SBA and Other Government Websites Are a Great Resource for Small Business

Here is a list of websites, beginning with the SBA or Small Business Administration, and others that can be a great resource for you, no matter what stage you are in with your business. There are rich resources here for the start up, the micro business, the "big" small business and others. We will be adding more websites to the following list in the next few days.

www.sba.gov -- The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) was created in 1953 as an independent agency of the federal government to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small business concerns, to preserve free competitive enterprise and to maintain and strengthen the overall economy of our nation. The SBA recognizes that small business is critical to the U.S.’s economic recovery and strength, to building America's future, and to helping the United States compete in today's global marketplace. The SBA has resources throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, the U. S. Virgin Islands and Guam.

The SBA has 10 regional offices and 71 district offices covering virtually every state including: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming, Puerto Rico.

The SBA works closely with its resource partners, which are important resources for you, including SCORE, Small Business Development Centers, Women’s Business Centers, U.S. Export Assistance Centers and Veterans Business Outreach Centers.

Naturally, the SBA has extensive small business loans and grants programsw to assist start-ups, micro businesses, and ongoing businesses. It also has a disaster relief program to get small businesses up and running after a disaster. SBA financing has become crucial to the survival of many small businesses today. Check out its plans, guidelines and loan applications. It offers express loans and low interest rates. The SBA offers an online course on its loan programs including its loan guarantee programs such as its 7(a) loan program, its special purpose loans, its micro loan program and its certified development company/504 program. The most common form of SBA financing is through working with private banks, such as Wells Fargo, and then guaranteeing a portion of the loan.

Business.gov -- Business.gov helps small businesses understand their legal requirements, and locate government services supporting the nation’s small business community.

The Minority Business Development Agency(MBDA) -- The Minority Business Development Agency at the U.S. Department of Commerce is the only federal agency dedicated to advancing the establishment and growth of minority-owned firms in the United States. Through a network of minority business centers and strategic partners, MBDA works with minority entrepreneurs who wish to grow their businesses in size, scale and capacity.

The Office of Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) This office of the SBA provides management assistance to current and prospective small business owners. SBDCs offer one-stop assistance to individuals and small businesses by providing a wide variety of information and guidance in central and easily accessible branch locations. The program is a cooperative effort of the private sector, the educational community and federal, state and local governments and is an integral component of Entrepreneurial Development's network of training and counseling services.

SCORE -- SCORE "Counselors to America's Small Business" is a nonprofit association dedicated to educating entrepreneurs and the formation, growth and success of small business nationwide. SCORE is a resource partner with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

U.S. Postal Service -- You may think of the Post Office as the place to get stamps and mail letters but a quick trip to its website will reveal considerable information of marketing your product and services through direct mail.

Export.gov -- Export.gov brings together resources from across the U.S. Government to assist American businesses in planning their international sales strategies and succeed in today’s global marketplace.

FBO.gov -- FBO.gov is a one-stop virtual marketplace. Through this single point of entry, commercial vendors and government buyers are invited to post, search, monitor and retrieve opportunities solicited by the entire Federal contracting community.

Search for contracts -- An excellent site for searching for those government contracts.

Womanbiz.gov -- Just starting to think about bidding on your first government contract? Already seasoned in the federal procurement arena? Government contracts can be a great source of business revenue for both new and established businesses. But to get those contracts, you have to understand the process and how to navigate it successfully. Wherever you are in developing your business, womenbiz.gov can help you do business with the federal government. You’ll find useful information and links specifically focused on the woman business owner interested in doing business with the federal government.

FCC.gov -- Get to know this website if your new business has anything to do with radio, television, wire, satellite and cable.

sbc.senate.gov -- On this site you will find information on both hearings and legislation, in addition to press releases and letters from the Committee. I hope you find this site to be a very informational and useful tool.

Census.gov -- Drop by this website and hit the jackpot no matter what product or service you sell or will sell in the future, you need this site. Census.gov has a wealth of information that can literally put you in business and hit a bulls eye with your product or service, the first time out.

DOL.gov -- The United States Department of Labor is another website to add to your favorites list.

Veterans Business Outreach Program -- The Veterans Business Outreach Program (VBOP) is designed to provide entrepreneurial development services such as business training, counseling and mentoring, and referrals for eligible veterans owning or considering starting a small business. The SBA has four organizations participating in this cooperative agreement and serving as Veterans Business Outreach Centers (VBOC).

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