For decades, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has supported small businesses with guidance, funding, and other resources. In ASBN’s newest exclusive, The SBA Update, we’re joined by Allen Thomas, SBA Regional Administrator, to give us insight into the latest news and updates.
As Region IV Administrator, Allen Thomas will oversee SBA programs, offices, and operations in the SBA’s Southeast region, serving Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. Thomas is a former three-term mayor, businessman, entrepreneur, and public and private enterprise leader.
COVID restrictions reintroduced many small businesses to the SBA. The organization has billions of resources and is the gatekeeper for over 35 million small businesses. Thomas notes, “The core mission of SBA has always been having access to traditional lending, to capital, and aids businesses on launching a business, building a business, and how to do government contracting and disaster contracting.”
This year, Thomas asserts, “We are celebrating our 70th anniversary.” He continues, “The great thing about SBA; it brings all these resource partners like small business development centers, the scoring chapter of retiring executives, women business centers, and all those entities work together to measure our success.”
“Today, only at times of disaster response do we directly lend money,” asserts Thomas. In those incidents, SBA ensures everyone is safe while offering ongoing assistance for slight business recovery. In 2022, there was $43 billion in lending that SBA served as a financial backing for those lends. The organization also provides 90% of the support for any loan to small businesses through traditional banks. However, Thomas notes that the 504 and 7A loans, which cover everything from starting or launching a business from $500 to $5 million- depending on what firms require- have been found to have quite favorable lending terms and rates.
Every year, $700 billion in federal contracting are left with the $1.2 trillion of the recently passed infrastructure, the most significant infrastructure infusion the country has seen since the ‘New Deal.’ Thomas asserts, “If you are any small contractor unaware of the infrastructure, you should be.” 23% of the annual $700 billion government funding must go to small businesses in the underserved, minority, Women, and veterinarians markets. Therefore, you don’t want to miss the opportunity for SBA to provide your small business resources to federal contracts or help establish your credit. SBA utilizes your financial profile to prepare business owners on the steps to be financially prepared.
For more information on accessing traditional loans and more SBA resources, visit SBA.Gov.