The Small Business Administration is the government agency created to help American small business owners start, build, and grow businesses.
According to their official website, “The 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.”
You may be wondering how exactly the SBA can help your business. The good news is it can. The bad news is—well, actually there isn’t any bad news because the SBA is pretty cool. Here’s how it can help:
The SBA Provides Some of the Best Loans Around
In 2017, the SBA helped connect entrepreneurs with 68,000 loans through the 7(a) and 504 loan programs, which provided a total of $30 billion to American small businesses. These loans are highly sought after because of their fantastic rates and terms.
These favorable terms are possible because the SBA serves as a mediator between your business and a lender. Once you’re approved, the SBA guarantees a sizable portion of the loan, reducing the lender’s risk.
How Do I Get an SBA Loan?
First, you have to apply. And applying is no picnic, unfortunately. Not only is the paperwork a bit arduous, but it takes a while to process. The application process bears all the marks of typical bureaucratic lethargy, but if you make it to the end, you’ll be sitting pretty on a secure and sizable loan.
There are also a few requirements unique to each kind of SBA loan. Learn all you need to know about SBA loan requirements here.
If you want the quickest, most efficient path to SBA loan approval, you’ll want to check out our proprietary application platform. It lets you upload copies of all your documents with just a click, so you don't have to tote around a mountain of paperwork to get approved.
SBA loans are a great way to secure capital, but they aren’t the only service provided to small business owners.
The SBA Provides Training and Counseling
The SBA provides free counseling and low-cost training to new entrepreneurs and established small businesses in over 1,800 locations. Their 8(a) program, for example, is designed to assist socially and economically disadvantaged small businesses.
The SBA has also built a network of nearly 100 Women’s Business Centers across the nation. These centers are designed to assist women in starting and growing their businesses. They provide management and technical assistance to all female entrepreneurs—especially women who are economically or socially disadvantaged—through comprehensive training and counseling on a variety of topics in myriad languages.
Many of the SBA’s programs are designed to help those who come from difficult social and economic backgrounds. It’s one of the traits that really sets the SBA apart from other organizations and makes it a benefit to so many.