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Business and Financial Resources

Whether you're looking for money to start a small business, trying to get a grant, looking for unclaimed assets, or just doing your taxes, you'll find help here.
  1. Federal Benefit Programs (53)
  2. Federal Budget Process (32)
  3. Income Tax and the IRS (61)
  4. Small Business (72)
  5. US Government Grants (5)

2014 Federal Budget Bill’s Winners and Losers

IRS Still Needs to Improve Taxpayer Support, GAO Says
The performance of the IRS in responding to taxpayer questions grows worse, finds the GAO.

Truth About Government Small Business Grants
Factual information about federal and state government grants for small businesses and how to find them.

SBA Levels the Playing Field for Women-Owned Businesses
Explains how the SBA is helping women-owned small businesses get their legally required share of federal government contracts.

Treasury Hunt
The U.S. Treasury provides a web site where individuals can search for and claim forgotten money.

How Much U.S. Debt Does China Really Own?
Find out how much U.S. debt China really owns. See what other foreign governments hold in American government-backed securities and investments. Read about criticism of the debt and who owns it.

5 Presidents Who Raised the Debt Ceiling
Learn about the debt ceiling under U.S. presidents. Find out who raised the debt ceiling the most. Discover what the borrowing cap is now and what it was under recent commanders in chief.

Can the President Raise the Debt Ceiling Without Congress?
Find out whether the president can raise the debt ceiling without Congress. Learn about the history of cooperation between presidents and Congress in raising the statutory limit on government borrowing. Read a history of the debt limit and presidents who have raised it. Discover what the constitution says about the controversial issue.

Understanding the Ethanol Subsidy
Find out how the primary federal ethanol subsidy works. Read about the controversy surrounding the program. Discover the history of tax incentives for creating the biofuel. Learn who benefits from the tax breaks and how much it costs American taxpayers.

Has the U.S. Ever Defaulted on the National Debt?
Find out whether the United States ever defaulted on its national debt obligations. Read about debt defaults and restructuring through history. Learn about what it means when a government defaults.

Tax Cheats Got Recovery Act Money, GAO Reports
In an investigation of 63,000 government contractors and grantees who got over $24 billion in stimulus Recovery Act money, the GAO found 3,700 (5.9%) who owe the government a combined $757 million in delinquent taxes.

Wage Calculator App Offered by Government
Learn about the wage calculator app from the U.S. Department of Labor. Discover why the government created the wage calculator app and how the wage calculator can help American workers. Find out how the wage calculator app can help workers involved in labor disputes. See how to download and use the wage calculator app.

End of Paper Savings Bonds
Find out when paper savings bonds will no longer be available in the United States. Discover how to purchase bonds after they are no longer available at banks and credit unions. See why the fed stopped selling the popular investments over the counter.

Highest Paying Postal Jobs
Find out how much top postal jobs pay. Read descriptions of postal jobs that pay well. See who currently holds the postal jobs at the top of the U.S. Postal Service. Learn about those who hold the top postal jobs.

Our Expensive Federal Courthouses
Read about the cost of building federal courthouses. See why taxpayers were overcharged for construction of federal courthouses. Discover how much unnecessary space was built into federal courthouses. Find out how to reduce spending on federal courthouses.

Federal Courthouses - 7 Overpriced Federal Courthouses
The construction of federal courthouses between 2000 and 2010 cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars in unnecessary spending because the building were designed too large, according to the Government Accountability Office . See more: Our Expensive Federal Courthouses Here are seven examples of federal courthouses being overbuilt...

The Federal Reserve System
Why Congress created the U.S. Federal Reserve System and how it regulates the nation's banking industry.

The State Small Business Credit Initiative
The State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) – a component of the Small Business Jobs Act – will strive to generate at least $15 billion in locally-available small business loan programs intended to help small business grow and create new jobs. Learn more about the State Small Business Credit Initiative.

The Federal Minimum Wage
What is the current U.S. federal minimum wage? The answer to that question can be trickier than you might think. Learn more about the federal minimum wage.

How Unemployment Extensions Benefit the Economy
Find out how unemployment extensions benefit the economy. See how unemployment extensions compare to other methods of boosting the U.S. economy. Learn about the impact of modern unemployment extensions and their impact on the national debt.

Lifetime Earnings Soar with Education
A college master's degree is worth $1.3 million more in lifetime earnings than a high school diploma, according to a recent report from the Commerce Department's Census Bureau.

Small Business Health Care Tax Credit
The health care reform law included a Small Business Health Care Tax Credit to help small businesses afford the cost of required employee health insurance coverage.

US Labor Union Membership Declined in 2010
United States labor unions lost approximately 612,000 wage and salary members during 2010, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), but median weekly wages earned by union members continued to exceed wages for non-union members by $200.

Obama's Plan to Encourage Small Business Lending
In February 2010, President Obama proposed his administration's plan for making small business loans easier to get, thus allowing small businesses to open, expand and, perhaps most importantly, create new jobs.

Small Business Grants and Resources -- Iowa
Small Business Grants and Resources in Iowa

Government Resources for Women-owned Businesses
The number of women owned businesses in the U.S. has been increasing rapidly over the last 20 years. Here you will find information on US government programs that help women entrepreneurs start, grow and expand their businesses.

Finding Government Contracting Opportunities
Once you are trained, registered and certified as a government contractor, you can start looking for opportunities to do business with the federal government.

Government Contracting Training
Jumping into government contracting without some training rarely pays off. Here you’ll find free and low-cost training resources to help small businesses bid on federal government contracts.

How to Register as a Government Contractor
Before you can bid on or be awarded government contracts, you or your business must be registered as government contractor.

Government Contracting Employment Laws
Employment and labor regulations that apply to existing federal contractors.

Government Contracting - Government Acquisition Regulations
Federal Acquisition Regulations the FAR, the rules, regulations and standards that govern the federal government’s purchasing and contracting process.

Government Contracting – Green Purchasing
Learn about opportunities to sell environmentally sound, green products and services to the federal government.

Federal Government Contracting
Government Contracting – Resources for Government Contracting

Does Your Small Business Need a Federal Business License?
If your business or proposed business is involved in activities that are supervised and regulated by a federal agency, you may need a federal business license or permit.

The SBA Small Business Microloan Program
For small businesses needing small loans, the popular SBA Microloan program offers loans of up to $35,000 at interest rates averaging from 8- to 13-percent.

Out of Work, but Not Unemployed?
If you’re out of work, you’re unemployed, right? You should be counted among the 14.9 million Americans reported to be unemployed in August by the Department of Labor, right? Well, maybe not, according to how the Labor Department really defines “unemployed.”

US Government Ready to Hire Over 270,000 Workers
The U.S. federal government will need to hire more than 270,000 employees for “mission-critical” jobs by the end of September 2012, according to a newly released government-wide survey.

Cash for Appliances Rebate Program
The federal cash for appliances program will offer rebates on purchases of a wide array of home appliances certified as energy-efficient by the EPA’s Energy Star program.

The Pain and Passion of Starting a Small Business
Especially in this economy, why would anybody try to start their own small business? According to this Northern California family who did just that, it’s a matter of “Pain and Passion.”

Find and Claim Unclaimed Money
Information for finding and recovering unclaimed property held by state governments.

Federal Government Grants: No Free Lunch
Federal government grants are not a free lunch. Learn the truth about federal government grants.

Advice and Observations from a Small Business Owner
The owners of a California small business offer hard-learned, first-hand advice on financing, starting and running a small business.

Cap and Trade -- Centerpiece of the 2009 Climate-change and Energy Bill
Cap and trade is the mechanism included in the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 to enable the U.S. to meet the bill’s required 80 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. How would cap and trade work and how much could it cost you?

State Unclaimed Property Search and Recovery Resources
State resources for finding and recovering unclaimed money and other property.

Reader Tips and Experiences with SBA Small Business Loans
SBA loan experiences and tips from readers

Reader Experiences and Advice on Running a Small Business
Reader tips, advice and experiences in owning a small business

Foreclosure Scams: What to Watch For
Foreclosure scams based on promises to “rescue” distressed homeowners from unmanageable debt and foreclosure are spreading and the U.S. Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS) has offered sound advice on how to recognize and avoid foreclosure scams.

“Ponzi” Schemes
Description and history of "Ponzi" illegal investment schemes.

The Economic Stimulus Bill -- How it Could Affect You
How the 2009 economic stimulus bill -- The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act -- could affect American families and individuals.

Economic Stimulus -- Advancing Science and Technology
Scientific and technological advancements funded by the 2009 economic stimulus bill – the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

Economic Stimulus – Improving Education
Provisions for improving education, preventing teacher layoffs and making college more affordable in the 2009 economic stimulus bill -- the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Economic Stimulus – Insuring Unemployed Workers
Provisions for reducing health care costs in the 2009 economic stimulus bill -- the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Economic Stimulus – Fixing the US Infrastructure
Provisions for fixing the US infrastructure and creating jobs in the 2009 economic stimulus bill -- American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Economic Stimulus – For Workers Hurt by the Recession
Help for U.S. workers laid off or impacted by the recession provided by the 2009 economic stimulus bill – the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Money for a Small Business
The U.S. government does not currently provide grants for starting or expanding a small business. However, the government does offer plenty of free help in planning how to start or improve your business and in securing low-interest SBA-backed small business loans. In addition, many states DO offer small business grants to individuals.

Economic Stimulus – For Seniors, Disabled Veterans, SSI Recipients
Help provided for SSI recipients, seniors and disabled veterans by the 2009 economic stimulus bill – the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

Economic Stimulus – Tax Cuts
Tax cuts provided for families, individuals and businesses by the 2009 economic stimulus bill – the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Stopped Driving? It Could Cost You
By the summer of 2008, gas prices had gone sky high, so you parked your car in the garage and soon discovered you were saving some serious money. Well, don't spend your savings too soon. In the long run, you may have to pay it back, and then some.

FHA Acts to Rescue Defaulted Subprime Borrowers
The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) has announced new lending policies designed to help up to 240,000 holders of subprime home loans avoid foreclosure.

About Federal Grants, Assistance and Benefits
At any time, the U.S. government offers over 1,400 programs offering discretionary assistance or benefits. Most people call these grants, but "grants" is far too general a term. Under the general category of "domestic assistance," are 15 types of assistance available including surplus equipment, training, guaranteed loans, and even some grants.

The Federal Trade Commission
The Federal Trade Commission plays an important role in keeping American businesses honest and protecting consumers.

$133 in Unclaimed Pensions Waiting to be Claimed
On April 3, 2007, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) reported that it is holding $133 million in unclaimed pension benefits for 32,000 people owed money from terminated defined benefit pension plans. PBGC also offers a convenient way to find out if you have some pension benefits due you. Here's how.

The Expanding American Homeownership Act
In hopes of helping millions more low- and moderate-income American families become homeowners, U.S. Sen. Jim Talent (R-Missouri) has introduced the Expanding American Homeownership Act. If approved, the Act would implement sweeping modernizations of the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) designed to make it a more attractive alternative in today's home financing market.

Your Tax Dollars at Work, or Not? How to Find Out
Rather than simply paying our money and taking our chances, U.S. taxpayers now have a simple way of finding out which federal programs are working, which are not.

SBA-backed Loans Set Record Pace in Q1 2005
American small businesses set a record pace of borrowing to start and expand their companies over the first three months of the current fiscal year, securing backing from the U.S. Small Business Administration on 23 percent more loans than in the same period a year ago.

About U.S. Aid to Asian Tsunami Victims
U.S. aid to victims of the Asian tsunami disaster now totals $35 million. Where do the funds come from, why does the United States contribute relief to disaster victims around the world and how can you help the tsunami victims?

How to Comment on SBA Size Regulation Changes
The U.S. Small Business Administration is seeking comments from the general public on key issues relating to its current small business size standards, the rules used by the SBA and other federal agencies to determine whether a business is "small" enough to qualify for SBA loans.

SBA Loan Programs Get $21 Billion Boost
New legislation signed by President Bush will make more than $21 billion available to small businesses through the SBA's two main small business loan programs.

Missing a Tax Refund? Find It Online
Nearly 90,000 Americans are missing out on $73 million in federal income tax refunds they're legally owed, but an online database from the non-profit National Taxpayers Union (NTU) that is quicker and much easier to use than the IRS online version can help people find out if there is money waiting for them.

Demand for SBA Small Business Loans Soaring
Does anybody really get those SBA small business loans? As a matter of fact, the SBA approved about $50 million-a-day in 7(a) program loans during just the first 21 days of fiscal year 2005. During 2004, the SBA disbursed a record 74,825 loans for $12.5 billion in the 7(a) program.

Two Thirds Feel American Dream Harder to Achieve
Two-thirds of the American people say the American Dream is becoming harder to achieve, especially for young families, and they point to financial insecurity and poor quality public education as the most significant barriers, according to a new survey released today by the National League of Cities (NLC).

SBA Offers Online 8(a) Program Application
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has unveiled a new electronic online application that will make it easier, faster and less expensive for small companies to apply for 8(a) Business Development and Small Disadvantaged Business certification directly from SBA's Web site.

Don't Let Presidential Winner Rule Your Portfolio
Investors should not let their investment decisions be “overly swayed” by who wins, or who they think will win, the White House this November, says a columnist in the August 2004 issue of the Journal of Financial Planning, published monthly by the Financial Planning Association (FPA®).

Get An Executive Overview of the U.S. Economy
Did you ever wish you could get a quick, concise overview of the current status of the U.S. economy? If so, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) has a Website you just have to see.

Money for Small Business
No direct grants to individuals for starting a small business are currently available, but the SBA offers several low interest, flexible loans which are funded by government grants.

Small Business Grants from the States
Unlike the federal government, the states do offer almost 200 direct grant programs for starting or growing a small business. Here you will find links to the business development resources of all 50 states.

Sample Small Business Plan
There may only be one sure-thing in starting your own business, and that is that you will not get a loan without a complete business plan. No plan - no loan - no business. Here is a sample of one that works.

Small Banks Could be 'Regulated' Out of Existence
Complex new laws and regulations could spell the end of small community banks, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) Vice Chairman John M. Reich stated in testimony before the House Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit.

Bill Would Boost Minimum Wage to $7.00
The Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2004, if passed by Congress, would boost the U.S. minimum wage from $5.15 to $7 over three years and would be the first raise in the minimum wage in seven years.

How HUD Can Help You Buy a 'Fixer-Upper' Home
You want to buy a house that needs repairs -- a "fixer-upper." Unfortunately, you cannot borrow the money to buy the house, because the bank won't make the loan until the repairs are done, and the repairs cannot be done until the house has been purchased. Don't give up. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has a loan program that might just get you that house.

Low, Mid Income Students Should Get More Education Aid
An overwhelming majority of Americans believe first priority in federal higher education aid increases should be given to low and middle-income students striving for college, rather than to college graduates who have already received an education, according to survey results released by the U.S. House Committee on Education & the Workforce.

Federal Student Aid Primer
You want to go to college so you can make a lot of money but you don't have a lot of money, so you can't go to college. Congratulations! You have just met the main requirements for getting federal student aid.

About the EEOC's Retiree Health Benefit Rule
U.S. employers could reduce or eliminate health benefits for their retired employees who qualify for Medicare under a new federal rule proposed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Here are the background and facts surrounding this controversial action that could affect the health benefits of millions of American retirees.

How to File BP Oil Spill Damage Claims
The process established by BP to file claims for damages resulting from the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

No Free or Cheap Government Land
No matter what you may have heard or read, there is no such thing as free land from the government. There is no federal homesteading program and land the government does sell is sold only at market value.

Small Business Grants and Resources – Indiana
Small Business Grants and Resources in Indiana

Government Sales of Public Land
The US Bureau of Land Management (BLM) occasionally sells parcels of land under their control. The lands are generally rural woodland, grassland, or desert, and are sold only at fair market price.

5 New Tactics Being Used By Credit Card Companies to Make Mon…
Learn about hidden credit card fees not restricted by the 2009 federal consumer law. Find out which credit card fees are legal and which are illegal under the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009. Discover new credit card fees credit card issuers are using to make money that don't break the law.

How Did Bank Bailout Money Wind up Overseas?
Find out why banks bailouts went overseas. Read a critical report of how bank bailouts went overseas. Read recommendations to prevent bank bailouts from going overseas.

Cost of 2009 Economic Stimulus Package Grows
Find out how much the federal stimulus package of 2009 cost taxpayers. See how much more the stimulus package cost that original estimates. Discover what impact the federal stimulus package had on the economy one year after it was passed by Congress.

HIRE Act of 2010 Tax Credits for Businesses
The HIRE Act (Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment) of 2010, signed by President Obama in March 2010, offers two possible tax credits for...

Finding Business Loans, Grants, Incentives and Financing
Encouraging small business growth, whether through loans or incentives is a key part of the economic development plan of every state in the nation. Small business incentives offered by the states could include subsidized low-interest rates on SBA loans, tax breaks and participation in business incubator programs and here’s an easy way to find them.

How Much Did the Bank Bailout Cost?
Read an explanation of why the bank bailout of 2008 cost taxpayers only a fraction of the original price tag. See why the government expects to turn a profit from the bank bailout. Find out about the two areas where the government couldn't recoup its money from the bank bailout.

When Did the Great Recession End?
Find out when the most recent recession officially began and ended. Discover how the long the recession lasted. See how the length of the recession of the late 2000s compared with that of prior recessions. Read about what makes a recession versus what makes a recovery.

5 Outrageous Examples of Waste, Fraud and Abuse
You can't turn on the TV or open up the newspaper anymore without seeing or reading about waste, fraud and abuse in the federal government. Watchdogs have identified more than $1 billion in waste, fraud and abuse in federal spending in the first decade of the new millennium. Millions of dollars went to pay for prescription drugs,...

LIHEAP Fraud Costs Taxpayers At Least $116 Million
Read about how fraudsters are taking advantage of the LIHEAP program. See how much LIHEAP fraud costs American taxpayers. Find out more about the LIHEAP program and who it is supposed to benefit.

Sales Taxes by State
See a list of how much states charge in sales taxes. Find out which state charges the highest sales taxes. Discover which states don't levy any sales taxes at all. Compare sales taxes by state.

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