Small business in the US is playing an important role in strengthening the country’s economy. There are 29 million small businesses all over the country which are like an engine to USA’s economy. Two out of every three new jobs are offered by these small businesses. But Linda McMahon, the head of the Small Business Administration (SAB) adds in the power of this “engine” saying that in order to grow significantly, these small businesses need to indulge in exporting. She was addressing Small Business Knowledge Summit in the United Nations.
Small Business Administration and Its Assistance to Small Entrepreneurs
What is Small Business Administration?
Small Business Administration is active in helping small businesses in the US since 1953. The agency is close to celebrating its 64th birthday on 30th July, and definitely, celebrates the proud growth of small businesses in the US. The agency helped the small business to flourish by providing counseling to their owners. The right guidance from the professionals and experts took the new business starters to a new level of efficiency. The Official website (SBA.gov) offers a wealth of training programs and planners to the small business owners. Additional is one-to-one counseling to those who need it.
SBA Assists Small Businesses to Better Growth
Small businesses are standing at a critical turn of their trade life. The agency wants them to take a few steps ahead and understand the global trade. Linda McMahon points out that more than 96 percent of the consumers are living outside the USA and three-quarter of the world’s purchases also takes place outside America. This is compared to only one percent exporting input by the American small businesses. SBA is determined to change the situation and increase the exporting power of small businesses. To make this dream a reality, small businesses need to schedule export activity in their trade agenda. Ms. McMahon added that small businesses will gain more strength upon entering the export trade and the more they export, the faster they grow.
How SBA Assists the Small Businesses?
There is a comprehensive effort from the agency regarding small business growth. Starting from training programs to individual counseling to planning to give loans, the agency does not leave a single useful tactic in promoting small businesses in the USA. The loan program suffered in the past government days in the start of the new millennium. But now, since the start of the new govt. body, the agency has regained power. The most visible element, the loan awarding program, is significant with one grand feature. It is making the repayment periodlonger for the small businesses. That is why the ability of the agency to offer loans is further strengthened in the last 7-8 years.
What Does SBA Determine in the Future?
It is realized by the agency that small businesses in the USA are facing certain challenges. The information that they need is not easy to access. They do not even have enough capital. Entering in the global markets in case of starting exports of the goods is another struggle that is not less tough. Small business Administration is putting measures to help small businesses meet these challenges and improve. McMahon assured that the agency will provide equal opportunity for the small businesses to access the international markets. The export chances also are going to be increased. Another obvious challenge is investment barriers which will also be definitely eliminated or at least reduced. These revolutionary steps promise a brighter the future for small businesses in the US especially now when the agency is supported fully by the ruling power.
SBA Provides Educational Resources to Small Businesses
The American Small Business Administration (SBA) is planning to develop a partnership with a local college or university to provide educational-resources to small businesses’ owners. Newbies are also included inthis plan. The agency has also opened centers in all states to offer business related activities, financing, and marketing free of charge to the local business owners. These centers are found in entire US territories, Puerto Rico, and also Washington D.C. These are called Small Business Development Center – SBDC.
The Latest Announcement Made by SBA
Linda McMahon announced on June 1st that the agency is opening an $18 million funding opportunity especially to support export growth among U.S. small businesses. SBA’s State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) is responsible for awarding funding to the businesses. States that are interested in putting in proposals can find a downloadable form on the official website of SBA. The last date for sending proposals is 10thJune. These STEP awards are to take ahead the President’s National Export Initiative. The purpose is to expand small businesses’ base so that they enter in the export activities and find the process of exporting possibly easy and hassle-free.
With the help of STEP, small businesses get to know and meet the foreign traders in person in the trade missions or trade shows. This balances the SBA’s export loan guaranty programs. SBA further can finance the needed working capital to accomplish export orders and finance the products at a larger scale. Loans for the small business are available up to $5 million. And the entrepreneurs who need more information are advised to visit any of the 21 U.S. Export Assistance Centers allover the US.
What is the Hardest Challenge Faced by Small Businesses?
The head of Small business Administration Linda McMahon said that small business faces the hardest of challenges when they try to acquire trade finance and face compliance troubles. It has happened globally that the entire rejected requests for trade finance were made by small business owners to the banks. More than one-third of the small businesses in the US find trade finance very tough to obtain for foreign sales. She expressed positive intentions of Small Business Administration of working with banks to meet this challenge and design “tailored, trade finance products.” This is meant to keep the flow of financing foreign growth smooth when there are no loans available from the private sector. With this, the future of small businesses looks brighter and more promising!