This video explains how the SBA’s 8(a) Program works, its eligibility requirements, technical assistance available to small disadvantaged businesses through the program and common myths about the program.
Disaster loans can be utilized for the repair and rebuilding of non-farm, private sector disaster losses, and are available to all types of business, instead of being restricted to small businesses alone.
Department of Homeland Security – To increase the number of firefighters in local communities and to help them meet industry minimum standards and attain 24/7 staffing for adequate protection against fire and fire-related hazards, and fulfill related…
People love holidaying on the sea and rather than choosing a huge cruise ship it is possible to enjoy the sea on winter sailing vacations. There are now many companies offering bareboat charters or crewed charters to allow you to get a real taste of sea life in more personal surroundings.
Winter Sailing Destinations
As the weather gets colder at home, people head for sunnier climes. Those looking for a sailing holiday can do the same too. A popular destination for winter sailing vacations is the Canary Islands. Thanks to their geographical location, these islands, with their subtropical climate, make an ideal winter getaway. In addition, with seven large islands and a number of smaller ones there are plenty of places to visit, though the waters around the Canary Islands can be challenging.
Those willing to go further afield for their winter sailing holidays can head for the Caribbean. The obvious disadvantage to the Caribbean is the distance and therefore the cost. However, once there, bareboat charters or crewed charters are numerous and readily available. Cuba, Belize and the French Islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe offer some interesting alternatives for those looking for sailing in the winter. The charters tend to be cheaper than on some of the more well-known islands, whilst the facilities are still top notch. Waters are not notoriously difficult in this area but novice sailors are advised to charter a crewed yacht.
Crew or not?
Once you have decided on your winter destination, you need to choose your boat. If you are an experienced sailor then you can choose a bareboat charter. This is when you just hire the boat, and your crew are responsible for everything else: navigating, sailing, mooring, cleaning and cooking. Whilst it gives you immense independence, it also carries with it responsibility and it is essential that someone is an experienced sailor. Most charter companies offer a choice of boats. Consider your route and itinerary, the size of your crew and the level of experience of your crew in order to choose the best boat for your needs. Consult carefully with the charter company to help you in this.
Not everyone is a sailor nor has the money to charter a crewed boat. There is, however, an alternative. It is possible to do a bareboat charter but one that includes a skipper. The skipper will be responsible for all aspects relating to the boat and the voyage, your ‘crew’ can get involved as much or as little as they like. Skippers tend to be local to the area and know the waters extremely well. In addition, they can give good advice on which places to visit, which beaches are the best and recommend great places to eat and drink. Prices and destinations will vary depending on the size of the boat and time of year, for example.
Finally, some people feel that holidays are for relaxing and if that is your idea of a winter holiday then you could charter a crewed yacht. This of course is the most expensive option but all the logistical details are taken out of your hands. You, as the charterer, still decide your own itinerary and do what you want when you want but the crew do all the work.
A winter holiday chartering your own boat in a sunny part of the world sounds ideal whether you are an experienced sea dog or not.
Richie Duvall writes regularly on nautical holidays for a range of sailing websites and blogs.
Each business can experience its own hardship, and for those situations, there are grants available for veteran-, minority- and women-owned businesses that might otherwise fail in the start-up or that need help sustaining or expanding the business. The U.S. Small Business Administration also provides tips on starting a business, financing a business and applying for grants. As with any program, grants for minorities and women focus on a niche idea or industry, so find a federal program or local non-profit that shares similar interests with your business.
The federal government isn’t the only institution that gives to small businesses. Local and state non-profits often have funding and resource programs available for start-up companies, as well as discount programs or partnership deals. These partnerships trade resources rather than money since a small business is likely to be more financially insecure. For example, a family-owned electronics business may provide computers for a small community council. The council uses the much-needed technology while promoting the family’s business in its network and giving the family business free services or large discounts. This way, both companies see a benefit in the partnership without spending money needed for other areas of the businesses.
Grants for minorities
Many programs are available to help start or expand minority-owned businesses. A majority of the programs offer consultation, conferences and resources for a small business to become successful. Some programs also offer technology, funding and grants for minorities in specialized areas, such as businesses in underdeveloped communities or minority-owned businesses that support a community.
- The Idea Cafe offers a grant for anyone who has owned a small business for at least six months.
- The SBA promotes economic development through the HUBZone Empowerment Contracting program.
- The SBA’s Office of Native American Affairs is dedicated to finding resources and tools to help minority-owned businesses succeed.
Women-owned business grant opportunities
Opportunities for women-owned businesses include start-up and expansion grants and resources. There are many programs for women who are seeking further educational opportunities, as well as women-owned businesses that give back to the community or focus on the family.
- The Huggies MomInspired Grant Program provides grant funding to women who have innovative start-up ideas or who want to expand on business ideas that will benefit families.
- Women In Defense offers resources and scholarships to working women who are attending school to advance in the defense field.
- The SBA offers loans, educational resources and federal contracting programs to women-owned businesses. It also includes tips for writing proposals and grant applications.
Grants for businesses owned by veterans
Veterans who decide to operate their own business are continuing their service to their country. And to thank these veterans, and encourage them to succeed, local, state and federal programs are available for veteran-owned businesses.
- BusinessUSA offers a listing of state and federal loans, grants and venture capital opportunities.
- The Office of Veterans Business Development is dedicated to finding and applying programs that benefit veteran-owned businesses.
- A variety of loans and assistance programs can be found at SBA.
Many grant programs do not have restrictions prohibiting women-, veteran-, and minority-owned businesses from applying, so research any grant that fits the niche of your business for funding opportunities. It is important to find a variety of funding opportunities because while resources are available, it is not necessary that your company receive specific grants for minorities.