An overview of the 4 main areas of service that the US SBA provides to small businesses.
The U.S. small business administration makes the American dream of business ownership a reality. We do this by empowering entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start and grow their small businesses. And the SBA is the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses that are backed by the strength of the Federal Government. For example, many people are surprised to know that 99.5 percent of the businesses in the Houston area are small according to the SBA… about 615,000 of them!
We help small businesses in 4 main areas:
- Providing free business advising and mentoring plus free or low-cost workshops through the SBA’s resource partners SCORE, the small business development Centers (SBDC), and the Women’s Business Center (WBC). If you’re an aspiring entrepreneur or small business owner looking for free mentorship and advice from real-world business executives, in person or virtually, and free online workshops and webinars, contact your nearest SCORE chapter (www.score.org). If you are an aspiring entrepreneur or small business owner looking for free business consulting to get started or grow, in person or virtually, and low-cost training on crucial business topics contact your nearest SBDC (www.sba.gov/sbdc). If you are an aspiring or current women small business owner looking for business advice to level the playing field against unique challenges or obstacles, comprehensive training, and counseling on a variety of topics contact the WBC (www.sba.gov/WBC).
- Did you know that at least 23 percent of all federal supplies and services contracts are targeted to small businesses each year? We help small businesses win these federal contracts in a variety of ways, including the 8(a) Business Development Program and Certification Programs: Women-Owned Small Business, Small Disadvantaged Business, HUBZone Business, and Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business. If you are looking to expand with government contracting, the Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) can help. They can determine if your business is ready for federal contracting, help you register in the proper places to get involved in the government marketplace and see if you’re eligible for certifications.
- Small businesses need money to start and grow, and we help them find it. First, we help with the SBA guaranteed loan program, where we level the playing field for small businesses by guaranteeing the bank that a portion of your loan (usually 50%-90%) is backed by the SBA. Small businesses can use our online referral tool www.sba.gov/lendermatch to find a local SBA lender interested in your project or attend an in-person matchmaking event. We also offer innovation grants through the SBIR/STTR program for businesses that create new technologies and processes, as well as equity funding through our SBIC program.
- Finally, we help businesses, as well as homeowners, renters, and nonprofits, recover after a declared natural disaster through direct low-interest loans.
To learn more about SBA programs and to attend a workshop or webinar, visit the SBA District Office nearest you.