OP-ED: SBA is helping Pennsylvania get back in business
For the past 16 months, the more than 1.1 million small businesses of Pennsylvania have been focused on surviving, persevering and pivoting to sustain themselves while keeping their 2.5 million employees safe and healthy.
Our Pennsylvanian small businesses are vital to our economy and our workforce, making up 99.6% of all businesses in the state and employing 46.2% of the state’s total private workforce.
The Small Business Administration’s response to the pandemic has been prolific and the SBA Eastern Pennsylvania District Office has helped administer much-needed emergency capital programs including the Economic Injury Disaster Loan, Paycheck Protection Program, Restaurant Revitalization Fund, and the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant.
While these programs are providing vital funding during the pandemic, it’s important to know that SBA continues to offer enhancements in our traditional SBA Loan Programs for new, sustaining and expanding businesses as we start to turn the corner and return to normal. For example, on loans that are approved through September 30, 2021, our:
- Upfront Guaranty Fees on all 7(a) loans, including Community Advantage, are zero
- SBA Express Maximum Loan (term loans and lines of credit) amount is increased to $1 million; and
- Microloan terms are extended for up to eight years
At the SBA, we know it requires planning, projections and financials to create a loan application and present the package to a lender. Small businesses and entrepreneurs can turn to our SBA Resource Partners for no-cost one-on-one consulting for this assistance.
You can find a local Resource Partner, such as SCORE, Small Business Development Center, Women’s Business Center and Veteran Business Outreach Center through our sba.gov website. Available 24/7, SBA’s digital learning platform has nearly everything anyone could hope for to educate themselves on entrepreneurial best practices and available financing options. SBA’s online Lender Match connects small businesses with potential lenders offering SBA loan programs.
Nonprofits are businesses, too, and SBA currently has two grant funding opportunities open:
Community Navigator: Selected partners will engage in targeted outreach for small businesses in underserved communities to help small businesses get the resources and support they need to get back on track as the economy continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. Applicants have until July 23, 2021, to submit their application at grants.gov.
Veterans Outreach Program: Selected organizations will scale and deliver their existing entrepreneurship training program(s) to veteran-owned and service-disabled-owned small businesses which intend to pursue, or are already engaged in, federal procurement. Applicants have until July 12, 2021, to submit their application at grants.gov.
Helping Pennsylvania get back in business also involves you. With restrictions being lifted, take time out this summer to help support our Pennsylvania local award-winning wineries, distilleries and eateries. Experience adventure at one of our amusement parks, nature parks or music venues. And discover unique women-, minority-, and veteran-owned businesses and boutiques in your neighborhood and throughout our great state.
The SBA Eastern Pennsylvania team is available to offer guidance to entrepreneurs starting, growing, expanding, and recovering their business. Please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 610-382-3062 with your questions on counseling and training resources, access to capital, and government contracting opportunities.\
— Steve Dixel is the director of the U.S. Small Business Administration's Eastern Pennsylvania District.