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Wyoming Business Tips for Feb. 15-21

February 10, 2009

A weekly look at Wyoming business questions from the Wyoming Small Business Development Center, part of WyomingEntrepreneur.Biz a collection of business assistance programs at the University of Wyoming.

By Jill Kline, WyomingEntrepreneur.Biz Small Business Development Center, regional director

"I am looking for sources of funds to start my business. Are there any grants that will help me?" D.S., Sheridan

This is a common question asked by entrepreneurs who want to start or expand a business. Unfortunately, the short answer to this question is no, there are no grant opportunities specifically for business start-ups or expansion.

Visit the www.Business.GOV Web site to find "Loans and Grants Search Tool" to help identify the types of loan or grant opportunities that are available. The tool helps to select the state in which you reside in addition to other criteria to identify business or industry. Once the necessary choices are made, press the "Search" button and you will immediately receive a list of programs for review. A variety of Small Business Administration or other loan guarantee or assistance programs will be listed in addition to links to details about the programs.

Still, for most small business start-ups, start with a local bank, but be prepared; bank officials will want to see a business plan that includes information about your industry, target market and cash flow projections.

Other items a banker will look at are credit score, investment into the business and collateral. The Wyoming Small Business Development Center (www.WyomingEntrepreneur.Biz) personnel can help get potential small business owners organized and prepared before they talk to a banker.

Typically, the only grant opportunity identified by the "Loans and Grants Search Tool" is the Small Business Innovation Research Program. This is a competitive, niche program that supports the scientific research and development of innovations. For details on this program, visit the Wyoming SBIR/STTR Initiative Web site

Two of the grant programs in Wyoming are the Workforce Development Training Fund Program and the Tradeshow Incentive Grant. The Training Fund grant helps fund skill upgrades for existing employees or training for expanding business's new employees. Information about this program can be found on the Department of Workforce Services Web site,

The Trade Show Incentive reimbursable grant program encourages Wyoming businesses to promote and sell their Wyoming-made products to statewide, national and international audiences by offsetting the costs of the trade events. To learn more about qualifying and learning more details about this program, visit the Wyoming Business Council Marketing Assistance Web page at and look for the "Tradeshow Incentive Grant" link.

The WSBDC is a partnership of the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Wyoming Business Council and the University of Wyoming. To ask a question, call 1-800-348- 5194, e-mail or write 1000 E. University Ave., Dept. 3922, Laramie, WY 82071-3922. For help determining what it will cost to start and finance a local business, visit WSBDC Web page at

Posted on Tuesday, February 10, 2009

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