Many cities and states have special programs to encourage new businesses. For example, many states have incentives to encourage business startups in targeted “enterprise zones” (like Oregon) or incentives for minorities, veterans, and women who want to start businesses. Other states may give incentives to health care businesses (see Arizona’s Angel Investment Program). Cities also provide similar incentives for small businesses. Not every new business qualifies for these incentives, but it is certainly worth looking into.
Usually these incentives take the form of tax rebates, but you may also find some programs that give you funding for startup. Iowa’s Targeted Small Business Assistance program, for example, provides loans to qualified individuals (women, minorities, or persons with disabilities) starting businesses in Iowa.
To find these opportunities: Search on the name of your state or city and “business incentives” or “business development,” or contact local or state officials. Your bank or your local Small Business Administration office should also have information on these incentives.