Licenses and Permits
The TDED has an online Guide to Texas Business Licenses and Permits that includes general business regulations and information, an alphabetical list of business licenses and permits and lists of state and federal regulatory agencies. Information. 800-888-0511, http://business.texasonline.com/guide/index.jsp
Economic Development Databases
The Economic Information Clearinghouse and the Business and Industry Data Center are economic development tools that allow people to access and compare Texas data that is useful in making business decisions. Information: 512-936-0100, http://www.bidc.state.tx.us/2-4db.htm or 512-936-2000
Corporate Expansion and Recruitment
The Office of Corporate Expansion and Recruitment assists businesses that want to expand existing Texas operations or want to relocate or expand operations outside of Texas into Texas. CER serves as a focal point for disseminating those business leads to Texas communities. Information: (512) 936-0254 or http://www.governor.state.tx.us/divisions/ecodev/ed_bank/linked_deposit
Texas Capital Access Fund
The Texas Capital Access Fund was established to provide an incentive loan to businesses that might otherwise fall outside the guidelines of conventional lending. The essential element of this program is a loan reserve account established at the lending institution to act as a credit enhancement, inducing the financial institution to make a loan. An eligible borrower must be a medium or small business (499 or fewer employees); a non-profit organization; or domiciled in or having at least 51 percent of its employees located in Texas.
Information: (512) 936-0501 or www.governor.state.tx.us/divisions/ecodev/ed_bank/cap_access.
Linked Deposit Program
The State of Texas Linked Deposit Program was established to encourage lending to historically underutilized businesses, child care providers, non-profit corporations and small businesses located in Enterprise Zones by providing lenders and borrowers a lower cost of capital. It is a partnership between the State of Texas Treasury, approved depository lenders and the Texas Department of Economic Development.
Information: (512) 936-0501, 800-735-2988 or http://www.tded.state.tx.us/TexasLinkedDeposit/
Office of International Business
The primary objective of the Office of Trade and International Relations helps companies expand into foreign markets. It provides foreign trade leads and encourages foreign representatives to make or strengthen contacts with Texas companies. The office connects companies with trade counseling and training programs available through the International Small Business Development Centers and U.S. Department of Economic Development Export Assistance Centers. Information: (512) 916-5939 or http://www.governor.state.tx.us/divisions/ecodev/international
Texas Manufacturing Assistance Center
TMAC serves as a technical and business resource to streamline manufacturing processes, optimize factory operations, integrate today’s technology, facilitate vendor contacts, increase global competitiveness and enhance workforce development. Its field staff specializes in manufacturing and industrial engineering; manufacturing specialists work with small to medium-sized manufacturers, providing technical support and implementing best business practices. TMAC has provided services to a wide range of industries such as metalworking, food processing, electronics, plastics, apparel and more. Information: 1-800-625-4876 or www.tmac.org
Texas State Comptroller
Businesses located in Strategic Investment Areas in Texas may qualify for three types of franchise tax credits: research and development, job creation and capital investment. (Research and development credits are available anywhere in the state, but businesses in SIA’s qualify for an additional credit). Port Arthur is a Strategic Investment Area. Each year the state updates its list of regions designated as Strategic Investment Areas.
Information: 1-800-252-1381 or www.window.state.tx.us/taxinfo/franchise/index.html
State HUB, SBE and DBE Programs
The Historically Underutilized Business is one with ethnic, female or other ownership designated by the government as nontraditional. A business with HUB certification has an advantage when bidding on state contracts. Some state agencies, such as the Texas Department of Transportation, have similar programs offering incentives to businesses designated as a Small Business Enterprise or Disadvantaged Business Enterprise. Businesses with one of these certifications have an advantage in seeking a contract with TxDOT. For information about HUB certification, call the Small Business Development Center at (409) 984-6531.
University of Houston SBDC
The Small Business Development Center at the University of Houston provides businesses with assistance in the areas of business management, government procurement, international trade and manufacturing. Its expertise is available to entrepreneurs in the start-up mode as well as to experienced business owners who want to take their companies to the next level. It offers business consulting and training at 14 centers, 3 specialty centers and nearly 60 satellite offices. Its web site, http://www.sbdc.uh.edu has a number of useful resource links. Information: (713) 752-8444.
U.S. Small Business Administration
The Small Business Administration is a federal agency dedicated to the development and growth of small businesses. Its resources include a Small Business Startup Kit, a library of publications on business topics and a series of loan programs. In most of the loan programs the SBA guarantees loans that are made by its lending partners; the agency currently does not loan funds directly. The 8(a) program is intended to help socially and economically disadvantaged business owners. The SBA also has a Small Business Technology Transfer Program which awards funding for partnerships between small business and nonprofit research institutions. It follows phases similar to those in the SBIR Program, with the first phase qualifying for up to $100,000 and the second phase for up to $500,000. Information: (713) 773-6500 or www.sba.gov.
Minority Business Development Agency
The Minority Business Development Agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce is the only federal agency specifically created to encourage the creation, growth and expansion of minority-owned businesses in the United States. Assistance is provided to socially or economically disadvantaged individuals who own or wish to start a business. The MBDA centers provide minority entrepreneurs with one-on-one assistance in writing business plans, marketing, management and technical assistance and financial planning to assure adequate financing for business ventures. Information: (214) 767-8001 or