Local small businesses will find a wealth of information and resources for seeking federal stimulus funding on the Placer County Office of Economic Development’s Web site.
The place to look is “Tools for Business Success,” an online program the office developed in cooperation with the California Association for Local Economic Development.
The address is http://placerco.toolsforbusiness.info.
“It has been more than three months since the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was approved, and small businesses have been waiting to see benefits from it,” said county Director of Economic Development David Snyder.
“Most government agencies have received their funds and are being prodded by the Obama administration to spend dollars quickly. It’s a great time for small businesses to explore how they might benefit.”
Snyder highlighted some of the issues businesses in Placer County may want to consider:
Where to find approved infrastructure projects: Go to http://www.recovery.gov to find approved projects in the area that are ready for bid. Contact the agency for bid information about a particular project.
This website has ARRA projects only. Don’t forget that stimulus funds are in addition to regular government spending. Businesses can learn how to find bid opportunities and do business with the federal government at the http://placerco.toolsforbusiness.info Web site.
Further, Placer County’s open bids and requests for proposals can be found on the county Procurement Services Division’s Web site at www.placer.ca.gov/Departments/Admin/Procurement.aspx.
Training employees and business owners for the future: The local Workforce Investment Board’s One-Stop Career Center is receiving stimulus dollars to train workers for the jobs of the future. Businesses that need workers with specialized skills or want to avoid layoffs by training unskilled workers for higher-skilled positions are encouraged to contact the Golden Sierra Job Training Agency at (530) 823-4631.
For businesses that have failed, training funds and assistance are available for owners and employees through the One-Stop Career Center’s Displaced Workers Program.
The California Employment Training Panel also has funds to train existing employees and business owners. For information, visit http://www.etp.ca.gov or call (916) 327-5640.
Employees whose hours are being reduced at local businesses can apply for partial unemployment insurance through the California Employment Development Department’s Work Sharing Program. For information, see Employer Assistance at http://placerco.toolsforbusiness.info.
Small Business Administration American Recovery Capital Loans: Many businesses are waiting for the $35,000, SBA-guaranteed loans to cover business loan payments during the economic crisis. These are five-year loans to viable businesses, with no payments due for the first year. The loans are for existing businesses and funds cannot be used to pay existing SBA loan payments.
“This is one of the few new programs authorized by the ARRA, so it has taken longer to set up than other stimulus programs,” Snyder explained.
Guidance on these emergency bridge loans is expected to be available on June 8, with loan packages accepted from lenders on June 15.
Snyder noted that businesses can take steps to be prepared. The funds are for viable businesses only – so business owners interested in applying probably will need to have income tax statements plus budgets for the next two years demonstrating that they can make profits once the economy begins to turn around. The loans will be made by banks – probably the banks that currently do SBA lending – although each bank may choose whether to participate in this program.
Had a business loss? Get a refund of past taxes: ARRA allows a five-year operating loss carryback, which means that a business owner whose personal taxable income for 2008 was negative because a business loss exceeded other income can deduct the loss from taxable income for prior years and recalculate prior-year taxes to get refunds. IRS Form 1045 should be used for each year included in a refund request.