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Small Business Investment Companies

The United States government wants you to have money. Well, maybe they do, especially at tax time. In any event, Uncle Sam has created agencies that might invest in your company. These agencies or firms are the Small Business Investment Companies. (Let's all give these guys a big round of applause!) Some of their money comes from private investors, and some of it comes from the federal government.

How does this work? The Small Business Investment Company collects money from private or corporate investors, which is then matched or even doubled (or more!) by Uncle Sam. Then, the money is given to worthy startups.

This arrangement might have the attributes of a traditional loan rather than other types of venture capital. You might have to make payments on this investment money much earlier than you would like.

The federal government's Small Business Administration will give you a free copy of the very exciting Directory of Operating Small Business Investment Companies. You can call the SBA Answer Desk at 800-827-5722. Are you too shy to call? Feel like sending them a fax, instead? Then dial 202-205-7064. Or write a letter (remember them? And aren't those stamps cute?) to U.S. Small Business Administration, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20416.

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