For those looking to start a small business or existing business owners who want to expand their reach, the U.S. Small Business Administration is a great first stop.*
The SBA is more than a source for new or growing businesses to find loans for their projects. Since its inception on July 30, 1953, the SBA has provided services to millions of businesses through its four functions. Below is a look at each one:
1) Access to Capital (business financing) - The SBA provides small businesses with an array of financing options from micro-lending to venture capital. Funding options include loans, investment capital, disaster assistance, surety bonds and grants to businesses that qualify.
2) Entrepreneurial Development (education, information, technical assistance, training) - The SBA provides free face to face and internet counseling for small businesses, as well as low-cost training to nascent entrepreneurs and established small businesses in more than 1,800 nationwide locations and U.S. territories.
3) Government Contracting (federal procurement) - In keeping with the mandate of the Small Business Act, the SBA's Office of Government Contracting sets goals with other federal agencies to reach the statutory goal of 23% of prime contract dollars to small businesses. This office also provides small businesses with subcontracting procurement opportunities, outreach programs and training.
4) Advocacy (being a voice for small businesses) - The office reviews legislation and testifies on behalf of small businesses before lawmakers. It also assesses the impoact of regulatory burden on behalf of small businesses.
*The above article was copied from Denise Hick's November 30, 2018 Orlando Business Journal article.