Today, President Obama appointed Maria Contreras-Sweet head of the SBA. Founded in 1953, the SBA has had an impact on millions of US businesses, including mine. However, many people, including business owners, know little about the SBA. For most people, the most that they know about the SBA is that it backs some loans to small businesses. So, what does the SBA do?
The SBA primarily works in four areas:
- Contracting with the federal government
In regards to advocacy, the SBA conducts studies and monitors the small business environment. When small businesses are facing issues, the SBA helps determine the issues and solutions.
In regards to contracting, the SBA helps ensure that small businesses get to play a role in government contracting. The SBA helps certify businesses and ensure that they know about opportunities in the workplace. This includes both information about being a prime contractor and a subcontractor. The most recognized program is the 8(a) program for small businesses.
In regards to education, the SBA helps fund counseling and training for small business owners. Three of the most recognized programs are the SBDC (Small Business Development Center), SCORE, and Women’s Business Centers. Through these organization, individuals can learn about starting and maintaining a business, funding, and other necessary information to succeed as a small business.
Lastly, the SBA provides financing. While many small business owners are familiar with the SBA backed loan programs, most do not realized that they also help provide disaster recovery loans and micro-financing.
As a small business owner and business attorney, I highly suggest you take advantages of the resources available. If you have any questions, you can always call me, your small business lawyer, Elizabeth Lewis, at 720-258-6647.