your books, pay your taxes and stay out of trouble. Includes all the
ledgers and worksheets that you will need for one year.

Kehrer, Daniel, Save Your Business a Bundle. Simon & Schuster, 1994.
$22.00.
– Offers companies of any size 202 ways to cut costs and boost profits
now.

Kirk, Randy, When Friday Isn’t Payday: A Complete Guide to Starting,
Running-and Surviving in-a Very Small Business. Warner Books, 1993.
– An experienced entrepreneur explains how to deal with many crisis
situations small business owners may encounter. The author offers plenty of
suggestions and advice.

Lewis, Jerre and Renn, Leslie, How to Start and Manage Your Own Business.
Lewis & Renn Associates, 1991.
– This book will help readers determine if owning a business is right
for you and will help you pick the site, develop a business plan and select
the right legal form of business.

Lonier, Terri, Working Solo: The Real Guide to Freedom and Financial
Success with Your Own Business. Portico Press, 1994. (800) 222-7656.
– This book is a terrific guide to the solo work life, with sections
on marketing, time management and staying in touch with others. This book
is for those whose work revolves around an office and computer. Lonier
presents the material in an easy-to-read style that is necessary when
dealing with computers.

Mancuso, Joe, The Mid-Career Entrepreneur: How to Start Your Own Business
and Be Your Own Boss. Dearborn Trade, 1994 (800) 245-2665.
– This book explores the possibility of starting a new business midway
through your career. Topics covered include starting your own business,
buying a franchise or acquiring an already established business. Gives
insight on exactly what to research before jumping into a new business.

Merril, Ronald and Henry Sedgwick, The New Venture Handbook: Everything You
Need to Know to Start and Run Your Own Business. AMACOM, 1993.
(800) 262-9699.
– This book provides advice on coping with the challenges of growth,
including a chapter on financial planning that explains how expanding a
business will affect cash flow.

Nicholas, Ted, The Ted Nicholas Small Business Course: A Step-by-Step Guide
to Starting & Running Your Own Business. Upstart Publishing, 1994. (800)
235-8866.
– This is a general book on how to start and succeed in small
business. It also can help small business owners interested in expanding
their operations.

Small Business Development Catalogue, Entrepreneur Magazine Group, P.O. Box
2072, Knowville, IA 50198. (800) 421-2300.
– This catalogue lists start-up business guides and financial planning
software templates that are available for a range of industries-from
medical claims processing to gift basket services and desktop publishing.

Small Business Sourcebook. Gale Research Co., 1994. Detroit, MI. (800)
877-4253.
– A good starting point for finding consultants, educational
institutions, government agencies and publications that offer assistance to
small business. It contains more than 2,000 pages of useful information for
the small business owner and can be found in most libraries.

SMART Steps to Business Success. SMART Resource Center,” 1994.
(800) 848-8000.
– A complete, step-by-step guide to starting, operating and succeeding
in small business, including tips on accounting, banking, budgeting,
finance, marketing and operations. This publication offers broad answers to
questions frequently encountered by small business owners. Includes federal
tax requirements and helpful worksheets.

Steingold, Fred, The Legal Guide for Starting and Running a Small Business.
Nolo Press, 1992. (800) 992-6656.
– This guide is written in a clear and practical way, and covers
subjects ranging from negotiating a lease to representing yourself in small
claims court.

Stumpf, Stephen, The Growth Challenge: How to Build Your Business
Profitably. Dearborn Trade, 1993. (800) 245-2665.
– This book helps business owners plan for rapid growth. Topics
covered include strategic leadership, how to overcome basic problems and
opportunities. Details setting up self-directed work teams and learning
ventures.

Wardell, Paula, Successful Retailing: Your Step-by-Step Guide to Avoiding
Pitfalls and Finding Profit as an Independent Retailer. Upstart Publishing,
1994.
(800) 235-8866.
– A large percentage of the fifteen million small businesses in the
U.S. are retailers, but few sources provide hands-on help for those who
want to start or expand their retail business. Based on the results of more
than 20 years of work with hundreds of retailers, this book aims to help
even the smallest shop gain an edge over the competition.

Walford, Lynn, Make Money With Your PC! Ten Speed Press, 1994. (800)
841-2665.
– Gives the facts on how to choose, plan, market and manage a
computer-based business for both Macintosh and IBM Compatible PCs.

ARTICLES

“Back to School” by Erika Kotite. Entrepreneur, February 1994, p. 130(3).
– Marketing your small business in the local schools can contribute to
the community and promote products simultaneously. One small business that
is profiting from such marketing techniques is profiled.

“Get Your Name in The Paper” by Rosalind Resnick. Home Office Computing,
February 1994, p. 18(2)
– Tells how to utilize a press release as well as other techniques to
get your company’s name in print.

“How to Reach the Affluent: A Marketing Expert Shares His Networking
Approaches for Building an Impressive Client Base” by Thomas J. Stanley.
Home Office Computing, November 1993, p. 91(3).
– Reaching affluent customers is one way to ensure the success of
small businesses, and there are a variety of ways to reach this select
client base. Many case studies are presented that illustrate these
techniques.

“Marketing Strategies That Get Results” by Sally Burton White and Judy
Feldman. Money, March 15, 1994. p. 20(7).
– Small businesses should follow the basic marketing steps of
identifying a market, devising a product and setting a price. Additional
strategies include identifying potential customers; building relationships
with customers, suppliers and employees; and sharing customers with other
companies.

“Networks That Boost Your Business” by Tim Powell. Money, Mid-Winter 1994,
p. 22.
– Small businesses can use computer networks and data bases to search
for information on marketing and join forums on business topics. The
available services of CompuServe and America Online are discussed.

“On the Contrary” by Bob Jones. Entrepreneur, January 1994, p.56(3).
– Entrepreneurs can develop successful businesses that cater to
disaffected groups of customers who feel left out of mainstream trends.

“Read All About It” by William Bak. Entrepreneur, January 1994, p. 50(3).
– Small businesses have many resources for market information that can
be used to give them a competitive edge. Public libraries and online
services offer access to many government publications and reference
materials on specific industries and business functions.

“Rich Niches” by Roberta Maynard. Nation’s Business, November 1993, p.
39(2).
– Niche marketing can be a profitable strategy for small businesses.
The technique involves developing goods and services to serve specific
markets and differentiating these from the competition through creative
marketing and merchandising.

“Small Business Solutions” by Bernice Grossman. Business Marketing, July
1993,
p. A12.
– Small businesses can use direct marketing techniques to enhance
their customer base, although many owners believe direct marketing is
inefficient and costly.

“Twenty Ways to Look Big on a Small Budget” by Anne Magruder. Home Office
Computing, April 1994, p. 61(4).
– Twenty tips are presented for making a small business look more
professional and larger than it actually is. Marketing strategies include
sounding important, donating services to the industry, and other helpful
ideas.

“Winning Ways” by Paul Hughs. Entrepreneur, February 1994, p. 80(7).
– Four small businesses that successfully marketed their products
through newspapers, catalogs and infomercials are profiled.

PERIODICALS

The Business Owner. 383 South Broadway, Hicksville, NY 11801. (800)
634-0605.
– Bimonthly reference for business owners, managers and the
professionals who advise them.

Business Start-Ups. Entrepreneur Group, 2392 Morse Avenue, Irvine, CA
92714. (714) 261-2325.
– Monthly publication aimed at fledgling entrepreneurs. Offers advice
on how to be efficient from the beginning.

Entrepreneur Magazine. Entrepreneur Group, 2392 Morse Avenue, Irvine, CA
92714. (800) 421-2300 or (714) 261-2325.
– Monthly publication for current owners of service, retail and
manufacturing businesses. Offers suggestions for improving operations and
operating profitable small businesses.

The Guerrilla Marketing Newsletter. P.O. Box 1336, Mill Valley, CA 94942.
(800) 748-6444.
– Offers the latest research, upcoming trends and new marketing
techniques designed to maximize profits. Available only by subscription.

Inc. 350 North Pennsylvania Avenue, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18773. (800) 524-1013.
– The monthly magazine for growing companies. Contains events of
interest related to small businesses, as well as interviews with successful
entrepreneurs.

Journal of Small Business Management. West Virginia University, Bureau of
Business Research, P.O. Box 6025, Morgatown, WV 26506-6025 (304) 293-7534.
– Quarterly publication contains articles and features on small
business and entrepreneurship.

Nation’s Business. 1615 H Street N.W., Washington, D.C. 20062. (800)
638-6582.
– Published by the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Small Business Opportunities. Harris Publications, 1115 Broadway, New York,
NY 10010. (212) 807-7100.
– Bimonthly, with four special editions. A “how to” magazine for small
business owners.

Small Business Reports. American Management Association, P.O. Box 51136,
Boulder, CO 80322-3140. (800) 234-1094.
– Monthly publication covers subjects such as finance, human
resources, marketing, advertising, trends, capital spotlight, family
matters, research reports, operations, technology, law and economics.

Win-Win Marketing Newsletter for Small Business. Win-Win Marketing, 662
Crestview Drive, San Jose, CA 95117. (800) 292-8625 or fax (408) 249-5754.
– Six issues per year. This 12-page newsletter covers advertising,
sales, public relations and customer relations. Each issue offers not only
theory, but real examples that can be immediately tailored to the reader’s
business. Includes creating marketing pieces, reference materials,
interviews, tips, book reviews and quotes.

VIDEO / AUDIO TAPES / SOFTWARE

Communicating With Customers, Communication Publications & Resources, 1101
King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314. (800) 888-2086.
– The best customer service training programs will fail if your
organization’s front-line people can’t communicate effectively with
customers. This video can help.

First Step Software Series, National Business Association, P.O. Box 870728,
Dallas, TX 75287. (800) 456-0440.
– This series of four software programs evaluates entrepreneurs’
chances of receiving an SBA loan, shows which areas of the business need
improvement, helps project cash flow, and explains how to develop a
business plan.

How to Really Start Your Own Business, P.O. Box 1365, Wilkes-Barre, PA
18703-1365. (800) 468-0800.
– Provides invaluable insight from the founders of Pizza Hut and
Celestial Seasonings.

How to Start and Run a Small Company: Video Subscription Series, P.O. Box
1365, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18703-1365. (800) 468-0800.
– A quarterly video series covering management, sales and marketing,
finance and customer service.

Kiplingler’s Guide to Small Business Growth, 3401 East-West Highway,
Hyattsville, MD 20782-1974. (800) 544-0155.
– A 35-minute videotape and 64-page guidebook for growing businesses.
Includes detailed worksheets.

Powerful Ways to Persuade People, Communication Publications & Resources,
1101 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314. (800) 888-2086.
– Learn the secrets of persuasive communication and master the art of
getting people to see things your way from this video.

Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) Video Finders, (800) 328-7271.
– This service has access to every PBS series or program, including
those related to the workplace.

Real-World Lessons For America’s Small Businesses- Insights From The Blue
Chip Enterprise Initiative, The Blue Chip Enterprise Initiative. (800)
FOR-BCEI.
– This video profiles the most outstanding stories that emerged from
the Initiative’s annual quest for exemplary small businesses.

Small Business Video Library. Marketing: Winning Customers with a
“Workable” Plan. The Business Plan: Your Road Map to Success. Promotion:
Solving the Puzzle. Home-Based Business: A Winning Blueprint. Basics of
Exporting, U.S. Small Business Administration, Washington, D.C., Available
through U.S. Government Publications, P.O. Box 30, Denver, CO 80201-0030.
(800) 827-5722.

CURRICULUM MATERIALS, BOOKS

Harper, Steven, McGraw-Hill Guide to Starting Your Own Business. 1991.
– A reference tool for teaching entrepreneurship courses, this book
focuses on the all-important business plan. Step by step it helps set clear
objectives and map out realistic strategies for success.

How To Set Up Your Own Small Business. American Institute of Small
Business, 7513 Wayzata Boulevard, Suite 201, Minneapolis, MN 55426. (800)
328-2906.
– This two-volume set includes case studies on a retail store,
manufacturing firm and service company. Contains all the fundamentals of
operating a small business.

Meyer, Earl E. and Allen, Kathleen R., Entrepreneurship and Small Business
Management. Glencoe, 1993.
– This text for high school students and the accompanying teacher’s
edition are designed to teach students about starting a small business.

CURRICULUM MATERIALS, ALL OTHER

Beyond A Dream, An Instructor’s Guide for Small Business Exploration.
Center on Education and Training for Employment, 1900 Kenny Road, Columbus,
OH 43210-1090. (614) 486-3655.
– An ideal resource for helping clients assess their self-employment
potential and for teaching the nitty-gritty details of getting started.
This 10-unit instructor’s guide comes in a looseleaf notebook with complete
details for the instructor. Handouts, transparency masters and exercises
are included to give participants hands-on experience.

Busines$ Kids. Busines$ Kids, 501 Almeria Avenue, Coral Gables, FL 33134.
(800) 852-4544.
– Targets potential young entrepreneurs by demystifying the process of
starting and operating a successful business. Includes an audio cassette,
booklets, business plan packet, toll-free business hotline, starter
business cards and stationery, and one year’s free membership in Busines$
Kids.

Business Management and Ownership. Oklahoma Department of Vocational and
Technical Education, 1500 West Seventh Avenue, Stillwater, OK 74074-4364.
(800) 654-4502. 1982.
– These materials cover topics including the principles of economics,
management, personnel management, merchandising, credit services and small
business ownership. Teacher and student materials, as well as
transparencies, are available.

Economics Today and Tomorrow. Glencoe Macmillan/McGraw-Hill, P.O. Box 543,
Blacklick, OH 43004-9902. 1993.
– This stimulating program will help students be successful in
creating and running a small business. Text focuses on academic skills,
management concepts and personal traits that entrepreneurs need. Includes
case studies, helpful resources, and business plan formats and samples.

Entrepreneurial Endeavors. Glencoe Macmillan/McGraw-Hill, P.O. Box 543,
Blacklick, OH 43004-9902. 1993.
– This boxed set of more than 90 four-page laminated pamphlets
describes opportunities students can pursue in 12 career interest areas.
Each pamphlet includes such information as start-up costs, education and/or
licensing required, risks and rewards, and internship or apprenticeship
opportunities.

Entrepreneurship. Cincinnati Customer Service Center, 4770 Duke Drive,
Suite 200, Mason, OH 45040. (800) 543-7972. 1993.
– This comprehensive package is designed for use in a one-semester
introductory course in entrepreneurship. It examines the major steps
involved in starting a new business-marketing, finance and management.

Entrepreneurship. Glencoe Macmillan/McGraw-Hill, P.O. Box 543, Blacklick,
OH 43004-9902. 1990.
– This third edition is thoroughly updated to reflect current
practices and trends. Using real-life applications and including examples
from successful businesspeople, this text-workbook offers competency-based
instruction to guide students through the steps of developing a business
plan for a new small business.

Illinois Entrepreneurship Survey: Business and Careers. Illinois Institute
for Entrepreneurship Education, Northern Illinois University, 325 Williston
Hall, DeKalb, IL 60115. (815) 753-1341.
– This pre- and post-test entrepreneurship instrument assists students
in evaluating how well they might like different types of careers, gauges
their opinions about political/economic issues related to American
businesses and the concept of entrepreneurship, and measures their
knowledge about business and careers.

In-Service Guide for Entrepreneurship Education in Illinois. Illinois
Institute for Entrepreneurship Education, Chicago Office, 28 East Jackson,
Suite 1220, Chicago, IL 60604. (312) 939-3665.
– Designed to provide the basic materials needed by instructors to
organize and integrate entrepreneurship education into vocational
curriculum.

PACE III. Publications Office at the Center on Education and Training for
Employment, Ohio State University. (614) 292-4354 or (800) 848-4815.
– The new edition of PACE (Program for Acquiring Competence in
Entrepreneurship) is a series of 63 booklets designed to help the would-be
entrepreneur learn about the many responsibilities of starting and running
a business. Each of the booklets focuses on one of the 21 topics including
marketing, selling, operations, risk management and financing the business.
Each topic is prepared for three different audiences, based on competency.

Risks and Rewards of Entrepreneurship. The Ohio Division of Vocational and
Career Education, National Center Publications, Box P, 1960 Kenny Road,
Columbus, OH 43210. (800) 328-1452.
– This four-section individualized student model introduces the idea
of small business ownership as a career option, provides role model case
studies, and helps students understand what it takes to be an entrepreneur.
Accompanied by an instructor’s guide.

STATEWIDE PROGRAMS THAT OFFER FREE CONSULTING TO SMALL BUSINESSES

While information from local sources may be valuable, some small business
owners need assistance from state-run entities. All states have assistance
programs, but it is often up to you to track them down. The following ideas
should get you on the right track.

  1. State Governor’s Office. Most offices have staff members who can provide
    useful information to those in need of assistance. Offices that do not
    have separate departments for small businesses will be able to point you in
    the right direction. Check your telephone directory or call information for
    the phone number of your Governor’s Office.
  2. State Department of Commerce. Most Departments of Commerce have small
    business assistance centers. These centers contain information on licensing
    and permitting regulations and provide information packets on starting,
    expanding or relocating a business in the particular state. They also serve
    as a good referral service to business owners who do not know where to find
    assistance. Check your local government pages or call information for your
    Department of Commerce.
  3. State Chamber of Commerce. State Chambers of Commerce are loaded with
    information about recent legislation that affects small businesses. They
    offer an assortment of handbooks and guides that explain how to comply with
    hard-to-understand laws and regulations. Many also offer start-up kits,
    seminars, videos, worksheets and software that pertain to small business.
  4. Service Core of Retired Executives (SCORE). Retired executives offer
    free general advice to small business owners. Executives with backgrounds
    in accounting, banking, government procurement, marketing, retail and other
    fields provide useful information to those in need of assistance. Call
    (800) 827-5722 (ext. 0) for the SCORE office nearest you.
  5. Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs). Every state has a unique
    network of SBDCs that provide management and technical assistance to small
    businesses. More than 700 of these centers across the nation (often found
    in colleges and universities) offer free advice on financial planning and
    all other technical aspects of owning a small business. Check your state
    run Office of Small Business for more details or call (402) 595-2387 for
    the center nearest you.
  6. State Tax Agency. These state-run agencies, sometimes called Departments
    of Revenue, can answer an assortment of questions regarding your income
    taxes. These include problems with tax refunds, estimated payments, sales
    and withholding, and general questions pertaining to your state’s tax law.
    Check your telephone directory or call information for the tax agency in
    your state.

SEVEN STEPS TO FIND LOCAL INFORMATION FOR YOUR BUSINESS

Whether you are attempting to finance a small business, looking for
technical assistance, or just in need of some general advice, trying to
locate local information for your small business can be difficult. The
following seven ideas should point you in the right direction.

  1. Mayor’s Office. Although the Mayor’s Office may not be able to help you
    directly, staff can direct you to the office or corporation you need.
    Remember, the Mayor’s Office is there to help you, so be persistent.
  2. Local Chambers of Commerce. Your Chamber of Commerce is a good source of
    local business news, advice and support, demographic/economic data, license
    and permit information, special seminars and programs for small business,
    and representation of the small business community before government
    entities. It can also provide useful information on market trends, the
    labor force, local facilities and transportation that can help in making
    business location and expansion decisions.
  3. Local Financial Institutions. Local banks have a variety of programs for
    small business owners who need funding. Banks may have special rates for
    those trying to start up a small business. It is also a good idea to meet
    with a banker as soon as you decide to start or expand your business.
  4. Local Planning Departments. Local planning departments can provide
    information on zoning (regulations, requirements and parking availability),
    as well as any plans for future development of particular locations. Some
    local planning departments also have separate permitting divisions. Check
    the telephone directory’s government pages or call local information for
    city and/or county planning department information.
  5. Local Public Libraries. A countless number of books and periodicals
    reviewing small business issues can be found in most libraries. Some public
    libraries also contain business library branches or sections. Remember,
    reference librarians are there to help and can offer invaluable assistance.
  6. Local Development Corporations or Economic Development Centers. These
    city-run offices can provide information on special programs of interest to
    small business owners. They may also have “incubator” programs for new
    businesses, which help small business owners find low-cost leases and also
    offer general assistance to new owners.
  7. Local Community Colleges. Many community colleges have programs that
    help train employees of small businesses in an assortment of fields. They
    also sponsor an array of classes (for a low fee) that can train small
    business owners in areas ranging from introductory budgeting to advanced
    planning for business growth.

FREE CONSULTING FOR WOMEN AND MINORITIES

State and local resources for women- and minority-owned businesses are
abundant, yet can be difficult to locate. The following list should help
you locate exactly what you are looking for.

1. State Governor’s Office. The Governor’s Office usually is in touch with
programs designed to aid women- and minority-owned small businesses. Most
have staff members who are responsible solely for assisting women and
minority business owners and can point you toward the State Office of Small
and Minority Business and the State Trade and Commerce Agency.
2. State Office of Small and Minority Business. Most states have an Office
of Small and Minority Business that certifies small businesses for bidding
on state contracts. Many also provide resource lists that can benefit the
woman or minority business owner.
3. State Trade and Commerce Agency. Your State Trade and Commerce Agency
can connect you with a number of different offices that cater to women- and
minority-owned small businesses. They have access to State Offices of Small
Business, Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) and the Service Core
of Retired Executives (SCORE).
4. State Chamber of Commerce. Your State Chamber of Commerce can direct you
to programs it is currently offering to women- and minority-owned
businesses. It can also provide information on any grants being offered to
women- and minority-owned businesses by the state.
5. Mayor’s Office. The Mayor’s Office will generally know what programs the
city has that benefit women- and minority-owned business. Many have
affirmative action departments that work directly with women- and
minority-owned businesses.
6. Local Chambers of Commerce. Although most chambers do not have specific
programs for women- or minority-owned businesses, they can point small
business owners to a local SBDC or SCORE office. These centers offer
one-on-one counseling.

ENJOY THE BENEFITS YOU DESERVE: GET CERTIFIED

One of the most important steps women- and minority-owned businesses must
take is getting certified. Local, state and federal governments and
agencies usually have to contract a minimum percentage of women- and
minority-owned businesses annually. Only those that are certified qualify
for such contracts. An example is the rebuilding of the Los Angeles
freeways after the Northridge earthquake in 1994. The City of Los Angeles
set the minimum number of women- and minority-owned businesses to be
contracted at 40 percent, opening the door for many certified contractors.
Women- and minority-owned businesses need to submit the following to get
certified in Los Angeles, a representative city for the certification
process.

  • Completed and notarized City Certification application and affidavit
  • Proof of Ethnicity/Gender (Driver’s License, Birth Certificate)
  • Proof of Ethnicity and U.S. Citizenship or Permanent Residency
  • Current Federal Tax 1040 (Including Schedule C) for the past three
    years
  • Education, training and employment with dates
  • Equipment Rental and Purchase Agreements
  • Management Service Agreements
  • Lease Agreements
  • Applicable Licenses and/or Permits
  • Bank Signature Card
  • Copies of any M/WBE certifications from other agencies
  • Any other documentation that provides clarification/proof of the
    investigator’s questions regarding ownership and control of the
    qualifying entities.

The certification process can be somewhat tedious, as cities may be
flooded with certification requests and literally take years to process all
the paperwork. Try to be patient. It’s definitely worth it!