Small Business Administration Resources
the owner of a small business, it can often seem like the cards are stacked against you. From legal entity formation to regulatory adherence to maintaining adequate financial records, the list of things you need to do just to get off the ground seems to go on forever. But did you know that small businesses accounted for 48 percent of private employment in 2013? That’s a huge portion of the U.S. economy. Naturally, the government wants to support this. That’s why the Small Business Administration (SBA) is here to help people like you to get the help you need.
What Is the SBA?
The Small Business Administration was formed in 1953 following the liquidation of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation. While the RFC focused on making loans to banks, railroads, and mortgage associations following the Great Depression, the SBA was dedicated to all kinds of small business. In addition to providing capital to government contracts and small businesses, the SBA operates offices across the country. It also provides a wealth of educational resources on its website so you can learn the basics of starting your business.
Do you have an idea for a business but no idea on how to do things “the right way”? For example, suppose you and some friends are all great artists and have a good relationship with the local printer. You want to get busy selling slick designs to college students but you don’t know the first thing about reporting your income or hiring new employees. The SBA website has you covered.
Everything you need to know to get off the ground is on the website. Whether you need information on laws regarding your line of business or information on obtaining permits, you can find it there.
Small Business Development Centers
Do you need a little more help than you can find on the website? Maybe your questions are too specific to be answered by general articles. Don’t worry, the SBA has a solution for these situations too—Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) are located across the country. They host no-cost and low-cost training sessions, provide market research and even help develop business plans. Search for your nearest SBDC and submit a request for one-on-one counseling services today.
Loans and Grants
If you’re confident in your business acumen, but you need some financial support to get going, the SBA has a variety of loan programs that might fit your needs. You can find a list of these programs here.
You may find that the loan options listed don’t quite align with your needs. If that’s the case, the SBA can help connect you with a private investor. Small Business Investment Companies (SBIC) are regulated by the SBA but are private and make independent investment decisions. This means that there are a wide variety of investors who may be a great fit for partnership with your business. Learn more about SBICs here.
Starting a small business might seem daunting at first, but with the help of the SBA, it won’t anymore. From your first steps to approaching investors for capital, the SBA has a road map to help you achieve your goals.