Grants or other outside help

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InnLove1314

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I've owned and operated my B&B for almost 5 years now, so fairly still new at this. I was wondering if there are any grants out there for either women owned B&B's or for lodges that are over 100 years old. We're a seasonal B&B so the winters are rough for us to stay afloat, because the B&B is so old we put a lot of our profits back into our business. We've already looked into loans and banks won't help with anything because we are not a year round business. Any help or advise is HIGHLY appreciated! Thanks for listening.
 

Morticia

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Depending where you are located there may be help. Look for women-owned-business programs in your state. Try SCORE for advice on where to look. Sometimes local chamber organizations can offer advice.
Another weird option, if you collect a paycheck, is to go on unemployment over the winter.
 

gillumhouse

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Also look to SBA for loan help or if you have a local Federal Home Loan Bank, they have a loan program (at least we have it because WesBanco belongs to the Pittsburgh FHLB system) called banking on business (BOB loans).
The first year was either no payments or no interest - I cannot remember because it was a few years ago now and the interest rate was low. Pay off that sucker as quickly as possible because it (interest rate) DOES go up after a few years. Mine went from 3% to 6%. I was able to borrow enough to replace my roof and I needed a car and pay off credit cards. They split it into 2 loans (one was a BOB) but it DID get me through a rough patch. Every time I was "flush" I put extra on the principal.
Once I got the smaller one paid off, I found the payment on it was within $10 of the other principal payment so I signed the documents to make a principal payment in addition to the regular payment so that one is going down quicker. I pay cc off every month and use it as little as possible.
IF I am lucky, I might get a few room nights in March. I DO know what a dead season is.
 

seashanty

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Ohboy! I wish you well. We had to close October thru March, we couldn’t afford to heat the place. That bill was astronomical, even for just the main floor. Everything around for miles also closed except the general store on limited hours, so there was nowhere to go besides for a walk. I had to have plumbing drained and we’d close up and go. Found a seasonal job and place to live elsewhere and worked on marketing, was thrilled with online reservation deposits that gave us something. It’s hard.
i never thought of trying to collect unemployment! That’s an idea
Good luck!
 

Morticia

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Ohboy! I wish you well. We had to close October thru March, we couldn’t afford to heat the place. That bill was astronomical, even for just the main floor. Everything around for miles also closed except the general store on limited hours, so there was nowhere to go besides for a walk. I had to have plumbing drained and we’d close up and go. Found a seasonal job and place to live elsewhere and worked on marketing, was thrilled with online reservation deposits that gave us something. It’s hard.
i never thought of trying to collect unemployment! That’s an idea
Good luck!.
Collecting deposits is always helpful when we’re closed for the winter!
 

JimBoone

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InnLove1314 said:
We're a seasonal B&B so the winters are rough for us to stay afloat, we put a lot of our profits back into our business.
I'm afraid it is somewhat the nature of our type of tiny business, my first year the March sales were less than the February power bill. I always had to work an outside job and help my wife in the business evenings and weekends, other than the profit of a roof over our heads, the business profit and often parts of the paycheck were spent or invested back in the business, eventually there is the feeling that you are making progress, but, yep, it's slow progress. Hope you enjoy the business as much as we do, sometimes it does seem like we work for the enjoyment.
My knowledge of grants is limited to having worked at a public agency in years past, my opinion is that the idea sounds good, but had limitations that would be difficult for me as a business. Grants tended to purchase physical "things" rather than provide operating funds and the rules for purchasing those "things" drove up the cost many times.
 

Lee2014

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I found out about grants through Eliot from B&B Team. He was giving out two different grant application at a seminar I went to.
 
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