State Government and Private Resources to Help Your Business Go Green
Financial state government resources and private resources for greening a small business are available but are not abundant and therefore, can be difficult to obtain.
While state government resources for financial assistance are available to small businesses that want to go green, they are fairly limited. Private financial aid is also available, but limited as well, particularly for small businesses.
State Government Green Resources
States offer low interest loans, grants, and other subsidies to small businesses to help them become more energy-efficient. In many cases, however, when you start exploring what might be available, you'll find that the benefits are targeted to those who develop the green technologies as often as to those who implement them. It's still worth looking around if you need financial assistance to adopt energy-efficient technologies.
A good source for finding green resources at the state level is Business.gov, a website managed by the Small Business Administration in conjunction with 21 other federal agencies. Its purpose, it says, is to provide a single access point for government resources. For environmental resources at the state level, see Business.gov's coverage of state and local energy-efficiency resources. Because some states offer tax and other incentives to those who adopt energy-efficient technologies, it might be worth your time to explore what your state offers.
Many states also offer free technical assistance, with ENERGY STAR and other energy-efficiency programs. For more on what might be available in your state, take a look at a website maintained by the National Association of State Energy Officials.
Energy audits. If you're interested in larger scale energy-efficiency projects involving your small business, one good place to start might be with an energy audit. An energy audit is an analysis of your current energy efficiencies by an expert in the area, who would make recommendations on how you might improve your efficiency.
Energy audits can be expensive. But, if you're considering an energy audit, your state is a good place to turn. Many offer reduced rate audits or, in some cases, free audits. To find out what your state might offer, go to ENERGY STAR's energy efficiency program listing.
Private Resources Available for Going Green
The term "private resources" generally refers to private-sector financial assistance for those small businesses that want to go green. Those looking for loans or other financial assistance would typically be interested in larger scale projects involving upgrades to your business or new equipment.
That being said, if you intend to make a green investment in your home or business, and you're interested in exploring what private resources might be available, there are some options. Generally speaking, the options for small business financing of green projects are the same as those available for small business financing of any project. In other words, there aren't many green-specific financing programs.
Some do exist, however. For example, EnviroTech Financial, a California-based company that operates in every state but Illinois, offers financing for energy-efficient improvements, as well as environmental consulting services. Malcolm Pirnie, a New York-based company operating in every state as well as in Guam and Puerto Rico, offers similar financing and consulting services. And there are others as well.
To learn more about what options are available, go to ENERGY STAR's small business resource page.
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