Small Business Administration

Women Entrepreneurs Are on The Move!

By: Martin Short, Lead Economic Development Specialist & Public Information Officer

Women entrepreneurs are on the move when it comes to small business ownership. Women are starting businesses at a much higher rate. Also, women are being recognized now than ever before for their business capabilities and successes. As a matter of fact, today is American Business Women’s Day. 

According to the Census Bureau’s Annual Business Survey (ABS) there were 6,861 more women-owned firms in 2018 than in 2017. This is an increase of 0.6% to 1.1 million firms. This number is continuously growing.

The SBA helps women entrepreneurs achieve their dreams and compete in the marketplace. We have programs that are dedicated to the success of women entrepreneurs. For example, we have an Office of Women’s Business Ownership(OWBO). Our OWBO is geared to empower women entrepreneurs through education, support, and advocacy. 

In addition, the SBA helps fund Women’s Business Centers (WBCs) around the country. WBCs are vital members of our entrepreneurial ecosystem with the mission of helping women navigate the business landscape and overcoming unique obstacles. The SBA has two partner WBCs in Virginia. The Institute for Innovation & Entrepreneurship Women’s Business Center is hosted by Old Dominion University and is located Norfolk, VA. The newest center, Women’s Business Center of Richmond-National Institute Economic Development, is hosted by Virginia Union University and is located in Richmond, VA.

Through the partnership with the SBA Virginia-Richmond District Office and the WBCs, we provide women entrepreneurs with access to capital, counseling, federal contracts, and business training. These services are just the tip of the iceberg. 

In addition, the SBA and WBCs empower women entrepreneurs to be bold, relentless, and resolute about success. We are here to further fuel and amplify this movement. Join us by visiting our webpage on women-owned businesses. Happy American Business Women’s Day!

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SBA Administrator Guzman Enhances COVID Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program to Aid Small Businesses Facing Challenges from Delta Variant

Increased Loan Cap to $2 Million, Expanded Use of Funds to Pay and Prepay Business Debt, Streamlined Review Processes, and Deferred Payments; First Approval and Disbursement of Loans of $500,000 or Less Also Introduced.

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman announced major enhancements to the COVID Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program, a federal disaster relief loan designed to better serve and support our small business communities still reeling from the pandemic, especially hard-hit sectors such as restaurants, gyms, and hotels. The SBA is ready to receive new applications immediately from small businesses looking to take advantage of these new policy changes.

“The SBA’s COVID Economic Injury Disaster Loan program offers a lifeline to millions of small businesses who are still being impacted by the pandemic,” SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman said. “We’ve retooled this critical program – increasing the borrowing limit to $2 million, offering 24 months of deferment, and expanding flexibility to allow borrowers to pay down higher-interest business debt. We have also ramped up our outreach efforts to ensure we’re connecting with our smallest businesses as well as those from low-income communities who may also be eligible for the companion COVID EIDL Targeted Advance and Supplemental Advance grants totaling up to $15,000.  Our mission-driven SBA team has been working around the clock to make the loan review process as user-friendly as possible to ensure every entrepreneur who needs help can get the capital they need to reopen, recover and rebuild.”

Key changes being announced by the SBA include:

  • Increasing the COVID EIDL Cap. The SBA will lift the COVID EIDL cap from $500,000 to $2 million. Loan funds can be used for any normal operating expenses and working capital, including payroll, purchasing equipment, and paying debt.
  • Implementation of a Deferred Payment Period.  The SBA will ensure small business owners will not have to begin COVID EIDL repayment until two years after loan origination so that they can get through the pandemic without having to worry about making ends meet.
  • Establishment of a 30-Day Exclusivity Window. To ensure Main Street businesses have additional time to access these funds, the SBA will implement a 30-day exclusivity window of approving and disbursing funds for loans of $500,000 or less. Approval and disbursement of loans over $500,000 will begin after the 30-day period.
  • Expansion of Eligible Use of Funds. COVID EIDL funds will now be eligible to prepay commercial debt and make payments on federal business debt.
  • Simplification of affiliation requirements. To ease the COVID EIDL application process for small businesses, the SBA has established more simplified affiliation requirements to model those of the Restaurant Revitalization Fund.

 The enhancements to the COVID EIDL program will allow more businesses greater and more flexible support from the over $150 billion in available COVID EIDL funds. Additionally, these changes will help entrepreneurs access capital at a time when, according to a recent Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses survey, 44 percent of small business owners report having less than three months of cash reserves, and only 31 percent reporting confidence in gaining access to funding.

 How to apply

 Eligible small businesses, nonprofits, and agricultural businesses in all U.S. states and territories can apply. Visit www.sba.gov/eidl to learn more about eligibility and application requirements. The last day that applications may be received is December 31, 2021. All applicants should file their applications as soon as possible.

 For additional information on COVID EIDL and other recovery programs please visit www.sba.gov/relief. Small business owners may call SBA’s Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 (1-800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard of hearing) or email DisasterCustomerService@sba.gov for additional assistance. The center is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST. Multilingual representatives are available. Small business owners may also contact SBA’s Resource Partners by visiting www.sba.gov/local-assistance.

 Application Process and Fraud Control Enhancements

 In addition to the policy enhancements, the SBA has invested in optimized processes and increased capacity to improve the customer service experience for applicants. Directed by Administrator Guzman to swiftly and drastically enhance COVID EIDL, the revamped management team implemented new processes and performance management such as prioritizing personnel for COVID EIDL and increasing the average number of loan application decisions made. The SBA accelerated daily processing of loan increases from close to 2,000 applications to more than 37,000 applications daily. Loan officer productivity also went from 1.86 applications per day to 15 applications per day. As a result of these increased loan review rates, the 600,000+ loan increase backlog has been cleared and new applications can be processed immediately. At the same time, and to ensure taxpayer dollars are used to support businesses that need COVID EIDL funding most, the SBA has increased fraud controls and is working in collaboration with the SBA Inspector General to closely monitor the program.

All business owners that have received previous loans through the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF), or Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) can still benefit from COVID EIDL. To learn more about the application process, visit www.sba.gov/eidl.

SBA Announces Official Co-sponsors of National Small Business Week 2021

Co-sponsors highlight and elevate small businesses during three-day educational event September 13-15

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Small Business Administration announced the co-sponsors for National Small Business Week (NSBW), a virtual summit spotlighting the resilience of America’s entrepreneurs and the renewal of the small business economy as they build back better from the economic crisis brought on by the pandemic. This year’s Gold co-sponsor, Visa U.S.A. Inc., along with Silver and Bronze level co-sponsors, provides the resources to make this recognition week possible. 

Every year, National Small Business Week events are made possible, in part, due to the support of companies and organizers who serve as co-sponsors. The following co-sponsors have joined the SBA to help celebrate National Small Business Week 2021 and honor the nation’s 32.5 million small businesses for their perseverance, ingenuity, triumphs, and creativity: 

NSBW Co-sponsors

Co-chair

  • SCORE

Gold

  • Visa U.S.A. Inc.

Silver

  • Amazon.com Services, LLC
  • Constant Contact, Inc.
  • Facebook, Inc.
  • Google, LLC
  • MetLife
  • Square, Inc.

Bronze

  • ADP, Inc.
  • Lockheed Martin Corporation
  • T-Mobile USA, Inc.
  • The UPS Store, Inc.
  • Zebra Technologies

With this year’s theme of celebration of resilience and renewal, NSBW events will provide a forum where business owners will be able to get expert advice, learn new business strategies, connect with industry experts, and meet other business owners.

To register for this free event to participate in the summit sessions, please visit http://www.sba.gov/NSBW. All events will be live-streamed and will use the event hashtag #SmallBusinessWeek.

Details and information will be posted on https://www.sba.gov/NSBW as events are finalized.

SBA Announces National Small Business Week Virtual Summit

Event Schedule for September 13-15

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Small Business Administration’s National Small Business Week Virtual Summit event schedule is set. This annual event, happening September 13-14, 2021, honors the nation’s 31 million small businesses for their perseverance, ingenuity, triumphs, and creativity.

SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman announced National Small Business Week in a news release last month. The free, three-day conference will take place in a virtual atrium, which will showcase a series of educational panels on best practices for small businesses to pivot and recover in a changing economy.

This year’s theme is “Celebrating Resilience and Renewal,” spotlighting the resilience of America’s entrepreneurs and the renewal of the small business economy as they build back better from the economic crisis brought on by the pandemic. NSBW events this year will provide a forum where business owners will be able to get expert advice, learn new business strategies, connect with industry experts, and meet other business owners as they look to pivot and recover.

Monday, September 13, 11 a.m. EDT – “Getting Back on Track: Resources to Build Back Better”

Day’s events include:

  • National Small Business Week Welcome – SBA Administrator Guzman
  • Morning Session – Visa US Economic Outlook:  Charting a Course for the Expansion
  • Mid-day Sessions –
    • Getting Real about Resilience
    • Make Your Small Business More Accessible
    • Winning in E-commerce with Email Marketing
  • Late-day Session – Government Incentives to Support and Retain Employees

Tuesday, September 14, 11 a.m. EDT – “Better Serving Small Businesses and Underserved Communities”

Day’s events include:

  • Morning Sessions –
    • Access to Capital for Women Entrepreneurs
    • U.S. Postal Service: Delivering Solutions for Small Businesses
  • Mid-day Sessions –
    • Unlocking the Doors to Access for Black-Owned Businesses:  Funders and Founders Share their Real-Life Stories
    • Resilience and the Recovery: How Small Businesses Can Adapt to the Trends Transforming the Workforce
  • Late-day Session – Support Latino Biz: How Mayors and influencers are leading the way to celebrate the significant economic contributions that Latino-owned businesses make, the jobs they help create, and the positive impact they bring to our community.   

Wednesday, September 15, 11 a.m. EDT – “Continuance to Support Resilience and Renewal”

Day’s events include:

  • Morning Session – Recovery Lessons from the Nation’s Entrepreneurial Coaching Networks
  • Panel Discussion – Exporting as a Way to Grow Your Business: How SBA Can Help You Sell Overseas
  • Mid-day Sessions –
    • Accelerate Your Small Business Success by Selling Online
    • Integrating Brick and Mortar and E-commerce
  • Late-day Session – Empowering the Veteran and Military Small Business Community
  • Closing Session – “Gateway to Success:” Tune in to get a virtual look at the nationwide resources SBA field offices have to help small businesses business start, grow, expand and recover, and how to get connected to the powerful network of small business entrepreneurs right in your community.

 

To register for the National Small Business Week Virtual Summit and to participate in summit workshops, please visit http://www.sba.gov/NSBW. All events will be live-streamed and will use the event hashtag #SmallBusinessWeek.

 

Details and information will be posted on https://www.sba.gov/NSBW  as events are finalized.

SBA Announces Plan to Open Supplemental Grants for Shuttered Venue Operators Grant Applicants Encourages all potential SVOG applicants to apply

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Small Business Administration is announcing a call to all eligible Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) applicants seeking economic aid for live entertainment small businesses, nonprofits, and venues. New applications will be accepted until 11:59 p.m. PT on Friday, August 20, 2021. The SVOG program has so far awarded $8.4 billion in grants to more than 10,800 businesses to assist in getting the nation’s cultural institutions, which are critical to the economy and were among the first to shutter, back on track.

While the application portal will close to new applicants, the SBA will continue delivering economic aid to help venues recover by providing critical relief through the supplemental awards program. Later this month the SBA will open the program for supplemental SVOGs for 50% of the original award amount, capped at a total of $10 million (initial and supplemental combined). Details will be announced at a later date. Additionally, to ensure no eligible venue is left behind, the SBA is currently accepting, by invitation, applications for reconsideration of award amounts and appeals. This rare opportunity gives applicants a chance to prove their eligibility and reverse a prior decision. SBA is committed to delivering relief to entertainment venues through these various options. Should the need arise, the SBA may reopen the portal or make other adjustments to its plan to best meet the needs of small businesses.

“After making much-needed improvements to this vital program, we’ve made swift progress getting more than $8 billion in funds into the hands of more than 10,800 performing arts venues and other related businesses – two-thirds of which employ less than 10 employees. These small businesses suffered disproportionate impacts from the pandemic and were often left out of early rounds of relief,” SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman said. “However, we also know so many small businesses continue to struggle. That’s why, as this program nears the finish line, we’re providing additional funding options for our hardest-hit venues through our supplemental awards program, which will provide another critical lifeline to ensure businesses can reopen and stay open.”

“Simply stated, the Shuttered Venues Operator Grant was our lifeline. The grant has allowed us to return to full operation, including staffing and programming,” stated President and CEO of The Palace, a theater in Stamford, CT, Michael Moran.  “In early 2020, we planned for closing just three or four weeks. As the pandemic continued to worsen, so did our fears of never reopening. The Palace closed for 15 months, with expenses continuing to accumulate against bleak revenue prospects.  The SVOG grant through the SBA saved us and can be credited with not only our recovery but that of Stamford’s entire theater district.”

Moran continued, “Our theatrical community is so appreciative of the exceptional support of the SBA. The program and funds ensure the preservation of our community, allowing artists and audiences the unique experience of joy and enrichment through the arts.”

Since receiving the SVOG, The Palace and other venues have raised their curtains and welcomed back artists and audiences. SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center is available from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET to provide technical assistance with the SVOG application portal and can be reached at 1-800-659-2955 or, for the deaf and hard-of-hearing, at 1-800-877-8339. For additional information on SBA’s Economic Relief programs, visit COVID-19 relief options (sba.gov).

Further, SBA’s resource partners, including SCORE Mentors, Small Business Development Centers, Women’s Business Centers, and Veterans Business Outreach Centers, are available to provide entities with individual guidance on their applications. Applicants can find a local resource partner via a zip code search at  http://www.sba.gov/local-assistance. For weekly SVOG funding data reports, visit www.sba.gov/svog.  

Shuttered Venue Operators Grant background

The SVOG program was appropriated more than $16.2 billion for grants via the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits and Venues Act, and the American Rescue Plan Act. Of these funds, at least $2 billion is reserved for eligible SVOG applications with up to 50 full-time employees. Eligible applicants may qualify for grants equal to 45% of their gross earned revenue up to a maximum amount of $10 million for a single grant. 

$7.5B Awarded in Shuttered Venue Operators Grants

Unique program distributes +10K grants to venues impacted by COVID-19

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Small Business Administration reached a new milestone of successfully awarding over $7.5 billion in Shuttered Venue Operators Grants (SVOG) to more than 10,000 hard-hit live entertainment small businesses, nonprofits, and venues. The SVOG program is designed to assist in getting the nation’s cultural institutions, which are critical to the economy and were among the first to shutter, back on track.  

The SBA worked closely with the White House and other federal partners to process SVOG applications faster after the first two weeks of awards did not set the pace needed for this emergency funding. While more work is still needed to help businesses recover from the pandemic, the SBA took swift action to expeditiously process loans for SVOG and get funding into the hands of hard-hit operators.

“After making improvements to the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program, the SBA is now delivering money quickly, efficiently and fairly to highly-impacted small businesses and venue operators that are critical to America’s cultural fabric and local economies,” SBA Administrator Isabel Casillas Guzman said. “When I began my tenure at the SBA, this first-of-its-kind SVOG program was not where I wanted it to be. I’m proud that, thanks to the hard work and dedication of our talented team, we have turned the ship around. America’s small businesses can rest assured that the SBA will continue to work around the clock to provide the relief that is needed to revitalize local economies and build back better from the pandemic and economic crisis.”

“I am proud to have joined Senators Cardin, Klobuchar, and others to pass the Shuttered Venue Operator Grants into law in December and add even further funding for the program in the American Rescue Plan and am so happy that the live entertainment and other cultural arts venues in New York and across the country are receiving this desperately needed financial aid,” said Majority Leader Schumer. “Over the last year, I have visited music halls, theaters and other cultural institutions throughout New York that had been forced to shutter their doors because of the COVID-19 pandemic. From comedy clubs to concert halls, these cultural institutions are the true heart and soul of New York, and I cannot wait to watch, listen and laugh as they bounce back bigger and better than ever, and I’ll keep working with the SBA to get all of the program’s assistance out the door as soon as possible to help all eligible venues recover.”

“I am grateful that live venues and cultural institutions in Maryland and nationwide are beginning to receive the aid they need to survive the COVID-19 pandemic and recover from the worst economic crisis in nearly 100 years,” Senator Ben Cardin, Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship said. “I have already heard from many venue operators in Maryland who intend to use their SVOG funds to catch up on bills, quickly rehire staff, and prepare for reopening. Last year life changed for all of us, practically overnight, so I am looking forward to the return of winding box office lines and lit-up marquees in the months ahead as our communities continue to recover from COVID-19.”  

Under Administrator Guzman's direction to make changes based on the successes of the Paycheck Protection Program and the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, in approximately seven weeks, the SBA has gone from awarding just over 100 SVOGs on June 10, to more than 10,000 to date, awarding over $7.5 billion in grants, helping venues reopen and stay open. More than two thirds of the awards have gone to venues with fewer than 10 employees, helping the smallest of small businesses – a priority of Administrator Guzman.  

“Thanks to the dedicated and continuing work by the SBA’s SVOG team, and especially, the relentless efforts of our own Senator Chuck Schumer, Broadway’s plans to reopen are steadily moving forward.  The SVOG grants are imperative to Broadway’s recovery.  We credit, with gratitude, the grants that have been received by shows and also those that are forthcoming and in process.  Broadway stages remain dark, however, our amazing artists, talented workers, and excited audiences are preparing to come back in just a few short weeks, and we so look forward to the full return of Broadway.  The SBA’s Shuttered Venue Operator Grant funding is crucial to our return, and we applaud the efforts by the SBA to focus on delivering crucial funding to businesses most in need, “ said Charlotte St. Martin, President of The Broadway League.

“The shuttered venue grants were meant for places like the Smith Center that employ local musicians and entertain local people,” said  Myron Martin, president and CEO for the Smith Center for the Performing Arts in Las Vegas, Nevada. “The SBA is helping us to get back to where we want to be. We’re thankful for that.” 

Another SVOG recipient, Katherine Fritchie, owner of Garland Theater, in Spokane, Washington, shared that after she received the award she was able to successfully balance her budget. “It brings us back to where we were,” Fritchie said. “We’ve paid our debt off, and we get a cushion for our payroll.” Tyrus Joseforsky, owner of indie concert and festival promoter Flight Levelz Entertainment in Hobart, Indiana, added. “I plan to use these funds to invest in future shows and jumpstart my business, which in turn will put artists back on tour, bring revenue back to indoor and outdoor venues, put set-up and break-down crews back to work, bring customers back to the restaurants, retailers and food trucks surrounding venues…the list goes on and on. It’s a good thing for everyone.”    

With the grant funds, venues like the Downtown Cabaret Theatre Company of Bridgeport, in Fairfield County, Connecticut, are returning to operation.  “The sheer weight and excitement by the staff and friends when we got that notice of award was great cause for celebration,” Hugh Hallinan, executive producer of the Downtown Cabaret Theatre said. “The grant will enable us to have a more organized and human approach to open up and we can do it at an accelerated rate.” 

The SVOG portal remains open and funding is still available for all eligible applicants. SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center is available from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET to provide technical assistance with the SVOG application portal and can be reached at 1-800-659-2955 or, for the deaf and hard-of-hearing, 1-800-877-8339.

Further, SBA’s resource partners, including SCORE Mentors, Small Business Development Centers, Women’s Business Centers and Veterans Business Outreach Centers, are available to provide entities with individual guidance on their applications. Applicants can find a local resource partner via a zip code search at  http://www.sba.gov/local-assistance. For weekly SVOG funding data reports, visit www.sba.gov/svog.  

Shuttered Venue Operators Grant background

The SVOG program has appropriated more than $16.2 billion for grants via the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits and Venues Act and the American Rescue Plan Act. Of these funds, at least $2 billion is reserved for eligible SVOG applications with up to 50 full-time employees. Eligible applicants may qualify for grants equal to 45% of their gross earned revenue up to a maximum amount of $10 million for a single grant.   

On July 22, the SBA publicly shared information via the SVOG Frequently Asked Questions about the opportunity for SVOG awardees who received less than they anticipated to request an award amount reconsideration and how those with declined applications can appeal the decision. The notifications for the appeal and award amount reconsideration opportunities are expected to begin August 2 and August 4 respectively and will remain open for two weeks. Following then and per funds remaining available, on August 23, the SBA will open the program for supplemental SVOGs for 50% of the original award amount for grantees and cap at a total SVOG award (initial and supplemental) of $10 million.

A Cybersecurity Attack Can Happen to Your Small Business

By: Martin Short, Lead Economic Development Specialist & Public Information Officer

We are hearing more and more about cybersecurity attacks especially with large companies. Cybersecurity attacks are a growing threat to small businesses as well. What makes some small businesses so vulnerable and attractive for attacks is because they lack the IT security infrastructure. If you are a small business owner, do not think that it can’t happen to you.

The FBI released its 2020 Internet Crime Report indicated an increase of 300,000 from 2019 with reported losses of more than $4.2 billion. The top three crimes reported by victims were phishing scams, non-payment/non-delivery scams, and extortion.

These types of attacks can do astronomical damage to a small business. For some, it could mean a loss in business continuation and possibly cause the business to dissolve. This is what we want to avoid. So how do we avoid and/or prevent an attack?

Business owners can start with learning and educating themselves about cybersecurity and all the risks associated. Find out where your business’s vulnerabilities are and take action to prevent an attack.

First, assess your IT systems such as your website and email platform. If possible, consult with an IT professional. If your budget does not allow for a consultation start the process of learning as much as possible. The most common cyber threats are malware, viruses, ransomware, and phishing. Create a cybersecurity program to prevent these common threats.

Employees and emails are the leading cause of data breaches. Educating and training employees on basic internet best practices can significantly reduce an attack. Your program should be built around the creation of a hygienic prevention cyber-attack culture. Simple practices such as installing antivirus software and updating it on a regular are a start. Using strong passwords and a secure Wi-Fi network makes it secure and hidden.

Do not expect to address this matter by employing just a few practices. Again, consider instituting a culture of prevention and a program to address the most common attacks. The SBA has a webpage dedicated to educating business owners about cybersecurity. In addition, the SBA and resource partners offer training workshops around this. This is a worthwhile investment of time.

Visit the SBA cybersecurity webpage to learn more. Let’s prevent this and not let another foreseeable disaster happen to your business.

SBA Launches 6th Annual Growth Accelerator Fund Competition, Debuts SBIR Catalyst to Award over $5 Million in Prizes

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Small Business Administration announced its 6th Annual Growth Accelerator Fund Competition (GAFC) with the addition of a new component aimed at spurring investment in underrepresented communities within the innovation economy at scale. The 2021 Growth Accelerator Fund Competition and Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Catalyst programs will recognize the nation’s most innovative organizations with inclusive approaches towards supporting entrepreneurs in research and development (R&D). New to this year’s competition, two tracks will run totaling over $5 million in cash prizes.

“The Growth Accelerator and SBIR Catalyst programs are important parts of our efforts to support high-tech, deep-tech startups, by developing a network that targets the unique needs of pre-revenue, R&D-focused businesses,” said SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman.  “We are committed to equity and will award prizes to organizations that are finding ways to inclusively support underserved entrepreneurs -- including women, people of color, and individuals living in underrepresented geographic regions -- so that they can participate, contribute, and benefit from the U.S. innovation ecosystem.”

Track 1-The Growth Accelerator Fund Competition (GAFC): Prizes of $50,000 will be awarded to accelerators, incubators, and related entrepreneur programs proposing impactful assistance to STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math)/R&D entrepreneurs. This year, the competition will award an estimated 84 prizes to successful applicants who focus their proposed efforts on assisting the following groups: women entrepreneurs, minority entrepreneurs, entrepreneurs building technologies to address key policy issues such as clean energy and supply chain resilience, or an underserved target group identified by the applicant (i.e., rural, veterans, individuals with disabilities, etc.).

Track 2- SBIR Catalyst: For the first time, seven additional prizes of $150,000 will be awarded through SBIR Catalyst to scale collaborative partnerships and build regional collaborations in support of SBIR/STTR (Small Business Technology Transfer) applicants and awardees, fulfilling SBA’s mission of addressing gaps in access to the innovation economy for communities of color, women entrepreneurs, and rural communities.

For both tracks, applicants must submit a brief 12-slide presentation addressing the relevant elements of their track and a video narrative of no more than 90 seconds. Panels of expert judges from the private and public sector with experience in early stage investment, entrepreneurship, academia, startups and economic development will review proposals.

Competition rules, requirements and additional information can be found at www.sbir.gov/accelerators.

 

Submission period: May 26, 2021 4:00 PM EDT to June 25, 2021 4:00 PM EDT 

Winners to Be Announced: August 2021

SBA Announces RRF Application & Guidelines Economic relief prioritized for underserved communities

WASHINGTON –U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman announced, over the weekend, key details on application requirements, eligibility, and a program guide for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RFF). The food service industry is among the hardest-hit during the COVID-19 pandemic economic downturn. The American Rescue Plan, signed into law by President Joe Biden, established the $28.6 billion RRF to be administered by the SBA.

“Our message is this; ‘Help is here.’” said Administrator Guzman. “We’re prioritizing funding to the hardest-hit small businesses – irreplaceable gathering places in our neighborhoods and communities in need of a lifeline. Thanks to clear directives from Congress, we’re rolling out this program to ensure these businesses can meet payroll, purchase supplies, and get what they need in place to transition to today’s COVID-restricted marketplace.”

Administrator Guzman emphasized, “We’re also focused on ensuring the RRF application process is streamlined and free of burdensome, bureaucratic hurdles, while maintaining robust oversight. Under my leadership, the SBA will be as entrepreneurial as the entrepreneurs we serve – meeting every small business where they are, and giving them the support, they need to recover, rebuild and thrive.”

Ahead of the launch and over the next two weeks, the SBA will establish a seven-day pilot period, ahead of the public launch, to conduct outreach and training. Participants will be randomly selected and will not receive funds until the application portal is open to the public – to be announced at a later date. For the first 21 days the program is open, the SBA will prioritize reviewing applications from women, veterans and socially and economically disadvantaged business owners. Afterward, all eligible applicants are encouraged to apply.

“These guidelines were crafted by the SBA after conversations with independent restaurant and bar operators across the country,” said Erika Polmar, Executive Director of the Independent Restaurant Coalition. “We are grateful to the SBA for their hard work to make this process as accessible as possible in a short period of time. It is clear the SBA and the Biden Administration care deeply about ensuring businesses struggling the most can quickly and effectively use this relief program.”

In addition to restaurant groups and leading advocacy groups for underserved business communities, the SBA has engaged national and state trade associations, and other small business stakeholders in recent weeks to understand their concerns about relief programs. At all levels, the SBA continues to engage with stakeholder communities to inform and design delivery of financial assistance programs.

 As the SBA builds and prepares to roll out the program, this dedicated SBA website is the best source for up-to-date information for eligible restaurants interested in the RRF. Under this announcement, details on application requirements, eligibility, and a program guide are now available in English at www.sba.gov/restaurants, and in Spanish at www.sba.gov/restaurantes.

SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman’s Statement on President Biden signing the PPP Extension Act of 2021 into Law

WASHINGTON – As President Joe Biden signed the PPP Extension Act of 2021 into law today, extending the Paycheck Protection Program an additional two months to May 31, 2021, and then providing an additional 30-day period for the SBA to process applications that are still pending, Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman, head of the U.S. Small Business Administration, said:

“Today, President Biden sent another strong message to America’s more than 30 million small business owners negatively impacted by the pandemic: help is here. By signing the PPP Extension Act of 2021 and the American Rescue Plan Act into law, the President is providing additional critical relief to the smallest of the small businesses – the mom-and-pop shops that line our Main Streets and keep our local and regional economies going.

“The leadership of the Biden-Harris Administration, working with leaders of the House Small Business Committee, Chairwoman Nydia Velázquez, and Ranking Member Blaine Luetkemeyer, Reps. Carolyn Bourdeaux and Young Kim, and Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee Chairman Ben Cardin, and Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Susan Collins, ensured a strong bipartisan vote to extend this critical relief to hard-hit small businesses. More than 8.2 million PPP loans have provided struggling small businesses with the relief they need to keep workers employed and make ends meet during this pandemic. The SBA remains dedicated to reaching the heart and soul of the nation’s urban, rural, and low-income communities – the smallest businesses – and removing barriers to access this vital relief.”

SBA’s dedicated access to community financial institutions helped underserved small businesses

60,000 Paycheck Protection Program Loans Approved in First Week

WASHINGTON –Today, the U.S. Small Business Administration announced that it has approved approximately 60,000 PPP loan applications submitted by nearly 3,000 lenders, for over $5 billion, between the program’s re-opening on Monday, Jan. 11, at 9 a.m. ET through to Sunday, Jan. 17.   Last week, the PPP provided dedicated access to community financial institutions that specialize in serving underserved communities, including minority- women-, and veteran-owned small businesses from Monday through Thursday, joined Friday by smaller lenders.

As of today, Jan. 19, the Paycheck Protection Program is open to all participating lenders.

“The SBA continues to help small businesses across the nation access vital funds through the Paycheck Protection Program. Data from our first week, which first allowed hundreds of community financial institutions to submit applications, then opened wider to small banks, demonstrate that we have helped tens of thousands of businesses,” said SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza.

“The PPP is off to another great start helping our nation’s economy. With PPP re-opening today for all First and Second Draw loan applications, the SBA remains committed to keeping small business workers on payroll and their doors open during this challenging time. Moreover, the SBA over-performed operationally, issuing guidance and rules in advance and in alignment with the new law’s requirements,” Carranza added.

First Draw PPP loans are for those borrowers who have not received a PPP loan before August 8, 2020. The first two PPP rounds open between March and August 2020 were a historic success helping 5.2 million small businesses keep 51 million American workers employed.  

Second Draw PPP loans are for eligible small businesses with 300 employees or less and that previously received a First Draw PPP loan. These borrowers will have to use or had used the full amount of their First Draw loan only for authorized uses and demonstrate at least a 25% reduction in gross receipts between comparable quarters in 2019 and 2020. The maximum amount of a Second Draw PPP loan is $2 million. 

The Paycheck Protection Program remains open for First and Second Draw PPP loans until March 31, 2021, as set forth in the Economic Aid Act, or until Congressionally-appropriated funding is exhausted.

SBA Proposes Rule to Eliminate Regulations that Exclude Faith-Based Organizations from Seven SBA Programs

Public Comments Due by February 18, 2021

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Small Business Administration invites public comment on a proposed rule designed to remove regulatory provisions that exclude certain faith-based organizations from seven business loan and disaster assistance programs.  These programs include the Intermediary Lending Program (ILP), Business Loan programs (7(a), Microloan and 504 programs), Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program, Military Reservist Economic Injury Disaster Loan (MREIDL) program and Immediate Disaster Assistance Program (IDAP). 

Because these provisions exclude otherwise eligible applicants based on their religious status, they violate their constitutionally guaranteed religious liberty rights.  By eliminating the provisions, the proposed rule would ensure that SBA’s programs provide equal treatment for faith-based organizations, which the Constitution requires, and would correspond with the President’s Executive Order Promoting Free Speech and Religious Liberty.

“Today’s proposed rule would remove barriers to SBA loans and disaster assistance that current regulations unfairly impose on faith-based businesses and organizations,” said SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza.  “America’s faith-based small businesses and organizations play a vital role in providing employment opportunities, products, and essential educational, training and youth social services that benefit both our local communities and the overall national economy.  Today’s proposed rule would ensure that these businesses and organizations are not forced to choose between their faith and the SBA financial assistance that they need to continue serving the public and employing our neighbors.”

Public comments on this proposed rule can be submitted on or before February 18, 2021 at www.regulations.gov, using the following RIN number: RIN 3245-AH60.  The public may also comment by mail to Valerie Mills, Executive Operations Officer, Office of General Counsel, U.S. Small Business Administration, 409 Third Street, SW, Washington, DC 20416.  

SBA will post all comments on https://www.regulations.gov.

For more information about SBA’s assistance to faith-based communities, click here.

SBA and Treasury Announce Simpler PPP Forgiveness for Loans of $50,000 or Less

WASHINGTONThe U.S. Small Business Administration, in consultation with the Treasury Department, today released a simpler loan forgiveness application for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans of $50,000 or less. This action streamlines the PPP forgiveness process to provide financial and administrative relief to America’s smallest businesses while also ensuring sound stewardship of taxpayer dollars.

“The PPP has provided 5.2 million loans worth $525 billion to American small businesses, providing critical economic relief and supporting more than 51 million jobs,” said Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin.  “Today’s action streamlines the forgiveness process for PPP borrowers with loans of $50,000 or less and thousands of PPP lenders who worked around the clock to process loans quickly,” he continued.  “We are committed to making the PPP forgiveness process as simple as possible while also protecting against fraud and misuse of funds.  We continue to favor additional legislation to further simplify the forgiveness process.”

“Nothing will stop the Trump Administration from supporting great American businesses and our great American workers. The Paycheck Protection Program has been an overwhelming success and served as a historic lifeline to America’s hurting small businesses and tens of millions of workers. The new form introduced today demonstrates our relentless commitment to using every tool in our toolbelt to help small businesses and the banks that have participated in this program,” said Administrator Jovita Carranza. “We are continuing to ensure that small businesses are supported as they recover.”

SBA and Treasury have also eased the burden on PPP lenders, allowing lenders to process forgiveness applications more swiftly.  

SBA began approving PPP forgiveness applications and remitting forgiveness payments to PPP lenders for PPP borrowers on October 2, 2020.  SBA will continue to process all PPP forgiveness applications in an expeditious manner.

Click here to view the simpler loan forgiveness application.

Click here to view the instructions for completing the simpler loan forgiveness application.

Click here to view the Interim Final Rule on the simpler forgiveness process for loans of $50,000 or less.

National Small Business Week to Kick-off September 22-24

SBA Hosts Virtual Event to Honor America’s Small Businesses

WASHINGTON – Today, Jovita Carranza, Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration, announced the kick-off for National Small Business Week. The virtual event, rescheduled from May due to the coronavirus pandemic, will be held September 22-24. National Small Business Week honors the nation’s small businesses, many of which are veteran, women and minority-owned, for their achievements and dedication to their communities. This year’s National Small Business Week activities will include numerous educational panels providing retooling and innovative practices for entrepreneurs as our nation’s small businesses look to pivot and recover toward a stronger economy. The event will recognize the national award winners, including the naming of this year’s National Small Business Person of the Year.

“I am thrilled to host SBA’s virtual National Small Business Week ceremony and provide this opportunity to recognize inspiring entrepreneurs from across the country for their innovation, and in many cases this year, resilience,” said SBA Administrator Carranza. “This year, we will spotlight America’s outstanding small businesses and their stories of perseverance and their ability to pivot and overcome adversity.  This event will also feature many educational forums that will inspire entrepreneurs around the country as they recover and sustain their operations.”

National Small Business Week will also recognize small business advocates for their involvement in disaster recovery, government contracting, and their support for small businesses and entrepreneurship.  Awards will be presented to SBA partners in financial and entrepreneurial development, including top SCORE Chapter, Small Business Development Center, Women’s Business Center, and Veterans Business Outreach Center.

For registration and additional information on National Small Business Week, please visit sba.gov/NSBW

SBA Announces Registration for National Small Business Week Virtual Conference September 22-24

WASHINGTON –As part of National Small Business Week, the U.S. Small Business Administration and cosponsors will host all events virtually. This year’s National Small Business Week, September 22-24, 2020, includes numerous educational panels providing retooling and innovative practices for entrepreneurs as our nation’s small businesses look to pivot and recover, contributing to a stronger economy.

The National Small Business Week event schedule includes three days recognizing America’s outstanding entrepreneurs, shining a spotlight on the nation’s 30 million small businesses across the country, including national award winners, and naming of the 2020 National Small Business Person of the Year.

Details and registration information are posted on https://www.sba.gov/NSBW. 

The SBA Virginia-Richmond District Office is happy and proud to announce George Nyfeler, owner of Nyfeler Associates, as the 2020 Small Business Person of the Year for the state. 

“We will recognize Mr. Nyfeler on September 23rd. He is an owner who cares about his employees supporting their success and his community,” said VA-Richmond District Director Carl Knoblock.

“Also, a thanks to Mike King, host of “On The Mic with MikeRVA,” for having the SBA appear on the show every Wednesday and hosting our NSBW event.,” said Knoblock.

Radio Show: “SBA Wednesday-NSBW” Event with “On The Mic with MikeRVA”

Date: 9/23/2020 Time: 1:00pm-2:00pm Tune-In/Viewing: WJFN-"On The MIC With MIKE RVA" 100.5/92.7 FM/820 AM

Listen Live: Click Here

Facebook Live: Click Here

SBA Veterans Small Business Advisory Committees to Host Virtual Public Meetings Sept. 2 and 3

 

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Small Business Administration’s Interagency Task Force on Veterans Small Business Development (IATF) and Advisory Committee on Veterans Business Affairs (ACVBA) will hold virtual public meetings on Sept. 2 and 3 respectively via Microsoft Teams.

“Now more than ever, it is critical for our veteran small business advisory committees to discuss challenges faced by the veteran small business community and how we can expand the resources available to them,” said Larry Stubblefield, Associate Administrator for the Office of Veterans Business Development. “We look forward to hosting our committee meetings virtually, supporting and advocating for this important and underserved population.”

The IATF will meet on Wednesday, Sept. 2, from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. (EDT) via this Microsoft Teams meeting link.

The ACVBA will meet on Thursday, Sept. 3, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. (EDT). The meeting will be two separate sessions with a lunch break in between.

  • Part 1 (morning session) – 9 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. EDT – Meeting link
  • Part 2 (afternoon session) – 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. EDT– Meeting link.

Public comments and questions are strongly encouraged to be submitted in advance by Aug. 28 to veteransbusiness@sba.gov or (202) 205-6773. During the live event, attendees will be in listen-only mode and may submit additional written questions via the Q&A chat feature in Microsoft Teams. For technical support, please visit the Microsoft Teams support page. Transcripts will be available after both meetings at www.sba.gov/ovbd, under the “Federal Advisory Committees” section.

The IATF meeting will include committee member updates from the Departments of Defense, Labor, Treasury and Veterans Affairs, General Services Administration, Office of Management and Budget, North Carolina Military Business Center, and Student Veterans of America.

Committee members will also receive updates from the Vocational Readiness and Employment program and the Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance programs.

The ACVBA meeting will include remarks from ACVBA chairwoman Fran Perez-Wilhite as well as updates on the Veteran Business Project.  Topics discussed during the meeting will include SBA’s veterans’ programs, women-owned small business federal contracting program, the 8(a) Business Development program, VA’s Center for Verification and Evaluation’s verification process, the VR&E program and GSA’s sam.beta.gov changes.

Committee members will also hear about lessons learned from the Paycheck Protection Program and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program.

SBA Announces New Reduced 504 Loan Debenture Rates

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Small Business Administration announced the updated interest rates for the 504 Loan Program offered by Certified Development Companies (CDC). Small businesses can now apply for the lowest interest rates since July 2018 as the program is now allowing 20 and 25-year interest rates at 2.214% and 2.269%, respectively.

“These are very encouraging terms and very supportive of our nation’s goal to bounce-back from COVID-19,” said William Manger, SBA Chief of Staff and Associate Administrator for the Office of Capital Access.  “CDCs” are the driving force behind the 504 Loan Program. The longer terms and low interest rates support and encourage entrepreneurs to step outside of the box and look at real investments. We are pleased that the 504 Loan Program continues to show double-digit year-over-year growth, especially in these extraordinary times.”

Small businesses looking for information on how to expand their business’s real estate or improve their working capital should visit: https://www.sba.gov/brand/assets/sba/sba-lenders/504-Loan-Fact-Sheet-Borrower-Version.pdf

The 504 Loan Program is an SBA business loan program authorized under Title V of the Small Business Investment Act of 1958, 15 U.S.C. 695 et seq.  The core mission of the 504 Loan Program is to provide long-term financing to small businesses for the purchase or improvement of land, buildings, and major equipment, to facilitate the creation or retention of jobs and to support local economic development.  Under the 504 Loan Program, loans are made in conjunction with private sector lenders to small businesses by CDCs, which are certified and regulated by the SBA to promote economic development within their community.

For questions about the 504 Loan Program, please contact:

Linda Reilly
Chief, 504 Loan Program
202-205-9949
Linda.reilly@sba.gov(link sends e-mail)       

Paycheck Protection Program Lending Window Closing

SBA Asks Lenders to Prioritize Underserved Communities

BY: SBA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator (acting) Steve Bulger

The last two weeks of the Paycheck Protection Program are upon us. The U.S. Small Business Administration continues to work with lenders to prioritize access to capital and loan forgiveness for those who qualify. Key to the success of this program is ensuring the cash infusion reaches all areas of our economy, including underserved borrowers such as socially and economically disadvantaged individuals, military veterans and their spouses, women, and rural communities.

SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza recently reached out to our lender network to ask them to redouble their efforts to assist underserved and disadvantaged businesses and nonprofits with PPP financing, thus allowing us to expand economic opportunity before the upcoming deadline of June 30, 2020. We’ve seen success in these areas thanks to the dedicated $10 billion of Round Two funding provided exclusively by Community Development Financial Institutions.

We recognize that SBA-approved PPP institutions like CDFIs, Minority Depository Institutions, Certified Development Companies, and Farm Credit System lenders are leading the way to serve individual entrepreneurs and small businesses in underserved communities. As it stands, SBA has already served more than 4.5M businesses and nonprofits through PPP, infusing more than $500B into the economy. Last week’s surprise drop in unemployment is a direct result of PPP keeping Americans on the payroll.

SBA is dedicated to sustaining our nation’s small businesses and retaining tens of millions of employees – a key priority for President Trump. With more than $100B still available, now is the perfect time for underrepresented small business owners to work with their preferred lender, or find a new lender at https://www.sba.gov/paycheckprotection/find  to apply for their own PPP loan to help their business and their employees survive and thrive.

SBA and Treasury Announce New PPP EZ Forgiveness Application

Revised Full Forgiveness Applications Also Available

WASHINGTON—Today, the U.S. Small Business Administration, in consultation with the U.S. Department of the Treasury, posted a revised, user-friendly Paycheck Protection Program loan forgiveness application implementing the PPP Flexibility Act of 2020. In addition to revising the full forgiveness application, the SBA also published a new “EZ” version of the forgiveness application applying to borrowers who:

  • Are self-employed and have no employees; OR
  • Did not reduce the salaries or wages of their employees by more than 25%, and did not reduce the number or hours of their employees; OR
  • Experienced reductions in business activity as a result of health directives related to COVID-19 and did not reduce the salaries or wages of their employees by more than 25%

“This is great news for small businesses,” said SBA Regional Administrator Steve Bulger, who oversees agency operations in the Atlantic and Mid-Atlantic regions. “The EZ application requires fewer calculations and less documentation, which makes the process much less intimidating. I’m sure this will go a long way toward improving access and helping us distribute the remaining PPP appropriations to support small business owners and their employees.” 

Details regarding the applicability of these provisions are available in the instructions to the new EZ application form. Both applications give borrowers the option of using the original 8-week covered period (if their loan was made before June 5, 2020) or an extended 24-week covered period. These changes will result in a more efficient process and make it easier for businesses to realize full forgiveness of their PPP loan.

Click here to view the EZ Forgiveness Application.

Click here to view the Full Forgiveness Application.

New PPP Rules Changes Give Small Businesses More Options

Bipartisan PPP Flexibility Act Helps Small Businesses Recover from COVID-19

WASHINGTON –The recently enacted Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Flexibility Act provides additional clarity and flexibility for small business owners to meet the requirements of the PPP loan program created by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. When the President signed the bipartisan legislation into law, it gave more time and discretion for when and how the loans can be spent to keep employees on payroll and keep up with accounts payable to further assist the nation’s economy’s recovery from COVID-19.

To date the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program has provided more than 4.5 million small business well over $510 billion in potentially forgivable loans, directly ensuring 50 million American workers stay connected to their jobs.

“Small businesses and their advocates at all levels of government have spoken consistently about the PPP; it works and it’s a success,” said U.S. Small Business Administration Regional Administrator Steve Bulger, who oversees the agency’s operations in the Atlantic and Mid-Atlantic Regions. “As we continue to combat the Coronavirus, our small businesses needed more give when it comes to when, where and how to apply. The Flexibility Act puts the decision-making power in the hands of the business owners who know best how to keep their businesses afloat while serving their employees and their customers.”

The SBA will issue rules and guidance, a modified application form, and a modified loan forgiveness application implementing the following amendments:

  1. Extend the loan forgiveness period from eight to 24 weeks after loan disbursement. Borrowers who have already received PPP loans retain the option to use the eight-week covered period.
  2. Lower the forgiveness requirement for borrowers to use 75% of loan proceeds and loan forgiveness amount be used for payroll costs to 60 percent. If a borrower uses less than 60 percent for payroll, the borrower remains eligible for partial loan forgiveness.
  3. Provide loan forgiveness safe harbor based on reductions in full-time equivalent (FTE) employees for borrowers who are unable to return to the same level of business at which they were operating before February 15, 2020 due to compliance with COVID-19 requirements or guidance issued between March 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020 by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
  4. Provide loan forgiveness safe harbor based on reductions in FTE for borrowers unable to rehire employees or hire similarly qualified employees for unfilled positions by December 31, 2020.
  5. Increase to five years the maturity of PPP loans approved by SBA (based on the date SBA assigns a loan number) on or after June 5, 2020.
  6. Extend the deferral period for payments of principal, interest, and fees on PPP loans to the date that SBA remits the borrower’s loan forgiveness amount to the lender (or, if the borrower does not apply for loan forgiveness, 10 months after the end of the borrower’s loan forgiveness covered period).

Additionally, the new rules confirm that June 30, 2020 remains as the last date upon which a PPP loan application can be approved. More than $130B remains in available PPP funding as of June 4.

 

 

 

Top Regional SBA Official Discusses New NFIB PPP Survey

Steve Bulger Lauds Findings that SBA Assistance Helped Most Applicants

PHILADELPHIA – The small business advocacy association, National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB), recently released the results of a small business survey showing a positive impact by the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Payroll Protection Program (PPP) in helping small businesses and non-profits during the challenges stemming from the Coronavirus pandemic.

The independent group’s survey finds that more than three-quarters of eligible businesses have applied for a PPP loan, and 93% of those received a loan. It also indicates the “vast majority of small business owners (67%) who have a PPP loan have found the loan ‘very helpful’ in financially supporting their business,” with another 14% reporting the PPP loan is “moderately helpful” and 11%, “somewhat helpful.” Only 2% say that the PPP loan was not at all helpful, and 7% said that it is too early to tell.

“The Paycheck Protection Program was created by the CARES Act to provide forgivable loans to small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic to help pay the bills and keep employees on the payroll,” said SBA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Steve Bulger, who oversees the agency’s operations in the Atlantic and Mid-Atlantic Regions. “The most recent SBA data show that 826,696 small businesses received $103,936,930,794 in the SBA’s Atlantic and Mid-Atlantic regions combined. This goes to show the PPP is going a long way to meet the demand of small businesses and their employees during this critical time.”

“The agency worked quickly with Treasury, SBA staff and SBA partner organizations helping lenders and small businesses understand the process of applying for a PPP loan and getting the money to pay their employees and creditors quickly, allowing them to stay in business while we ride out this pandemic,” he added. “There is still plenty of money in the PPP appropriation, and now is the time for any small business owner, who feels the program could help them, to contact a participating lender and apply.”

For information about SBA resources and services, visit: SBA.gov/coronavirus.

SBA and Treasury Department Announce $10 Billion for CDFIs to Participate in the Paycheck Protection Program

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Small Business Administration, in consultation with the U.S. Treasury Department, announced $10 billion of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Round 2 funding will be lent exclusively by Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs). CDFIs expand economic opportunity in low-income communities by providing financial products and services for residents and local businesses. These dedicated funds ensure PPP funds reach all communities in need of relief during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The forgivable loan program, PPP, is dedicated to providing emergency capital to sustain our nation’s small businesses, the drivers of our economy, and retain their employees– a key priority for President Trump,” said SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza. “CDFIs provide critically important capital and technical assistance to small businesses from rural, minority and other underserved communities, especially during this economically challenging time.”

“The PPP has helped over 50 million American workers stay connected to their jobs and over 4 million small businesses get much-needed relief,” said Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin.  “We have received bipartisan support for dedicating these funds for CDFIs to ensure that traditionally underserved communities have every opportunity to emerge from the pandemic stronger than before.”

The additional $10 billion in Round 2, combined with CDFI approvals of $3.8 billion in Round 1, ensures entrepreneurs and small business owners in all communities have easy access to the financial system, and receive much-needed capital to maintain their workforces.

“Providing American businesses with access to federally-guaranteed capital ensures underserved communities are not left out of our COVID-19 recovery, said SBA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Steve Bulger. No longer will small business owners in underserved communities just hear about the money. With today’s action, more minority-owned small businesses will be able to access it to survive, thrive and support our economy.”

The PPP was created by the Coronavirus, Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) and provides forgivable loans to small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic to keep their employees on the payroll. To date, more than 4.4 million loans have been approved for over $510 billion for small businesses across America. The SBA and the Treasury Department remain committed to ensuring eligible small businesses have the resources they need to get through this time.

SBA Launches National 2020 SBIR Road Tour to Connect Tech Entrepreneurs with Federal R&D Funding

WASHINGTON, D.C. –The U.S. Small Business Administration announced today the launch of its 17-state SBIR Road Tour. The Road Tour will stop at cities in the Southeast, Midwest, Rockies and the Central South.  It will connect entrepreneurs working on advanced technology to one of the country’s largest source of early stage funding – the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs.

  “SBA is focused on helping small businesses grow and expand. The $4 billion in federal early stage funding is often a critical piece to maturing an entrepreneur’s research idea into a product or service. The Road Tours bring the federal managers to the entrepreneur and target areas and individuals that are underrepresented when it comes to receiving federal R&D funding,” said SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza. “This tour reflects our continued commitment to ensure those innovators are aware of SBIR/STTR program resources.” 

This will be the sixth year of the SBIR Road Tour, led by the SBA’s Office of Investment and Innovation together with 11 participating federal agencies.

NATIONAL SBIR ROAD TOUR SCHEDULE 2020:

The Southeast Tour will run from April 13-17, with stops in Richmond, Virginia; Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina; Columbia, South Carolina; and Atlanta/Athens, Georgia.

The Midwest Tour will run from June 1-5, with stops in Omaha, Nebraska; St. Louis, Missouri; Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, and Bloomington, Indiana.

The Rockies Tour will run from August 10-14, with stops in Bozeman, Montana; Idaho Falls, Idaho; Salt Lake City, Utah; and Laramie, Wyoming.

Finally, the Central Southern Tour will run from November 2-6, with stops in Jackson, Mississippi; Shreveport, Louisiana; Dallas, Texas; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; and Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Small technology firms, innovators, scientists or researchers seeking more information on the SBIR Road Tour, including a schedule of stops and participating agencies should visit: https://www.sbirroadtour.com/.

For more information about SBIR/STTR programs, please visit https://www.sbir.gov/ or follow us on Twitter.

Nearly $20B spent by Americans this Small Business Saturday®

American consumers spent $19.6 billion at independent retailers and restaurants on Small Business Saturday®, according to data released yesterday by American Express and the National Federation of Independent Businesses. Data show shoppers from coast to coast made a significant impact at small businesses during the 10th annual Small Business Saturday®, held November 30, 2019.  

Started by American Express in 2010 and co-sponsored by the U.S. Small Business Administration since 2015, Small Business Saturday® continues to provide small businesses and communities across the country with an economic boost to start the holiday shopping season. This year, consumer participation increased by six million (110 million in 2019 vs. 104 million in 2018) and brought an almost $2B increase in total amount spent ($19.6B estimated in 2019 compared to $17.8B in 2018).

“Small Business Saturday’s® success is proof of the economic benefits of shopping small. Seven in ten adults are conscious of the positive impact local small businesses have in their communities,” said the SBA’s acting Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Steve Bulger who oversees the federal agency’s operations in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia, D.C., Maryland and Delaware.  Bulger also points to findings that 96% of survey respondents who shopped on Small Business Saturday® agree that shopping at small, independently-owned businesses supports their commitment to making purchases that have a positive social, economic and environmental impact.

In the Virginia-Richmond District Office, there are 745,886 small businesses employing 1.5 million people. The Virginia-Richmond District Office team members visited and shared valuable small business resource information with small business owners in the Richmond, Chesapeake and Fredericksburg areas.

“Small businesses are an integral part of Virginia’s economy and positive impact aggregately,” said Carl Knoblock, SBA Virginia-Richmond District Director.

Meanwhile, many shoppers using smartphones, spent $3.6 billion buying online from small businesses on Small Business Saturday®.  Adobe Analytics, which tracks online sales, says that’s up 18% from a year earlier.  Adobe reported holiday season sales are on track to grow 14.9% from 2018.  Small businesses have already garnered $68.2 billion in online sales from November 1 to November 30.

According to the survey, 97% of consumers who shopped on Small Business Saturday® agree that small businesses are essential to their community and 95% reported the day makes them want to shop or eat at small, independently-owned businesses all year long, not just during the holiday season. The SBA continues to inspire neighbors to make a conscious decision to Shop Small® year-round by recognizing their spending at local merchants and community businesses.

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SBA Celebrates Small Business Saturday in Communities across America

#ShopSmall on Saturday, November 30

WASHINGTON –U.S. Small Business Administration Acting Administrator Chris Pilkerton is encouraging Americans to support local communities by shopping at small businesses on Saturday, November 30. Celebrated each year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, Small Business Saturday allows consumers to make a tremendous impact in their neighborhoods by supporting local small businesses. Last year, an estimated 104 million consumers nationwide “shopped small” on Small Business Saturday. 

“Supporting the local economy is the driving force behind Small Business Saturday, and every year the SBA has been proud to rally the community during this vibrant holiday shopping season event,” said Acting Administrator Chris Pilkerton. “The SBA helps empower America’s 30 million small businesses by providing them with tools they need to start, grow and expand during the holiday season and throughout the year.”

This year marks the tenth Small Business Saturday, an annual celebration of America’s small business community. Last year on Small Business Saturday, Americans spent a combined $17.8 billion at independent neighborhood retailers and restaurants.

Today, there are over 30 million small businesses in the United States. About half of all American workers are either employed by a small business or own a small business. And two out of three net new jobs are created by small businesses.  For more Small Business Saturday details, visit www.sba.gov/saturday.

Cosponsorship Authorization # 19-2050-93. SBA’s participation in this cosponsored activity is not an endorsement of the views, opinions, products or services of any cosponsor or other person or entity. All SBA programs and services are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis.

NIKE AIR FORCE

Shop Small® this Holiday Season with the Small Business Administration

Supporting Small Businesses Supports Our Communities

BY: SBA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator (acting) Steve Bulger

As the voice of our nation’s entrepreneurs, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) celebrates the 30 million small businesses igniting our economy and enriching our communities throughout the year. We are once again partnering with organizations across the country this holiday shopping season to celebrate Small Business Saturday® (the Saturday after Thanksgiving); a day to honor and support small businesses for all they contribute to our communities. 

Supporting America’s entrepreneurs can be as simple as “Shopping Small” at Main Street merchants, which create two out of three net new jobs in our communities. Your dollars make an impact. Last year, total reported spending among U.S. consumers who said they shopped at independent retailers and restaurants on the day reached a record high of $17.8 billion. Shoppers also turned out for online small businesses in 2018 – among consumers who said they participated on the day, 41% reported that they shopped small online on Small Business Saturday. This is positive news for all of us, especially during the holiday season, as Americans boost their local economies.

In so many ways, small businesses are the glue that holds our communities together. In addition to providing jobs and contributing to the local tax base, small businesses donate 250% more than larger businesses to local non-profits and community causes. Seventy five percent donate an average of 6% of their profits to charitable organizations annually. 81% of small businesses plan on giving back to their community in 2019.

Each small business typically has a list of different organizations and causes it donates to: 66% give to local charities, 48% support local youth organizations, 42% donate to local first responders… the list goes on. I encourage you to join me and more than 100 million Americans in shopping and dining small on Small Business Saturday® as you check off items on your holiday shopping list.

This year, to help bring attention to our locally owned retailers and restauranteurs, SBA is visiting neighborhoods near you. In Virginia, we’re visiting small businesses in Chesapeake, Norfolk, Fredericksburg and the greater Richmond area providing tips and tricks for Small Business Saturday® through Nov 26th. Join us and meet with local business owners to highlight the impact their presence and your dollars have on making our Virginia communities a great place to live and shop.

Thank you for shopping small this holiday season. Let us know how you’re supporting your local entrepreneurs on Small Business Saturday by using #ShopSmall on social media as you go about your shopping. For more information, visit  www.sba.gov/saturday.

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SBA Announces Funding Competition to Organizations Providing Training to Service-Disabled Veteran Entrepreneurs

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Small Business Administration today announced non-profit organizations, state and local agencies, and institutions of higher learning are eligible to compete for funding of up to $150,000 to deliver entrepreneurship training to service-disabled veterans.

Up to six awardees will use $300,000 in total funding to participate in the Service-Disabled Veteran Entrepreneurship Training Program with grants from SBA’s Office of Veterans Business Development. These funds will be used to cover the costs of educating service-disabled veterans planning to start a new business or expand and diversify existing small businesses.

“Despite challenges they may face, service-disabled veterans have pursued entrepreneurship and established successful companies nationwide,” said Larry Stubblefield, Associate Administrator for SBA’s Office of Veterans Business Development. “We look forward to working with the awardees to provide more service-disabled veterans and their families with the training and resources they need to start or grow a small business.”

Eligible organizations should submit applications for the Service-Disabled Veteran Entrepreneurship Training Program funding opportunity only through Grants.gov . Applications not submitted via Grants.gov will not be evaluated. The submission deadline is Wednesday, July 24 at 11:59 p.m. EDT.

SBA’s Office of Veterans Business Development hosts a conference call Thursday, July 11 at 2 p.m. EDT to answer questions related to the Service-Disabled Veteran Entrepreneurship Training Program grant announcement. Please submit questions in advance to Jerry Godwin at jerry.godwin@sba.gov no later than Tuesday, July 9 at 4 pm. EDT.

The call-in number and access code are:

  • Call in number: (202) 765-1264
  • Conference ID: 13482739#

Information, including a transcript of the webinar once it is available, will be posted on grants.gov and www.sba.gov/ovbd.

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SBA Announces FY 2018 State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) Awards

SBA Awards $18 Million to Expand Small Business Exporting

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Small Business Administration announced that $18 million in funding has been awarded to 47 State international trade agencies through SBA’s competitive State Trade Expansion Program (STEP), to support export growth among U.S. small businesses.

STEP is designed to meet three distinctive goals: to increase the number of small businesses that export, to increase the value of exports for small businesses, and to increase the number of small businesses that explore significant new trade opportunities. Expanding the base of small business exporters and making the process as easy as possible is a key component of the Administration’s small business strategy.

“The SBA is committed to ensuring equal access for small businesses to international markets and expanding export opportunities, and ensuring small businesses have the resources they need to drive their businesses and local communities forward,” said SBA Administrator Linda McMahon. “The STEP awards are an important resource that provide small businesses with the confidence and funding they need to thrive in this competitive international market.”

Since the beginning of the STEP program seven years ago, approximately $138 million in grants have been awarded to fund export opportunities and increase the footprint of small businesses in countries all over the world.

“The 2018 STEP awards is a great opportunity for states to help small businesses with the information and tools they need to succeed in exporting,” said SBA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Michelle Christian who oversees SBA programs in Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, D.C. and Pennsylvania. “Assistance includes participation in foreign trade missions, foreign-market sales trips, and services provided by the U.S. Department of Commerce, as well as design of international marketing campaigns, export trade show exhibits, training workshops and more.”

STEP awards are managed and provided at the local level by state government organizations. The program is managed at the national level by the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of International Trade.

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SBA Announces Decrease in Surety Bond Guarantee Fees

WASHINGTON –The U.S. Small Business Administration announces the first fee decrease in Surety Bond Guarantees in 12 years. The fee decrease will be in effect for guaranteed bonds approved during fiscal year 2019, taking effect October 1, 2018 and ending September 30, 2019.

The Surety Bond Guarantee (SBG) program is reducing the Surety fee from 26 percent to 20 percent of the bond premium charged to the small businesses and reducing its contractor fee from $7.29 per thousand dollars of the contract amount to $6.00 per thousand dollars of the contract amount.

“Reducing the SBG program fees will not only directly help small businesses, but also will incentivize surety companies and their agents to increase support for small businesses in the marketplace,” said Peter C. Gibbs, Acting Director of the Office of Surety Guarantees.

Under its SBG program, the SBA guarantees bid, payment and performance bonds for small and emerging contractors who cannot obtain surety bonds through regular commercial channels.  SBA guarantees contracts up to $10 million, including the streamlined QuickApp application for those up to $400,000.

“This is great news for America’s entrepreneurs,” said SBA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Michelle Christian. “Incentivizing sureties to provide bonding for small contractors improves access to contracts, which are often make-or-break opportunities in the life of a business.”

Currently, there are 34 participating sureties and over 350 active agents in the SBG program.  On average, completed surety bond applications are reviewed and processed in less than two days.
The program is currently outperforming its previous year results yielding 27,000 jobs supported, 3,000 final bonds, and $1.7 billion in final bond contract amounts in fiscal year 2018.

For more information about this decrease or further assistance, contact Jermanne Perry, Senior Management Analyst, Office of Surety Guarantees, (202) 401-8275; jermanne.perry@sba.gov, or your local SBA District Office.

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Small Businesses and Workers Benefiting from Tax Cuts

BY: SBA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Michelle Christian

President Donald J. Trump had taxpayers and small business owners in mind when he signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act into law December 22, 2017. The new law cut corporate tax rates from 35% to 21% for 2018 and lowered income tax at nearly all levels. Tax cuts for working families allow them to keep more of their hard-earned money and provide more opportunity for everyone to achieve the American dream.

Cutting back taxes for American business owners allows our nation of entrepreneurs to grow the economy from within while competing globally with international businesses interests. A lower tax rate opens the door to new and better opportunities. It also enables employers to reward their employees with higher wages, bonuses and better benefits, which frees up hard-earned capital for growth-minded businesspeople to reinvest in their companies by hiring more workers, buying better equipment, and building new facilities.

The new tax cuts are applied nearly across the board, but with emphasis on businesses that are key to stimulating economic growth as a benefit to the whole country. Lower taxes mean more of our own money is free for us to grow and create jobs ourselves. When we pocket more of our salaries and more of our business profits, we are more likely to spend that “newfound” money, which continues to bolster the economy so we all benefit from this increase in our “bottom line.” As I travel across SBA’s Mid-Atlantic Region to speak with business owners, they tell me they are using these tax savings to reinvest in themselves, and their communities.

As a direct result of the new tax law, Dollar Bank in Pittsburgh earlier this year announced $2,000 permanent raises for their employees making $60,000 or less per year – about 60% of their 1,300-person workforce. NexTier Bank in Butler, Pennsylvania paid out $1,000 bonuses for all employees and is using their tax cuts to fund tuition reimbursement, on-the-job training and wage raises for hourly employees.

Please be sure to think ahead about how this tax relief law affects you and your community. Look over the new tax rules with your accountant if you use one, or speak to one of the thousands of SBA-sponsored SCORE mentors or with your local Small Business Development Center for advice on the next steps for your small business. Take advantage of the extra money in your pocket and reinvest in yourselves, your business, and your country. We have a great opportunity to once again prove what small businesses can do for the economy when we remove barriers to their success.

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