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Let’s Get Down to Business
By Maria Contreras-Sweet, SBA Administrator
December 22, 2015

The Small Business Administration (SBA) is buoyed by the energy and optimism of the entrepreneurs we meet across America. We’re one of the smallest cabinet-level agencies, but we have one of the biggest missions – supporting the small businesses that create the majority of new jobs in our economy.

Under President Obama, businesses have added 13.7 million jobs over 69 consecutive months of private-sector job growth – the longest streak on record. And let’s not forget small businesses create two of three net new private-sector jobs, employing more than half of America’s workforce and accounting for almost half of America’s private nonfarm GDP.

SBA is proud to be a driving force that helps propel this economic activity. In the year ahead, SBA will continue our commitment to expanding our capital guarantees, contracting opportunities, disaster relief loans, and counseling networks.

We will leverage technology to make it easier for borrowers to borrow and for lenders to lend. We recently launched LINC (C for “capital”).  This online platform connects entrepreneurs with potential lenders, so business ideas can more easily get off the ground.

We will continue to fill market gaps in financing. We’ve eliminated borrower and bank fees on small-dollar loans, so more Main Street entrepreneurs can get the working capital they need to hire and grow.  Last year, SBA achieved record lending of $23.5 billion under our flagship 7(a) loan program, with loans up 22 percent to women, 23 percent to minorities, and 103 percent to veterans.

We will continue to foster the entrepreneurial DNA deep in our American heritage and ensure the American Dream still includes the opportunity to start and grow your own business.  I’ve lived that dream, and as SBA Administrator, I’m determined to continue to help others realize their dream too.

From startup to scale up, our programs are designed to be smart, bold and accessible for every type of entrepreneur. We're here to help the millennial entrepreneur navigate through the capital process; to help the veteran single mother who wants to commercialize her invention; and to help the encore entrepreneur who wants to bring his life experience and new ideas to market.

Other exciting SBA initiatives include:

  • The My Brother’s Keeper Millennial Entrepreneur Initiative to promote youth entrepreneurship in our nation’s underserved communities;
  • A Business Smart toolkit to train nonprofits and faith-based organizations to teach financial literacy;
  • The Boots to Business: Reboot entrepreneurship training program to support our heroes – the 1 in 10 small businesses that are veteran owned.
  • The InnovateHER summit in March 2016 will further support SBA’s efforts to support women entrepreneurs who push the limits, break the glass ceiling and create long-term, positive change in gender equality.
  • Startup in a Day to create an easy-to-use online tool that allows entrepreneurs to apply for all licenses and permits needed to start a business in less than a day.

Helping more Americans start and grow Main Street businesses is a core mission of the SBA, and there are plenty of goals to check-off on behalf of America’s 28 million small businesses and entrepreneurs.

Our continuing mission for 2016 is clear: Let’s get down to business!

By AICC News Center

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