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Congressman Mark DeSaulnier

Representing the 11th District of California

Business Assistance and Grants

Ways We Can Help

1. Connect you with information and assistance related to small businesses and business ownership
2. Provide access to resources and information regarding consumer protection
3. Connect business owners and prospective business owners to opportunities for federal and state grant programs
4. Aid businesses with access to funding sources

Small Business Assistance and Information

U.S. Small Business Administration

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) helps Americans start, build and grow businesses. Through an extensive network of field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations, SBA delivers its services to people throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, the U. S. Virgin Islands and Guam. The SBA strives to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small business concerns, to preserve free competitive enterprise and to maintain and strengthen the overall economy of our nation. The SBA offers services including:

  • Resources for starting and managing your business;
  • Loans and grants;
  • Technical assistance;
  • Contracting; and
  • Programs for women, minorities, and veterans.

Contra Costa Small Business Development Center

The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) conducts research, counsels, and trains business people in a wide variety of business topics and provides comprehensive information services and access to experts in many fields. Consulting is provided free of charge to all small business owners. Each SBDC encourages unique local efforts, region to region, state to state, and community to community, to meet small business needs in its area. The SBDC provides services including:

  • Resources for starting your business;
  • Management advising;
  • Online training; and
  • Small business connection events.

Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz)

The Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) is California’s single point of contact for economic development and job creation efforts. GO-Biz offers a range of services to business owners including:

  • Small business assistance;
  • Permit streamlining;
  • Business development;
  • International affairs and trade development; and
  • Innovation and entrepreneurship development.

Office of Small Business and Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise Services (OSDS)

The Office of Small Business and Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise Services (OSDS) is part of California’s Department of General Services. The OSDS assists Small and Disabled Veteran businesses by participating in outreach events, providing resource guidance and supporting the businesses through advocacy. The OSDS provides information regarding:

  • Starting your business;
  • Certification programs;
  • Locating business suppliers; and
  • Filing complaints.

Additional Business Resources

Consumer Protection

Consumers are often a target of fraudulent and deceptive practices. Constituents can learn how to protect themselves by viewing information that helps them spot, stop, and avoid them.

  • Identity Theft
    • Constituents should be vigilant to protect themselves and their communities from the dangers caused by identity thieves. If you become a victim of ID theft, please contact our offices for personal assistance or visit the Federal Trade Commission identity theft website for advice on how to secure your personal data as well as what to do if your identity is stolen.
    • OnGuardOnline.gov provides practical tips from the federal government and the technology industry to help you be on guard against Internet fraud, secure your computer, and protect your personal information. You can also view videos and play games to learn how to avoid becoming a victim of phishing, spam, spyware and other online scams. In addition, learn about spam e-mail.
  • Credit and Loans —Visit the Federal Trade Commissions' website to learn more about credit and loan information and how prescreening works and what happens when you opt out.
  • Scams — Stay a step ahead with the latest information and practical tips about scams from the nation’s consumer protection agency. Browse FTC scam alerts by topic or by most recent alert.
  • Mail Fraud and Cross-Border Fraud — Phony job opportunities, postal job scams, bogus work-at-home schemes, and fake charities are among the many types of mail fraud schemes used to prey on consumers. Cross-border fraud is a serious problem that has resulted in consumers in the U.S. and other countries to lose billions of dollars each year.
  • Information Security — Take the necessary steps to safeguard sensitive data in your files and on your computers so it does not fall into the wrong hands.
  • Investments — Get the facts from the FTC's investments page on how to invest wisely and avoid fraud. Be wary of swindlers and scam artists and review the SEC's Investor Alerts and Bulletins.
  • “Do Not Call” Registry — The National Do Not Call Registry gives you a choice about whether to receive telemarketing calls at home.
  • Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) — Passed by Congress in October 1998, requires the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to issue and enforce rules concerning children's online privacy. Learn more about keeping your kids safe online. Learn more about how to make sure your business is COPPA compliant.
  • Eligibility requirements for government funding opportunities
  • Registering yourself or a business, nonprofit, etc.; and
  • Apply for grants.

Grant Services

Federal Grants and Contracts

Grants.gov is where grant seekers can find and apply for discretionary funding opportunities posted by federal agencies. This website makes the grant application process faster and easier. Grants.gov provides services for individuals as well as businesses, nonprofits, including:

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) provides a full listing of all federal programs available to state and local governments; federally-recognized Indian tribal governments; Territories (and possessions) of the United States; domestic public, quasi- public, and private profit and nonprofit organizations and institutions; specialized groups; and individuals.

State Single Points of Contact

Some states require federal grants applicants to submit a copy of their application for state government level review and comment. The state offices listed here coordinate federal financial assistance and may direct federal development. For help in identifying state-level grants, other state government agencies websites may be found at: State and Local Agencies.

Am I eligible for a grant?

To check your eligibility to receive a grant, follow the steps at Applicant Eligibility at Grants.gov.

How do I register?

For grants on behalf of a business, nonprofit, etc, follow the steps to Register as an Organization at Grants.gov.

If you are looking for grants on behalf of an individual, follow the steps to Register as an Individual at Grants.gov.

Where can I find grant writing tips?

Grant writing tips can be found at the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance’s (CFDA) Developing and Writing Grant Proposals.

Related Federal Resources

A-Z index of U.S. Departments and Agencies (General Services Administration)

To better develop a grant proposal, search a department or agency’s Home Page to learn more about its programs and objectives. The site USA.gov also links to Government Benefits, Grants and Financial Aid.

USA.gov for Business (GSA)

Includes contracting with the U.S. government, international trade and exporting, and small business. See also financial assistance links at the Small Business Administration website.

FTC Consumer Alert (Federal Trade Commission)

The FTC warns consumers to beware of paying “processing fees” for information that is available free to the public. Ads claiming federal grants are available for home repairs, home business, unpaid bills, or other personal expenses are often a scam.

OMB Grants Management Web Site (Office of Management and Budget)

OMB establishes government-wide grants management policies and guidelines through circulars and common rules. OMB Circulars are cited in Catalog program descriptions and may be printed out.