Friday, July 24, 2009

8(a) Business Development Program

For contracting purposes, the federal government recognizes companies as minority-owned only if they have one of the following certifications:

8(a) Business Development Program

What are the basic requirements a concern must meet for the 8(a) BD program?

· Generally, a concern meets the basic requirements for admission to the 8(a) BD program if it is a small business which is unconditionally owned and controlled by one or more socially and economically disadvantaged individuals who are of good character and citizens of the United States, and which demonstrates potential for success.

What is socially disadvantaged?

· Members of designated groups. (1) There is a reputable presumption that the following individuals are socially disadvantage: Black Americans; Hispanic Americans; Native Americans (American Indians, Eskimos, Aleuts, or Native Hawaiians); Asian Pacific Americans (persons with origins from Burma, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Brunei, Japan, China (including Hong Kong), Taiwan, Laos, Cambodia (Kampuchea), Vietnam, Korea, The Philippines, U.S. Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands (Republic of Palau), Republic of the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana islands, Guam, Samoa, Macao, Fiji, Tonga, Kiribati, Tuvalu, or Nauru); Subcontinent Asian Americans (persons with origins from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, the Maldives Islands or Nepal); and members of other groups designated from time to time by SBA according to procedures set forth at paragraph (d) of this section. Being born in a country does not, by itself, suffice to make the birth country and individual’s country of origin for purposes of being included within a designated group.

What is economically disadvantaged?

· Net worth. For initial 8(a) BD eligibility, the net worth of an individual claiming disadvantage must be less than $250,000. For continued 8(a) BD eligibility after admission to the program, net worth must be less than $750,000. In determining such net worth, SBA will exclude the ownership interest in the applicant or participant and the equity in the primary personal residence (except any portion of such equity which is attributable to excessive withdrawals from the applicant or participant). Exclusions for net worth purposes are not exclusions for asset valuation or access to capital and credit purposes.

Small Disadvantaged Business (SDB)

What are the basic requirements a concern must meet for the SDB program?

· Qualifications for the program are similar to those for the 8(a) Business Development Program. A small business must be at least 51% owned and controlled by a socially and economically disadvantaged individual or individuals.

· African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian Pacific Americans, Subcontinent Asian Americans, and Native Americans are presumed to quality. Other individuals can qualify if they show by a “preponderance of the evidence” that they are disadvantaged.

· All individuals must have a net worth of less than $750,000, excluding the equity of the business and primary residence. Successful applicants must also meet applicable size standards for small businesses in their industry.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Michigan State Energy Program Announces Renewable Energy Manufacturing RFP

Michigan State Energy Program Announces Renewable Energy Manufacturing RFP

GRANT DESCRIPTION: A total of $15,000,000.00 in funding is available through the State Energy Program Michigan to assist small manufacturing companies currently located in Michigan to diversify into high-growth clean energy sectors and invest in advanced manufacturing of renewable energy systems and components (i.e. wind turbine systems, solar technology, bio-energy equipment, geothermal heating and cooling systems). Request for funding will be accepted from July 16, 2009–August 14, 2009.

Full Proposal:

Proposal Announcement:

DOE Announces Nearly $14 Million to go to 28 New Wind Energy Projects

U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu today announced the selection of 28 new wind energy projects for up to $13.8 million in funding—including $12.8 million in Recovery Act funds.

These projects will help address market and deployment challenges including wind turbine research and testing and transmission analysis, planning, and assessments. Along with the new awards, Secretary Chu announced the release of DOE's 2008 Wind Technologies Market Report, detailing $16 billion in investment in wind projects made in the U.S. in 2008—making the United States the leader in annual wind energy capacity growth, as well as cumulative wind energy capacity.

Federal Policy Updates:
Manufacturing Tax Credit:

We have word from John Parcell (Office of Tax Policy, U.S. Treasury) that the guidance for the manufacturing tax credit from ARRA is being worked on now and will be released in August as required by statute (though it was unclear they would meet this goal). When language is released I will send an update with more information on this tax credit.


A legislative update about the manufacturing loan program that I recently sent you information about. The proposal, which will establish a revolving loan program for renewable technology manufacturers, was included in the final version of the ACES bill that passed the House on June 26 under the name IMPACT. We believe it has a good chance of being included in the Senate language when ACES is taken up in the fall by the Senate. I am attaching my original summary here, please let me know if you have any additional thoughts on this provision. Thanks to those of you who provided feedback.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Taking Care of Business Series:Workshops for Small Businesses

Bill Harmer, of the Chelsea District Library, is on a mission to change the way the community thinks about its libraries. With this he has partnered with local community organizations to develop a new level of entrepreneurial assistance including free courses and one-on-one business consulting. Participating in the courses are the Michigan Small Business & Technology Development Center (MI-SBTDC), Washtneaw Community College, MSU Product Center, Great Lakes Entrepreneur Quest (GLEQ), Chelsea State Bank, SCORE, and the Food System Economic Partnership (FSEP).

Starting a Small Business: An Orientation Session for Perspective Entrepreneurs

September 21st, 2009 6:30pm; Registration
Presented by MI-SBTDC Senior Business Consultant

Do you dream of starting a business but don't know where to begin? This session gives you the information you will need to start building a successful business strategy. Topics include sources of assistance, market research, financing, business partners, taxes, record keeping, and more.

Writing a Business Plan as if your Business Depended on it

October 5th, 2009 6:30pm; Registration
Presented by MSU Product Center Innovation Counselor

It may seem silly to ask yourself, "What business am I really in?", but some businesses no longer exist because they never answered that question. The business planning process is a powerful tool to help you anticipate the opportunities and challenges you will face, before you face them. A business plan precisely defines your business, identifies your goals, and serves as your firm's resume. Learn the essential components of a business plan and how to approach gathering the information you will need.

Finance: What many small businesses don’t know will surprise you!

October 19th, 2009 6:30pm; Registration
Presented by Chelsea State Bank Commercial Lending Services

Many entrepreneurs’ wait until they need money to start building a relationship with their bank. This session will help entrepreneur’s understand the value of having a good relationship with their commercial banker. Topics will include understanding the risks associated with common financial mistakes, preparing for going to the bank for money, and how to participate in the SBA financing programs.

Food, Farming & Business

November 26:30pm; Registration
Presented by Jane Bush

Agriculture is the largest growth sector in the Michigan economy today. The Food System Economic Partnership (FSEP) is taking a lead in SE Michigan to help farmers and those interested in value added agricultural products thrive in this challenging economy. Jane Bush, FSEP Business Counselor and successful farmer, will share what’s going right in Michigan. Learn from what others are doing, how they are succeeding, and where opportunities exist for new businesses.

Marketing Your Small Business

November 16 6:30pm; Registration
Presented by Terry MacEwen

In this session you will learn about the strategic background of marketing. You will be introduced to tactics that every small business should know and understand how to implement these tactics in your business. Terry MacEwen is a seasoned business adviser who provides entrepreneurs with awareness, education, and accountability to grow their businesses, improve their profits and free their time.

Grow Your Business:Free Counseling & Research Services

September 17, October 15, November 19th, 2009 10am-5pm; Registration

Along with our partners at the Small Business & Technology Development Center, Washtenaw Community College, Food System Economic Partnership, and Chelsea Chamber of Commerce, we will provide one-on-one meetings with experienced consultants to assist start-up and existing business owners with finance, writing a business plan, business legal issues, marketing, sales strategies, and a full range of information services to assist entrepreneurs in defining their path to success. This new service is designed for current and future small business owners to access information needed for the successful launch and operation of a small business. Call the library at 734-475-8732, x. 219 to register for a free, one-hour counseling session.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

SBA 504 Loan Program Debt Refinancing

The details for SBA 504 limited refinancing are here! This is a permanent change to the SBA 504 Loan Program. Below are some highlights of the new legislation. For more information, please contact your local MCDC rep.

Eligibility highlights:

  1. The 504 Project must include expansion of a small business. Expansion includes the acquisition, construction or improvement of land, building or equipment for use by the small business.

  2. The existing indebtedness to be refinanced may not exceed 50% of the new Project Costs. Example: a $500,000 expansion would allow up to $250,000 to be refinanced. This would make the total loan eligible for 504 financing $750,000; typically at a 50/40/10 split (50% bank/40% SBA/10% borrower).

The existing debt to be refinanced under the 504 must meet the following criteria:

  • It must be for 504 eligible assets such as a building or equipment.

  • The financing will provide "substantial benefit" to the borrower such as improving the borrower's payment by 10%.

  • The borrower must have been current on all payments for the past year.

  • The refinancing must provide better terms or rate of interest than the existing debt.

As mentioned, this post only touches on the highlights of the refinancing program. Please contact MCDC with specific project questions.

The MCDC is committed to growing the economic base in Michigan. 100% of our staff is located in our great state, which means our loan officers are close by to assist you and all of our loans are approved and serviced locally here in Michigan.