Help for Businesses | Congressman Ami Bera

Congressman Ami Bera

Representing the 7th District of California
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Help for Businesses

At the new Green Acres Nursery & Supply in Elk Grove, a family owned business. They created 85 new jobs in part because of the help they received from the Small Business Administration.
At the new Green Acres Nursery & Supply in Elk Grove, a family owned business. They created 85 new jobs in part because of the help they received from the Small Business Administration.

I’ve seen how hard our small business owners work and how important they are for growing our economy and creating good-paying, middle class jobs. I’m committed to supporting Sacramento County’s vibrant small business community by fighting for common-sense tax relief, reducing burdensome regulations that don’t make sense, and ensuring that government is a strategic partner for growth – not an obstacle.

My local office is also here to connect area businesses with resources they can use to grow and hire. For example, we’ve held workshops for small business owners with agencies like the Small Business Administration and Census Bureau to help businesses succeed. We’ve also helped small business owners cut through government red tape at federal agencies such as the IRS, the Department of Labor, and others.

Please refer to this page for more resources, and please don’t hesitate to call my office at (916) 635 0505 to get help right away. We’re here to make government work for Sacramento County’s businesses.

 

How I Can Help


Government should be a strategic partner with businesses, not an obstacle. That’s why I’ve directed my office to make government work for local businesses to help them grow and hire.

We may be able to help you cut through red tape and fix problems you’re having with federal government agencies such as the IRS, the Department of Labor, and more. We can also help you access Small Business Administration loans, work with local Small Business Development Centers, and help you learn how to use free public resources from the Census Bureau and elsewhere to help your business succeed.

If you need help, please call my office at (916) 635 0505, or visit bera.house.gov/gethelp for more information. You may also visit my local Upcoming Events web page to see the latest events we’re hosting around Sacramento County. We’ve held several workshops to help local businesses with tax assistance, business plans, and much more, and we’d be honored to help you at a future workshop.

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Getting Started: Starting and Running a Business

At the opening of a new Small Business Development Center in Elk Grove, which I fought to help bring to our area. This new center helps our local small business owners with free technical assistance, help with creating new business plans, assistance with
At the opening of a new Small Business Development Center in Elk Grove, which I fought to help bring to our area. This new center helps our local small business owners with free technical assistance, help with creating new business plans, assistance with accessing low-cost loans from the Small Business Administration, and much more.

Sacramento County businesses have access to a variety of resources to help them get off the ground, grow, and succeed. This includes free classes and workshops, personal consultations, and help with developing and updating business plans. Here are some places people starting their own business can go to for help:

  • Small Business Administration Resource Guide for Sacramento area businesses (PDF): The Small Business Administration (SBA) put this guide together to help new businesses get off the ground and to help more seasoned business owners learn about helpful resources they may not know about. It details how you can get help when starting your business, how to access capital, how to compete for government contracts, and more.
  • The Small Business Administration’s Sacramento area district office in Citrus Heights: The Small Business Administration is the primary federal government agency that’s here to help small businesses succeed and grow. They provide a variety of forms of aid to help businesses including loans, loan guarantees, and technical advice.
  • Business USA: This website is here to help business owners access any resources they may need. It’s intended to help you cut through the federal bureaucracy so you can get assistance regardless of whichever agency is offering help – whether its from the Small Business Administration or the Export-Import Bank – to serve as a “one-stop” shop for small businesses.
  • California Capital Financial Development Corporation: California Capital administers a variety of programs to assist small businesses in the Sacramento County area. They may be able to help you with workshops, counseling, and possible financing opportunities.
  • SCORE Sacramento: Supported by the Small Business Administration, SCORE provides classes, workshops, and counseling by current or former business owners and executives to help businesses succeed.
  • Capitol Region Small Business Development Center (SBDC): The Capital Region SBDC provides local business owners with tools to help them to succeed. With eight hub offices throughout the Northern California region, they provide direct and personal help, including helping entrepreneurs to develop new business plans and how to access low cost loans. I was proud to help bring one of their centers to Elk Grove to better support area businesses.
  • Starting a Business: California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development GO-Biz: Offered through the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development, this initiative is here to help California Businesses get started on a solid footing. For instance, they may be able to help you with forming concrete goals and a pragmatic checklist plan to help you get a good and healthy start.
  • California Small Business Advocate: This California Small Business Advocate helps small businesses in our state with everything from navigating state regulations to pursuing government contracts.

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Sacramento County and City Resources


Sacramento County and several area cities within our congressional district also have their own resources for small business owners. Below is a list of some of those resources that are available to local businesses.

Sacramento County:

City of Sacramento:

Elk Grove:

Rancho Cordova:

Folsom:

Citrus Heights:

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Federal and State Tax Help


I know tax season can be a stressful time for many business owners. My office may be able to help local businesses with federal tax issues they’re facing, such as problems with the IRS. Below are some additional resources that you may find helpful. You may also be able to learn more on my Help for Taxpayers web page.

Federal tax resources and help:

  • IRS Taxpayer Advocate Service: The independent Taxpayer Advocate Service can help residents and businesses with tax issues. If you need help with your taxes and don’t know where to turn, please call them for further help. Here’s how to contact the Taxpayer Advocate Service in the Sacramento area:

    Taxpayer Advocate Service
    Phone: (916) 974-5007
    4330 Watt Ave., Stop SA-5043
    Sacramento, CA 95821
     
  • IRS: General Tax Information for Businesses: This is the main IRS business page with information ranging from how small businesses can navigate a potential audit to tax credits that may help you.
  • IRS: Small Business and Self-Employed Tax Center: This page is designed specifically for small businesses and those who are self-employed.
  • IRS: A-Z Index for Business: This is a comprehensive list of tax resources and information offered by the IRS.

State tax resources and help:

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Accessing Capital


Reliable and easy access to capital is crucial to the success of many businesses. With the ability to access low cost loans and other means to finance the launch, growth, and expansion of a business, capital can turn the dreams of an entrepreneur into reality.

  • SBA LINC: This initiative by the Small Business Administration connects business owners with potential lenders. In a three step process, business owners fill out an online form with details about their business, which is then sent to possible lenders. A business owner is then contacted within 2 days if there’s a match.
  • SBA guaranteed loans: The SBA also has programs to help small businesses access loans when they may not be available otherwise.
  • Grants: It may be possible for a business to qualify for a grant to help pay for their activities under certain circumstances, such as scientific research and development.

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Business Opportunities with Federal Government and State Government


The federal government, as well as the State of California and many local governments, secures numerous contracts with private businesses every year for a wide range of goods and services. Governments contract with businesses for everything from food, to printer ink, to jet engines. Government contracting may be a valuable opportunity for many businesses to grow. Here are some resources that may help you and your business get started with government contracting:

  • California Capital Financial Development Corporation: California Capital administers a variety of programs to promote small business development throughout our region. One of their goals is to help local businesses compete for government contracts.
  • Small Business Administration general contracting help page: This SBA is also here to help small businesses obtain their fair share of federal contracts. They also have initiatives targeted toward helping women, veterans, and minority business owners.
  • SBA guidance for starting as a federal contractor: If you’re interested in having your business get started as a federal contractor, the SBA also has a web page with step-by-step information on how you can begin.
  • Business Opportunities within the federal government: The Congressional Research Service is the non-partisan legislative research arm of the Library of Congress. They provide Members of Congress and their staffs with objective information and analysis of pending issues before Congress. They authored a guide on how to conduct business with the federal government that you can read for more information.
  • Minority Business Development Agency: Part of the Department of Commerce, the goal of this agency is to help minority business owners compete and succeed in our economy. Their website has an online system to help minority business owners compete for government contracting.
  • General Services Administration (GSA): This agency is in charge of acquiring a variety of products and services throughout the federal government.
    • Working with the GSA: This is a GSA webpage for businesses that are interested in selling their products or services to the federal government.
    • Office of Small Business Utilization: The goal of this office is to help ensure that small business can access GSA’s contracting opportunities.
    • GSA Training Programs: The GSA also provides information on how your business can get up to speed as quickly as possible to compete for government contracts.

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Help with Exports


The vast majority of the world's consumers live outside of the United States, so exploring new international markets can be a crucial source for growth. Here are some key resources you can look to for help with starting and growing your businesses exports:

  • Export.gov: Intended to work as a “one-stop” shop that brings together resources from a variety of different federal government agencies, this website connects U.S. companies with resources to help them export their goods and services.
  • Small Business Administration’s exporting web page: For small businesses, this is often a good place to get started and to see how exporting opportunities can help your business succeed. It includes information on specific loan programs to help with exporting activities and planner tools.
  • Export-Import bank: The Export-Import bank guarantees qualifying international business transactions so companies can conduct their business without undue risk. This is an agency that I have strongly supported in Congress, and many local businesses in our area have worked with Export-Import to exapnd into international markets.

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Help for Women, Minority, and Veteran Owned Businesses

When I welcomed Small Business Administrator Maria Contreas-Sweet to Sacramento County, and introduced her to Search Pro Staffing, a great example of woman owned small business in our region.
I welcomed Small Business Administrator Maria Contreas-Sweet to Sacramento County, and introduced her to Search Pro Staffing, a great example of woman owned small business in our region.

Some women, minority, and veteran business owners can face unique challenges when forming and running their own small business. Here are some places you can go to for help:

  • California Capital Financial Development Corporation: California Capital was established as a SBA Women’s Center in October 2012. Their services are available to everyone but they're committed to meeting the unique needs of women in business through workshops and personalized assistance.
  • Minority owned business help from the Small Business Administration: The SBA offers a business development program to help minority small business owners with services such as additional counseling and training.
  • Veteran Business Outreach Center: An initiative by the SBA, the Sacramento region’s Veterans Business Outreach Center helps eligible veterans who own or want to begin a small business. They offer training, counseling, referrals, and mentoring services.

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Local and Regional Chambers of Commerce


The various Chambers of Commerce throughout Sacramento County are great advocates and resources for our small businesses. Here is a list of the Chambers of Commerce in our region:

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