state and local governments and, in many instances, the private
sector, all have a variety of programs and resources available to
assist small businesses. Examples of services available to small
businesses include guaranteed loans, identification of sources of
capital, management and technical assistance in business development,
contracting and procurement assistance regarding opportunities at
the Federal, state and local levels, and clearinghouses for business
information. In order to identify what local offices and resources
are available to you, a good place to start is contacting your state
or local office of economic development or office of small business.
The specific offices’ formal names may vary as do the services offered;
however, most state and local governments have offices of economic
and business development, financial assistance, contracting and
procurement, minority and women’s business ownership.
the Federal level, the Small Business Administration (SBA) and Minority
Business Development Agency (MBDA) of the Department of Commerce
have a network of local offices that can assist you in your business
endeavors. Both agencies provide training and technical assistance
in numerous areas such as financial assistance and business development
counseling. The SBA and MBDA local offices also fund business development
centers that provide the same type services and assistance. To learn
more, about the SBA, visit its headquarters web site at http://www.sba.gov.
In order to learn more about the MBDA, visit its web site at http://www.mbda.gov.
Chapter provides a listing of state agencies, SBA Regional Offices,
SBA District Offices, MBDA Regional Offices, Small Business Development
Centers, Service Corps of Retired Executives, Minority Business
Development Centers and Women Business Centers. To familiarize you
with their services, a brief summary of the centers follows:
Business Development Centers (SBDC)
Business Development Centers (SBDC) provides current and potential
small businesses with counseling, training and technical assistance
in all aspects of small business management in order to help
them succeed. Some of the services offered by SBDCs include
assisting small busineses with financial, marketing, production,
organization, engineering and technical problems and feasibility
studies. The SBDCs also make special efforts to reach to socially
and economically disadvantaged groups, veterans, women and the
Business Centers (WBC)
women’s business center provides assistance and/or training
in finance, management, marketing, procurement and the Internet,
as well as addressing specialized topics such as homebased businesses,
corporate executive downsizing and welfare-to-work. All provide
individual business counseling and access to the SBA’s programs
and services; a number of centers are also intermediaries for
the SBA’s MicroLoan and Loan Prequalification programs. Each
WBC tailors its programs to the needs of its constituency; many
offer programs and counseling in two or more languages.
Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE)
SCORE Association (Service Corps of Retired Executives) is a
nonprofit association dedicated to entrepreneur education and
the formation, growth and success of small business nationwide.
SCORE is a resource partner with the Small Business Administration
(SBA). SCORE Association volunteers serve as “Counselors to
America’s Small Business”. Working and retired executives and
business owners donate their time and expertise as volunteer
business counselors and provide confidential counseling and
mentoring free of charge. SCORE has experts in virtually every
area of business management and maintains a national skills
roster to help identify the best counselor for a particular
client. Volunteer counselors share their management and technical
expertise with both present and prospective small business owners.
Information Centers (BIC)
at SBA and SCORE offices, BICs offer small business entrepreneurs
an opportunity to use the latest technology in personal computers,
graphic work stations, CD-ROM technology and interactive videos.
The Centers are also equipped with business related software,
reference libraries and provide the small business community
with access to SBA’s electronic bulletin board.
Business Development Centers (MBDC)
MBDCs provide business development services to aid in the creation,
expansion and preservation of minority-owned businesses. It
is MBDC’s largest client services program and is structured
to cover areas which contain approximately 80% of the country’s
American Business Development Centers (NABDC)
Minority Business Development Agency established the Native
American Program (NAP) to address the special problems of the
Native American firms and individuals interested in entering,
maintaining or expanding their efforts in the competitive marketplace.
Although the centers can provide service to any minority client,
NABDCS are designed to focus on the unique business needs of
the Native American.
Marketing Tip: Seek out and gain benefits from small business organizations
such as Small Business Development Centers, Minority Business Development
Centers, Women-owned Business Development Centers, and Native American
Business Development Centers. The centers and chambers of commerce
offer technical assistance and professional development seminars/workshops
concerning business start-up, financing, developing business plans,
marketing, etc., as well as excellent networking opportunities.
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page contain a partial listing of federal agencies, chambers of
commerce and associations which have a variety of programs to assist
the small business community.
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and Local Resources
page contain a partial listing of agencies, chambers of commerce
and associations at the State and local level which have a variety
of programs to assist the small business community.
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