The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) helps Americans start, build, and grow businesses. It was created through the Small Business Act of 1953.
The SBA is an independent agency of the federal government established to:
- Aid, counsel, assist, and protect the interests of small businesses
- Preserve free competitive enterprise
- Maintain and strengthen the economy of the nation
The SBA’s founding charter also specified that it would ensure that small businesses receive a “fair proportion” of government contracts and sales of surplus property.
How can the SBA help small business owners?
The SBA may help small business owners by:
- Awarding direct business loans
- Guaranteeing bank loans to small businesses
- Providing loans to victims of natural disasters
- Working to get government procurement contracts for small businesses
- Providing management and technical assistance and business training
- Providing financial and federal contract procurement assistance
- Supporting business owners who are women, minorities, and armed forces veterans
- Offering advice and assistance on international trade issues
More specifically, the SBA may:
- Provide a variety of financing option for small businesses, from microlending to equity investment capital
- Provide free counseling and low-cost training to new and established small businesses across the country
- Commit to awarding 23% of “prime contract dollars” to small businesses
- Review congressional legislation and testify on behalf of small businesses
The agency’s Business Guide provides advice to small business owners on topics including everything from writing a business plan and registering your business with the federal government to managing your finances and finding additional capital.
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