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This sounds exciting. And to me living in the middle of Washington DC your place sounds like a delightful place to be. You sound like you have an active mind. You already tried a bunch of alternatives that seemed like good possibilities. So now, let see where we can got from here.
You seem to already have a horse ranch if you have horses and have land. I guess you may just need customers. But before you think about customers you have to think about what kind of business you can have with the horses and land. If you think of something unique and low cost to start you may be able to get money from your state and local development organizations. The problem is thinking of something that is a unique service or product that does not cost much.
Maybe you can lease your ranch out to other people who need a place to keep their horses. Maybe you can develop a facility that trains people with disabilities or children to ride horses. Maybe you can locate some big horse breeders who need another location and you can be it.
I don't know the business at all. So it's hard for me to brainstorm too much about specific potential opportunities. One way you can get help thinking about ideas that may make money is to contact the national associations that keep track of your industry. These people keep an eye on what is going on and where it is happening. If you study their material and talk to their people about your situation, you may be able to come up with some ideas about money making opportunities.
Here are 2 associations for you to start with:
Remember if you have a good idea it does not matter as much what kind of credit rating you have.
When you get to looking for money for your business here are the basic starting points for finding money.
1) Find Federal Money Programs for Business
Look at a book called the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance. This book is available at your local public library or the U.S. Government Printing Office www.gpo.gov. You can also search the contents of this book for free on the web at www.cfda.gov. You will find items which have a five digit number associated with them (such as 10.471). These numbers refer to the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance.
2) Find State Money Programs for Business
Look for the state office of economic development located in your state capitol. You can find them by dialing 411 and asking for your state capitol operator or by going to the web at www.govengine.com and clicking on your state. Then start looking for web sites on business or economic development. Every state offers a wealth of help and information on starting a business. Some offer job training funds, export assistance, technology resources, tourism promotion, industrial revenue bonds, revolving loan funds, and more. Most have a State Business Resource Guide to assist you in your search.
3) Find Local City and County Programs for Business
Start looking at every local city and county government for programs that help businesses. They all have them. If you don't know where to go you can call 411 and ask for the mayor's office or the office of the county executive. Just tell them you want to start or expand a business and want to know about any and all programs. You can also go to www.govengine.com and under each state there will be a listing of all cities and counties. Click on those of interest and search for economic development or business programs. Remember, you can start a business in any state, city or county and not live there. The people who give out the money just want your business to be there and you can commute.
4) Find Money From Non-Profit Organizations for Business
There are 3 major sources for finding money from these groups:
A. The Association for Enterprise Opportunity in Arlington, VA maintains a database of non-profit organizations that provide financial assistance to entrepreneurs. Contact them at 703-841-7760 or http://www.aeoworks.org/index.php/site/page/category/find/
B. The Foundation Center of New York City maintains a database of all foundations that provide money to non-profit organizations or individuals. Their information is available on the web at http://fdncenter.org or from their participating libraries by contacting 212-620-4230 or 800-424-9836.
C. The Guidestar Company in Williamsburg, VA also maintains a database of foundations and they can be reached at 757-229-4631 or www.guidestar.com. Much of their database is accessible for free on the web.
D. The Aspen Institute's mission is to identify, develop, and disseminate microenterprise program information. To find resources near you contact The Aspen Institute, One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 700, Washington, DC 20036; 202-736-1071; Fax: 202-467-0790; http://fieldus.org.
Before you start any of the above sources you should first contact your state office of economic development. Below are the sources at your state.
* Idaho Department of Commerce700 West State StreetP.O. Box 83720 208-334-2470Boise, ID 83720-0093 Fax: 208-334-2631www.idoc.state.id.us/Economic Development Division: This office can provide information and expertise in dealing with state, federal, and local agencies. They also have information on financing programs and other services offered by the state government.
Idaho Business Network (IBN): Operated by the Idaho Department of Commerce to help Idaho companies bid on federal, state and large corporation contracts.- Opportunity Notices: Every day bid notices on federal, state and private contracts are entered into the Idaho Business Network computer. These bidding opportunities are matched with the capabilities of Idaho businesses participating in the IBN. When a match occurs the client company is notified with a printed or e-mail version "opportunity notice" alerting them to the opportunity and providing information needed to obtain the bid package.- Military and Federal Standards: Federal bid packages often reference military and federal specifications by name or number without providing the actual documents. The Idaho Business Network maintains a CD-ROM library of all military and federal standards and specifications. Printed copies of required specifications and standards are provided at no charge to businesses participating in the IBN.- Federal Acquisition Regulations (F.A.R.): Contains the rules and regulations used by federal agencies to purchase products and services. Bid packages often refer to F.A.R. clauses by name or number without providing the text of the document. The IBN maintains the F.A.R. on CD-ROM, and provides printed copies of needed clauses to participating companies at no charge.- Trade Missions: All IBN clients are welcome to attend periodic trade missions to visit large corporations, military sites, and other government agencies. Businesses attending the trade missions have the opportunity to meet with buyers to market their products and services.- Workshops and Seminars: The IBN holds workshops statewide on topics such as selling to Mountain Home Air Force Base, selling to the INEEL, how to package for the military, quality assurance, etc.- The Governor's Business Opportunity Conference: Annually, the IBN hosts the Governor's Business Opportunity Conference with over 60 large private corporations and government agencies sending buyers to meet with representatives of Idaho businesses. Concurrent training workshops are also held during the conference on a wide range of topics, such as introduction to procurement and marketing strategies for small businesses.- Electronic Bulletin Board: Provides computer and modem access to all bid notices obtained by the IBN for the most current ten days.- CAGE Code: All companies wishing to do business with the U.S. Department of Defense must have an identification number known as a Commercial and Government Entity Code, or CAGE Code. Companies applying for a CAGE Code must be sponsored by a government agency. The Idaho Business Network provides CAGE Code application forms and sponsors participating Idaho business applications- New Industry Training Program: Provides customized job training for new and expanding industries.- Work Force Training: Funds are available to provide skilled workers for specific economic opportunities and industrial expansion initiatives.
Industrial Revenue Bonds: Idaho cities and counties are able to form public corporations for the purpose of issuing industrial revenue bonds (IRBs). The IRB program provides for loans of up to $10 million, at tax-exempt interest rates, to finance the improvement or purchase of land, buildings, and machinery or equipment used in manufacturing, production, processing, or assembly.
Rural Economic and Community Development Administration: Offers guarantees up to 90% of loans between $500,000 and $10 million made to small businesses located in areas not within the boundaries of a city of 50,000 or more. Loan proceeds can be used for the purchase, development or improvement of land, buildings and equipment, or a start-up and working capital.
Nonbusiness-Related Contributions: Corporations are allowed credit for certain nonbusiness-related contributions, e.g., education and rehabilitation. Net operating loss carrybacks are limited to $100,000 per tax year. The $100,000 loss limit may be carried back three years and if it is not absorbed by the income in those three years, the rest of the loss may be carried forward 15 years. Instead of carrying a loss back, a taxpayer may choose to carry the loss forward for up to 15 years or until it has been completely absorbed.
The Idaho Department of Commerce's Division of International Business: Provides a variety of services and assistance to all Idaho firms interested in doing business overseas, with special programs for small- and medium-sized firms.
Idaho International Business Development Center (IIBDC): Seeks to coordinate efforts statewide to promote Idaho in the global marketplace. The division, in partnership with the Boise Branch Office of the U.S. Department of Commerce, maintains regular contact with importers, distributors, wholesalers, and retailers in foreign countries and can supply market data and information on foreign packaging, labeling requirements, language barriers, consumer preferences, and other trade factors.
Idaho Department of Agriculture: Offers a broad range of assistance to Idaho companies which export Idaho agricultural commodities and processed and specialty food products. The Department of Agriculture sponsors many special agricultural trade events and participates with the Department of Commerce in joint seminars, workshops, and trade shows.
* Rural DevelopmentRural Business-Cooperative Service (RBS)9173 West Barnes, Suite A1Boise, ID 83709 208-378-5623www.rurdev.usda.gov/idThe Rural Business-Cooperative Service (RBS) administers programs directed toward increasing rural job opportunities, facilitating development of small and emerging private business enterprises, and improving the economic and environmental climate of rural communities. This service is committed to assisting with economic growth and diversification by providing the following programs to rural businesses:- Business loans to local private parties and public agencies B&I Direct Loan Program- Business loan guarantees B&I Guaranteed Loan Program- Business development grants to public agencies nonprofit corporations Rural Business Enterprise Grants- Business and community development revolving loan fund loans Intermediary Relending Program- Helps rural residents form new cooperative businesses and improves the operations of existing cooperatives- Cooperative Services Technical Assistance- Business and community development loans and grants to RUS electric/telephone borrowers Rural Economic- Development Loan and Grant Program
* Idaho State Department of AgricultureDivision of Marketing and Support ServicesP.O. Box 7902270 Old Penitentiary Road 208-332-8530Boise, ID 83712 Fax: 208-334-2879www.agri.state.id.us/marketing/Services include technical assistance, business workshops, and publications for value-added food processing, specialty foods, traditional and specialty crops, organic production, and ranch recreation; international trade assistance for food and agriculture products; domestic marketing promotions; and start-up and rural rehabilitation.
* Idaho Department of Environmental QualityPollution Prevention/Environmental Education1410 N Hilton 208-373-0502Boise, ID 83706-1255 Fax: 208-373-0417www.deq.state.id.usThe Environmental Education section provides assistance to businesses and the public interested in reducing wastes at the source.
* Workforce Development TrainingLarry Hertling or Leandra BurnsIdaho Department of Labor317 Main St.Boise, ID 83735 208-332-3570www.idahoworks.com/wrkdev.html
Regional Economic Development SpecialistsIdaho Department of CommerceP.O. Box 83720Boise, ID 83720-0093 208-334-2470
Dick WinnIdaho State Division of Professional Technical EducationP.O. Box 83720Boise, ID 83720-0095 208-334-3216If your company is considering locating or expanding in Idaho, the Workforce Development Training Fund (WDTF) can help. Through the WDTF, your company may be able to receive funds to train new employees or upgrade the skills of current workers who are at risk of being permanently laid off. For information regarding the WDTF program, contact any of the people listed below. Potential applicants are encouraged to seek information and technical assistance on allowable activities prior to submitting a proposal. www.labor.state.id.us * Loans For FarmersFarm Service AgencyU.S. Department of Agriculture9173 W. Barnes Drive, Suite B 208-378-5650Boise, ID 83709-1555 Fax: 208-378-5678http://www.fsa.usda.gov/id/The Farm Service Agency provides Direct and Guaranteed Loans to farmers through a variety of programs, including:
Farm Ownership Loans: purchase farmland, construct or repair buildings and other fixtures, and promote soil and water conservation. Up to $200,000.
Operating Loans: purchase items needed for a successful farm operation, such as livestock, farm equipment, feed, seed, fuel, farm chemicals, insurance, and other operating expenses. Can also be used to pay for minor improvements. Up to $200,000.
Beginning Farmer and Rancher Loans: provides funds to beginning and farmers and ranchers who are unable to obtain financing elsewhere.
Downpayment Farm Ownership Loans for Beginning Farmers: helps beginning farmers and ranchers purchase a farm or ranch. Also provides a way for retiring farmers to transfer their land to a future generation of farmers and ranchers. Applicant must have a downpayment of 10% and FSA with finance 40%, with the remaining balance from a commercial lender. Purchase price cannot exceed $250,000.
Loans to Socially Disadvantaged Farmers/Ranchers: helps socially disadvantaged applicants buy and operate family-size farms and ranches.
Youth Loans: Made to youths to establish and operate income-producing projects with the participation in 4-H clubs, Future Farmers of America, and similar organizations. Up to $5,000.
Emergency Loan Assistance: provides loans to help producers recover from production and physical losses due to drought, flooding, and other natural disasters, or quarantine. Up to $500,000.
Beginning Farmer and Rancher Land Contract Guarantee Pilot Program: "prompt payment guarantee" from FSA. FSA will provide payment to seller two times if the beginning farmer does not pay. Program is tested in IN, IA, ND, OR, PA and WI.
Farm Ownership and Operating Loan Guarantees: FSA will guarantee loans up to $782,000.
* Small Business Administration (SBA)1020 Main St., Suite 290 208-334-1696Boise, ID 83702-5745 Fax: 208-334-9353www.sba.gov/idThe Idaho Small Business Administration Office delivers a variety of programs and services, such as startup and operational assistance through small business training and counseling, financial assistance for startup's, business opportunities and much more
* Energy Resources DivisionIdaho Department of Water Resources1301 North Orchard 208-327-7900Boise, ID 83706 1-800-334-SAVE (7283) in IDwww.idwr.state.id.us/energy Fax: 208-327-7866Energy Conservation Loans: Loans to businesses for energy conservation improvements to existing buildings, or new construction. Energy savings must have simple payback of less than 10 years. Interest rate of 4 percent term of 5 years.
* Association of Idaho Cities3314 Grace 208-344-8594Boise, ID 83703 Fax: 208-344-8677www.idahocities.orgTax Increment Financing: Tax exempt bonds for community development in designated areas. Amount of funding dependent upon increased property values within revenue allocation area. Only available within incorporated cities.
In addition to the government sponsored programs, there are many other financial loan and grant programs available through private institutions and private investors that you may wish to consider. You can obtain details on individual private assistance programs currently being offered by contacting the institutions directly.
Holy cow, you tired yet? That's the problem with life nowadays. It's a lot bigger and complicated than it used to be. When I grew up in the 50s there used to be just one place to turn to for help, and that one person seemed to know it all. Now times have changed. No one person knows everything anymore. Life's become so complex. Even I, who has been studying money programs for over 25 years, and am likely to be the best one in the country at it, still don't feel like I know it all.
You can't trust a "no" answer anymore. No, just means that they don't know anything. It seems that success in this world goes to those who don't take no for an answer and find a way to solve the problem no matter what the experts say. The experts are wrong too many times to trust them completely.
It's fun to continue to learn new sources of help and new skills for finding money. I always believe that the sources you identify this time and don't use will be of value to you some time in the future, but you just don't know it yet.
I hope our sources give you some help. Hang in there, it's a big world and there are lots of sources waiting to help you but they won't come looking for you, you have to go looking for them.
Matthew LeskoEntrepreneur and Best Selling AuthorInformation USA, Incwww.lesko.com