The SBA provides most business counseling and training programs through its various resource partners. The agency’s main mission is to help entrepreneurs start, grow and expand their businesses. SBA helps to build communities one small business at a time. Below is a listing of SBA’s business counseling and training programs available in Colorado.
SCORE is a 13,000 member nonprofit volunteer organization with 350 chapters throughout the U.S. and is a resource partner of the SBA. In Colorado, there are three chapters: Denver, Colorado Springs and Pueblo, with over 150 members. The program matches experienced volunteers with small businesses that need expert advice. Clients gain access to this knowledge base through one-on-one free mentoring sessions, workshops for individuals just starting out or those already in business and the Small Business Checkup Program.
SCORE members, either retired or currently active, have a broad range of experience in most industries and functions. SCORE clients also have access, at no charge, to all the resources of the national SCORE organization which includes 4,000 members in the online mentoring program and a wealth of resource materials, webinars and reference items focused on the small business entrepreneur.
The Women’s Business Center (WBC) in Colorado is located at three Mi Casa Resource Center location is Denver. The WBC promotes the growth of women-owned businesses through programs that address business training, technical assistance, access to credit, federal contracts, and international trade opportunities. The programs offered by Mi Casa are based on the needs of the small business community. For more information visit www.micasaresourcecenter.org.
This website provides fast and easy help on all services provided by the SBA, including: SBA publications, access to SBA programs and services, points of contact, calendars of local events, on-line training, access to other federal agency on-line services and data, electronic and Internet mail, information exchange by special-interest groups, and down-loadable files. www.sba.gov.
The Regional Advocate serves as the Chief Counsel for Advocacy’s direct link to local communities and small business constituents for representation on federal regulatory matters. The Office of Advocacy monitors pending changes in federal regulations and the Regional Advocates disseminate these proposed changes to the small business community in their region. Thereafter they seek small business’ feedback on federal regulatory changes and work with the respective agencies, Congress and the executive offices so that proposed changes do not unduly impact small business. They also work as advisors to state officials to develop policies on small business regulatory flexibility that help small businesses in the region to prosper and grow.
The ombudsman receives comments from small businesses about the regulatory enforcement and compliance activities of federal agencies and refers comments to the appropriate agency’s Inspector General on a confidential basis. The ombudsman also coordinates the efforts of the ten small business regulatory fairness boards and reports annually to the SBA Administrator and to the heads of the affected agencies on the boards’ activities, findings, and recommendations. Visitwww.sba.gov/ombudsman.
The SBA Disaster Assistance Program, administered by the Office of Disaster Assistance is the primary federally funded disaster assistance loan program for funding long-range recovery for private sector, nonagricultural disaster victims. In addition to presidential declarations, the program handles disaster loans when a declaration is made by the SBA Administrator. There are three disaster loan programs: loans for homes and personal property, physical disaster loans to businesses of any size, and economic injury loans to small businesses without credit available elsewhere. For more information, visit www.sba.gov/services/disasterassistance/index.html.
USEAC combines the trade-promotion and export-finance resources of the SBA, the U.S. Department of Commerce, the Export-Import Bank and, in some locations, the Agency for International Development. Designed to improve delivery of services to small- and medium-sized businesses, USEACs work closely with other federal, state and local trade partners in your area. Contact Colorado’s USEAC at www.trade.gov.
This SBA program guarantees bid, performance and payment bonds for contracts up to $2 million for eligible small businesses that cannot obtain surety bonds through regular commercial channels. By law, prime contractors to the federal government must post surety bonds on federal construction projects valued at $150,000 or more. In addition, many states, counties, municipalities, and private sector projects and subcontracts also require surety bonds. Contractors must apply through a surety bonding agent, since the SBA’s guarantee goes to the surety company. For more information on the SBA’s Surety Bond Guarantee Program Office, visit www.sba.gov.
Business.gov is a web site designed to help small businesses find, understand and comply with the federal, state and local laws and regulations that impact their operations. Users can educate themselves on the state and local laws where they operate, including those dealing with hiring and managing employees, taxes and zoning. Small businesses can apply online for licenses and permits in several states. Visit www.business.usa.gov for more information.