My city recently had to scrap a downtown business assistance program due to some compliance issues with state law as well as perceived abuse by some property owners. We're building a much better program that we hope will produce better results in terms of improved built environment, number of businesses & job creation. We would like to create a criterion for this program to consider the financial ability of the applicant starting/expanding the small business. I'm thinking something similar to the Small Business Administration's criteria for economic & social disadvantage found in 13 CFR 124.103 and 13 CFR 123.104 (linky for convenience). However, our program is not going to be dealing in large amounts of money and I don't want potential applicants to get bogged down or intimidated by paperwork & documentation.
Here's what I'm thinking of currently
Economic Disadvantage: Demonstrate all of the following
- Estimated fair market value of assets owned – less than $_____
- Personal net worth information (assets & liabilities) – net worth less than $_____
- Individual tax return and business tax return (if applicable) for prior year (must include spouse as well if married) – personal income not exceed $______
I have no idea what is really appropriate for the thresholds.
Social Disadvantage: Demonstrate disadvantage as follows
- Identified as a presumed socially disadvantaged person: Black, Hispanic, Native American, Asian Pacific, Subcontinent Asian
- If not presumed, provide evidence of social disadvantage to include all of the following: At least one objective distinguishing feature such as race, ethnic origin, gender, physical handicap, long-term residence in an environment isolated from the mainstream of American society, or other similar causes not common to individuals who are not socially disadvantaged; Personal experiences of substantial and chronic social disadvantage in American society, not in other countries; Negative impact on the individual’s entrance into the business world or advancement in the business world because of the stated disadvantage(s).
Any thoughts or suggestions? We're probably talking about a 50/50 matching grant up to $20,000 or so.