From Counseling for Owners to Loan Guarantees,
Small Business Administration Seeks To Elevate Wide Swath of Employers
he U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is an independent agency of the federal government created 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.
The SBA of Indiana is headquartered in Indianapolis, but many services can be delivered locally or electronically. Your Business Service Representative can refer you to the appropriate SBA contact. Free counseling to aspiring entrepreneurs as well as small business veterans is available, as well as regular workshops and seminars at little or no cost to prospective small business owners.
In Michiana, Small Business Administration services are delivered through:
- SCORE. SCORE "Counselors to America's Small Business; SCORE maintains a chapter in South Bend and one in Elkhart;
- Women Business Centers. Women Business Centers (WBCs) located around the state; and
- Business Development Centers. Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs), such as the one located in South Bend that serves nine counties in northern Indiana.
Additional SBA services include:
- Assistance to Qualifying Businesses. Assistance to businesses owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals;
- Loans for Global Trade. International trade assistance through a special loan program and counseling;
- Advice to Women Business Owners. A women's business ownership representative who advises women business owners. The SBA also sponsors numerous programs with private and public sector organizations to assist female entrepreneurs;
- Counseling Veterans entering Business. A veterans affairs officer to counsel veterans who want to start their own business; and
- Loan Guarantee Program. The SBA 7(a) and 504 loan guarantee programs that typically work through local banks and can be used to purchase machinery and equipment, land and buildings, and for working capital.