(BlackNews.com) – Contrary to popular belief, real business grants do exist. In fact, hundreds of black and minority-owned businesses each year receive such grant funding from various government agencies and non-profit organizations. Such funds do not have to be repaid, but must be used to either start a new business or enhance an existing one. Others can be used for innovation research.
Here are the top small and minority business grant programs available:
#1 - The FedEx Small Business Grant Contest is a nationwide competition that will award $50,000 in total to six deserving U.S-based entrepreneurs and business owners. Learn more at www.businessgrants.org/opportunities/fedex_small_business_grant_contest.html
What do you do with a car or van that is old, paid for and does not work? One option is to call the self-proclaimed No. 1 junkman in the South, Patrick Boone. A fireman, Boone has carved out his own slice of the cash-for-cars niche. In this economy the business model could not have been more timely and he has it down to a science. Ready to jump into action with the receipt of a phone call, Boone has groomed a talented team that is responsive and eager to trade cash for vehicles.
Your financial life is probably more complicated than you realize. You may have multiple bank, retirement and investment accounts; insurance policies; a safe-deposit box; and more.
You have bills to pay and perhaps a mortgage and other outstanding loans. And then there are the people you might depend on for financial matters: your attorney, financial advisor, insurance agent, and accountant, just to name a few.
Now, think for a moment about how your family would navigate this financial sea if you were gone.
Would you believe me if I said I thought you could be a "magnet?" As human beings, I believe we all have the capacity to draw to ourselves those things we give the most thought and energy, those things we are passionate about. In other words, each of us is in many ways potentially a magnet. We attract things to ourselves that may include prosperity.
In pursuit of my hypothesis, I did a Google search of "job magnet" and found over 53 million results! I did the same thing for "success magnet," finding over 300,000 hits. My point is this: In order for us to survive what Grace Lee Boggs calls "The Next American Revolution," we are going to have to become magnets that draw goodness and prosperity into our communities and our homes and our schools, or we will soon not have them at all.
Boggs is a 96-year-old activist that has been in the struggle for freedom and human dignity for most of her life. She lives in Detroit and has been part of that city's starting of its comeback. She has seen people at the grassroots level realize that their future is in their own hands and that the days of the factory job, which provided a job for you and your children and their children until retirement, is no more.
No matter what happened in the previous year, most of us step into the New Year with optimism that it will be bigger, better and more prosperous than the last one. And whether you adopted a resolution on January 1 or not, it is never too late to do something positive.
In the quest to adopt a resolution, reflection on the previous year is advised. Evaluate what was positive about the year and what was negative. Think about what you had too much of and what you had too little of last year.
If the resolution is about self-improvement, analyze what could be done to improve you. If it is community oriented, find what you can do for others.
Although economic forecasts can change due to unforeseen circumstances, the outlook for 2014 is generally positive, with a return to solid growth and the possibility of even stronger economic performance, depending on several key factors that should become clearer over the next few months.
GDP, unemployment, and inflation
As of late December 2013, year-over-year growth of real gross domestic product (GDP) was expected to range from 1.7 percent to 2.3 percent, higher than was expected earlier in the year but lower than the 2.8 percent rate in 2012. The economy is projected to bounce back in 2014, with growth of around 2.7 percent to 3.2 percent, near the 50-year average of 3.06 percent.
The year 2013 has come and gone. Are we better or worse than we were in 2012?
Regardless of where we are now, we can aim to be better in 2014. Most of us strive to be healthy, wealthy and wise. Others strive to be advocates for change and the betterment of the community at large.
So, before we move forward, let's review a few of the significant moments of 2013 and how they may impact the world as we know it.