SBA

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) announced that it is seeking grant proposals to award up to $700,000 in grant funding for projects that promote the development of innovative and successful Native American firms that are eligible for assistance under the SBA’s 7(j) Management and Technical Assistance Program.

The SBA expects to award three to seven grants to provide funding opportunities for Native American Micro Enterprise Business Services.

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WASHINGTON–The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced today that the Impact Investment Fund of the Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) program has tripled in the last 12 months.

“Capital investment in some sectors, geographies and industries is still lower than you would expect and like. Through the Impact Investment Fund, we’ve sent a message to professional fund managers with expertise in areas like clean energy, education technology, and advanced manufacturing as well as those looking for 'off the beaten path' gems in low income or economic distressed communities across the country. SBICs as a whole, fill capital formation gaps at the low end of the middle market, the Impact Fund, puts a magnifying glass where the gaps are widest," said SBA Associate Administrator for Investment and Innovation Javier Saade.

The SBA began 2014 with two Impact SBICs managing $182 million and ended the year with six Impact SBICs collectively managing between $442 million and $572 million in total assets depending on the amount of credit guarantees approved and employed.   Given the SBIC Impact Investment Fund is still well below the originally expected $1 billion leverage level, there is room to further grow the list of professional investors interested in pursuing impact strategies.

Three of the six Impact SBICs have not deployed capital.  The other three have invested in 33 companies across the country and collectively employ approximately 4,600 people.  These companies include an organic cage-free poultry operation in Texas, a wood waste-to-pellet fuel concern in Michigan and an educational institution in an urban low-income community in Puerto Rico.

One of the policy changes made was seemingly simple but equally meaningful – the Impact Investing Initiative became the Impact Investment Fund, making it a permanent feature of the SBIC Program.  The Fund uses the rapidly evolving strategies that involve marrying financial gains and intentional social returns to narrow gaps.

Initially, SBIC’s were limited to SBA-identified impact investments, but now because of the flexibility of the Impact Investment Fund, participating funds can identify and pursue their own strategies.  In addition to the expansion of this fund, SBA removed several key barriers that prevented access to it by:

  • Lifting the $200 million restriction to offer licensed Impact SBICs better access to leverage;
  • Removing the waiting period in accessing multiple leverage commitments; and
  • Permitting existing SBICs to opt-in if they meet the Impact Fund requirements.

The reasons for the relatively slow deployment of impact investing strategies at the institutional level are varied and complex, but one of the main reasons, is the adoption of standards to measure intentional social impact has been spotty.  The SBA and the federal government, supports the adoption of standards to further enable more institutional private capital flow to the small business community.

Information on the fund and the policy can be found here.  The changes were made based on feedback from a significant number of private sector stakeholders and were consistent with themes the SBA heard from impact investors the White House roundtable on Impact Investing that was held this past summer.  The comments align with the recommendations of the US National Advisory Board on Impact Investing released this summer and with the findings of the G8 Task Force on Social Impact Investing, Impact Investment: The Invisible Heart of Markets.

The six Impact SBICs are:

2011 Michigan Growth Capital Partners SBIC, LP
2012 SJF Ventures III, LP
2014 Bridges Ventures U.S. Sustainable Growth Fund, LP
2014 Morgan Stanley Impact Fund
2014 Bluehenge Secured Debt SBIC, LP
2014* Renovus Capital Partners, LP

NEW YORK
The U.S. Small Business Administration announced today that it will open Disaster Loan Outreach Centers (DLOC) in West Seneca on Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2015, and in Attica on Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2015. The location of the DLOCs will make it convenient for those affected by the severe winter storm that occurred Nov. 19 – 26, 2014 to apply for disaster loan assistance.

The declaration covers Erie County and the adjacent counties of Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Genesee, Niagara, and Wyoming in New York.

CALIFORNIA

Low-interest federal disaster loans are available to California residents and business owners affected by the severe storms and flooding that occurred December 11‑12, 2014, U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet announced today. SBA acted under its own authority to declare a disaster in response to a request SBA received from Gov. Edmund G. Brown Jr.’s designated representative, Mark S. Ghilarducci, Director of the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, on December 24.

The disaster declaration makes SBA assistance available in San Mateo County and in the neighboring counties of Alameda, San Francisco, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz.

“Low-interest federal disaster loans are available to homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes and private nonprofit organizations whose property was damaged or destroyed by this disaster,” said SBA’s San Francisco District Director Mark Quinn. “Beginning Monday, January 5, SBA representatives will be on hand at the following Disaster Loan Outreach Center to answer questions about SBA’s disaster loan program, explain the application process and help each individual complete their application,” Quinn continued.

ARKANSAS

Small, nonfarm businesses in the Arkansas counties of Crittenden, Cross, Lee, Monroe, Saint Francis and Woodruff are now eligible to apply for low‑interest federal disaster loans from the U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA). These loans offset economic losses because of reduced revenues caused by the hail in Saint Francis County that occurred October 2, 2014, announced Tanya N. Garfield, Director of SBA’s Disaster Field Operations Center ‑ West.

IOWA & NEBRASKA

Small, nonfarm businesses in five Iowa counties and neighboring counties in Nebraska are now eligible to apply for low‑interest federal disaster loans from the U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA). These loans offset economic losses because of reduced revenues caused by the freeze in the following primary county that occurred on May 16, 2014, announced Tanya N. Garfield, Director of SBA’s Disaster Field Operations Center - West.

Primary Iowa County: Harrison;
Neighboring Iowa counties: Crawford, Monona, Pottawattamie and Shelby;
Neighboring Nebraska counties: Burt and Washington.

“SBA eligibility covers both the economic impacts on businesses dependent on farmers and ranchers that have suffered agricultural production losses caused by the disaster and businesses directly impacted by the disaster,” Garfield said.

Small, nonfarm businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations of any size may qualify for Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) of up to $2 million to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses which could have been met had the disaster not occurred.

“Eligibility for these loans is based on the financial impact of the disaster only and not on any actual property damage. These loans have an interest rate of 4 percent for businesses and 2.625 percent for private nonprofit organizations, a maximum term of 30 years, and are available to small businesses and most private nonprofits without the financial ability to offset the adverse impact without hardship,” Garfield said.

By law, SBA makes EIDLs available when the U. S. Secretary of Agriculture designates an agricultural disaster. Secretary Tom Vilsack declared this disaster on December 24, 2014.

Businesses primarily engaged in farming or ranching are not eligible for SBA disaster assistance. Agricultural enterprises should contact the Farm Services Agency (FSA) about the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) assistance made available by the Secretary’s declaration.

Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure Web site at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.

 

 

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Small Business Administration 7(a) Loan Program reached a lending record in 2014, as announced today by SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet.  By the end of the fiscal year (Sept. 30), SBA had approved 52,044 7(a) loans for $19.19 billion, an increase of 12 percent in number loans and 7.4 percent in dollar amount over fiscal year 2013.

The 7(a) program is designed to provide small businesses with the most comprehensive type of financial assistance to cover the vast majority of business expenses, such as short and long-term working capital, exports, and refinancing existing debt under certain conditions.

“As our economy continues to grow and recover, small businesses are the essential fuel to that continued growth,” said Contreras-Sweet. “Thanks to the hard work and outreach by our lending partners, SBA staff, and our resource partners, as well as the small business owners themselves, we have been able to put more capital into the hands of our nation’s entrepreneurs. We know that America’s small businesses pack the biggest punch, creating two out of every three net new private sector jobs in the U.S. These small businesses are the cornerstone of our communities, so their success and expansion is vital to the nation’s economic growth.”

SBA had been authorized $17.5 billion in the FY 2014 lending program.  It became clear that lending would exceed that amount; therefore the agency secured an increase for the 7(a) program in the Continuing Resolution that was approved in mid-September.

Other SBA loans that did well in fiscal 2014 were those $150,000 and under. Spurred by the fee relief implemented at the beginning of the fiscal year (fees were set to zero), these loans saw an increase of 23 percent in number of loans (30,675) and 29 percent in approved dollars ($1.86 billion) over fiscal year 2013 (24,923 and $1.44 billion respectively).

Fee relief was also instrumental in helping veteran small business owners through the Veteran Advantage initiative (zero fees on loans $150,000 to $350,000 to veterans.) Fee relief for veterans began January 1, 2014, and by the end of the fiscal year amounted to $610,000. Fee relief for both loans $150,000 and under, and for Veterans Advantage, was extended through fiscal year 2015.

Small businesses reflect the dynamic demographics of the United States. In FY 2014, the number of SBA loans to African Americans grew by roughly 36 percent over the previous year. For Hispanics and women, there was an increase of 14 percent for each group.

In our efforts to reach out and help small businesses across the nation, lenders play an important role as partners, as it is through them that SBA financial assistance is channeled and managed. In FY 2014, SBA added 308 new lenders that, collectively, made 684 loans for nearly $317 million.

As exports continue to play a pivotal role in strengthening the nation’s economy, SBA loans to exporters grew by 3.7 percent in number of loans and 12 percent in dollar amount over last year.

One of the ways in which SBA helps small businesses is through providing essential bid and performance bonds to small contractors, which allows these small businesses to be more competitive when bidding on contracts, be they with the government or the private sector. In fiscal year 2014, SBA Office of Surety Bond Program saw an increase of four percent in total contract value, from $6.168 billion in FY 2013 to $6.413 billion in FY 2014. Total bond contract amount also grew from $1.262 billion in FY 2013 to $1.358 in FY 2014, an increase of eight percent.

Washington, DC-The accomplishments of Veteran small business owners around the country were celebrated during National Veterans Small Business Week.

U.S. Small Business Administration district offices and resource partners nationwide hosted more than 100 local events, including entrepreneurship training such as Boots to Business: Reboot classes, veteran access to capital workshops, and government contracting roundtables.

Veteran entrepreneurship workshops were also held at U.S. military installations in Germany and Korea.  On Friday, the ABC television network hosted a special “Shark Tank(link is external)” episode featuring veteran entrepreneurs who pitched their business ideas.

“In a significant way, veteran small business owners continue to serve America in a big way by employing more than six million workers, running one of every 10 small companies and generating more than $1.2 trillion in receipts every year,” said SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet.  “National Veterans Small Business Week is a great opportunity to expand the ranks of veteran entrepreneurship.  We are proud of the men and women who continue to play such a critical role in the economic growth of our nation.”

In addition to the SBA’s district offices and resource partners, the White House, along with the Department of Veterans Affairs and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, are involved in supporting NVSBW events.

Each year the SBA helps more than 200,000 veterans, service-disabled veterans and reservists start and grow their small businesses.  To learn more about additional opportunities for veterans available through the SBA, visit the SBA website.

WASHINGTON - The Small Business Administration has announced the launch of Destination: HUB.  For over 17 years, the HUBZone program has served as one of SBA's signature initiatives and has helped small businesses in urban and rural communities gain preferential access to federal procurement opportunities.

The program encourages economic development and employment growth in distressed areas by providing opportunities for firms to become active participants in the federal supply chain.  Destination: HUB will promote and highlight HUBZones for opportunities in federal procurement.

"More than any other SBA initiative, the HUBZone Program has been a critical resource, creating jobs, alleviating poverty and reducing unemployment in our nation's most vulnerable communities.  The program has had a transformational effect on small businesses all across the country.  SBA's Destination: HUB will put a spotlight on our underserved small businesses and promote HUBZones as ideal places for government contractors to do business," said Maria Contreras-Sweet, SBA Administrator.

"In our 2013 scorecard, we reported that HUBZone businesses only received 1.7 percent of federal contracts - well short of our 3 percent goal. This new initiative is an example of how the SBA actively working to achieve that goal." said Contreras-Sweet.

Destination: HUB will promote and support HUBZone firms in federal contract opportunities, while ensuring local economic development boards, government officials, federal buyers, and prime contractors work hand in hand to bring more sole-source and set-aside awards directly for these HUBZones.

Overall, Destination HUB will consist of three major components; first, an in-depth examination of successes and needs in the HUBZone program; second, analysis of ideal situations for successful HUBZone collaboration, harnessing the power of our public-private partnerships and market research to recruit more firms for HUBZone participation; and third, launching a broad grass-roots educational initiative, together with community organizations, faith leaders, local economic development, and key stakeholders, to encourage participation in and inspire collective ownership of, the HUBZone program, at both the regional and national levels. As a result, Destination HUB furthers SBA's effort to improve access to capital and close opportunity gaps in communities of color, by empowering entrepreneurs and small business owners economic and social mobility through employment and business growth.

The HUBZone program, enacted in 1997, helps small businesses located in areas that have been identified and designated as historically underutilized in both rural and urban communities, and on Indian reservations, receive contract help, thus promoting job growth, capital investment and economic development. The SBA regulates and implements the HUBZone Program and determines which businesses are eligible to receive HUBZone contracts. In FY 2013, the federal government awarded $6.2 billion to HUBZone firms.

To have a GDF staff member assist you in your HUBZone process, please contact us!

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Small Business Administration announced today its support for entrepreneurial ecosystem development in eight communities through “ScaleUp America.”  This new initiative is designed to provide the necessary support to help companies scale up and grow, while strengthening and enhancing local entrepreneurial ecosystems around the specific needs of growth-oriented entrepreneurs and firms resulting in their ability to produce measurable economic impact and job growth in local communities.

“Today the SBA is announcing funding support for eight communities that will help scalable small firms grow and create jobs,” said SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet.  “Ninety-two percent of new jobs come from the expansion of existing businesses.  We are bringing our successful entrepreneurship education programs to underserved communities, bridging the gaps for those in greatest need across the country. This intensive SBA support will create jobs and support a diverse cross-section of communities across our great nation.”

The eight ScaleUp awardees were selected from more than 60 applicants to participate in the inaugural group of communities represent a wide range of diverse geographic areas and organizations.  From urban to rural, the applicants focused on filling the gap in services for growth-oriented small businesses with average annual revenue of $150,000 to $500,000.

SBA’s funding will be provided to each ScaleUp community’s organizing entity to strengthen opportunities for small businesses within the community.  The funds will be used to deliver a proven entrepreneurship education curriculum for growth-oriented entrepreneurs and small businesses; provide on-going one-on-one support, mentoring and technical assistance; assistance and connections to growth capital; and opportunities to build and strengthen connections and networks in their community.

The ScaleUp America communities include:

StartUp Tucson, Community of focus:  Tucson, Ariz.

StartUp Tucson, a nonprofit organization, has developed entrepreneurship ecosystem through an IDEA to IMPACT strategy – a strategy that received recognition by Entrepreneur Magazine. And now, with the assistance of SBA, StartUp Tucson and several key partners will provide assistance to four cohorts of growth-oriented companies that have developed market traction, but face challenges that are distinct from the entrepreneurs at the startup-stage.

University of North Florida, Community of focus: Jacksonville Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), Fla.

The five-county region of Jacksonville MSA has been nationally recognized as a small business climate conducive to start-ups and second-stage companies, yet recently has experienced a loss in establishment, sales and job growth for the self-employed and Stage 1 companies.  ScaleUp North Florida will specifically seek to assist these companies through an entrepreneurship education curriculum tailored for this community, management assistance and support based on an in-depth assessment of each business’ needs, access to capital for identified graduates and opportunities to build and strengthen networks.

University of Missouri - Kansas City, Community of focus: Kansas City

Two cohorts of small businesses participating in the ScaleUp Kansas City, led by University of Missouri – Kansas City’s Innovation Center, will commence their program with the FastTrac® Listening to Your BusinessTM and FastTrac® Growth Venture™ entrepreneurship curriculum. Supplementing the curriculum, businesses will develop their growth plans through one-on-one consulting and training, experienced business mentors, workshops on energy and environmental assistance, government contracting and international trade, and will all complete a financial assessment in order to discover ways of funding their particular growth strategies.

Women’s Business Development Center, Community of focus: Aurora, Ill.

Through the ScaleUp Aurora program, the national Women’s Business Development Center (WBDC), headquartered in Chicago, Ill., will fill a gap in Aurora as the city lacks an economic development center focused on accelerating the growth of small businesses and providing access to capital. The program will use the Plan for Profit 12-week program followed with individual counseling, mentors, networking events, connection to resources – both connections and streams of capital.

Your Management Team, Inc., Community of focus:  Central Ohio

Your Management Team, Inc. will fill the gap in the entrepreneurial ecosystem of Central Ohio by targeting established small but growing main street businesses.  Each business participating in the program will develop a strategic plan shaped by their experiences in the program completing the Kauffman Foundation’sGrowthVenture™, leadership and management workshops, marketing and sales workshops and quarterly financial reviews by certified public accountants.

Supply Chain Visions LLC, Community of focus:  Roanoke, Va.

With nearly 3000 growth-oriented small businesses with annual revenues in the $150,000 to $500,000 range, Roanoke, Va. will be an ideal community for the inaugural class of ScaleUp America.  Supply Chain Visions LLC will provide the training curriculum of the Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership/Workshop in Business Opportunity’s (WIBO) sixteen module, intensive program, a peer-to-peer learning, workshops focused on access to capital, and business networking needed to further develop a cohesive business to business environment, particularly for underserved populations.

Supply Chain Visions LLC, Community of focus:  Greater Portland, Maine

Members in the entrepreneurial ecosystem of Portland, Maine articulate a strong community and assistance for the start-up community, but identify gaps in the support network for later stage, growth-oriented companies. Supply Chain Visions LLC and their committee of the University of

Southern Maine, Gorham Savings Bank, Maine Center for Entrepreneurial Development, Blackstone Accelerates Growth (BxG), The Regional Chamber of Commerce and SBA resources partners will help fill those gaps with their ScaleUp program.

Advantage West Economic Development Group, Community of focus:  Western North Carolina

ScaleUp Western North Carolina will provide intensive business scale up assistance and leadership development to two cohorts of Western North Carolina small businesses with strong potential for growth and job creation each year.  The program, led by the Advantage West Economic Development Group, will also fulfill gaps in the entrepreneurial ecosystem identified in their regional Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) plans, and will extend a proven training curriculum to rural, underserved and underrepresented small business communities.  In addition to offering a robust program to the small businesses, Advantage West will improve the ecosystem by hosting a series of regional outreach meetings to engage community partners from across the 23-county Western North Carolina region.

SACRAMENTO, CA – The Small Business Administration announced Small, non-farm businesses in the Idaho counties of Bonneville, Fremont, Jefferson, Madison and Teton are now eligible to apply for low-interest federal disaster loans from the U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA).  “These loans offset economic losses because of reduced revenues caused by the drought that began on May 15, 2014, in Madison County,” announced Tanya N. Garfield, Director of SBA’s Disaster Field Operations Center-West.

“SBA eligibility covers both the economic impacts on businesses dependent on farmers and ranchers that have suffered agricultural production losses caused by the disaster and businesses directly impacted by the disaster,” Garfield said.

Small, non-farm businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private, nonprofit organizations of any size may qualify for Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) of up to $2 million to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses which could have been met had the disaster not occurred.

“Eligibility for these loans is based on the financial impact of the disaster only and not on any actual property damage.  These loans have an interest rate of 4% for businesses and 2.625% for private, nonprofit organizations, a maximum term of 30 years, and are available to small businesses and most private, nonprofits without the financial ability to offset the adverse impact without hardship,” Garfield said.

By law, SBA makes EIDLs available when the U. S. Secretary of Agriculture designates an agricultural disaster.  Secretary Tom Vilsack declared this disaster on July 16, 2014.

Businesses primarily engaged in farming or ranching are not eligible for SBA disaster assistance.  Agricultural enterprises should contact the Farm Services Agency (FSA) about the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) assistance made available by the Secretary’s declaration.  However, in drought disasters nurseries are eligible for SBA disaster assistance.

Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure Web site at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced that it is seeking grant proposals to award up to $1.5 million in grant funding to for-profit and non-profit service providers including, but not limited to, universities, trade and professional associations, firms, and other organizations for special projects to promote the development, success, and long-term survival of small disadvantaged businesses that participate in the agency's 8(a) Business Development Program.

The SBA expects to award 6-10 grants in the range of $150,000-$250,000, and that up to two awards may be made to small businesses. Applications will be accepted through July 20, 2014, and awards will be issued by September 30, 2014.

Under this initiative, grants will be made to service providers to enable them to make unique management and technical assistance services available to eligible small businesses that are approved by the SBA to receive services. Specifically, SBA is seeking unique and innovative projects to provide specialized training, executive education, and tools to promote business development of eligible firms. However, grants cannot be used by small businesses themselves as a source of funding to grow or otherwise expand their individual enterprises.

John Shoraka, Associate Administrator for Government Contracting and Business Development, noted that "One key strategic goal of the SBA is to genuinely broaden and deepen entrepreneurial education and counseling resources for small businesses." He added "This initiative is directly linked to that goal. The services we are now looking for will increase opportunities for potentially high-growth small businesses, especially small firms that do business with the government."

Through these projects, the SBA intends to increase the range of services available to eligible firms by addressing many issues facing them including, but not limited to:

  • teaming with other businesses;
  • mastering the process of federal contracting;
  • reversing declines and turning around businesses; and
  • securing loan financing or private equity funding.

To submit a proposal for funding under this initiative, an applicant:

  • may be a for-profit or not-for-profit entity (including, but not limited to small businesses; other-than small businesses; trade and professional associations, and educational institutions);
  • must have been in existence continually for at least three years;
  • must demonstrate substantive experience dealing with issues relating to small business; and,
  • must demonstrate that it has the capacity to provide assistance to small businesses.