Contrary to popular belief, the Small Business Administration is not just in the business of making sure that female and minority business owners get access to business loans. The SBA’s goal is actually to be a resource to all small businesses across the country. Using the resources available from the SBA, small business owners have a greater chance of succeeding.
Because the Small Business Administration is a government agency, its leaders know that in order to make a connection with small business owners, it must become a part of the communities that small businesses serve. There are SBA district offices spread across all 50 states offering business counseling and training to entrepreneurs and business owners. Some states have more than one SBA district office.
By visiting a local SBA office, new and existing business owners can learn about government-backed financing options and individual local resources, such as women’s business centers and other small business development centers. Local SBA offices can also provide information about obtaining licensing and permits in specific states and municipalities.
Most regional SBA offices also have a calendar of events that includes regularly scheduled training seminars. The seminars cover a variety of business start-up and growth topics, including marketing techniques, taxes, employee health benefits, changes in employment laws and ways to achieve business goals.
The SBA can even help new and existing business owners get in contact with a business mentor or counselor who can offer insight and recommendations for business development. Many of those mentors and counselors are available through local government-sponsored agencies unrelated to the Small Business Administration. They include Women’s Business Centers, Minority Business Development Centers, Small Business Development Centers and SCORE – a network of thousands of retired business leaders.