On March 20, 2015, SBA established an alliance and co-sponsorship agreement with the Brazil New England Chamber of Commerce – BRANECC. As part of the co-sponsorship both institutions will be working on a workshop series within the next year. Some other things that this co-sponsorship will provide BRANECC members with are invitations to SBA-sponsored events, SBA-sponsored training, and up-to-date information regarding SBA’s programs and services. This article will explain to you some of the key benefits and services SBA has to offer and why BRANECC chose to partner with them.
The Small Business Administration offers many services that can help your small business flourish. They offer everything from helping you write your business plan to helping you find the perfect grant for your small business and everything in between.
One of SBA’s biggest perks is that they can help you apply for a loan. SBA offers different types of loans that can help you start or expand your business. SBA loan programs are designed for those who may have trouble qualifying for a traditional loan. If you qualify for an SBA loan program, your loan is eligible for an SBA guarantee; this means that if you default of your payments, SBA will repay the lender. One type of loan SBA offers is a Basic 7(a) loan which is the most basic and most used loan that can help you acquire or expand your small business. A Certified Development Company 504 Loan program is a long-term, fixed-rate loan that can help you acquire major fixed assets, such as land or a building. Lastly, SBA offers microloans that are given to start-ups or growing small businesses. SBA also offers a number of other types of loans including disaster loans, export assistance loans, veteran and military community loans, and special purpose loans. Click here to read more about the different types of loans that SBA offers, as well as a checklist to get you on your way to a loan application.
Another major function of SBA is that they have resources for filing and paying your taxes. Taxes are inevitable, and SBA is the place to go if you are struggling to determine what your tax obligations are. They have resources to help you understand what your state and federal tax obligations are, as well as when to determine when the tax year starts for your business. Click here for more on taxes and your obligations.
The Small Business Administration has a great online learning center where you can access self-paced courses with quick videos and web chats. The online learning center allows you to learn more about business ownership. Many of these courses only take thirty minutes to complete and cover a variety of topics such as financing, government contracting, managing your business, marketing, and many more! Click here to get started exploring the courses offered by SBA’s Online Learning Center.
Another service that SBA offers is to help facilitate government contracting. The government is one of the world’s largest customers and they are very particular about how they purchase products and services. The government wants to ensure that competition is open and fair, the products and services they buy are competitively priced, they want to get what they pay for, and they want to follow the law. The government likes to work with small businesses because they want to support small businesses as engines of economic development and job creation, support disadvantaged socio-ethnic groups, and gain access to the new ideas that small businesses are great at providing.
SBA’s role in government contracting is that they work with federal agencies to award at least 23% of all government contracting dollars to small businesses. They also help the government reach specific statutory goals for small disadvantaged businesses, women-owned small businesses, service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses, and businesses located in historically underutilized business zones. SBA also has a program called the 8(a) Business Development Program that assists eligible disadvantaged individuals in developing and growing their business though counseling, workshops, and other avenues. Click here to learn more about SBA’s involvement with government contracting and see if you qualify.
By Raphaela Esposito
Intern, FSU Entrepreneur Innovation Center