The Realities of Money For Minority Business |

With the many programs for the disadvantaged, that perception of assistance gets transferred to the business arena. Indeed, there is assistance for minorities in business and to assist them to start a business. But the emphasis needs to be on assistance and not an expectation of something for nothing. The biggest fallacy is the idea of free or easy money.The first idea of easy money is that the United States federal government has minority preference programs. Though close, federal programs like the SBA 8(a) and SBA HUBZone are not actually minority programs. These programs assist, officially, small and disadvantaged businesses (SDB). Now, it is true that minority businesses will most likely have an easier time getting into these programs. It is also true that these programs are dominated by minority business, but it is not exclusive to them. However, the biggest reality to understand that even with these programs, there is no easy money. Eighty-five percent of minority business with the federal government is done by fifteen percent of the eligible businesses.Another fallacy is that there is free money for minority businesses to get started. Sadly, this is a perception that gets perpetrated by late night infomercials trying to get money from those who want to believe there is easy money. True, the government has grants for businesses but they are less free money than they are contracts. For the money, these government grants demand certain things get done. The only reason these are called grants and not contracts is so that not-for-profits, universities, municipalities, etc. can also apply for the funds. But when the government gives a grant, it has very strict requirements that must be followed. Not money to do whatever one wishes. Failing to comply with the requirements of a grant can mean jail time.There are loans for minority businesses that can be used for a business startup. However, those that are strictly minority based are few and far in-between. It is better to think of minority loans much like one would think about minority set-aside programs. These loans are not strictly for minorities but they can get assistance. The Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) has a number of business development centers distributed throughout the country. These MBDA centers can assist in getting a loan but do not do lending themselves. They have connections in their area to get loans for their clients.Minority owned businesses can get a lot of assistance to make sure they are successful. However, like anything worth having it will take work. The minority assistance one hears about can make it easier, but not easy.