The Small Business Administration (SBA) is a government agency that serves as a small-business advocate. It represents the interests of small business owners on Capitol Hill, serves as an intermediary that protects small business owners against excessive or unfair penalties and regulation imposed by federal agencies and administers a vast collection of resources to help you plan, start and manage your business.
One of the most important resources the SBA offers is loan assistance. Although the SBA doesn’t grant loans, it does guarantee them. The SBA loan guarantee encourages lenders to make small business loans by literally guaranteeing repayment in the event that the borrower defaults.
The SBA’s 8(a) Business Development is another offering that many small business owners find invaluable. The program provides mentoring, procurement assistance, business training and counseling, bonding and technology assistance to eligible business owners. You can apply online at the SBA’s website or contact your local SBA office for a paper application.
SBA Small Business Development Centers help small business owners and prospective owners with many facets of entrepreneurship. Located in each U.S. state and territory as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, the centers provide financial, marketing, manufacturing, organization, engineering and technical advice and assistance. No application is necessary. The centers are open to all interested individuals.
The SBA publishes a storehouse of information that can help you plan, finance, market and manage your business. In addition to a wealth of reference material, available online and in print, you can also participate in informational webinars–all free of charge.
If you’re a business owner or are interested in starting a business, you owe it to yourself to explore all the SBA has to offer.
To apply for funding for your small business, use the form on the right to begin the application process.