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 Assistance Overview


 

Small Business Advocacy Programs

Governor’s Small Business Forums are designed to provide Texas business owners, managers and entrepreneurs with timely, relevant, actionable advice to assist them in establishing, operating, sustaining and expanding their businesses. Each forum includes the Governor's Small Business Awards to recognize outstanding businesses in Texas.

Governor’s Small Business Service Provider Workshops build relationships among private and public sector small business service providers such as city and county governments, chambers of commerce, banks and more. The workshops work to establish a network of small business service providers to create a mechanism for meaningful handoffs of small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs from one resource to another, assuring a continuum of services.


 

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 SBA, SBDCs provide assistance to small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs 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.