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Small Business Resource Guide -
Chapter 9 -
Federal, State and Local Resources

- -
 Information by State
 Print version
 
 -   Go back to the Small Business Resource Guide Main Index
 -   Introduction
 -   Federal Resources
 -   State and Local Resources

 -   Go back to the Small Business Resource Guide Main Index





Introduction

Federal, 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.

At 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.

This 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:

  • Small Business Development Centers (SBDC)
    Small 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 disabled.
  • Women’s Business Centers (WBC)
    Each 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.
  • Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE)
    The 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.
  • Business Information Centers (BIC)
    Co-located 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.
  • Minority Business Development Centers (MBDC)
    The 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 minorities.
  • Native American Business Development Centers (NABDC)
    The 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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National Resources

This 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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State and Local Resources

This 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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