Statement from SBA Administrator Mills on new Federal ‘QuickPay’ program

WASHINGTON – SBA Administrator Mills statement on the President’s “QuickPay” announcement today to cut in half – from 30 days to 15 days – the amount of time it takes federal agencies to pay small businesses for the products and services they deliver to the federal government: 

“The thousands of small businesses that provide great products and services to the federal government have a big reason to cheer the President’s ‘QuickPay’ announcement today.  When small contractors get their money in 15 days instead of 30, it results in a permanent infusion of cash flow into their businesses.  They can put that money towards working capital, expanding their businesses, marketing their products, and creating jobs.  Their financial footing gets stronger – permanently.  With nearly $100 billion each year in federal contracts going to small businesses, cutting in half the time they get paid is a powerful way to help put America back to work now.  QuickPay is a smart and powerful boost that effectively delivers billions more dollars into the hands of small contractors so that they can do what they do best – create jobs.”

President Obama Proclaims National Small Business Week Small Businesses Helping To Put Country Back On Track

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama hailed small business owners as the backbone of the nation’s economy in his proclamation of the week of May 15-21 as National Small Business Week. The President declared them to be the embodiment of America’s promise: “the idea that if you have a good idea and are willing to work hard enough, you can succeed in our country.”

The President’s proclamation was issued before the U.S. Small Business Administration’s 48th annual observance of National Small Business Week in Washington, D.C.  (May 18-20).  The event honors outstanding entrepreneurs from across the country, and features announcement of the 2011 National Small Business Person of the Year, who is selected from among 54 small business award winners from 50 states, D.C., Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

The President’s proclamation states: “Our country started as an idea, and it took hard-working, dedicated, and visionary patriots to make it a reality.  A successful business starts much the same way—ideas realized by entrepreneurs who dream of a better world and work until they see it through.  From the family businesses that anchor Main Street to the high-tech startups that keep America on the cutting edge, small businesses are the backbone of our economy and the cornerstones of America’s promise. 

“Throughout our economic recovery, persevering small businesses have helped put our country back on track.  Countless new and saved jobs have come from small businesses who took advantage of tax relief, access to capital, and other tools in the Recovery Act, the Small Business Jobs Act, and other initiatives launched by my Administration to put Americans back to work.  To ensure the stability of our recovery, we must continue to provide new opportunities for small business owners and the next generation of entrepreneurs, who will help us out-innovate and out-build our global competitors to win the future.

“To support high-growth businesses, my Administration has launched Startup America, an initiative that will strengthen access to capital and mentoring while reducing barriers to growth for small businesses.  Entrepreneurship is essential to the strength and resilience of our economy and our way of life.  Startup America will give entrepreneurs the tools they need to build their business into the next great American company.  To encourage innovation, we released the Strategy for American Innovation, a report outlining my Administration’s plan to harness ingenuity.  This means investing in the building blocks of innovation, like education and infrastructure, while promoting market-based growth through tax credits and effective intellectual property laws.        

“The National Export Initiative is working to open markets to American businesses and support small exporters, who increase American competitiveness abroad and create good jobs here at home.  We continue to create opportunity for businesses in underserved communities through new lending initiatives, expanded access to counseling and technical assistance. We are also working to provide small businesses more opportunities to compete for Federal contracts. This gives Federal agencies access to some of our country’s best products and services while helping these businesses grow and employ community members.  Through these and other initiatives, we are supporting the entrepreneurs and small businesses that provide work for half of American workers and create two out of every three new jobs.

“Small businesses embody the promise of America: that if you have a good idea and are willing to work hard enough, you can succeed in our country.  This week, we honor and celebrate the individuals whose inspiration and efforts keep America strong.” 

 Full text of the President’s National Small Business Week proclamation .

National Small Business Week 2011 will be highlighted with two-and-a-half days of events in Washington, D.C., at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, where more than 100 outstanding business owners from across the country will be recognized.  In addition to the State Small Business Persons of the Year, men and women involved in disaster recovery, government contracting, small business champions as well as SBA partners in financial and entrepreneurial development will be honored.

Under the National Small Business Week 2011 theme of “Empowering Entrepreneurs,” featured speakers include Senator Jack Reed (D – Rhode Island); Senator Mary Landrieu (D – Louisiana); Valerie B. Jarrett, Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama; Steve Case, Co-Founder of AOL and Chair of Start-Up America Partnership; Cathy Hughes, Founder and Chairperson of Radio One, and Chair of SBA’s Council on Underserved Communities; SBA Administrator Karen Mills and SBA Deputy Administrator Marie Johns.

A complete agenda for the event is posted at www.NationalSmallBusinessWeek.com. Also featured are a series of executive panel forums on Strategies for High Growth, Exporting and Social Media.  The public can “attend” Small Business Week events virtually, via the SBA’s streaming video

Small Business Week 2011 cosponsors include: Association of Small Business Development Companies, AT&T, AVAYA, CareerBuilder, Dun & Bradstreet, Google, International Franchise Association, Intuit, Lockheed Martin, Microsoft, National Association of Development Companies,  National Association of Government Guaranteed Lenders, National Association of Small Business Investment Companies, National Association for the Self-Employed, National Small Business Association, Nomadic Display, Northrop Grumman, Office Depot, Raytheon, Sam’s Club, SCORE, The Neat Company, Verio, Visa, the Wall Street Journal, and Women Impacting Public Policy.

SBA Announces Grants Available for State Trade, Export Promotion

$90 Million Jobs Act Initiative Aimed at Increasing Small Business Exporting

WASHINGTON – Beginning March 1, states can apply for grants from the U.S. Small Business Administration to support efforts to increase exporting by small businesses. The State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) pilot grant initiative is authorized to provide up to $90 million in grants to states over the next three years.

The STEP pilot grant initiative is aimed at achieving two goals: 1) increase the number of small businesses that want to export and 2) increase the value of exports for those small businesses that currently export. Established by the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, the 50 states, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories are all eligible to apply for grants, which will be awarded on a competitive basis.

“The global market offers countless opportunities for small business owners who are well positioned to grow their volume and customer base beyond our borders, and in doing so, create good-paying jobs in their local communities,” SBA Administrator Karen Mills said. “These grants, through the partnerships they will create at the state level, will strengthen the support available to help small business take that first step to begin exporting, and for those who are already exporting, grow into additional markets.”

The Jobs Act authorized up to $90 million over three fiscal years, $30 million each year, beginning with the current fiscal year 2011. Individual state project award amounts will vary based on each state’s proposed project plan and budget.

A state may not submit more than one application for a grant under the initiative, but may apply each federal fiscal year through the 3-year term of the pilot grant initiative. Activities that can be supported with grant dollars under this initiative may include: participation in foreign trade missions, foreign market sales trips, subscription services provided by USDOC, design of international marketing products or campaigns, export trade show exhibits, training workshops or other export initiatives that are in line with the goals of the pilot grant initiative.

The STEP pilot grant initiative announcement will be posted at www.Grants.gov  on March 1, 2011. The application period will be March 1 through April 26. Awards for the first year of the grant program will be issued in summer of 2011. See more information at www.sba.gov/STEP.

SBA Launches Temporary Program for Commercial Real Estate Refinancing

Agency will begin accepting refinancing applications Feb. 28 for small businesses facing maturing mortgages, balloon payments

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Small businesses facing maturity of commercial mortgages or balloon payments before Dec. 31, 2012, may be able to refinance their mortgage debt with a 504 loan from the U.S. Small Business Administration under a new, temporary program announced today. 

The new refinancing loan is structured like SBA’s traditional 504, with borrowers committing at least 10 percent equity and working with third-party lending institutions and SBA-approved Certified Development Companies in the standard 50 percent/40 percent split. A key feature of the new program is that it does not require an expansion of the business in order to qualify. 

SBA will begin accepting refinancing applications on Feb. 28. The program, authorized under the Small Business Jobs Act, will be in effect through Sept. 27, 2012.

“The economic downturn of recent years and the declining value of real estate have had a significant, negative impact on many small businesses with mortgages maturing within the next few years,” said SBA Administrator Karen Mills. “As a result, even small businesses that are performing well and making their payments on time could face foreclosure because of the difficulties they face in refinancing and restructuring their mortgage debt. This temporary program is another tool SBA can provide to help these small businesses remain viable and protect jobs.”

The SBA initially will open the program to businesses with immediate need due to impending balloon payments before Dec. 31, 2012.  SBA will revisit the program later and may open it to businesses with balloon payments due after that date or those that can demonstrate strong need in other ways. 

“We are making this initial restriction to make sure our funding goes first to small businesses with the most need,” said Steve Smits, SBA Associate Administrator of Capital Access.

Borrowers will be able to refinance up to 90 percent of the current appraised property value or 100 percent of the outstanding mortgage, whichever is lower, plus eligible refinancing costs.  Loan proceeds may not be used for other business expenses. Existing 504 projects and government-guaranteed loans are not eligible to be refinanced.

Congress authorized SBA to approve up to $15 billion in loans under this program ($7.5 billion in both fiscal 2011 and 2012).  Together with the first mortgage, this temporary program will provide up to $33.8 billion of total project financing.  Additional fees charged to the borrower will cover the cost of this refinancing program and as a result no subsidy will be needed.  The program is expected to benefit as many as 20,000 businesses.

SBA’s traditional 504 loan program is a long-term financing tool, designed to encourage economic development within a community. A 504 loan provides small businesses with long-term, fixed-rate financing to acquire major fixed assets for expansion or modernization.

Typically, a 504 project includes three elements: a loan (or first mortgage) secured with a senior lien from a private-sector lender covering up to 50 percent of the project cost, a second mortgage secured with a junior lien from an SBA Certified Development Company (backed by a 100 percent SBA-guaranteed debenture) covering up to 40 percent of the cost, and a contribution of at least 10 percent equity from the small business borrower.

Creating High-tech Jobs in Michigan

Lots of great things happening in Michigan lately in relation to the Mobile Technology industry, and we’re happy to say that Strategic Growth Concepts is involved in many of them!

Those who follow Strategic Growth Concepts on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIN have probably started seeing a lot of new posts recently related to Mobile activities.  Thought we would go ahead and include a brief re-cap of these projects here:

Current projects:

  • Our CEO, Linda Daichendt is honored to be working with two high-profile women in the Mobile space, Kim Dushinski (author, The Mobile Marketing Handbook) and Peggy Anne Salz (publisher, mSearchGroove, a premier global technology publication), on the development of an online radio broadcast about mobile marketing.  The show is called ‘The Mobile Marketing Review’ and the first segment airs on October 26, 2010.  You can access the show via its website at http://TheMobileMarketingReview.com.
  • Along with  Co-founder, Keith Bourne, Strategic’s CEO, Linda Daichendt, has started a branch of the international Mobile Monday organization here in Michigan, known as Mobile Monday Michigan.  As part of this effort, we have started chapters in two cities, Ann Arbor and Detroit, and hope to begin chapters in Lansing, Kalamazoo, and Grand Rapids within the next 6 months.  The Detroit chapter kick-off took place on October 11th at the Compuware Building in Downtown Detroit, with speakers from Ford SYNC, Microsoft, and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.  Over 100 people attended the kick-off event, and plans for our November 8th meeting are in high-gear.  That meeting will include mobile discussions from GM about Onstar technology and Compuware-owned, Gomez, about mobile browsing performance.  Future events will feature presentations on:  mobile technology for enterprises, mobile marketing and much, much more!  Membership is FREE and anyone interested in Mobile is welcome to attend.  Click here to register for the Detroit chapter, and here to register for the Ann Arbor chapter.
  • Strategic Growth Concepts CEO, Linda Daichendt has also founded the ‘Mobile Technology Association of Michigan’ as a non-profit trade association for the Michigan-based mobile industry.  Currently working on obtaining initial funding for the organization, building a Board of Directors, a business plan, and program development so we can provide a wide variety of services to Michigan’s mobile businesses, those interested in mobile services, and those who want to work in the mobile industry.  Lots of work to do, but very exciting!
  • Daichendt will also be presenting in November at an event sponsored by Compuware to an audience made up of members of the media who will be there to learn about Mobile Technology and how they might use it in their businesses.

As you can see, mobile is heating up in Michigan in such a way that small business development and jobs creation can’t be far behind.  Strategic Growth Concepts is honored to be playing a role in the growth of the industry and any assistance it provides to Michigan’s economy.

Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions on these activities.  We can be reached at info@StrategicGrowthConcepts.com .

Michigan Entrepeneurship Efforts Increasing, Partially Due to the Help Available to Budding Entrepreneurs

It has long been estimated that small businesses employ half of the private workforce, and generate about 70 percent of the country’s new jobs each year.   For many years in Michigan, entrepreneurship efforts became somewhat static as the entrepreneurs of the 1940’s, 50’s, 60’s and 70’s experienced significant growth and success due to the success of the automotive industry in the State.  Those companies became the large firms that have become quite well-known throughout Michigan, and provided many of the high-paying jobs that Michiganders enjoyed for many years.

However, in the last 10 years, as Michigan’s automotive industry has suffered, and manufacturing in the State experienced history-making downsizing, the people and politicians in Michigan began looking for alternatives to create sustainable jobs, and the focus once again turned to entrepreneurship.

Michigan’s Entrepreneurship efforts have increased steadily in recent years due in no small part to Federally-funded programs aimed at generating entrepreneurial efforts in the State.  Substantial progress has been made, and continues to be made due to the efforts of organizations such as the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, Ann Arbor Spark, Automation Alley, TechTown and many, many more.

This focus on entrepreneurship has led to an abundance of educational programs and conferences designed to provide information, resources, access to investors and much more for start-up and second-stage entrepreneurs.  Some events taking place in the next few weeks include:

If you haven’t considered entrepreneurship, now might be the time to start.  If you have considered it, but decided against it, now might be the time to take a second look.  And if you went for it, but can use a helping hand, make certain to register for at least one of these events.

Important Health Care Tax Credit Info for Small Businesses

SBA PRESS OFFICE

10/27/10

Administrator Karen Mills of the U.S. Small Business Administration has written an open letter to small business owners across the United States explaining immediate benefits available to small businesses as part of the Affordable Care Act. 

  

Dear Small Business Owner,

For decades, access to affordable health insurance has been the number-one concern of small business owners.  To help you address that concern and provide quality, affordable coverage for your employees, the new Affordable Care Act gives you a number of new tools and benefits.

The most immediate benefit you should know about is the tax credit to help you pay for up to 35 percent of your employee premiums starting this tax year.  An estimated 4 million small businesses may qualify for these tax credits, totaling about $40 billion over the next 10 years.  Go here to learn more about the tax creditincluding new information that explains how this federal credit is in addition to state-level credits you might receive and how dental and vision coverage are also eligible for the federal credit.

The Affordable Care Act also included reporting requirements if you pay another business $600 or more starting with 2013 filings.  Small business groups have voiced concerns about the possible burden this places on people like you.  That’s why the IRS is already planning to exempt from this requirement your transactions that use credit and debit cards.  Also, the IRS, SBA and others in the Administration are looking for additional ways to minimize burdens and avoid duplicative reporting.  We welcome your comments and input as we move forward together to address implementation issues under the new law. 

Over the last 16 months, this Administration has taken steps to provide tax relief that put more money in the hands of small business owners like you – including write-offs for new equipment, credits for hiring unemployed workers and capital gains exclusions for small business investors. We know that sensible tax relief like this will help you grow your business, create new jobs, and continue drive America’s economic recovery.

With warm regards,

Karen Mills

SBA Loan Guarantees Revert to Pre-Stimulus Levels

The time has come to say goodbye to the 90 percent loan guarantee and reduced fees that supposedly sparked a rebound in Small Business Administration lending; though many reports have indicated small business lending has practically evaporated in spite of the stimulus package enhancements.

In a few days, the SBA will run out of the $375 million in economic stimulus funds that enabled the agency to offer these enhancements. As a result, beginning Monday, Nov. 23, borrowers will have to make a choice:  They can be put on a waiting list to receive these breaks as stimulus funds become available, or they can apply for a regular SBA loan with higher fees and a lower government guarantee for the lender.

The SBA expects additional funds to become available to make loans under the stimulus provisions since not everyone who is approved for a loan will go through with it. However, loans on the stimulus waiting list run the risk of never getting funded.

As recently as Nov. 18, SBA officials said they expected to be able to make loans under the stimulus provisions into December. But loan applications surged this past week as borrowers and lenders tried to get their applications in before the stimulus money ran out.

SBA lenders, small-business groups and the Obama administration have urged Congress to find money to extend the stimulus enhancements. But Congress has to-date failed to do so.

As a result, government guarantees on 7(a) loans will revert back to the standard 75 percent for loans of more than $150,000, and 85 percent for loans of $150,000 or less. Fees on 7(a) loans and 504 loans, which are used to finance real estate, will revert to their normal levels as well.

How the Obama Administration Can Stimulate the Economy and Job Growth Via Small Business

Below is a statement from a group called the American Small Business League with a list of suggestions for the Obama Administration that they believe will stimulate the economy and create new jobs.  After reading, we’re very interested to know what you think, and if you agree, via your comments.

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Source: American Small Business League,  Tuesday November 17, 2009

PETALUMA, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The following is a statement by the American Small Business League:

Since President Barack Obama has said that we need to take all reasonable steps to stimulate the economy and create new jobs, the American Small Business League (ASBL) would like to propose these very reasonable steps to stimulate the economy and cut unemployment: http://whitehouse.blogs.foxnews.com/2009/11/12/white-house-to-host-jobs-forum-in-december/

  • Do not change the definition of a small business from being “independently owned” to include firms that are owned and controlled by venture capitalists. This would divert even more small business contracts away from legitimate small businesses and into the hands of wealthy investors.
  • Do not attempt to close the Small Business Administration (SBA) by combining it with the U.S. Department of Commerce or any other federal agency.
  • Honor your campaign promise to, “end the diversion of federal small business contracts to corporate giants.” The best way to do this would be to back H.R. 2568, the Fairness and Transparency in Contracting Act. The Obama Administration is currently awarding billions of dollars a month in federal small business contracts to corporate giants around the world. (e.g. Textron, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, Rolls Royce, and Thales) By stopping this problem, H.R. 2568, would redirect more current federal infrastructure spending to small businesses in the middle class than any other proposal to date. http://www.barackobama.com/2008/02/26/the_american_small_business_le.php
  • Implement the 5 percent set-aside goal for women owned firms like you promised during the campaign. http://www.barackobama.com/pdf/SmallBusinessFINAL.pdf
  • Restore the SBA’s budget and staffing like you promised during the campaign. The current SBA staffing levels are at their lowest levels in 30 years. http://obama.3cdn.net/d14eb1b3649c4d6745_0evzmv02w.pdf
  • Eliminate the SBA fabricated exclusionary rules that reduce contacting opportunities for small businesses.
  • Abolish the Comprehensive Test Program, which allows contractors to avoid penalties for non-compliance and avoid submitting reports that are used to track compliance with their small business sub-contracting goals.
  • Enforce the “Liquidated Damages” clause in the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), which created a penalty for prime contractor non-compliance with its small business sub-contracting plans. This law has never been enforced.
  • Aggressively prosecute fraud and misrepresentation in federal small business programs. Misrepresenting the size of a firm in order to illegally receive federal contracts and subcontracts is a felony with penalties of up to 10 years in prison, a fine up to $500,000, cancellation of all contracts and debarment from selling to the government.

Please click here to watch a short clip about the ASBL’s concerns regarding the Obama Administration’s small business conference: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7JvT7Btd_9s

SBA Launches FREE Online Training to Help Small Businesses Get Government Contracts

SBA logoThe U.S. Small Business Administration today launched a new online training course to help strengthen access to contracting opportunities for small businesses, including those owned by women, minorities, disadvantaged individuals and veterans.

The training course, “Recovery Act Opportunities: How to Win Federal Contracts,” is part of a federal government-wide initiative announced last month by President Obama and being led by SBA and the Department of Commerce.

“Government contracts can play a key role in helping small businesses turn the corner in terms of expansion and job creation,” SBA Administrator Karen G. Mills said. “But make no mistake, the benefits the government receives are equally as impressive – working with small businesses allows the federal government to work with some of the most innovative companies in America, often with direct contact with the CEO.”

“The SBA online training course can help businesses access the federal purchasing system and position themselves to compete for the commercial opportunities offered by government contracting,” Mills continued.

More about the course and a link to access it can be found HERE.

Recovery Act Changes To SBIC Program Mean Increased Funding Available For Small Businesses

sba logoWASHINGTON – Effective today, small businesses that would otherwise have difficulty securing private equity or venture capital may find funding easier to get as a result of changes made as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Small Business Investment Company program.

“The Recovery Act expands SBA’s venture capital program to increase the pool of investment funding available to the Small Business Investment Companies licensed by SBA,” said SBA Administrator Karen G. Mills. “We believe those companies will be better equipped by these changes to help sustain and grow small businesses for their next important growth steps.”

Read about the specific changes at http://snipr.com/mireo .

Changes to SBA 504 Loan Program Will Allow Businesses To Refinance Existing Debt, Expand, Create New Jobs

WASHINGTON – Small businesses seeking to expand will be able to refinance existing loans used to purchase real estate and other fixed assets as a result of permanent changes to the U.S. Small Business Administration’s 504 Certified Development Company loan program. The changes were authorized in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

 

The permanent changes will allow small businesses to restructure eligible debt to help improve their cash flow which, in turn, will enhance their viability and support growth and job creation. The 504 loan program can be used to purchase business real estate or fixed assets, such as heavy equipment or machinery, and expand current development projects.  Read the complete news release from the SBA HERE.

Small Businesses Can Apply for ARC Loans Starting Today

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U.S. Small Business Administration

— News Release —

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Release Date: June  15, 2009   

WASHINGTON – Starting today, June 15, SBA will begin accepting loans for a temporary new program called America’s Recovery Capital.  “ARC” loans of up to $35,000 are designed to provide a “bridge” for viable small businesses with immediate financial hardship – to keep their doors open until they get back on track.

“These ARC loans are another tool in the SBA toolkit which will provide critical support to small businesses struggling to make it through these tough economic times,” said Administrator Karen G. Mills. 

ARC loans are deferred-payment loans of up to $35,000, available to established, viable, for-profit small businesses that need short-term help to make their principal and interest payments on existing and qualifying business debt. ARC loans are 100 percent guaranteed by the SBA and have no SBA fees associated with them.

ARC loans will be disbursed over a period of up to six months and will provide funds to be used for payments of principal and interest for existing, qualifying small business debt including mortgages, term and revolving lines of credit, capital leases, credit card obligations and notes payable to vendors, suppliers and utilities. SBA will pay the interest on ARC loans to the lenders at the variable rate of Prime plus two percent.  

Repayment will not begin until 12 months after the final disbursement.  After the 12-month deferral period, borrowers will pay back the loan principal over a period of five years.

ARC loans will be made by commercial lenders, not SBA directly.  For more information on ARC loans, visit www.sba.gov

For more information about all of the SBA’s programs for small businesses, call the SBA Answer Desk at 1-800 U ASK SBA or TDD 704-344-6640, or visit the SBA’s Web site at http://www.sba.gov.

SBA to offer Free Webinars on 2009 Recovery Act for Small Business Owners

The U.S. Small Business Administration will present FREE webinars for Small Business Owners and Entrepreneurs through ReadyTalk. These sessions will provide information pertinent to small business owners and will share the new developments on SBA’s programs related to The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.  The series is scheduled to run on selected Tuesdays at 10:00 and should last about 40 minutes with a Q & A at the end of the program. 

Webinar schedule and registration information is available via our website.

SBA Introduces No-interest Loan Program for Struggling Small Businesses

As part of the Small Business Administration’s efforts to make the agency and its’ programs more relevant to small businesses, the organization today announced a new loan program targeting existing small businesses who may be experiencing short-term difficulties as a result of current economic challenges.

Beginning on June 15, SBA will start guaranteeing America’s Recovery Capital (ARC) loans.  ARC loans are deferred-payment loans of up to $35,000 available to established, viable, for-profit small businesses that need short-term help to make their principal and interest payments on existing qualifying debt.  ARC loans are interest-free to the borrower, 100 percent guaranteed by the SBA, and have no SBA fees associated with them.

Read details about the program HERE.

Strategic Growth Concepts Announces National Small Business Contest Winners

Detroit-based small business consulting firm, Strategic Growth Concepts, announces the winners of its first annual ‘Small Business Marketing Plan Give-a-way Contest’ held in support of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s National Small Business Week celebration taking place from May 17th thru 23rd.  Read the full news release HERE.

SBA Administrator Mills ‘Ventures’ into the World of the SBA to Initiate Change

Karen Mills, the recently appointed SBA Administrator, appears to be utilizing her venture capital roots to guide her as she works to reinvent the long-stagnant and moderately effective Small Business Administration. 

In a recent address to members and staff of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Administrator Mills revealed her vision for the future of the government organization tasked with jump-starting the economy thru the growth of small businesses.  And that vision appears to have a great deal of clarity, including the need to assist small businesses not only with debt financing to grow their businesses, but also aiding them in locating equity financing resources.  She further discussed her past work with business clusters, which are geographic concentrations of inter-connected businesses that share knowledge and resources to spur innovation, economic growth and higher wage employment, and how those clusters and the resources they provide can be utilized to help spur further small business growth overall.  Read a re-cap of her appearance HERE.

Obviously it’s too early in her tenure to see any dramatic results since she was appointed only one month ago, but we are happy to see that she seems to understand that ‘business as usual’ will not produce the necessary results to aid in the growth of small businesses, and that substantial organizational change at the SBA needs to become the standard program.

SBA Expands Eligibility for 7(a) Loans

The SBA is expanding eligibility for its 7(a) loan programs.  This means more small businesses will be eligible for U.S. Small Business Administration-backed loans, resulting in greater access to much-needed capital in this tough economy.  SBA’s alternate size standard for its 7(a) loan program will go into effect early next week through Sept. 30, 2010.  Learn more about the changes HERE.