Small Business Programs
Texas is committed to facilitating and informing small-to-medium sizes enterprises about state and federal incentives and programs. In both urban and rural communities, Texas is an epicenter for business growth and expansion.
The following list of programs can provide opportunities throughout the State of Texas and will allow small businesses to get the tools and training they need to help them grow.
Small Business Advocacy Programs & Events
The Governor’s Small Business Forums provide small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs with timely, relevant, actionable advice on how to start, operate, grow and sustain their businesses. The events feature private and public small business resources, practical solutions, best practices and expert assistance on a broad range of business topics and challenges. It is also an opportunity to network with other entrepreneurs, business owners, managers, and business-oriented non-profits, as well as local, regional, state and federal agencies. All Forums include the Governor's Small Business Awards to recognize outstanding businesses in Texas.
Presented at the Governor’s Small Business Forums, the Governor's Small Business Awards recognize outstanding Texas small businesses for their positive impact on the community and the state. Nominated by the community partners and peers, the Awards highlight the accomplishments, dedication, persistence, and the entrepreneurial spirit of Texas small business owners and employees. The Award winners are recognized during the Forum and receive a ceremonial certificate signed by Governor Greg Abbott.
The Governor's Small Business Conferences offer two half-day tracks, one for startups and one for existing businesses, and feature private and public small business resources, practical solutions, best practices and expert assistance on a broad range of business topics and challenges. The startup track gives aspiring entrepreneurs interactive access to business resources providers and experts to assist in starting a business. The track for existing small business owners provides timely, relevant, actionable advice on how to grow and sustain a business. The Conferences are an opportunity to network with other entrepreneurs, business owners, managers, and business-oriented non-profits, as well as local, regional, state and federal agencies. All Conferences include the Governor's Small Business Awards to recognize outstanding businesses in Texas.
The Governor’s Small Business Workshops are interactive, hands-on events in rural communities designed to connect small business owners and entrepreneurs with resource providers, such as business lenders, business-oriented non-profits, and local, regional state and federal agencies. We invite you to attend this unique event and take advantage of the opportunity to meet the experts dedicated to supporting individuals looking to start and grow their business in rural Texas.
Topic variations include:
- Workforce and Skills Development programs
- Doing business with relevant industries
- Growing your business within the region
- Export opportunities and logistics
- Networking and business-to-business connections
- Business opportunities for women-owned, minority-owned, disability-owned, and veteran-owned businesses
- Small Business resources within federal, state, and local government agencies
- Access to capital
- Start-up essentials
- Employment recruitment/retention
- Social media/marketing best practices
- State of Texas Small Business Awards
View upcoming Governor's Small Business Forums dates and locations.
State and Federal Programs
Historically Underutilized Business Certification Program (HUB) requires all Texas state agencies to make a good faith effort to use HUBs for purposes of contracting for construction services or commodity purchases. To obtain HUB certification, a business must be at least 51% owned by an Asian Pacific American, Black American, Hispanic American, Native American and/or American woman, and as a result of the recent legislative session now service-rendered disabled veterans are considered a minority for purposes of the HUB Program.
A business must also be a for profit entity that has not exceeded the size standards prescribed by 34 Texas Administrative Code 20.23, and has its principal place of business in Texas. Additionally the business must have an owner residing in Texas with a proportionate interest that actively participates in the control, operations and management of the entity’s affairs.
The Texas Comptroller's Office organizes and administers the HUB certification program. For more information on how to qualify and register as a HUB, please visit the Texas Comptroller’s Office website.
Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program (DBE) was created to provide a level playing field for small, minority and women-owned companies wanting to do business with Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) and other agencies receiving federal funds from the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Skills for Small Business Program offers financing tuition and fees for community and technical college courses. This program, run by the Texas Workforce Commission, is targeted to help current and newly hired employees of small businesses.
U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) can provide information on available loans and grants, small business workshops, advocacy efforts and much more. To learn more about what the Federal SBA can do for your small business, locate the nearest SBA Regional/District Office through the SBA website.
SCORE is a nonprofit association of thousands of volunteer business counselors throughout the U.S. SCORE members are trained to serve as counselors, advisors and mentors to aspiring entrepreneurs and businesses owners.
There are hundreds of SCORE business mentors in urban, suburban, and rural communities. Launch your business today by locating your nearest SCORE Business Mentor in Texas.
Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) are funded in part through a partnership with the SBA and provide assistance to small businesses throughout the United States. SBDCs help entrepreneurs realize the dream of business ownership and help existing businesses remain competitive in a complex, ever-changing global marketplace.
SBDC advisors provide aspiring and current small business owners with a variety of free businesses consulting and low cost training services including: business plan development, manufacturing assistance, financial packaging and lending assistance, exporting and importing support, disaster recovery assistance, procurement and contracting aid, marketing research help 8(a) program support, and healthcare guidance.
Women Business Centers (WBCs) represent a national network of over 100 educational centers throughout the United States, and are designed to assist women in starting and growing small businesses by providing individual counseling and small business workshops. To find the nearest Women's Business Center in Texas, visit their website.
U.S. Export Assistance Centers in Texas (USEACs) has a network of export and industry specialists located in Texas and 100 other U.S. cities and over 80 countries worldwide. These trade professionals provide counseling and a variety of products and services to assist small and midsized businesses export their products and services.
Veteran's Business Outreach Centers (VBOC) are designed to provide entrepreneurial development services such as business training, counseling and resource partner referrals to transitioning service members, veterans, National Guard & Reserve members and military spouses interested in starting or growing a small business.
Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTAC) is a nationwide network of dedicated procurement professionals working to help local businesses compete successfully in the government marketplace. PTAC counselors offer access to experts in bid opportunities, contract specifications, procurement histories, and other information necessary to successfully compete for government contracts.