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Frequently Asked Questions
Below is a list of frequently asked questions that people tend to have concerning the Greater Philadelphia Minority Business Strategic Alliance. This section will continue to grow according to the questions we receive. If you have a question that is not listed below, please contact us so that we may assist you.

1. I want to start a business, what is my first step?

The first step is to seek consultation from one of our strategic partners that provides managerial and technical assistance to "start-up" and existing businesses. Please refer to the list of strategic partners/Services section of our web-site or Call 215/399-0062 for further information.

2. Can the GPMBSA help me obtain financing to start my business if my collateral is weak?

There are various funding sources that provide financing for start-up and existing small businesses, even if the collateral is weak; however, the other factors must be strong. For example, good character/credit rating coupled with management experience, and a sound business proposal could qualify you for a loan. Please refer to the list of strategic partners/Services section of our web-site.

3. How do I get my business certified as a MBE/WBE with the city of Philadelphia and the SBA 8(a) program?

Contact the city of Philadelphia, Minority Enterprise Council at 215/686-6232 and the SBA's Philadelphia District Office at 214/580-2722. Please refer to the Certification section of our web site.

4. How can the GPMBSA help me secure contract opportunities to help grow my business?

Generally, MBE's and small businesses that are seeking contract opportunities should first become certified and have their businesses listed in the various government systems. There are a number of other government and corporate listings that a small business should get on, including the city of Philadelphia Minority Business Enterprise Council, and the Minority Supplier Development Council of PA-NJ-DE. The GPMBSA can direct you to these agencies and help you complete the required applications. For further information, please refer to the list of strategic partners /Certification section of our web-site.

5. Do special grants or loan programs for minorities exist? If so, how can I find them?

There are many grants available to MBE's and small businesses for specific services; however these grants are generally for "non-profit" entities. If your business is a non-profit entity, you should contact the foundation or entity providing the grant and request an application and guideline requirements.

Contact: www.foundations.org for a listing of foundations.

6. Is there anyone who can review my business plan?

Any of the listed strategic partners that provide technical assistance and business consultation can review and update your business plan. Please refer to the Services section of our web-site or contact GPMBSA at 215-399-0062.

7. Can the GPMBSA set me up with a mentor?

Yes. Please review the list of strategic partners, and contact the partner that best represents your interest.

8. Is there a way to submit business questions and get responses and or suggestions from members of the Alliance?

The next development phase of the GPMBSA's web-site will have a forum or "chat room" where visitors can submit business related questions and obtain responses from one or more of the strategic partners. In the interim, if you have a question, please call or e-mail the contact person listed under the Contact Us section of our web-site.

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