Wednesday, March 13, 2019

small business administration

small business administration

Small Business Administration: Export Promotion Grant Program Should Better Ensure Compliance with Law and Help States Make Full Use of Funds - Government Accountability Office

Posted: 12 Mar 2019 07:03 AM PDT

What GAO Found

The Small Business Administration's (SBA) management of the State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) does not provide reasonable assurance of compliance with some legal requirements. Specifically, the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015 (TFTEA) requirements for STEP include:

Proportional distribution requirement. SBA's Office of International Trade (OIT) must distribute grant funds so that the total amount awarded to the 10 states with the highest percentage of eligible small businesses does not exceed 40 percent of the program's appropriation that year.

Total match requirement. States must provide a 25 or 35 percent non-federal match to the federal grant amount.

Cash match requirement. A state's match cannot be less than 50 percent cash.

GAO found that, while OIT has a process to meet the distribution requirement, it does not have a process for documenting that states have met the total match requirement before grant closeout, and does not have a process to determine whether states are meeting the cash match requirement. Without such processes, SBA cannot be reasonably assured that states are contributing per the law's requirements.

GAO found that, while OIT has made changes to STEP in response to states' feedback, officials from states with low grant use described ongoing challenges with the program that affect their ability to fully use funds. These challenges include compressed application and award timelines, administrative burden, and poor communication. SBA has not adequately assessed risks to the program, including the risk to achieving program goals posed by some states' low grant fund use rates. Without such an assessment, OIT's ability to support U.S. exporters may be diminished. Further, SBA has not effectively facilitated sharing best practices among states. By doing this, SBA could help states make full use of funds to achieve the program's goals.

Twelve States with Low STEP Grant Fund Use Rates Reported Challenges

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Why GAO Did This Study

Congress established STEP in 2010 to increase small business exports. Through STEP, SBA has awarded about $139 million in grants to state trade offices, which in turn facilitate small business export activities, including participation in trade missions and attendance at trade shows. Congress reauthorized STEP in 2016. GAO was asked to review SBA's management of the program.

This report examines the extent to which (1) SBA's STEP grants management process provides reasonable assurance of compliance with selected requirements of applicable law, and (2) SBA has taken steps to address challenges states report in using grant funds to achieve program goals. GAO reviewed the program's authorizing legislation and federal and agency guidance on grants management, analyzed SBA program data, and interviewed SBA officials. GAO also conducted semi-structured interviews with a non-generalizable sample of 12 of the 40 states that received STEP grants in fiscal year 2015, the most recent year for which complete data were available. GAO selected these states on the basis of their low grant fund use rates.

What GAO Recommends

GAO is recommending that SBA develop processes to ensure compliance with legal grant matching fund requirements, take steps to assess risks to program goals from low grant fund use rates, and enhance the sharing of best practices among states receiving the grant. SBA concurred with all of the recommendations.

For more information, contact Kimberly Gianopoulos at (202) 512-8612 or

U.S. Small Business Administration to host business planning workshop - Valley morning Star

Posted: 12 Mar 2019 07:16 PM PDT

HARLINGEN — Did you recently create a business or are you planning to start one?

The U.S. Small Business Administration in partnership with The Women's Business Center Rio Grande Valley will host a free business planning workshop at the SBA lower RGV District Office on Friday from 9 to 11 a.m.

The workshop will provide information on the power of business planning and is the third workshop in a series of 10 specifically developed for local small entrepreneurs.

In the workshop, attendees will learn how to use their business plan as a roadmap for structuring, running and growing their new business.

Women's Business Center RGV Business counselor Elizabeth Charles will be the presenter of the workshop.

According to Charles, a lot of individuals get started with a business without planning and end up failing.

"They 're kind of lost in the sense that they don't really know what it is that they need to get started," Charles said. "So, in this workshop we're going to be able to understand what those strengths and weaknesses are of your business idea, identify the key components of a business plan and define the focus of the business objectives that are going to be applicable for your business."

The overall goal of the workshops are to help local entrepreneurs gain an understanding of what it takes to get their business started and to help prevent them from failing in the business realm.

SBA offices move to St. John’s Episcopal Church - Paradise Post

Posted: 12 Mar 2019 06:59 PM PDT

The U.S. Small Business Administration's Disaster Field Operations Center-West has moved. According to Director Tanya N. Garfield, the  SBA relocated its Chico outreach center from the former Sears building to the St. John's Episcopal Church on Tuesday.

"SBA opened the center to provide personalized assistance to California businesses and residents affected by the wildfires that occurred Nov. 8-25, 2018," Garfield said in a press release. "Until the center closes, SBA customer service representatives will continue to be available to meet with business owners and residents to answer their questions, explain SBA's disaster loan program and close their approved disaster loans."

St. John's Episcopal Church is located at  2341 Floral Ave. in Chico. The Disaster Loan Outreach Center will be open Tuesdays through Saturdays, 9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Although the deadline to apply for a loan for property damage has passed, small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations of any size still have until Aug. 12, 2019, to apply for an economic injury disaster loan to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster.

Economic injury assistance is available regardless of whether the business suffered any property damage. Business owners may apply online using SBA's secure website at

For small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations of any size, SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster. Economic injury assistance is available regardless of whether the business suffered any property damage.

Interest rates are 3.74 percent for businesses and 2.75 percent for private nonprofit organizations with terms up to 30 years. Loan amounts and terms are set by SBA and are based on each applicant's financial condition.
Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at Applicants may also call SBA's Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email for more information on SBA disaster assistance.

Individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing may call (800) 877-8339. Completed applications should be mailed to U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.

SBA Announces National Small Business Week - PRNewswire

Posted: 12 Mar 2019 03:45 PM PDT

WASHINGTON, March 12, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, the head of the U.S. Small Business Administration, Administrator Linda McMahon announced that this year's National Small Business Week will be held from May 5-11, 2019. 

Administrator McMahon will start the week in Washington, D.C., where she will recognize and award outstanding small business owners and SBA Resource Partners from around the nation. She will continue the week meeting with local entrepreneurs, visiting small businesses, and holding roundtable discussions with community leaders in Florida, Texas and Utah.  

"We are extremely proud to honor America's most successful small businesses during National Small Business Week," McMahon said. "These small business owners have shown tremendous dedication and perseverance. They are the job creators that fuel our economy and best represent the nation's 30 million small businesses."    

SBA will also co-host a free, two-day virtual conference featuring educational workshops and networking. Additionally, recognition and educational seminars throughout SBA's 10 Regions and 68 Districts will be held throughout the week.   

National Small Business Week is the SBA's annual celebration of entrepreneurship and innovation.  For a profile of last year's winners from across the nation, click here.

Details and registration information will be posted on as events are finalized. 

About the U.S. Small Business Administration 
The U.S. Small Business Administration makes the American dream of business ownership a reality. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow or expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit

Cosponsorship Authorization # SBW2019. SBA's participation in this Cosponsored Activity is not an endorsement of the views, opinions, products or services of any Cosponsor or other person or entity. All SBA programs and services are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis.


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Release Number:  19-10          

SOURCE U.S. Small Business Administration

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Wanted: 20 Valley entrepreneurs hungry for 'SBA MBA' - The Business Journal

Posted: 12 Mar 2019 01:40 PM PDT

Dawn Golik

published on March 12, 2019 - 1:39 PM
Written by

Since 2011, the U.S. Small Business Administration's (SBA) Emerging Leaders training program has taught 100 San Joaquin Valley companies how to go from good to great — teaching them the skills needed to increase profits, find new customers and improve their sales.

The SBA's Fresno District Office is looking for 20 local entrepreneurs who are ready to grow their companies with the Emerging Leaders program. The seven month "SBA MBA" starting next month allows entrepreneurs work in their business while we help them also work on their business, learning the skills needed to make their companies more successful.  

The SBA's 2019 Fresno Emerging Leaders class is currently accepting applications from San Joaquin Valley small businesses who are ready to move their business to the next level. The SBA wants Emerging Leader applicants reflecting the diversity in this region's small business community: newer entrepreneurs and more seasoned ones; men and women; and companies representing a wide variety of industries. Applications are accepted at this link until March 29:  

Applicants should be in business three years or longer, show annual revenue of $250,000 or more and have at least one employee in addition to the owner. SBA can only accept one owner per firm, and applicants should be the company's CEO, COO, CFO, or President. After reviewing all the applications, SBA will select the 20 most qualified entrepreneurs. Similar training programs cost thousands of dollars, but Fresno's Emerging Leaders program is free for the business owners SBA chooses to participate.

Starting April 10, the 2019 Emerging Leaders' Fresno cohort will meet every other Wednesday from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. at the SBA's beautiful downtown Fresno office with free parking. In classes spread over seven months, entrepreneurs will receive over 100 hours of top quality training, education, and mentoring from an instructor with national non-profit agency Interise.

They will be assigned to a "CEO Group," a small cohort of other Emerging Leaders participants who meet twice a month outside the class. The program culminates with each owner developing a Three Year Strategic Growth Plan they present to a panel of experts in October, at the last class. This document becomes their long term blueprint for sustained business growth and expansion.

The Emerging Leaders program is a catalyst for economic opportunities — nearly 70% of program graduates from around the country report revenue growth and over 80% create new jobs or retain all existing jobs.  Entrepreneurs who complete the program have secured over $700 million in federal, state, local and tribal contracts.

The U. S. Small Business Administration selected Fresno for Emerging Leaders because of the strong, diverse small business community. Last year, SBA guaranteed nearly $92 million in loans in Fresno County, underscoring the growth and expansion in our local economy. Additionally, there is a robust network of SBA supported partners assisting Fresno entrepreneurs, including the Small Business Development Center, and SCORE.

Emerging Leaders gives San Joaquin Valley small businesses the information, support, resources, and connections they need to increase profits, find new customers, and grow their sales.

The Small Business Administration is looking for the next group of San Joaquin Valley entrepreneurs who are ready to make a commitment to work on their business while still working in their business. The Emerging Leaders "SBA MBA" program gives our region's small businesses the skills they need to go from good… to great.

Dawn Golik is Director of the Fresno SBA District Office serving small business owners from 15 counties in California's San Joaquin Valley and Central Coast.

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