SBA boss, Maria Contreras-Sweet announced the SBA is taking aggressive action in picking up the slack from big Wall Street banks that are ignoring America’s small business owners. Three major steps have been taken to make government loans more accessible while spurring the small business economy:
1. SBA loans are now less expensive. The SBA has announced there are now no fees on loans of $150,000 or less.
2. SBA loans are now more accessible. The SBA is recruiting more credit unions, alternative lenders and alternative online finance channels.
3. SBA loans are less complicated. The SBA has launched new initiatives to streamline the paperwork process.
Moreover, Contreras-Sweet also mentioned five key SBA programs that assist small business owners, but are often overlooked:
1. LINC, SBA’s online matchmaking service. LINC helps entrepreneurs get a date with a lender. All they need to do is fill out a short form and interested lenders will contact them within 48 hours.
2. Free business counseling by SBA counselors and executive mentors. Services are tailored to help veterans, women, and other types of entrepreneurs.
3. Free government contracts. Learn the proper way to win government contracts, joining corporate supply chains, and exporting beyond U.S. borders.
4. SBIR, SBA’s Small Business Innovation Research program. SBIR awards $2.5 billion dollars in research grants to small business innovators each year.
5. SBA’s New Spanish-language website. SBA’s new Spanish-language website has over 2,000 pages of content, including information about how to write a business plan, get a loan, or qualify for a contract.