U.S. Small Business Administration
The federal government supports the creation and success of small businesses through many means, with the Small Business Administration being a central focus point. From my-idea-is-forming to startup to established operation, the SBA offers help in writing business plan documents, understanding legal requirements, securing financing, growing a business, expanding into new markets including exporting, and more.
Starting and managing a business
Ideas, mentoring and nuts-and-bolts information needed to take a germ of an idea and turn it into a startup business. Information here helps entrepreneurs think through their ideas, find mentors, write business plans, and understand applicable business law, regulations and required licenses. Once a business is established, SBA resources can support management growth in leadership, expanding markets and more.
Loans and grants
SBA does not itself loan money — it helps small businesses find and secure loans from accredited financial sources, including “SBA-backed loans” from a local bank or credit union in which the SBA guarantees the business will repay the loan as promised.
SBA does not itself provide grant money — it connects small businesses to entities that do. Funds here can include grants through federal, state and local government programs and/or certain nonprofit organizations.
Working as a government contractor
SBA helps small businesses get the government to be a client: general and specific information is available about the process of working as a government contractor, how to get started and eligibility requirements, and contracting opportunities or services the government needs.
Counseling and training support
SBA offers a vast range of online and local on-site training, counseling and mentoring services. Training topics run from the beginning of just starting a business to ongoing financing and contracting.
The SBA maintains offices throughout Montana. In addition to Missoula, nearby SBA personnel and resources are located in Kalispell, Helena, Butte and Hamilton. Find the full listing of local offices, and resources available at each, at SBA Direct.
Find the U.S. SBA online at www.sba.gov. Detailed information on all topics noted to the left (and more) is available from the home page of the SBA website.