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Dear Ms. X,
I am so glad to see that you are still charging ahead and trying to better yourself and your family. It seems that we now live in a country with no guarantees and that your success depends more on your own skills, education and ability to change. And it is making all of us constantly re-train, re-evaluate and re-direct our lives in order to keep surviving in our fast changing world.
I think I see a number of ways I may be able to help.
It's great that you now have something that can possibly generate income with no boundaries and on a flexible schedule. Now that you are all set up to be a medical transcriber, I believe that your success depends on how creative you can be in getting customers. You should now spend your time creating a way to attract customers that does not cost you money. Many businesses have failed because they feel they have to spend a lot of money getting business. I believe that a small business succeeds only if it finds a way to get business without spending money.
Although I now spend money on advertising, 80% of my advertising is done without spending money. And in the beginning I spent all my time trying to get business without spending anything. I believe that you have to be more creative in getting business in this country than in doing the actual business.
Here are some sources that you can turn to for help in getting your business to be successful. And remember be very, very, careful before you spend another penny trying to get business. Do everything else you can do that does not cost money before you spend money. That is the only way to learn what will work and succeed. The name of the game now for your business is to see how fast you can get business and keep the business alive before you run out of resources and have to turn to something else.
1) Get Free Marketing HelpHave you ever wished you could call a great lawyer for legal advice and have her do the work for free? Have you ever dreamed about calling a great financial consultant for advice on a money matter and get your answer for free? Have you every worried about how in the world you would pay for a PR agency to promote your store so everyone would know how great you are? Have you ever wished you didn't have to pay to hire a management consultant to show you the secrets of how to double your sales in one year? You can get the answer to all these questions by knowing about the government's best kept secret called the Small Business Development Centers. There are over 1,000 of these offices around the country that will give you all these services and more for free or for very little cost. You don't even have to know how to spell entrepreneur and they will sit down with you and can help with any business problem you have. Don't pay for something when you can get it FOR FREE. Find an office near you by contacting 800-8-ASK-SBA or http://www.sba.gov/sbdc/sbdcnear.html.
2) Look for Non-Profits That Help Entrepreneurs in Your Area Members of the Association for Enterprise Opportunity provide free and low-cost assistance and training, as well as financial assistance, to underserved populations who want to start a business including people with low incomes. Contact: Association for Enterprise Opportunity, 1601 North Kent Street, Suite 1101, Arlington, VA 22209, 703-841-7760, Fax: 703-841-7748, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.microenterpriseworks.org
3) See What State Programs Can Help You with Your BusinessEvery state has a number of programs for people to start or expand a business in their state. These programs can be money, free services and information. They can offer help that can get your business off the ground. Governors compete with other governors to see who can create the most jobs, and that's why they offer money and services for people who create jobs in their state
Many states offer programs from more than one agency. So it may take some time to find all the programs in a given state. A good place to start is your State Government Office of Economic Development located in your state capital. Contact: Business Assistance Center, 2001 6th Ave., Suite 2600, Seattle, WA 98121, 800-237-1233, 360-956-3135
4) Learn How to Sell Your Services to the Government Question: Do you know what is better than a $100,000 government grant? Answer: A $100,000 government contract. Because with a grant you are most likely to get it once and with a contract you can keep getting it over and over again. Question: Do you know who buys more of anything than anyone else in the world? Answer: The government, including federal, state, local and county.
There may be an opportunity to sell medical services to a government office, at the local, state or national level. The government wants to deal with small entrepreneurs and may even help you financially to do it.
But don't worry too much about the work required and the paperwork involved because there are offices that will help you do all this and they will do it FOR FREE. Contact these offices below and tell them you need help to open up a catering business for the government. If you land a contract you might be able to get a traditional loan to finance the project. Contact:
But remember one thing: selling to the government is like going elephant hunting. When you bag one of these babies you have meat for a long time.
1) If You Need Free Credit RepairThe Federal Trade Commission has many publications to get you on the road to good credit and can also tell you your rights in dealing with collection agencies. Contact Public Reference, Room 130, Federal Trade Commission, Washington, DC 20580; 877-FTC-HELP; www.ftc.gov; You can also get free counseling at your local County Cooperative Extension Service listed in the government section of your phone book under County Government. Or contact one of the non-profits that can help with your debt: National Foundation for Credit Counseling, 801 Roeder Rd., Suite 900, Silver Spring, MD 20910; 800-388-2227; www.nfcc.org; or Credit Counseling Center of America, P.O. Box 830489, Richardson, TX 75083; 800-493-2222; www.cccamerica.org. Remember that these non-profits get money from credit card companies so they are not likely to explain your bankruptcy options to you. And make sure no one charges you money for their services.
2) If You Ever Have Trouble Paying Your Rent or MortgageThere are now programs that will make your mortgage payments for you when you get into financial trouble. One of the best ways to find out if there are programs like this in your area is to contact the local HUD-approved Housing Counseling agencies. To find your closest agency, contact your state housing office, or the Housing Counseling Center locator at 800-569-4287; http://www.hud.gov/offices/hsg/sfh/econ/econ.cfm#2
3) If You Need Extra Money for EmergenciesThere are a number of national groups that provide free money and services thru a network of local offices. Check each of the groups below and see what their local offices have to offer.
1731 King St., #200Alexandria, VA 22314703-549-1390www.catholiccharitiesinfo.orgOver 14,000 local organizations offer a variety of services for many different community problems, including child care, elderly services, emergency financial services, rental assistance, and more. To find an office near you go to their main web site and see "Need Assistance? Find A Local Agency?" and put in your state.
615 Slaters LaneP.O. Box 269Alexandria, VA 22313703-684-5500www.salvationarmyusa.org/Families in need can receive a wide range of services including, utility assistance, transitional housing emergency food, clothing, and more. For an office near you, contact the headquarters above or http://www.redshield.org/.
701 North Fairfax St.Alexandria, VA 2314703-836-7112 www.unitedway.org The United Way is a national organization that raises money for thousands of local non-profit organizations that offer money and services to people in their community. Your local United Way can identify non-profits in your area that may offer the resources or services you are looking for. To find a local chapter, go to the web site and enter your zip code under "Find A Local United Way."
4) See if You are Eligible for Programs at Your Local Community Action AgencyOver 1,000 local non-profit offices offer free money and help to improve your life in almost any area. Although these agencies do get money from the federal government, they also get money from other sources, and as a result, no two of these offices are exactly alike. But most all of them help in the area of employment, bill paying, child care and self employment. The following is a sample of programs you will find when you contact an office near you. Along with the program, we also identify the local agency providing this program. These programs are specific to these areas. Check with your local office to see what they offer.
Get a $3 grant for every $1 you saveCommunity Action Partnership http://www.managingmymoney.com/
Free Cars, if you pay repairs and registrationCAP Agency Shakopee, MN http://www.capagency.org/pages/service.htm
Eviction PreventionTEAM, Inc Derby, CT http://www.teamcaa.org/housing.htm
$10,000 to start a businessCommunity Action Program, Inc of Western Indiana http://www.capwi.org/new_page_9.htm
$700 for child careCommunity and Family Services, Inc. Portland, IN www.comfam.net/pages/childcare.html
$350 for an air conditionerCity of Des Moines, Iowa http://www.ci.des-moines.ia.us/departments/CD/Comm%20Serv/L-I%20Assist%20Programs.htm
$1,000 to repair your furnaceCity of Des Moines, Iowa http://www.ci.des-moines.ia.us/departments/CD/Comm%20Serv/L-I%20Assist%20Programs.htm
$45/month for pre-schoolMid-Sioux Opportunity, Inc., Remsen, IA http://www.mid-siouxopportunity.org/ccr/community_resources/empowerment.htmlTo find a community action agency near you go to: http://www.communityactionpartnership.com/about/links/map.asp or contact Community Action Partnership, 1100 17th St NW Suite 500, Washington, DC 20036; 202-265-7546; Fax: 202-265-8850; email@example.com; www.communityactionpartnership.com
If your local agency doesn't have what you need, ask for names of other organizations that might be able to help.
You live in America and pay taxes. You have a right to know about and use these programs. If you run into a road block, don't let a little negative feedback stop you. Try the next program, and then the next. And then start looking for more. This country has so much to offer, but you have to find it.
1) $5,000 Worth of Free Health Care for KidsThere are over 6 million families who are eligible and don't apply for this program that gives free health care services for kids. Almost every state now has a Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIPS), which extends medical coverage to many children who may not be covered. For more information on a national level call 877-KIDS-NOW; 877-543-7669 or go to www.insurekidsnow.gov --Income Eligibility Requirements: up to $38,700 for a family of 4
2) $8,000 to Train for a New JobThose looking for work can apply for money and re-training under the Economic Dislocation and Worker Adjustment Assistance Act. The program is administered by each state, and because of that, the program differs from state to state. Workers can receive classroom, occupational skills, entrepreneur training and/or on-the-job training to qualify for jobs in demand. Basic and remedial education, entrepreneurial training, and instruction in literacy or English-as-a-second-language may be provided. To contact the national office or to find your local one-stop career center in your area contact: Employment and Training Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, Room N-5426, 200 Constitution Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20210; 202-693-3580; One-Stop Career Center Locator at http://www.servicelocator.org/ --Income Eligibility Requirements: Most have no income requirements, but you must be looking for a job.
3) $10,000 for Down Payment, Closing Costs or Rehabilitation The American Dream Downpayment Initiative offers grants up to $10,000 to first-time single parent homebuyers in Louisiana. Find a local U.S. HUD approved housing counseling agency in your area by calling 1-800-569-4287 or go to http://www.hud.gov/offices/hsg/sfh/hcc/hccprof14.cfm. For the national office contact American Dream Downpayment Initiative, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development at http://www.hud.gov/offices/cpd/affordablehousing/programs/home/addi/index.cfm --Income Eligibility Requirements: up to 80% of median family income, $41,839 for Louisiana, and $50,185 for US. 4) Make $32,000 & Get Free Prescription Drugs Valium, Prozac, and Dilantin are just a few of the medications you can get FREE directly from the drug companies themselves. That's right: drug companies don't want everybody to know this, but they will give certain people who can't afford their medications their drugs free of charge if you participate in their "indigent patient programs." Your doctor needs to sign a form stating that you cannot afford the drugs that you need. Once the forms are filled out they are shipped directly to your doctor's office. Contact Partnership for Prescription Assistance; 888-4PPA-NOW; www.pparx.org--Income Eligibility Requirements: each company has separate requirements, some have no income requirement, but you must show a need
5) Up to $10,400/Yr for SeniorsIf you are over 65, blind or disabled and if you have limited income and limited resources be sure to check because you maybe eligible for Supplemental Security Income. Studies show that only about 53% of eligible seniors apply. This means at least one million seniors are out there who can get the money but don't know it exists. And that's not counting blind and disabled, which could double that number. To apply, call 1-800-772-1213 or go to http://www.ssa.gov/applyfordisability . --Income Eligibility Requirements: $6,300/yr for single, $9,400/yr for couple with many exceptions see http://www.ssa.gov/notices/supplemental-security-income/text-eligibility-ussi.htm
6) Up to $10,700/Yr if You Can't Work Because of a DisabilityYou must have worked in a job covered by Social Security and have a medical condition covered by Social Security's definition of a disability that can keep you out of work for at least one year. To apply 1-800-772-1213 or go to http://www.ssa.gov/applyfordisability/adult.htm --Income Eligibility Requirements: None, just unable to work
7) $6,000/Yr to Pay for GroceriesGovernment studies show that over 16 million families are eligible for this money, but are not applying. It is estimated that in cities like Galveston, TX nearly 50% of the people eligible to receive this money are not aware of the program and do not apply. For the national Food Stamp Program office contact U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service, 3101 Park Ctr., Dr., Park Office Center Bldg., Alexandria, VA 22302; 703-305-2276; http://www.fns.usda.gov/fsp/ --Income Eligibility Requirements: $24,516/yr for family of 4
8) Extra $938 for Seniors and DisabledEach year over 43% of eligible seniors and people with disabilities fail to apply for a little-known program that will give them over $938 extra in their Social Security check. That's how much the government deducts for Medicare Part B payments. There are three programs: Qualified Medicare Beneficiaries Plan, Specified Low-Income Medicare Beneficiaries Plan and Qualified Individual. For the national office contact Medicare Hotline at 800-MEDICARE or go to www.medicare.gov. Request information about Medicare Savings Programs by getting the publication, "Guide to Health Insurance for People with Medicare." --Income Eligibility Requirements: up to $12,576/yr for a single and $16,872/yr for a couple
9) 25 Million Seniors and Doctors are Unaware of Free Health Services A government study shows that there are a number of screening and immunizations that are recommended for seniors, but both seniors and doctors are unaware they are covered by Medicare. Nine out of ten seniors visit a doctor once a year but don't know that Medicare will cover immunizations for Influenza, Hepatitis B, and Pneumococcal, as well as screenings for cervical cancer (pap smear), breast cancer (mammography), vaginal cancer (pelvic exam), colorectal cancer (fecal-occult blood test), colorectal cancer (flexible sigmiodoscopy or colonoscopy), osteoporosis (bone mass measurement), prostate cancer (prostate specific antigen test and/or digital rectal examination), and glaucoma.
10) $1,800 Food Money for Women & ChildrenUncle Sam wants women and kids to have healthy food. The Women, Infant and Children (WIC) Program's mission is to safeguard the health of low-income women, infants, and children up to age 5 that are at nutritional risk by providing nutritious foods to supplement diets, information on healthy eating, and referrals to health care. WIC foods include iron-fortified infant formula and infant cereal, iron-fortified adult cereal, vitamin C-rich fruit and/or vegetable juice, eggs, milk, cheese, peanut butter, dried beans or peas, tuna fish and carrots.
In addition to the regular WIC program, a majority of the states have chosen to operate the WIC Farmers' Market Nutrition Program (FMNP), established in 1992, it provides additional coupons to WIC participants that they can use to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables at participating farmers' markets.For the national office contact WIC, www.fns.usda.gov/fns/ --Income Eligibility Requirements: $35,798/Yr for a family of 4
11) Up to $100 for Seniors to Buy Fresh Fruit & VegetablesIt's called the Senior Farmers' Market Nutrition Program and provides vouchers to purchase locally grown fruits, vegetables and herbs from farmers' markets and road side stands. For the national office contact, Supplemental Food Programs Division, Food and Nutrition Service - USDA, 3101 Park Center Dr., Alexandria, VA 22302; 703-305-2746; http://www.fns.usda.gov/wic/SeniorFMNP/SFMNPmenu.htm --Income Eligibility Requirements: up to $17,705/yr for a single and $23,736/yr for a couple
12) Families Receive Cash, Child Care, Transportation, Health Care & Job TrainingUnder a program called Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), low-income families with children are eligible for a full range of cash and services to help them become strong and economically self-reliant. For the national office contact Administration for Children & Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 370 L'Enfant Promenade, SW, Washington, DC 20201; http://www.acf.dhhs.gov/programs/ofa/ --Income Eligibility Requirements: $9,708/yr for family of 4
13) $657 Million Available in Uncollected Child SupportThe government has been very successful at collecting child support money from deadbeat spouses' tax returns and other sources, but families are not getting this money. The government is sitting on it waiting for custodial parents to call. The government likes this money because it generates over $50 million in interest and income. For the national office contact Office of Child Support Enforcement, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, DC 20447; 202-401-9383; www.acf.dhhs.gov/programs/cse/ --Income Eligibility Requirements: None
14) $1,200/Month in Day Care Money While You Look for WorkThe Child Care and Development Block Grant gives money to states to help families meet their child care needs. Parents may choose from a variety of child care providers, including center-based, family child care and in-home care, care provided by relatives, and even sectarian child care providers. For the National Office contact National Child Care Information Center, 243 Church Street, NW, Vienna, VA 22180; 800-616-2242; http://nccic.org.--Income Eligibility Requirements: up to$37,080 for a family of 4
15) $2,500 to Pay Your Insulation BillsAs many as 20-30 million people are eligible to receive storm windows, insulation, and even weather-stripping that can help reduce their heating and cooling bills through the U.S. Department of Energy's Weatherization Assistance program. Preference is given to persons over 60, those with disabilities and families with children. You must apply through your state weatherization agency. States allocate dollars to non-profit agencies for purchasing and installing energy-related repairs, with an energy audit being the first step to determine what is necessary. The average grant is $2,500. For the national office contact Weatherization Assistance Programs Branch, EE44, U.S. Department of Energy, 1000 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20585; 800-DIAL-DOE; http://www.eere.energy.gov/weatherization/ --Income Eligibility Requirements: up to $28,418 for a family of 4
16) $2,800 to Pay Your Heating BillEven if you are not approved for the U.S. Department of Energy's Weatherization Assistance Program, you might still be eligible for short-term assistance on your utility bill from the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). Funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, LIHEAP offers heating and cooling subsidies and energy crisis intervention to assist in weather-related or fuel supply shortages and household energy-related emergencies, such as utility shutoffs. For the national office contact Office of Community Services, Division of Energy Assistance, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 370 L'Enfant Promenade, SW, 5th Floor West, Washington, DC 20447; 202-401-9351; toll-free 866-674-6327; www.acf.dhhs.gov/programs/liheap --Income Eligibility Requirements: up to $28,418 for a family of 4
17) $27,500 in Grants and Loans to Fix-Up Your HomeThat is the amount of money you can get to repair your rural home through the Section 504 Rural Housing Repair and Loan program. These low-interest long-term loans (up to $20,000) and grants (up to $7,500) help low-income homeowners in rural areas to repair, improve, or modernize their dwellings or to remove health and safety hazards. This includes repairs or replacement of heating, plumbing or electrical services, roof or basic structure as well as water and waste disposal systems, and weatherization. Grant funds are only available to homeowners aged 62 or older who cannot repay a Section 504 Loan. For the national office contact Single-Family Housing Processing Division, Rural Housing Service, Department of Agriculture, Washington, DC 20250; 202-720-1474; http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/rhs/common/program_info.htm#SFH --Income Eligibility Requirements: up to 50% of median family income
18) $3,000 for Your Boss to Train YouMost every state has grant money to train their workers. Many big businesses take advantage of this money, but most small businesses have no idea it's there. Workers don't realize that they can tell their bosses or prospective employers about this program so they can get the job they want or the raise they deserve. To contact the national office or to find your local one-stop career centers in your area, contact: Employment and Training Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, Room N-5426, 200 Constitution Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20210; 202-693-3580; One-Stop Career Center Locator at http://www.servicelocator.org/ ---Income Eligibility Requirements: None
19) Free Dental Care for KidsMany dentists will provide free dental care, according to an American Dental Association survey that states, "75% of its members provide charitable care." You can find free dental services offered in your state at www.prnewswire.com/mnr/ada/10357; just click on your state or contact: American Dental Association, 211 East Chicago Ave., Chicago, IL 60611-2678; 312-440-2500; www.ada.org--Income Eligibility Requirements: Determined on a case by case basis
20) Free Health Care When You Have No Insurance CoverageHealthcare centers around the country offer everything from mental health to dental services. Contact: Health Resources and Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; http://www.ask.hrsa.gov/pc/. --Income Eligibility Requirements: Each facility has different requirements, normally on a sliding scale.
21) 3.5 Million Families Can Get a Check for up to $4,300That's how many people are eligible for this but don't apply. It's called a tax credit, but it is really a grant. It is extra money the IRS will give you that's better than a refund because they will give it to you even if you don't pay any taxes. You just have to have some income, and the less income you have the bigger the check you get. You can make up to $35,458 and still be eligible. Get the free publication called IRS Publication 596, Earned Income Tax Credit by calling 1-800-829-3676 or go to www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p596.pdf. Free tax services are available for incomes up to $35,000 from a service called Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA). To find your local VITA program contact your local public library or your Congressman's office at www.congress.org. You can also try the IRS hotline at 1-800-TAX-1040; or see www.irs.gov/individuals/article/0,,id=119845,00.html .--Income Eligibility Requirement: up to $35,000 per taxpayer
22) Save $120 on Your Phone BillUnder the Federal Communication Commission's Link-Up American and Lifeline programs, low-income households seeking telephone service are given a 50% discount on local connection charges, and may be able to pay installment payments on the remaining charges. You may also receive discounts up to $10 per month on the phone line charges. For more information contact your local phone company or check out the Federal Communications Commission at http://www.lifeline.gov/
Remember when you are looking for help for your business you cannot just contact one office and say "Hey, this sounds good" and then go ahead and follow their process for help. For the business sources above, contact every office before you jump on one. Be sure to contact every office available and then determine which the best one to contact is first. You are also fighting the clock, so be sure you use your time efficiently and not waste your time with a free service when there is a better one nearby that can make you succeed faster.
For accessing all the programs, remember it will take a bunch of time and energy. Prepare yourself for what is in front of you so you don't get anxious about it if results don't appear instantly. There is a whole lot of stuff presented here that are good possibilities for you. But now what you have to do is clear away some time. You now have to start contacting these offices yourself. Find a good phone where you can sit and read magazines or watch TV while you are on hold getting switched around in the government.
There is no magic to finding the help you need to succeed, it just takes work. So start enjoying the process, because if your current idea does not work for some reason you will now have the skills to development any new idea you have for yourself or for a member of your family.
All my best. And I hope you show the world what you are truly made of.
Matthew LeskoPresidentInformation USA, Inc.www.lesko.com