Whether you are looking to start a green business from scratch, or turn your existing business green, the government has lots of financing options available for Green Businesses.
The Small Business Administration’s (SBA’s) 504 Loan Program offers up to $4 million in financing to small businesses for new construction or retrofit projects with energy savings technologies or that contribute to the production of renewable energy. There is also $2 million in financing for small businesses that incorporate sustainable design into their projects according to LEED standards and the Green Building Certificate Institute.
The SBAExpress is a 50% guarantee of loans up to $350,000 to help small businesses adopt green practices. These loans have a quick turnaround period and maximum interest rates in place.
If your business is involved in any sort of innovative research in the fields of energy or agriculture, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy offer grants to encourage the development of new technology.
A great resource for green building funding can be found on the EPA’s website. It lists funding resources by general, national, state, and local funding opportunities. http://www.epa.gov/greenbuilding/tools/funding.htm
Millions of dollars in stimulus funding are available on state-, city-, or county-wide levels to promote green businesses. Check out www.recovery.gov or your state’s economic recovery page for more information.
There are numerous options for government financing of your green business. It just takes a little searching to find the right ones for you. Don’t forget to check local funding options in addition to those available by state and federal agencies. Additionally, if you are trying to start a business in a rural area, are a minority owner, or a female(?), there are funding options specifically targeting these groups. Here are some links to help you get started.
The U.S. Department of Energy: http://www1.eere.energy.gov/financing/types_assistance.html
The Official Business link to the U.S. Government:
A tool to help you to search more loans and grants:
The Department of Energy’s Stimulus Funding Breakdown by state: