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How Can the SBA Help Your Spa?
Posted: September 8, 2010
page 5 of 7
The SBA under previous administrations has been criticized for awarding contracts to larger entities that were masked as small businesses. This is a program for small business. It's not a program for big business masquerading as small businesses, and we have gone very far to try to ensure the integrity of the program and make sure those who are eligible are those getting the contracts.
Are there new standards or new screening procedures?
Yes. In fact, we redid the regulations for our flagship [business development] program, 8(a), and strengthened them considerably. And those are helping us make sure it's small businesses that get the access to these contracts.
What is the most pressing issue facing small businesses in 2010?
Small businesses are coming off a difficult time, with the recession and the credit crunch. So the first thing we have been concerned about is making sure we get the Recovery Act dollars in the hands of small businesses and give them the credit they need to grow and move forward.
In addition to access to credit, small businesses care about a number of other things. We find that our counseling operations are equally important as our credit operations because small businesses really need help and advice, and when they get it, they tend to have more sales and more profits and more longevity, and they hire more people. So we have looked forward and said, "How do we get all the tools small businesses need into their hands?" Maybe they want to export. Maybe they want to know how to use broadband. Maybe they are veterans who are coming back and want to start a business or grow their business. Our job is to make sure all that information and opportunity is accessible for small businesses so they can do what they do, which is keep our economy strong.
What is your agenda for moving forward?
My goal is, internally, to invest in our agency and our bone structure. To make sure our people have the training and we have the information technology to make sure the SBA delivers a helping hand to small businesses in the ways they need to get capital, to get counseling, to get government contracts and, heaven forbid, in the event of a disaster, we are also helping small businesses right now in places like Nashville and the Gulf Coast survive difficult situations. We will be there for small businesses because we know they are the critical force that is going to create jobs in our economy, and we know they are the critical force that is going to innovate and keep us competitive all across the globe.