The Super Bowl seems like a long time ago, doesn’t it? February may be a short month but it started and ended with more major events than most: Superbowl 50, the 88th Academy Awards, and a Leap Year Day.
Despite all the controversy and the “White People’s Choice Awards” nickname, the Academy Awards were pretty tame. Chris Rock carried it off well and kept #OscarsSoWhite front and center in people’s attention. He also got in a few zingers that caused appropriately awkward moments. Leonardo DiCaprio finally got his Oscar to the delight of many and the surprise of some. It was an evening of unmet expectations: no Revenant sweep, no award for Sylvester Stallone in Creed, The Martian was barely noticed, and small indie distributors (Open Road and A24) saw their films win Oscars on their first try. (Yay - you don’t have to be big to win big!).
A highlight of the evening was Jennifer Lawrence’s dress. You have to admire her skills: her timing was perfect, red carpet to herself. The dress was stunning but her hair was simple, makeup subdued. Simple things and honest efforts can pay returns! Our March Highlights present some that could pay off for you:
Discover your program today!
The long awaited report on Grants for Churches is available! While the Oscar-winning movie Spotlight doesn’t cast “the church” in the best light, most churches are in fact critical to the well being of their communities. Their mission and efforts to help “the lost and the least” can often be more efficient and effective than government programs.
You may have heard talk in the past about President Obama’s support for faith based initiatives. But the White House office by that name has not fulfilled initial promises. Sadly it seems to have become less involved in the delivery of services and also less transparent about its budget and activities. Critics claim it has instead been used inappropriately for political outreach.
The bottom line is that churches do not and will not receive financial funds from the government. Fortunately there are a number of organizations that will give them grants. So while churches must depend on the generosity of their congregations for much of their funds, they also have additional options. Grants For Churches helps you find and apply for church grants - sometimes in surprising places. It will also lead you to resources for writing and winning grants.
New Grants & Deadlines: New USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture) grants are now available for small business. They are available from the USDA’s program called Rural Energy for America. The program includes both grants and loan guarantees. Funds are to be used in projects for new renewable energy systems or improvements to the efficiency of current systems. Loan applications can be submitted any time during the year but grants (for a minimum of $2500 and up to $500,000!) must be applied for by May 2, 2016. Get the facts now at Grants for Small Business.
In California a deadline is coming up fast for grants recently announced by California Sea Grants. This organization is a partnership of California, the federal government and universities. Those who are into aquaculture research should check this out fast. The application deadline for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administrations NOAA Sea Grant Aquaculture Research Program is March 10, 2016. Get more details in our recent update to Grants in California.
Is Cash Going Away? If you operate your business primarily in cash to avoid taxes that is risky business. Not just because it's illegal not to report income, but because the $100 dollar bill could be going away soon. There will still be lots of existing bills in circulation but new ones probably won’t be printed. And this is very possibly a clue to the ultimate direction of cash, period. Check out Free Tax Help for more…
Heard of Equity Crowdfunding? It’s now legal in about 24 states. Unlike other crowdfunding, this twist lets you sell equity to small investors in your state. Could be a good route for you to follow — but there are also some downsides. See our latest update in Crowdfunding News.
Microfinancing Is Hot! A major multimillion dollar commitment has been announced for women-owned businesses, specifically in Harlem. Could be a perfect opportunity if you have a great idea but have had difficulty getting the financing you need. See Microfinancing in the United States.
Looking for Government Business Opportunities? Learn how to find Small Business Events sponsored by the government’s Federal Business Opportunities organization. They’ve got a focus on small business and we show you how to find Small Business Events meaningful to you!
Great Business Ideas Psst - it’s no secret - we found those new business grants above by searching smart on grants.gov — a huge database that can be frustrating. Don’t forget we’ve updated our review of grants.gov to show you exactly how to get search results that are relevant to what you are really looking for. And if you’re still looking for that great idea to start your new business, Small Business Ideas has an update that can help you come up with it!
Bye Bye recovery.gov: One of our favorite sites and search tools, recovery.gov has recently removed the data from its website — so we (and you) can no longer track where $800 billion in taxpayer funds has gone. Not everyone in Congress is thrilled about that though, so learn more and stay tuned to our review of recovery.gov.
Unclaimed Money has been the focus of lots of news reports over the past couple months. That’s typical when the new year rolls around. The major news networks love to refer you to missing money.com, and it sounds very logical. They may mean well — but there are some important things they don’t tell you. Maybe that’s because they don’t know them but … maybe not. Check out our review of missingmoney.com so you know how best to search for unclaimed money that could be yours!
We wish you a great March! We usually ignore advice given in Academy Award speeches: science advice from actors seems questionable, even when it’s Leonardo DiCaprio. And we’re not likely to base political decisions on words from screen-writers. But we do recommend the encouragement offered by Inside Out Director Pete Docter. Directing his comments to young people going through tough times he said basically that you can’t always choose your emotions but “you can make stuff. Make films. Draw. Write. It will make a world of difference.” That can apply to all of us!