As a small business owner, you should probably get to know as much as you can about the Small Business Administration; or SBA for short. The SBA is an autonomous government agency that is dedicated to encouraging the growth and stability of the economy by helping you find funding.
They do so by helping small businesses find their best funding options, training, and other small business related assistance solutions.
If you have a solid business plan worked out ahead of time, complete with a list of your existing financial resources the SBA will be better prepared to help you out. You probably already know that you can’t just walk into any bank or other financial institute and find funding.
You can, however, easily find the SBA District/Regional or Resource Office that is nearest to you. In fact, that’s the first step-
Find your local District Office or Resource Center
Finding the closest District/Regional or Resource Office is really simple. Just visit SBA.gov/localassistance and take a quick look at their map. Click on your state, and then the nearest office to your location. This will display more details about which services are offered by the office, and exactly where they are located.
Take advantage of counseling to help you decide on your strategy
Once you’ve located the nearest District and Resource Offices, you can take a meeting with an SBA mentor. They can counsel you through the process of finding your funding. In addition to the following loans, the SBA can also set you up with significant investors-
- Loans that are typically specific to startup costs
- Disaster Loans for established businesses that are victims of a disaster
- Export Assistance Loans
- Veteran/Military Community Loans for active or retired military
- Special Purpose Loans for (obviously) special circumstances such as communities whose employment/job loss are directly affected by NAFTA, etc…
Approach the SBA rep with a solid business & funding plan
As a small business owner, you should be sure to take advantage of all of the resources that are available to you. The SBA is one of the best resources on that list, as they’re dedicated to small businesses like yours.
If you have a thoroughly thought out business plan when you approach the rep, they’ll be able to put you on the fast track to funding right away. You’ll begin by filling out their loan application, and your SBA mentor will be able to help you from there!