Over the coming years the business of “going green” is likely to be more attractive than ever to the small business owner.
Green is already a significant trend in the corporate world where more and more large enterprises are “greening” their businesses through a variety of practices from environmentally friendly manufacturing and the production of green goods, to energy efficiency programs for recycling, green buildings, and so on.
While many corporate practices typically trickle down to the small business arena, some are of the opinion that small businesses are hesitant to incorporate green practices – finding it too costly to jump on board the green bandwagon.
The Rewards of Going Green
It’s true that many business owners may be wary about building a green office, or modifying an existing building to become greener, because the initial up-front investment may be high.
However, the government has put many programs in place to help small businesses be just as competitive in the race to become green.
These incentives can reap many rewards, from financial benefits that will impact your bottom line to social benefits, such as making your “green” business a much more attractive place for skilled, younger workers to seek employment.
Government Incentives for Going Green
So, whether you are looking to enter the business of greening our planet or just want to make employees and customers happy, going green is smart for small business. Below are a few ways the government can help.
Loans and Grants and Incentives for Energy Efficient Projects – The government offers many financial opportunities and incentives for green business. Too many to list here, but you can find more information about environmental loans, grants and incentives, in an easy-to-read format, here.
Alternatively, use this easy Loans and Grants Tool to help pinpoint green financing options based on your small business profile and needs.
Help for Developing New Green Technologies – Financial programs from the government don’t just apply to the “greening” of new or existing businesses. If you are a small business engaged in the development of energy efficient technologies you may qualify for small business grants for technology developers and innovators.
Tax Credits for Energy Efficiency – Home builders, manufacturers and commercial building owners are among the small businesses that can benefit from the federal tax credits available for making energy efficiency upgrades. A tax credit essentially reduces the amount of income tax you have to pay as opposed to a tax deduction, which reduces the amount of income subject to tax, so you can make significant savings. Find out more here.
Get Help from Your State Government – There are many state, local and regional programs that help small businesses become more energy efficient whether through financial assistance or assistance programs that help small business owners conduct energy audits and implement energy efficient technology.
Other Resources for Greening Your Small Business
- What Makes a Business Green? – Read Duct Tape Marketing’s John Jantsch’s tips for companies that want to lean on their greenness as a marketing advantage.
- Starting a Green Business – Get help starting a business offering eco-friendly products and services.
- Green Guide for New Businesses – Ten steps to adopting environmentally friendly business practices.
- Becoming Energy Efficient – The Small Business Guide to Energy Efficiency includes tips, advice, and resources to help you save on energy costs.
- Green Business Practices – Becoming a green business means making changes across your organization, from the way you manage your day-to-day operations to the products you offer to your customers.
- Small Business Going Green – Read suite101.com’s Patricia Faulhaber’s thirteen ways to go green for small businesses.
- Ten Tips for Going Green in your Small or Home Office – Going green tips for the home office entrepreneur from BellaOnline.com’s Deborah Crawford.