Founded in 1953, SBA is an independent agency of the federal government that strives to assist the needs and concerns of small businesses nationwide. An overall goal of SBA is to help interested Americans to start, build, and grow a successful business. Through an extensive network of field offices and partnerships, SBA delivers professional business services to the United States and outlying territories, the SBA Web site stated.
Information on starting a business and obtaining financial backing is provided in abundance on the site.
Although SBA does not provide grants to finance small businesses, it does provide indirect loans through the cooperation of lenders and other intermediaries. These lenders generally make the necessary loans with SBA’s backing that they will be repaid in full. Additional information on how to apply for a loan can be found on the Web site’s “Apply for a loan” section. SBA also offers a Small Business Investment Company Program which is similar to venture capital investment funds. This program is privately owed, licensed, and regulated by SBA and it is the organization’s goal that the investment funds yield high returns for investors.
In addition to numerous financing programs offered by SBA, the organization also offers Surety Bonds. Essentially, a Surety Bond is a three-party investment between, a surety, a contractor, and the project owner. A bond works to ensure the contractor complies with the conditions of the contract. If the contractor is unable to hold up their end of the bargain, then the surety is to assume the contractor’s responsibilities and make sure the project is completed, the organization’s Web site stated.
Additional information on the four different types of surety bonds can be obtained on SBA’s Website.
Before any entrepreneur wishes to pursue a new business venture, he or she must first become better acquainted with the necessary literature and resources; that is where the SBA’s online library comes into play. The organization’s resource library provides an abundance of information pertaining to almost every facet of running a small business. Information on numerous reports, studies and statistics are provided to let prospective entrepreneurs understand what they are up against as well as the risks and rewards of operating a small business.
Literature on specific laws and regulations can be obtained through SBA’s resource section as well. Potential business owners can also access reviews and publications on strategic business planning. The downloadable PDF and html files contain documentation on Small Business Investment Acts, standards for conducting business with SBA, small business size regulations and statistics from the Census Bureau on small business along with information on other topics.
Success stories are also filed online to provide inspiration or motivation to those who may be uncertain of whether or not to start a new business. Disaster and rebuilding stories are provided on the site to urge owners to develop a plan for whatever pitfalls they may encounter. Although some types of natural and manmade disasters may be unavoidable, small business owners should always have a plan in place for the unexpected. To assist those who have sustained unforeseen damages as a result of catastrophes, an SBA disaster-recovery loan is available.
Tips on developing and managing a business from start to finish are outlined through the SBA small business planner. The planner offers owners information on how to begin a business with writing a business plan. Steps two and three of the planner stress the importance of picking the right location, protecting one’s ideas, obtaining necessary licenses, managing employees and marketing a product. The final step of a business plan is the termination stage. If one decides to end their venture, SBA provides literature on how a sell a business, liquidate assets, file for bankruptcy, and how to orchestrate ownership transfers.
Altogether the counseling, training, and business development services offered through SBA are low-cost and can be instrumental to a business’s longevity and success. For more information on the services offered by SBA, please contact the North Carolina District Office in Charlotte at (704) 344-6563 or visit their Website at www.sba.gov.