The Small Business Administration is a federal agency founded in 1953 to help entrepreneurs launch and maintain their businesses. From humble origins, it has gradually developed to be one of the most important resources business owners can make use of.
Blackhawk Bank works with the Small Business Administration to make its programs accessible to business owners in our community. No matter what stage of the business journey you’re in, you may be able to access loans, counseling, and other assets from the SBA.
The Small Business Administration is an American Institution
The definition of a “small” business varies by industry and is based on the total number of staff or the total receipts of a business. In some industries, a small business might have hundreds of employees – but most small businesses are much smaller than this.
Small businesses, including those with fewer than ten employees, are a major driver of economic growth. They add millions of dollars to the economy. Employer firms with less than 500 employees make up the vast majority of all businesses, and in fact, businesses with fewer than 20 workers make up the biggest segment of all.
Since American business is small business, it comes as no surprise the federal government has been preparing and supporting entrepreneurs for decades. President Dwight D. Eisenhower established the SBA to capture the spark of American innovation after World War II.
In recent history, SBA has been part of a number of projects to spur economic growth and recovery. It provides direction and guidance to 900 private Small Business Development Centers throughout the United States.
Some key innovations of the SBA include:
- It facilitates awarding of about 23% of all prime federal contracts to small businesses;
- It provides direct or indirect counseling to 1 million entrepreneurs each and every year;
- It ensures high access to credit for small businesses in times of overall economic peril.
The overall goal of the SBA is to promote the three Cs: Counseling, Credit, and Contracts.
Blackhawk Bank Partners with the SBA to Help Your Business
Like other federal organizations, the Small Business Administration doesn’t lend money to users directly. Instead, it establishes standards and partners with trusted financial institutions. These institutions offer loans with favorable rates and terms based on the federal standards.
That makes banks like ours truly essential to the SBA’s mission. SBA’s core offerings include:
Small Business Administration Loans
SBA loan rates are among the most favorable any new business can find. Blackhawk Bank helps would-be loan users navigate SBA loan requirements and ensure their venture is suitable. Loans are available to launch a new business or expand an existing business.
There are several different Small Business Administration loan programs to choose from:
The 7(a) loan is the most common loan program offered by SBA. It provides financial help to businesses that have special requirements. Users must demonstrate a need and show that they have invested personal equity.
Microloans are small, short-term loans that can be extended to businesses and to some nonprofit childcare centers.
SBA extends low-interest disaster loans to businesses of all sizes as well as private nonprofits, homeowners, and some renters. These can be used to replace or repair business assets, real estate, personal property, and equipment or machinery.
Real Estate & Equipment
Some businesses need specific fixed assets in order to be successful. These include things like industrial equipment or real estate. Companies that do not have business or personal assets to make these purchases may qualify for a loan.
Small Business Administration Grants
A grant is money provided to a person or enterprise that never needs to be paid back. The Small Business Administration does not provide grants. However, it may be possible to access data on other federal government grants by working with SBA.
SBA Government Contracting
SBA provides a wide variety of contracting opportunities intended to help small businesses compete for long-term federal business. To qualify for contracting opportunities, a business must first meet strict compliance standards.
Start or Manage a Business
The Small Business Administration provides a wealth of free resources on its website to help you start or manage your business. This includes advice on things like legal matters, HR, and more. Small Business Development Centers nationwide provide additional one-on-one help.
Here at Blackhawk Bank, we are proud of our ability to help small business owners reach their goals effectively. Our relationship with the Small Business Administration helps us serve enterprises of all sizes across any industry you can imagine.
Why not find out more about business banking services from one of our experts? Visit one of our convenient locations to get personalized advice on your situation. We look forward to helping you succeed in all your business endeavors.