Frequently Asked Questions
State and Federal incentives
As one of the best states for doing business, Texas has many incentives and programs to help small business owners and entrepreneurs. The state and federal incentives are one of them. The incentives in this section are a summary of the most commonly utilized state offerings. The following programs and organizations provide opportunities that can help small businesses get tools, training, and procurement opportunities they need.
Financing & Capital
In today's challenging economy, finding capital is one of the most crucial tasks for small businesses wishing to grow and thrive. The Governor's Office Small Business division works closely with a variety of partners to highlight the various avenues for access to capital that are available to the Texas small business community. These include but are not limited to:
Small Business Service Provider Grant (SPG)
The Governor’s Office of Small Business Assistance (OSBA) is accepting applications for programs that enable Texas-based small business service providers to enhance and diversify projects and activities benefiting the State’s small and historically underutilized businesses (HUBs). The grants will afford small business service providers a greater degree of flexibility and creativity in their portfolio of offerings to small businesses and HUBs. If you are interested in applying for a grant under this program, please read this additional information.
Texas Product/Business Fund
The Texas Product/Business Fund provides asset backed financing to companies doing business in Texas. Financing is done in the form of direct asset based loans with competitive lending rates. Loans can be amortized up to the life of the asset. For more information, visit the Incentives & Financing section of the website.
Jobs 4 Texas (J4T)
Jobs 4 Texas, or J4T, is an innovative program designed to increase small businesses' access to capital and enable private entrepreneurs to make market-driven decisions to grow jobs. The J4T program won a $46.5 million award from the U.S. Department of the Treasury as part of the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI). For more information, click here.
Texas is home to hundreds of commercial banks with billions in deposits. To find a Texas financial institution, visit the National Information Center's website.
For international financial institutions in the state that enable international trade by issuing letters of credit, providing currency exchange, and making trade related loans, as well as financing projects in various countries, please visit the Texas Bankers Association and the Independent Bankers Association of Texas.
The mission of LiftFund is to provide credit and service to small businesses that do not have access to loans from commercial sources, and to provide leadership and service to the micro-lending field on a national level. LiftFund provides individual business loans from $500 to $1 million. Through the SBA 504 loan program, they are able to offer loans up to $5.5 million. All loan funds repaid to LiftFund are reinvested in the community.
- BCL of Texas
Established in 1990 as a statewide not-for-profit, BCL of Texas successfully promotes business and community development and provides business capital and commercial real estate loans throughout Texas. True to its mission to create jobs through business development, BCL of Texas has helped to create jobs for more than 5,000 Texans. In addition to providing businesses with counseling and technical assistance, BCL of Texas originates, underwrites, processes, closes and services business loans for healthy, growing businesses.
BCL of Texas is a member of the nationwide NeighborWorks® Network, which engages in revitalization strategies that strengthen communities and transform lives.
PeopleFund is a non-profit 501(c)(3) that provides loans and financial and technical assistance to people who are left out of the financial mainstream. PeopleFund administers small business and non-profit loans, business consulting, and technical assistance as well as a variety of other programs.
BiGAUSTIN is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing comprehensive training services, one-on-one assistance, and loans to individuals who want to achieve self-sufficiency by starting their own small business. BiGAUSTIN is home to Central Texas’ only SBA Women’s Business Center which specializes in meeting the needs of women entrepreneurs. BiGAUSTIN has dispersed loan packages in excess of 6.5 million dollars and assists roughly 1,300 small business entrepreneurs annually.
Small Business Administration Loan Programs
Through its local SBA offices in Texas, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) offers several loan programs that can provide financial aid to small businesses. Please visit the following links and offices to get more information:
- SBA Loans
- SBA Texas Offices
- Dallas / Fort Worth District Office
- El Paso District Office
- Harlingen District Office
- Houston District Office
- Lubbock District Office
- San Antonio District Office
The federal government primarily provides grants for research and development. Below are a few websites that provide information about these grants and other types of assistance:
- Federal Grants
- Small Business Innovative Research/Small Business Technology Transfer Funding
The federal government allocates over $2 billion annually to two highly competitive programs that encourage start-up businesses to capitalize on commercialization opportunities: the Small Business Innovation Research Program and the Small Business Technology Transfer Program. Qualified entrepreneurs in Texas can receive some assistance with their SBIR/STTR grant applications.
- Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA)