The first thing that comes to mind when you think about the SBA – The Small Business Administration – is business loans. But the organization is so much more than a money lender. There is a huge number of ways the SBA can help you with your startup, and we’re here to just name a few.
The SBA offers loan guarantees
The SBA doesn’t actually lend you the money itself. Instead, it works almost like a co-signer to help you get a business loan. Whether you already have a lender in mind or need the SBA to help connect you to lenders, you’ll be celebrating the launch of your business in no time.
You can sign up for SBA’s Linc program here to help speed up the process of securing a business loan.
There are also several other loan programs supported by the SBA:
- The basic 7(a) loan program – for existing and startup businesses
- The 504 “Go” loan – to help fund equipment and expansion
- Special loans for veterans, microloans for startups, and Calpine loans for working capital
If the past year has taught business owners one thing, it’s to always have a backup plan, just in case of disaster. The SBA can help small businesses by providing disaster assistance to those hit by crisis both physically, and economically.
One way in which they help during emergencies is to assist self-employed people to find financing during periods where they cannot work.
They encourage research and innovation
The Small Business Innovation Research grant is coordinated by the SBA. It’s a competitive grant application, which focuses on businesses owned and run by socially and economically disadvantaged people. The grant encourages businesses to research further into commercialization and brings together small companies and government agencies.
They help startups become government contractors
With the backing of the SBA, small businesses can compete with their larger counterparts on government contracts. A lot of government agencies must purchase a percentage of services and products from small businesses, and if you think your company is small but mighty enough to be a contender, the SBA can help give you the stage you need.
It doesn’t discriminate
As support and funding aren’t equally available for everyone, the SBA has a strong focus on changing this. The organization offers support for women-owned businesses, loans for owners from minority backgrounds, as well as those with disabilities.
Training and advice
The SBA has a great selection of guides and training courses available for owners of small businesses. Whether you need help with marketing, creating a business plan, or even how to set your business up from scratch, they’ve got you covered.
They have plenty of development centers across the country, as well as courses available online.
These are just a few ways the SBA can help with your small business. There is so much to benefit from that there’s no reason not to get involved. While it can provide the support you need to secure your first business loan, it has plenty more to offer in terms of knowledge and encouragement.