The Small Business Administration Helps Fund the Entrepreneurial Spirit

The Small Business Administration (SBA) recently announced its 2016 findings that it approved more than $5 billion in small business loans for California companies. According to data from the SBA, in 2016 Pleasanton business owners applied for and were approved for $14,076,000 in SBA financing. Alameda County, as a whole, was approved for $220,458,200.

The SBA also announced it is ready to support another 12 months of record economic development. The agency has created several new programs and made technical improvements to its website that will make it easier for small businesses to find programs and to get funding. They streamlined the loan application process to help small business owners get the capital they need more quickly with LINC (Leveraging Information and Networks to access Capital).

Instead of searching for a banker, Hacienda entrepreneurs can now visit SBA's website, answer twelve questions about their company, and hear back from local lenders in 48 hours.

The SBA will be testing new lending initiatives in California this year, including Partnerships for Lending in Underserved Markets (PLUM). This innovative program is a two-year pilot project with the Milken Institute that reduces barriers to financing and increases access to capital for the state's large minority entrepreneur population.

According to the SBA, entrepreneurs in Hacienda are uniquely positioned to compete in the global marketplace because of its proximity to ports and the agency will provide the capital that small businesses need to take advantage of international trade opportunities. Last year SBA guaranteed more than $108 million in export loans for California small businesses.

In addition, SBA reports there are many opportunities for small businesses under SBA's "8a Business Development program." Since last October, when the 2017 Federal Fiscal year began, small businesses received more than $110 million in government contracts.

As part of SBA's new website, they are making it easier for women-owned small businesses to get funding. In 2016, the federal government met, for the first time, its five percent statutory goal for contracting with women-owned companies.

SBA has rolled out a new website, and it estimates this year that one million women-owned small businesses in California's will apply for the certification needed to compete for their share of these deals.

A local service the SBA offers for women-owned businesses is offered through an organization called AnewAmerica. The Women's Business Center (WBC) at AnewAmerica provides training, counseling and other support services to help women entrepreneurs start and successfully grow their businesses.

Another service that will assist new businesses is "The California Business Incentives Gateway" (CBIG). It is the state's first digital marketplace focused on automatically pairing businesses with thousands of economic development programs and incentives offered by state and local governments.

The SBA also sponsors a local program called SCORE that helps small business owners by providing free counseling to owners and managers. SCORE is a nonprofit association dedicated to helping small businesses launch, grow and achieve their goals through education and mentorship. With the support of the SBA, SCORE volunteers work with entrepreneurs to make business plans, set budgets and find resources.

At the center of Hacienda is its commitment to the success of businesses and along with the SBA and local organizations, small business growth will remain strong in the region.

For more information on the Small Business Administration, visit .

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