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Government Business Grants: Exploring International Markets and Supporting Research and Development

Government Business Grants

Unlike traditional forms of business funding, such as loans and investments, grant money is free. However, accepting grant money typically comes with plenty of paperwork and strict guidelines.

Government business grants provide capital for small businesses to explore international markets, participate in export trade shows and more. They can also incentivize research and development activities for for-profit and non-profit small companies.

State Trade Expansion Program (STEP)

Federal grant money often comes with a lot of paperwork and specific requirements. This can include legal and administrative prerequisites as well as ongoing reporting and auditing obligations.

The STEP grant program was established by Congress in 2010 to help small businesses increase their exports. Since its inception, more than 1,800 North Carolina businesses have used grant funds to participate in international trade shows and export-related activities.

These grant funds can be used to offset costs associated with participation in foreign trade missions and market sales trips, subscriptions to services such as U.S. Commercial Service offerings and Ex-Im Bank export credit insurance, design of marketing products and campaigns for overseas markets and more. Eligible companies must be small business concerns and meet certain size criteria.

To assess SBA’s management of the STEP program, GAO reviewed the program’s authorizing legislation and guidance, analyzed STEP data and interviewed state officials. GAO found that while SBA has made some improvements, states report challenges that continue to affect their ability to use grant funds to achieve program goals.

Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)

The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program is a federal funding initiative that supports technological advancements by encouraging partnerships between small businesses and various government agencies. This program helps bridge the gap between research and development and commercialization, resulting in a positive impact on job creation and economic growth.

To be eligible, a small business must meet certain requirements, such as eligibility, research and development focus, technology readiness level, and commercialization potential. Applicants must also submit proposals through a competitive selection process, with the results of peer review evaluations determining funding decisions. Unlike traditional government contracts, SBIR funds are non-dilutive, meaning the small business retains ownership of intellectual property developed through its participation in the program.

In addition to funding, SBIR can help small businesses gain valuable experience by collaborating with federal agencies. Additionally, participating in the program can open doors to networking opportunities and improve their credibility and marketability among potential investors and partners.

Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR)

The STTR program helps small businesses develop technological innovations with the potential to meet government R&D needs. This program provides equity-free funding and entrepreneur support in the early or “seed” stages of research. It also promotes participation by socially and economically disadvantaged businesses.

The Air Force SBIR and STTR programs help small technology companies develop innovative technologies that will enable the Air Force to accomplish its mission. These competitive programs encourage partnering between small business concerns and non-profit U.S. research institutions to foster commercialization of innovative technology solutions.

The STTR program focuses on technology innovation and market potential, but it also recognizes that some innovations cannot be easily categorized. Therefore, it is open to proposals addressing any technology that has the potential to have high commercial and/or societal impact. Small businesses can submit an STTR Project Pitch to the NSF for evaluation. If the Project Pitch is deemed acceptable, the cognizant NSF SBIR/STTR Program Director will officially respond via email.

Texas Enterprise Fund (TEF)

The Texas Enterprise Fund is the largest deal-closing grant program in the nation. This cash grant is used as a financial incentive for companies planning a new project with significant projected job creation and capital investment, where one Texas site is competing with at least one viable out-of-state option.

Applicants undergo a rigorous 11-step due diligence review process that includes a review of the company’s financial strength and stability, business sector analysis, local community support, public and private financial support, the estimated impact on jobs and wages, as well as other factors. Ultimately, the Governor, Lieutenant Governor and Speaker of the House must unanimously support each application.

The State has awarded more than $609 million in grants since the fund’s inception. That amount could have fully funded 5,000 K-12 students or repaved 500 miles of road. Instead, it went to corporations that will likely take their money and leave when a better deal comes along.

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Government Welfare: Providing Assistance and Security to Those in Need

Government Welfare

Government welfare consists of social service programs that provide income security, health care, and food assistance to tens of millions of Americans. These programs include Medicaid, Social Security, and TANF.

The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 shifted the emphasis of federal welfare funding to programs that require work from recipients. This redirected the ethos of local department of social services staff toward more focused efforts to help families move off of welfare.

Definition

A government welfare system includes a wide range of social programs that aim to address the needs of a society. It typically includes means-tested benefits such as cash assistance, healthcare, and free or deeply discounted food and utilities. It also may include unemployment insurance, public housing, and state-sponsored tertiary education.

It is important to note that the definition of a welfare system differs from country to country. For example, a social welfare system in the United States may have a number of different programs that serve the same purpose but go by different names and have different eligibility criteria.

This can make it difficult to compare the cost and enrollment of different government welfare systems. The varying eligibility requirements and funding levels can also reflect policy decisions about how generous or restrictive programs should be. For example, a program in one state may be more generous than a similar program in another, even though they have the same basic rules and serve the same purposes.

Origins

Historically, government welfare policies have aimed to provide state aid for indigent individuals and families from the cradle to the grave. It is generally thought that this type of system is an extension of human rights to life, liberty and security for all members of society.

The idea of providing social services to all citizens has been a dream of religious leaders and philosophers since ancient times. Throughout history, governments and private charities have set up poorhouses, orphanages and other institutions to care for destitute people.

The emergence of the modern welfare state began with President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal in the 1930s. This program provided work relief by means of public works projects and federal grants. It also provided direct financial support for the unemployed and social security benefits. The concept was further expanded by the UK’s adoption of comprehensive measures based on the Beveridge Report in 1948. In the United States, the term “welfare” is sometimes used more narrowly to mean only cash benefits, such as AFDC and TANF.

Benefits

Government welfare programs provide cash and other benefits to citizens who cannot meet their financial needs on their own. Expenditures for this type of aid make up a significant portion of many federal and state budgets. The money comes from taxpayers, and the conditions for eligibility are generally the same in all countries.

The types of benefits differ, but they generally include housing, education, food, medical services and income support. The programs are designed to help people with certain disabilities, seniors and families with children. They also may cover basic needs, like clothing and shelter.

Some programs require recipients to work, while others do not. Recipients may receive payments in the form of vouchers or direct payments. Many of the programs are run by state and local governments, but the nation also has a large number of federally funded programs, including Medicaid, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and veterans’ programs.

Administration

The administration of welfare programs consists of a complex set of laws, rules and procedures. These policies cover a wide variety of needs, such as housing, food, healthcare, childcare and financial assistance. Each program has specific requirements that must be met to qualify for benefits. The American public plays an important role in shaping social welfare policy by contacting their elected officials and participating in federal rule making.

Social welfare policy focuses on preventing and mitigating the major personal economic hazards of unemployment, sickness, disability, old age and death of a breadwinner. These government programs are often accompanied by constructive social services to help people avoid those risks.

The social welfare policies of a country can be developed through the legislative, executive and judicial branches of the federal and state governments. For example, bills are introduced in Congress (legislative branch), evidence is presented and the bill can be debated and voted upon. Then regulatory agencies (executive branch) draft the rules and regulations that implement the law.

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The Federal Government’s General Schedule (GS) Pay Scale and its benefits for employees.

The General Schedule (GS) Pay Scale

The GS pay system provides a consistent way to understand seniority and entitlements in the Federal Government. New employees are normally hired at the first step of their GS grade, but agencies may authorize initial appointments higher than that.

While AO/AA and EO staff numbers have fallen in all departments, more people are employed at Grades 6 and 7, especially in smaller, policy-focused departments without major operational delivery functions.

Grade 0 is the lowest pay grade.

The General Schedule is the pay scale used by the Federal Government. It consists of 15 grades ranging from GS-1 to GS-15, with each grade separated into 10 steps. The GS provides a consistent pay system and regular, predictable pay increases based on performance, longevity and cost of living adjustments. The GS also provides an excellent retirement benefits package and job security.

Jobs in the GS are determined (classified) by agency based on their level of difficulty, responsibility and required credentials. Typically, those with just a high school diploma qualify for jobs at the GS-1 level; those with an associate’s or bachelor’s degree may qualify for GS-2 jobs; and those with a master’s degree can often obtain GS-9 positions. In addition to the base rate of pay for each GS level, employees in the GS receive locality pay, which is a percentage of their salary increase based on where they live. The GS salary table is updated each year.

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Accessing Free 5G Government Phones for Low-Income Individuals

How to Qualify For a Free 5G Government Phone

Smartphones with 5G technology offer lightning-fast internet speeds, enabling you to communicate and browse the web without waiting for those annoying buffering symbols. These devices are available through government assistance programs like Lifeline and ACP. Eligibility requirements vary depending on the program, but typically include participation in SNAP, public housing, Medicaid, or other government-assistance programs.

Eligibility

If you’re interested in acquiring a free 5G government phone, there are several ways to qualify. Most providers require that you meet certain criteria based on your income or participation in other government assistance programs. Once you’ve met the requirements, you can submit your documents to the provider and receive your phone.

The free 5G government phones are designed to empower low-income individuals with access to advanced communication tools that can help them pursue education, seek employment opportunities, and connect with community resources. The devices also promote digital inclusion by reducing the technology gap and enabling equal access to opportunities.

The providers that offer free 5G government phones include SafeLink Wireless, Assurance Wireless, and Cintex Wireless. These companies offer a wide variety of devices, including smartphones that support 5G connectivity. They also offer a range of service plans, including unlimited data. These phones can be purchased online or through local offices. They can also be acquired through government assistance programs, such as Lifeline and ACP.

Application process

The first step in applying for a free 5G government phone is to determine whether you meet the eligibility criteria. These programs typically target low-income households, and the requirements vary depending on your annual income and participation in other government assistance programs. These include SNAP, Medicaid, SSI, Head Start, and Tribal-specific programs.

Once you’ve determined your eligibility, visit the website of a participating telecommunication provider and follow the application instructions. Generally, you will be asked to fill out an online application form and provide documentation. Once your application is approved, you will receive a free smartphone and discounted monthly service.

As the world becomes more technologically advanced, free 5G phones are a critical tool for those who cannot afford to pay hefty monthly bills. These phones allow users to connect to the internet and access a world of opportunity, while eliminating the worry of expensive data plans and cellular towers. In this age of rapid technological advancement, connectivity has become a fundamental human right.

Providers

There are a variety of providers that offer free 5G phones through government programs. These include Clintex Wireless, which offers smartphones to those who qualify for free cell phone service through the Lifeline Program and Affordable Connectivity Program. These programs require applicants to meet certain income and household size requirements to be eligible. The programs also have different eligibility criteria based on disability and tribal status.

The benefits of 5G technology are significant for low-income individuals, as they provide access to digital opportunities and allow them to stay connected with family and friends. They can also use these devices to access online education resources, job portals, and government services.

The process of getting a 5G government phone and service depends on the specific program, but typically involves applying online or in person. Eligibility criteria for the program varies, but typically includes participation in qualifying government-assistance programs and income levels below 200% of the federal poverty guideline.

Pricing

In the era of rapid technological advancement, access to communication tools has become a basic necessity. This is particularly true for low-income individuals who are unable to afford expensive devices. However, a free 5G government phone can bridge the digital divide by providing affordable connectivity to those in need.

The Lifeline Assistance Program offers a variety of smartphone models that are available for free or at a reduced price. AT&T, for instance, allows subscribers to trade in their current phones and get a Samsung Galaxy S20 FE or iPhone 12 mini. Sprint and T-Mobile are similarly committed to keeping their customers connected by offering free phones with 5G capability.

Besides the affordable cost, 5G phones come with a number of features that can make your experience more pleasant. These include a high-quality camera, a long-lasting battery, and a widescreen display. Additionally, they have lightning-fast internet speeds that allow you to stream and browse at a faster speed than before.

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Year-end accounting considerations for governments

Government Year End

Around June every year, the budget office sweeps back uncommitted funds. Agency executives anticipate this and assemble lists of projects to match up with the funding.

Governments that use a fiscal year often choose to end their accounting period during a low point in business activity. This presents opportunities for vendors that are well positioned to take advantage of it.

Costs

The year-end closing process provides the accounting information needed to prepare the State’s financial statements and other reports. This includes establishing final balances for appropriations, revenues, expenses, assets and liabilities. It also includes determining whether or not unobligated balances from the previous fiscal year will revert to the General Fund.

The fiscal year is the calendar that determines when federal tax forms are filed and audited, and that establishes when budgets are prepared and analyzed. It also determines when quarterly taxes are paid.

Businesses may choose to have a fiscal year that matches the business cycle of their industry. For example, some agriculture companies and retailers have their fiscal year end shortly after the peak revenue time of the year, typically in January or December. The federal government has a fiscal year that runs from October 1 through September 30. Similarly, some community-based organizations and non-profits that receive state funding have a fiscal year that starts in July and ends in June.

Time

Depending on the size of an agency, it can take several weeks or months to complete the government year end task. This process requires extracting period-to-date account balances, recording supplemental year-end closing journal entries and importing the journal entries into the general ledger. It also requires a review of all transactions to ensure they are recorded in the correct fiscal year and completing year-end accruals.

Many businesses use a fiscal year instead of a calendar year for financial reporting purposes. A fiscal year is typically defined by the company’s owners and may differ from the January – December calendar year. A company’s fiscal year may help with the scheduling of quarterly taxes and budgeting.

In the United States, the federal fiscal year, or FY, starts on Oct 1 and ends Sept 30 of the next year. This is different from previous years when the fiscal year began on July 1 and ended on Jun 30. This change was made in 1974 by the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act.

Resources

Choosing the right fiscal year end can save staff time and effort. Many business and government entities choose a fiscal year-end that doesn’t coincide with the calendar year to avoid doing their year-end accounting during busy times such as the November-December holiday season or the summer festival season for not-for-profits.

Other factors that influence year-end choice include the fiscal year-end of major funders or debt covenants. For example, a not-for-profit that receives most of its funding from a government agency might want to align its year-end with the agency’s year-end to simplify grant reporting.

The Bureau of the Fiscal Service has created a comprehensive set of fiscal year-end resources to help agencies meet their statutory closing deadlines. Each section of the Closing Instructions booklet is designed for a specific topic and contains detailed information, instructions and exact cut-off dates. A table of contents is available to easily locate a specific section. Please contact the appropriate Bureau Directory with questions regarding a specific subject matter.

Risk

Governments have to plan for year end in order to meet financial and reporting obligations. It’s not just a matter of accounting for budgets and financial statements, but also the timing of events, including public holidays, historic occasions and climate impacts.

Some entities prefer to have a fiscal year end that differs from the calendar year. This may be a good practice for businesses that rely on seasonal business activities, such as agriculture and retail. They may find it easier to produce their annual financial statements and count inventory at a time when they are at the low point of their cycle.

Similarly, technology companies may want to end their fiscal year in late September, when they’re in the middle of their strongest sales season. This makes it easy for them to report earnings and the latest products on their websites. Other reasons for having a different fiscal year end include the needs of schools and program grant funding.

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