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San Antonio is growing and flourishing, as are its small and startup businesses. The Alamo City is a top U.S. market to watch, and employees are happy to work and live here. City officials want to keep it that way and have strengthened programs aiming to help small and startup business owners thrive locally. Here are a few that hit our radar recently:

Digital Presence Program: The latest Economic Development initiative offers digital support to small businesses. The partnership between the City of San Antonio and Herospace matches qualified small business owners with digital marketing experts who will help them improve their online presence. To be considered, businesses must be based in San Antonio and meet size guidelines. Those with the most significant need or located in specific construction project areas will be considered first. Learn more here.

Small Business Loan Expansion: The City of San Antonio, in partnership with LiftFund, is relaunching and expanding its Zero Percent Interest Loan Program to fuel small business growth. The program was created to address the ongoing challenge of capital access for small businesses and catalyze sustainable growth. “The program is designed with versatility in mind, offering San Antonio’s small businesses, or those planning to set roots in the city, anywhere from $500 to $100,000 in interest-free loans, which can be used to support a variety of business needs from expansion and startup costs to staffing and daily operations,” city officials explain. “To ensure a broad impact, program eligibility focuses on businesses yet to benefit from this program in the past two years and those unable to secure conventional financing.” Learn more here.

Second Stage Company Grant: City officials are currently accepting applications for grants awarded to second-stage companies to help them mitigate challenges, including managing and growing staff or entering new markets. Applicants may be eligible for up to $50,000 per company based upon individual considerations. These businesses must be for-profit and privately owned, have $1 million to $50 million in revenue, employ 10-99 people, and must be export-oriented (provide products or services beyond the local area). Other restrictions apply. There are similar grant programs for Phase 0 and Phase 1 eligible businesses, although those grants are reserved as matching grants for federal Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR / STTR) recipients and future applicants. Recent awardees include StemBioSys, SygnaMap, Blocmount Corp, Irys Technologies, GaitIQ, MedCognition, Leaptran, EmergenceMed, and Astroport Space Technologies.

Additional Grants and Incentives: Dozens of local, state, and federal incentive programs and grants are available to help small and startup businesses launch and grow. These include tax abatements, economic development grants and investment funds, skills development funds, credits for developing in empowerment or foreign trade zones and more. For instance, if your business centers around logistics and distribution, including dealing with goods-in-transit or inventories used in the manufacturing process, the Freeport Exemption on property taxes may be applicable. There are several construction resources as well as facade improvement and outdoor space grants.

If you’re a new or small business owner, don’t overlook a little help from your hometown to get started or to grow. We’re all in this together. Feel free to contact us with questions about utilizing tax incentives and similar tools.

Photo from 123rf.com

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