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The U.S. Department of Commerce's National Institute of Standards and Technology is conducting a pilot program to improve access to capital for small and midsized manufacturers at four of its Manufacturing Extension Partnership centers:
- New York City firms can turn to The New York Industrial Technology Assistance Corp., which has contracted with an investment banking firm to help companies identify financing goals, create a package to submit to funding sources, and shop the package around. They are also working to create a $15 million loan pool for companies seeking $100,000 to $500,000. Firms considering a merger or acquisition can also get advice. For more information, call (212) 240-6920.
- Colorado, Kansas, Missouri and Wyoming companies benefit from Capital for Manufacturers. An affiliate of the Mid-America Manufacturing Technology Center in Overland Park, Kansas, this group assists companies in finding and securing angel, venture, seed and mezzanine financing, as well as forging joint ventures. For more information, call (913) 649-4333.
- Michigan manufacturers get assistance from Pathway Partners Ltd., which is affiliated with the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center/Industrial Technology Institute. Pathway helps facilitate management buyouts, mergers and acquisitions, and aids in helping entrepreneurs obtain growth capital. Pathway personnel will also serve on advisory boards to help companies work through management problems. For details, call (313) 769-4491.
- Illinois firms in the six-county area surrounding Chicago can look to the Chicago Manufacturing Center's Manufacturing Investment Network (MIN) to assist with mergers and acquisitions. MIN helps buyers and sellers assess their businesses' value, prepare for investor presentations and negotiate deals. The network can also help develop a list of buyers or sellers, and MIN representatives will handle the due diligence financial institutions require. Call (773) 265-2020.
Scholarships For High School Entrepreneurs
High school students who are in the 12th grade during the 1996-97 school year and operate a business are eligible to enter the sixth annual Johnson & Wales University National Outstanding High School Entrepreneur Contest.
The top 10 finalists will be flown to the Providence, Rhode Island, university to present their business plans to the judges. The winner receives a renewable scholarship to Johnson & Wales, valued at $20,000 (spread over four years). Three other scholarships will also be awarded. In addition, 10 entrants who submit the best plans for a business that is not yet operational will receive smaller scholarships.
The deadline for nominations is January 6, 1997. For more information, call (800) 342-5598.
Innovative Mail Order Products Sought
The National Mail Order Association (NMOA) is looking for 500 unique mail order products to feature in its inter-national news-letter, Mail Order Digest. In addition, NMOA will feature 50 of the 500 products (one from each state) on its Web site for one year.
Open only to U.S. manufacturers, the contest will accept up to three products from each company. Judging will be held early next year; December 31 is the deadline to enter. For information, call (612) 788-1673.
New Financing Programs Offered
Finding money to finance your small business is always a challenge, but a number of new programs have been created to simplify the search.
- The New Jersey Development Authority and Princeton Capital recently formed a partnership where the state will guarantee up to 50 percent of loans of $100,000 or less made by the finance company to small businesses. The Statewide Receivables Financing Program is open to all New Jersey small businesses but is concentrating on minority- and women-owned firms. Loans are secured by receivables; companies must have contracts with the government or major corporations. For further details, call (609) 292-1890.
- The Los Angeles Community Development Bank is now open to serve entrepreneurs in the economic-ally depressed Los Angeles Empowerment Zone. Targeting primarily small and midsized companies, the bank offers a variety of funding options for businesses that don't meet traditional lending requirements.
Some loans are coupled with business and technical assistance. For more information, call (213) 759-7759.
Capital for Manufacturers, Mid-America Manufacturing Technology Center, 10561 Barkley, #600, Overland Park, KS 66212, firstname.lastname@example.org;
Chicago Manufacturing Center, Manufacturing Investment Network, 3333 W. Arthington St., Chicago, IL 60624, (http://www.cmcusa.org);
Industrial Technology Assistance Corp., 253 Broadway, 3rd Fl., New York, NY 10007;
Johnson & Wales University, 8 Abbott Park Pl., Providence, RI 02903, (http://www.jwu.edu);
National Mail Order Association, fax: (612) 788-1147, (http://www.nmoa.org);
New Jersey Development Authority, CN990, Trenton, NJ 08625;
Pathway Partners Ltd., 2901 Hubbard Rd., Ann Arbor, MI 48105, email@example.com.