Guide to Government Resources for Small Business Owners and Managers – Small business information, insight and resources | Thu, 14 Feb 2019 18:32:11 +0000 en-US hourly 1 157446745 U.S. Government Contracting Resources for Small Businesses | 2017 Tue, 31 Oct 2017 01:00:33 +0000

The following information is provided by the
U.S. Small Business Administration.

Small businesses interested in pursuing federal contracts have many options available to represent their company to potential buyers, to research the federal marketplace for available opportunities, and understand the competition. To prepare your business for federal contracting opportunities, it is important for you to understand these resources.

1 | System for Award Management (SAM)

If you are ready to bid on federal contracts, it’s necessary to submit your business profile to the primary database that federal agencies use to locate contractors. To send your business “resume” to the government, register a business profile with the System for Award Management, also known as SAM. Agencies can search for your business based on several factors, including capabilities, size, location, experience, and ownership.

2 | Dynamic Small Business Search (DSBS)

The Small Business Administration maintains the Dynamic Small Business Search (DSBS) database. DSBS is another tool contracting officers use to identify potential small business contractors for upcoming contracting opportunities. Small businesses can also use DSBS to identify other small businesses for teaming and joint venturing.

3 | FedBizOpps: Federal Business Opportunities

Federal business opportunities for contractors are listed at FedBizOpps: Federal Business Opportunities. Federal agencies are required to use this site to communicate available procurement opportunities and their vendor requirements to the public and interested potential vendors for all contracts valued over $25,000.

4 | GSA Schedules

Many government agencies establish government-wide contracts, which simplify the procurement process for federal agencies by allowing them to acquire a vast array of products and services directly from commercial suppliers. The largest government-wide contracts are established by the U.S. General Services Administration under its GSA Schedules Program. State and local governments also use the GSA schedules for purchasing goods and services, so becoming a GSA schedule contractor can be beneficial at all levels of government.

4 | Federal Procurement Data System

Federal Procurement Data System – Next Generation is the repository of all federal contracting data for contracts in excess of $25,000. With this system, you can learn the following about federal contracting opportunities and increase your market capability:
  • Which agencies have contracts and with whom
  • What agencies buy
  • Which contractors have contracts
In addition, there are over 50 standard reports you can run, as well as specialized reports that allow you to request information using over 160 customized fields.

5 | is your source for information about government spending through contracts awarded by the federal government. The website is a searchable database that contains information for each federal award, including:
  • Name of the entity receiving the award
  • Amount of the award
  • Transaction type and funding agency
  • Location of the entity receiving the award
  • Unique identifier of the entity receiving the award
This information can be used to help you identify procurement trends within the federal government and potential opportunities.

6 |

Many federal agencies have what is known as an Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) or an Office of Small Business Programs (OSBP). These offices work within their agencies to identify opportunities to incorporate small businesses as vendors to their agencies. Each agency releases a forecast of anticipated procurement activities that includes potential small business opportunities. Once you have reviewed an agency forecast and used systems like FPDS and to discern if there may be opportunities at a specific agency, it can be beneficial to reach out to the OSDBU to build a relationship with the agency. Additionally, each OSDBU holds training programs and events to help small businesses identify if there are opportunities with the agency. To learn more about OSDBUs and events, visit
Small Business Administration (SBA) Contact Information | 2017 Tue, 18 Jul 2017 21:59:40 +0000

Established with the passage of the American Small Business Act in 1953, the  U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) was created as an independent agency of the federal government to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small business concerns, to preserve free competitive enterprise and to maintain and to strengthen the overall economy of the U.S. Simply stated in the SBA’s mission statement, ” The SBA helps Americans start, build and grow businesses.”

The SBA delivers its services through an extensive network of field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. Here are phone numbers and links to the various offices and locations where you can reach the appropriate SBA office.

There are three types of offices in this list:

   I. District (typically, the  SBA office closest to you)
 II. Regional
III. National Headquarters

 I. District Offices

SBA’s District Offices are responsible for the delivery of SBA’s many programs and services throughout the country. Services available and administered through SBA District Offices include:

  • Free counseling, advice, and information on starting a business through SCORE.
  • Financial assistance for new or existing businesses through guaranteed loans made by area bank and non-bank lenders.
  • Free consulting services through the network of Small Business Development Centers. SBDCs also conduct training events throughout the district – some require a nominal registration fee.
  • Assistance to businesses owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals through the Minority Enterprise Development Program.
  • Women’s Business Ownership Representatives are available to advise women business owners.
  • Special loan programs are available for businesses involved in international trade.
  • Guaranteed loans are available for credit-worthy veterans.

1 – The Seattle District Office serves Benewah, Bonner, Boundary, Clearwater, Idaho, Kootenai, Latah, Lewis, Nez Perce, Shoshone counties in Idaho.

2 – The Wichita District Office serves all of Kansas except the following counties, which are served by the Kansas City, Missouri District Office: Anderson, Atchison, Bourbon, Brown, Cherokee, Coffey, Crawford, Doniphan, Douglas, Franklin, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Labette, Leavenworth, Linn, Marshall, Miami, Montgomery, Nemaha, Neosho, Osage, Pottawatomie, Shawnee, Wilson, Woodson and Wyandotte.

3 – The Washington, DC District Office serves Montgomery and Prince George’s counties in Maryland and Arlington, Fairfax and Loudoun counties in Virginia.

4 – The Boise District Office serves Baker, Grant, Harney, Malheur, Union and Wallowa counties in Oregon.

5 – The Portland District Office serves Clark, Skamania, Cowlitz and Wahkiakum counties in Washington.

II. SBA Regional Offices

  • Region I 
    SBA New England | Serving Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont
  • Region II 
    SBA Atlantic | Serving New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico, and The U.S. Virgin Islands
  • Region III 
    SBA Mid-Atlantic | Serving Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington, DC, and West Virginia
  • Region IV 
    SBA Southeast | Serving Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee
  • Region V 
    SBA Great Lakes | Serving Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin
  • Region VI 
    SBA South Central | Serving Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas
  • Region VII 
    SBA Great Plains | Serving Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska
  • Region VIII 
    SBA Rocky Mountains | Serving Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming
  • Region IX 
    SBA Pacific | Serving Arizona, California, Guam, Hawaii, and Nevada
  • Region X 
    SBA Pacific Northwest | Serving Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington

III. SBA Headquarters, Washington, DC

Advocacy, Laws & Regulations

U.S. Resources for Women Business Owners Wed, 08 Mar 2017 11:25:02 +0000

The vast majority of information and resources for starting and operating a business is helpful for any type of potential or existing small business owner, regardless of how we’re different. Yet, as we’re exploring the U.S. resources for various types of small business owners, we are reminded of the ways we need to break down historic barriers and encourage business development where opportunities have not always existed. Recognizing those needs exist, the United States has created a network of resources to address the unique needs, challenges and opportunities of emerging entrepreneurs. These resources seek to “level the playing field” for women business owners, who still face unique obstacles.

As part of our recognition of International Women’s Day, March 8, 2017, we’re sharing this directory of U.S. resources for women business owners.

SBA Office of Women’s Business Ownership

The mission of the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Office of Women’s Business Ownership is to enable and empower women entrepreneurs through advocacy, outreach, education and support.

On the web: Office of Women’s Business Ownership 

Women’s Business Centers

Supported by the SBA, Women’s Business Centers (WBCs) represent a national network of more than 100 educational centers throughout the United States and its territories. These centers are designed to assist women in starting and growing small businesses. The SBA’s Office of Women’s Business Ownership (OWBO) oversees the WBC network, which provides women business owners (especially women who are economically or socially disadvantaged) comprehensive training and counseling on a variety of topics in several languages.

Directory of Local Business Centers

 National Women’s Business Council

The National Women’s Business Council (NWBC) is a federal advisory council created to serve as an independent source of advice and counsel to the President, Congress and the U.S. Small Business Administration on economic issues of importance to women business owners. The council’s mission is to promote bold initiatives, policies and programs designed to support women’s business enterprises at all stages of development in the public and private sector—from start-up to success to significance.

On the web: National Women’s Business Council

Related Organizations

These non-government organizations extend the network and resources of the SBA through idea-exchange and the support of volunteers and the private sector.

Association of Women’s Business Centers

Provides women business owners and entrepreneurs with a variety of support and services, including help in securing rounds of venture capital.

National Association of Women Business Owners

Provides information on an association committed to helping women entrepreneurs become effective in economic, social and political spheres of power.


Free and confidential business advice from mentors, both online and in-person.

A Rural Loan Program Change Means More Employees Can Buy a Retiring Owner’s Business Mon, 12 Dec 2016 20:19:27 +0000

The retirement of Baby Boomers who own businesses means there’s a major turnover in ownership. Developing an ownership succession plan is especially challenging in rural areas where many small businesses are at risk of closing from the lack of locally available financing to keep them in operation, according to Sam Rikkers, USDA administrator, Rural Business Service. A recent change in a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) loan program addresses one challenge of succession-oriented lending in rural areas.

A change in a major U.S. rural loan program means that employees, not just off-spring of the owner, can access the loan program as part of a business succession plan. Under the previous Rural Development Business and Industry (B&I) Guaranteed Loan Program rules, loans for purchasing businesses required complete ownership transfer. That meant that the selling owner could not retain any financial or ownership interest during the transition of ownership. The limitation was a part of the loan program because it was assumed in previous generations that all such transitions were from parents to children. Under that assumed scenario, the need for a staged transfer of ownership was not envisioned.

However, such a requirement made it difficult for employees wishing to purchase the business to access financing; it was impossible for them to take on such large loans and did not permit the selling owners to stay involved for transferring the know-how for running the business.

The new B&I rules provide for staged financing and supports succession planning when selling to employees. If a business converts to a worker cooperative or forms an employee stock ownership plan for the purpose of transferring 100 percent of the ownership to employees, a series of B&I guarantees can be applied over a 5-year period.

During this period, selling owners may stay involved with the business as they receive payments in exchange for their ownership shares. The B&I program also provides loan guarantees for purchasing preferred stock that is issued by a cooperative. This feature can be used to help the conversion of businesses to worker cooperatives.

Residents of a rural community may want to purchase preferred shares to help strengthen the financial structure of a cooperative, as well as local businesses that could obtain loans with B&I guarantees to buy large blocks of such stock.

Another feature is that the selling owners may continue their membership in the worker cooperative so long as their governance rights are equal with all other members. Many owners want to sell their small business but also stay active to ensure continued success for the enterprise and its service to the community.



Bookmark This! | 35 Data Sources About Business From U.S. Government Agencies Mon, 01 Aug 2016 11:57:20 +0000

One of our primary objectives at is to discover and share information with a neutral point-of-view that helps those who own and run small businesses make better decisions throughout every day. We are constantly amazed to discover new tools and resources that contain just such information. Unfortunately, that help can often be buried deep within a government agency database or in a seemingly hidden part of a report. Thanks to the folks at the Small Business Administration (SBA) Office of Advocacy for making us aware of many of the data sources found on this list. 

USDA | Wikimedia Commons

U.S. Government Business Data Sources

Key | √ = Source has small business data on this topic

1 | Demographics 5 | Firm Size Data 9 | Industry / Geography
2 | Employment 6 | Firms / Establishments 10 | Taxes
3 | Exports / International 7 | Health and/or Pensions 11 | Training
4 | Finance 8 | Income / Sales / Expenses


U.S. Department of Commerce | Wikimedia Commons

Agency Available Data 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
Commerce / Bureau of Economic Analysis Corporate Profits Proprietors' Income GDP
Commerce / Census Annual Capital Expenditures Survey
Business Dynamics Statistics
Business Expenses
County Business Patterns
Nonemployer Business Statistics
Statistics of U.S. Businesses
Survey of Business Owners
Survey of Income & Program Participation
Commerce / Int. Trade Admin. Importers and Exporters
Census & Bureau of Labor Stat. Current Population Survey

Key | √ = Source has small business data on this topic

1 | Demographics 5 | Firm Size Data 9 | Industry / Geography
2 | Employment 6 | Firms / Establishments 10 | Taxes
3 | Exports / International 7 | Health and/or Pensions 11 | Training
4 | Finance 8 | Income / Sales / Expenses


Federal Reserve | Wikimedia Commons

Agency Available Data 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
U.S. Courts Bankruptcy Filings
FFIEC Community Reinvestment Act data
FDIC/FFIEC Call Report Data / Outstanding SB Loans
Federal Proc. Data System Small Business Goaling Report
Federal Reserve Board Flow of Funds
Senior Loan Officer Opinion Survey
Survey of Consumer Finances
Survey of Small Business Finances
Survey of Terms of Business Lending
Health and Human Services Medical Expenditure Panel Survey

Key | √ = Source has small business data on this topic

1 | Demographics 5 | Firm Size Data 9 | Industry / Geography
2 | Employment 6 | Firms / Establishments 10 | Taxes
3 | Exports / International 7 | Health and/or Pensions 11 | Training
4 | Finance 8 | Income / Sales / Expenses


SBA | Wikimedia Commons

Agency Available Data 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
Labor / Bureau of Labor Statistics Business Employment Dynamics
Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey
Survey of Employer-Provided Training
Links to Much more BLS Data
Labor / Employee Benefits Sec. Admin. Private Pension Plan Bulletin etc.
Securities & Exchange Commission EDGAR Database of Publicly Traded Cos.
Small Business Administration SBA Lending Data
SBA Weekly Lending Reports
Small Business Investment Company
SBA Office of Advocacy Small Business Research & Data
Social Security Administration Employment and Pension Data
Treasury / IRS / SOI Statistics of Income

Key | √ = Source has small business data on this topic

1 | Demographics 5 | Firm Size Data 9 | Industry / Geography
2 | Employment 6 | Firms / Establishments 10 | Taxes
3 | Exports / International 7 | Health and/or Pensions 11 | Training
4 | Finance 8 | Income / Sales / Expenses



Answers to 20 of the Most Frequently Asked Questions About U.S. Small Business Thu, 28 Jul 2016 12:30:48 +0000

Each day, in cities and towns across the United States, almost every individual comes into contact with a small business owner. But still, “What exactly is a small business?” is one of the most frequent questions we receive at Recently the Small Business Administration (SBA) Office of Advocacy updated a PDF document that they periodically compile of frequently asked questions (FAQs) about small businesses. Working from their list and our own, here are answers to 20 of the most FAQs about U.S. small businesses.

1 | What is a small business?

Because government contracts typically include requirements for a percentage of the goods or services to be awarded to a small business, there is a statutory definition of “small business” that is part of nearly every spending bill signed by the President. The definition codifies the size (in revenues or the number of employees) a company must be to be considered for governmental procurements that must be fulfilled by a small business. It is the responsibility of the SBA to determine what the technical definition of “small” is when it comes to a small business. Currently, the SBA defines a small business as an independent business having fewer than 500 employees. However, in various industries, the definition of small business can include more than 500 employees.

For the industry-level definition of small business used in government programs and contracting, see the SBA Table of Small Business Size Standards. (Note: “Independent” means the business is not a subsidiary or another company nor is it a publicly traded company.)

The table of size standards can also be found online in the Small Business Size Regulations published by the Electronic Code of Federal Regulations. You can also check whether your business is small using the size standards tool.

In addition to the definition of “small business” that is determined by size, the U.S. tax laws, the IRS, and the Census Bureau have a definition related to small businesses that, in effect, divides businesses into two categories: (1) Small businesses with no employees other than the owner. These businesses have lots of names: freelancer, sole proprietorships, self-employed,

1 | Small businesses with no employees other than the owner. On government websites and documents, you will see the term “nonemployer business” applied to such companies. We think, however, that businesses should not be classified by what they are not, but rather by what they are. So in describing a business of one person, we typically refer to titles like freelancer, sole proprietorships, self-employed and independent contractor, etc. However, in this article, we use terms like “businesses with no paid employees” when linking to data that is similarly labeled on the source.

2 | Small businesses that have paid employees.

For more on regarding how to define small businesses

village of Seneca Falls before sundown

2 | How many small businesses are there in the U.S.?

In 2013 (most recent data), there were 28.8 million small businesses.

80% (23 million) | Businesses with no employees other than owner
20% (5.8 million) | Businesses with paid employees

SOURCES | SUSB, NES | Scroll to bottom for links to data sources

3 | How big is the role of small businesses in the U.S. economy?

Small businesses comprise:

99.9% | of all firms
99.7% | of firms with paid employees
97.7% | of exporting firms (297,000 small exporters)
33.6% | of known export value ($471 billion out of $930 billion)
48.0% | of private sector employees (57 million out of 118 million employees)
41.2% | of private-sector payroll

SOURCES | SUSB, NES, ITA (2013) | Scroll to bottom for links to data sources

San Fransisco downtown, crossing of streets Columbus Ave. and Kearny St.

4 | What percent of net new jobs are created by small businesses?

63.3% | Percentage of new jobs created by small businesses from the third quarter of 1992 until the third quarter of 2013

SOURCE | BED | Scroll to bottom for links to data sources

5 | How can small businesses’ share of net new jobs be larger than their share of employment, yet their share of employment remain steady?

As firms grow, they change employment size classes. So as small firms grow, their growth counts toward small firm job gains; but if they pass the 500-employee mark, their employment is classified as large firm employment.

SOURCE | SBA-ADVOCACY | Scroll to bottom for links to data sources

6 | How many businesses start and close each year?

The chart below tracks business startups and closures since 2007, prior to the financial meltdown of 2008 and the subsequent great recession. The most recent data is below.

Year Startups Closures
2007 528988 439494
2008 490834 477010
2009 409065 493994
2010 387976 424610
2011 401156 413882
2012 411252 375192
2013 406353 400687

SOURCES | BED, BDS, SBA-ADVOCACY | Scroll to bottom for links to data sources

7 | What is the one-year survival rate for new small businesses?

(Update: The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics updates “establishment” and “survivability” statistics regularly. For links to those statistics, go

79.9% | Percentage of small businesses that survive one year or longer (Based on average of the businesses started during the years 2004 to 2014)

SOURCES | BED, BDS, SBA-ADVOCACY | Scroll to bottom for links to data sources

8 | What is the five-year survival rate for new small businesses?

(Update: The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics updates “establishment” and “survivability” statistics regularly. For links to those statistics, go

50% | About half of all businesses that were started between 2006 to 2011 survived five years or longer. (Based on average of the businesses started during the years 2006 to 2010)
45.4% | Established in 2006 that survived five years (lowest between 2006 to 2010)
51.4% | Established in 2011 that survived five years (highest between 2006 to 2010)

SOURCE | BED, BDS,  SBA-ADVOCACY | Scroll to bottom for links to data sources

9 | What is the ten-year survival rate for new small businesses?

(Update: The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics updates “establishment” and “survivability” statistics regularly. For links to those statistics, go

33% | An estimated one-third of establishments survive 10 years or longer. While government data is not available on ten-year survival rates, other data sources suggest that about two out of three businesses are still open after ten years. (Note: Not all closures should be described as “failures.” Closures also include decisions by the owner to sell or close a profitable business.)


10 | How many businesses do women own?

9.9 million | Businesses owned by women
2.5 million | Businesses owned jointly and equally by men and women
12.3 million | Total firms at least 50 percent women-owned
45% | Percentage of all classifiable businesses owned at least 50 percent by women

SOURCE | SBO | Based on 2012 data | Scroll to bottom for links to data sources

11 | How many businesses do minorities own?

In 2012 (most recent data), 8 million businesses were minority-owned, an increase of 38 percent from 2007.

29.3% | Percentage of U.S. firms minority owned
12% | Hispanic-owned
10% | Black- or African American-owned
7% | Asian-owned
1% | American Indians- and Alaska Natives-owned
.2% | Native Hawaiians- and other Pacific Islanders-owned

 SOURCE | SBO | Based on 2012 data | Scroll to bottom for links to data sources

12 | How many businesses do military veterans own?

2.5 million | Businesses owned by U.S. military veterans
440,000 | Businesses with paid employees owned by veterans
9.3% | Percentage of all U.S. businesses owned by veterans

SOURCE | SBO | Based on 2012 data | Scroll to bottom for links to data sources

13 | What percent of U.S. small business owners are immigrants?

14.4% | The percentage of business owners who are immigrants

Top two industries in which immigrants comprise the largest percentage of owners:

29.1% of owners | Hospitality (accomodation and food services)
27.5% of owners | Transportation and warehousing

SOURCE | SBO | Based on 2012 data | Scroll to bottom for links to data sources

14 | Is millennial business ownership increasing?

Recent research by the SBA Office of Advocacy shows that in 2014, millennials (those born between the early-1980s and mid-1990s) are less likely to be self-employed than older individuals. This research also revealed that the rate of self-employment among individuals ages 15 to 34 has been gradually declining since 1990.

SOURCE | “The Missing Millennial Entrepreneurs” (PDF) February 2016

Asian family in front of store

15 | What percent of firms are family-owned and how does this compare to ‘equally-owned’ firms?

19.3% | Percentage of all businesses that are family-owned
50% | Percentage of family-owned businesses that are “equally owned,” that is, 50 percent owned by two individuals
10% | Percentage of all businesses that are equally-owned and family-owned

Industries with largest share of family-owned firms:

46.4% of firms are family-owned | Business management services
37.3% of firms are family-owned | Real estate, rental and leasing
33.2% of firms are family-owned | Accommodation and food services

Industries with largest share of equally-owned firms:

18.6% of firms are equally-owned | Mining and quarrying
16.9% of firms are equally-owned | Oil and gas extraction
16.9% of firms are equally-owned | (16.9%) Accommodation and food services

SOURCE | SBO | Scroll to bottom for links to data sources

View of Union Station in downtown Denver, Colorado, taken at night from the middle of a street. The train station is lit up for the Christmas Holiday season

16 | What legal structure do most small businesses choose?

The majority of firms without paid employees are sole proprietorships (86.4 percent) while only 14.8 percent of small employer firms are sole proprietorships.

[table “” not found /]

SOURCE | SUSB, NES | Scroll to bottom for links to data sources

17 | What percent of firms are home-based?

A home-based business is operated primarily out of the home but its business activities may take place at other locations as well.

50% | Percentage of all businesses that are home-based
60.1% | Percentage of of all businesses without paid employees that are home-based
23.3% | Percentage of small businesses with paid employees

Industries with highest percentage of home-based businesses

70.0% | Information construction
68.2% | Construction
65.3% | Professional, scientific and technical services

SOURCE | SBO | Scroll to bottom for links to data sources

18 | What percentage of businesses are franchises?

2.3% | Percentage of businesses with no employees are franchisees
5.3% | Percentage of small businesses with employees that are franchiees

SOURCE | SBO | Scroll to bottom for links to data sources

Picture shows the city St. Louis in USA

19 | How are small businesses financed?

Most common sources of capital to finance business expansion:

21.9% | Personal and family savings
5.7% | Profits and assets
4.5% | Business loans from financial institutions
3.3% | Business credit cards from banks

SOURCE | SBO | Scroll to bottom for links to data sources

20 | What is the small business share of federal procurements?

25.8% | Percentage of federal contracting dollars that went to small businesses (Fiscal Year 2015)
25.1% | FY 2014
23.4% | FY 2013

Agencies with at least $1 billion in eligible contracting dollars that awarded the highest share of such contracts to small businesses:

55.4% | Department of the Interior
50.6% | Department of Transportation
50.1% | Department of Agriculture

SOURCE | Small Business Dashboard

BED | Business Employment Dynamics, Bureau of Labor Statistics, US Department of Labor
BDS | Business Dynamics Statistics, US Census Bureau, US Department of Commerce
ITA | International Trade Administration, US Department of Commerce
NES | Nonemployer Statistics, US Census Bureau, US Department of Commerce
SBA-ADVOCACY | Small Business Administration, Office of Advocacy
SBO | Survey of Business Owners, US Census Bureau, US Department of Commerce
SUSB | Statistics of US Businesses, US Census Bureau, US Department of Commerce

VIA | SBA Office of Advocacy (PDF)



U.S. Resources for Employers and Job Seekers Wed, 24 Feb 2016 13:41:28 +0000

The American Job Center Network is the online hub for links to job-related resources for businesses seeking new employees or help in training current ones. The online resource includes links to hundreds of local training programs and job resources. Below are just a few examples of the programs, resources and tools small business owners and job seekers can access. At the bottom of this page, you can find direct links to job banks in U.S. states and territories.

Resources for Employers

Workers Discussing Plans

Competency models

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) works with business and industry experts to develop industry competency models and to identify and validate the competencies that employers need in high-growth, high-demand sectors. Employers, educators and career counselors can use these competency models to design training curriculum, develop career pathways and to help workers earn industry-recognized credentials.

Agency | U.S. Department of Labor (DOL)
Learn More |

Skills for America’s Future Program

The program brings together businesses, nonprofits and schools to train Americans for the jobs of a new century through the Skills for America’s Future program. This initiative is designed to build partnerships between businesses and community colleges to match the work in the classroom with the needs of the boardroom.

Agencies | Employment & Training Administration (ETA), U.S. Department of Labor (DOL)
Learn More |

Resources for Job Seekers

Auto mechanics fixing vehicle

One Stop Career Centers

DOL oversees a national network of more than 2,900 One Stop Career Centers, located in communities in every state. One Stop Career Centers are designed to provide a full range of assistance to job seekers and employers under one roof. Employers can use the centers to recruit skilled workers and partner in job training and other programs.

Agency |
U.S. Department of Labor (DOL)
Locations |

My Next Move

This online tool helps both first-time and experienced workers explore the job market. The site provides information on each occupation’s skills and requirements, the occupation’s outlook, other similar jobs, local salary information, training opportunities, and job openings, as well.

Agency | U.S. Department of Labor (DOL)
Tool Box |

My Skills, My Future

This site helps experienced unemployed workers determine how their current background and experience qualifies them for other potential jobs.

Agency | U.S. Department of Labor (DOL)
Learn More |

American Job Center Network
Directory of State Job Banks


Job seekers can post applications and resumes to their state’s job bank. Employers can also post jobs at no charge to their state’s job bank. Note that both job seekers and employers will need to register at their state’s job bank. Registration is free, but policies including wait times may vary.

(via: American Job Center Network)

Photos:  American Job Center Network

U.S. Resources for Small Business: USDA Rural Development Tue, 26 Jan 2016 10:00:21 +0000

As part of our series on U.S. Resources for Small Business, we’ve asked multiple small business owner, small town and rural small business expert and advocate, and regular contributor, Becky McCray, to provide us with an overview of the Rural Development program of the U.S. Department Agriculture. (Learn more about Becky in this article’s byline info box.)


The USDA’s Rural Development program was created to improve the economy and quality of life in rural America. It is a huge, wide-ranging program with a big challenge: finding innovative ways to create business opportunities and jobs in rural and small town USA. Why? Encouraging economic development in rural areas and small towns is vital to all Americans who rely on the food, fuel and goods these communities produce.

As you’ll see in a list of links provided below, USDA Rural Development offers loans, grants and loan guarantees to support essential services such as housing, economic development, health care, first responder services and equipment, and water, electric and communications infrastructure. It promotes economic development by supporting loans to businesses through banks, credit unions and community-managed lending pools, and offers technical assistance and information to help agricultural producers and cooperatives get started and improve the effectiveness of their operations.

Working with state, academic and regional agencies, they provide grant and loan programs to strengthen utilities, encourage home ownership and improve community facilities, which can include the types of basic infrastructure that Americans in most towns take for granted—fire departments, libraries, community centers, health care facilities, etc.

I’ve personally been involved in some projects with Rural Development teams and found them a positive force for rural places. Of course, as with any large organization, a team member can sometimes be hampered by “stuck in their ways” thinking, but that’s the exception, not the rule.


Some specific objectives of USDA Rural Development

  • Support creation and growth of small businesses
  • Help people find affordable housing
  • Help people become first-time homeowners
  • Connect America’s remote towns with medical providers and business customers via technology and communications
  • Improve critical water and other community facilities
  • Through energy efficiency, lower utility costs for residents and businesses through energy efficiency
  • Bolster local and regional food systems


Rural development programs for businesses

These links will take you to specific pages on the Rural Development website where you can find updated information, explanations, application forms and dates and more.

By the numbers: 2015 USDA Rural Development activities that support business development

1.1 million | Number of loans, guaranteed loans and grants to support housing
150,000 | Families helped to buy, refinance or repair their homes
11,931 | Loans and grants to support community facilities
10,623 | Loans and grants to support rural water and wastewater services
2,491 | Projects to support broadband and rural electric services

$1.8 Billion |
 Funds provided for services such as schools, hospitals, day care centers, first-responder vehicles and equipment, and other needs

24,000 | Projects to support rural businesses and entrepreneurship
12,500 | New rural businesses started with some form or backing or guarantee
$1.5 billion |  Loans, loan guarantees and grants to small businesses


Photos: ThinkStock


U.S. Small Business Resources for Military Veterans Mon, 10 Nov 2014 11:23:23 +0000 This is a round-up of information shared previously on for  military veterans related to starting and running a small business. These links include resources for veterans who want to start a business or who are currently operating one. Also included is information (and encouragement) about hiring veterans as employees for your business.


8 SBA Resources to Help Veterans Start and Run a Small Business

A list of three Small Business Administration (SBA) financing programs and five other SBA resources that encourage the creation and support of veteran-owned businesses. ()

State Government Agencies That Encourage Business Ownership by Military Veterans

In addition to federal government and private programs related to supporting military veterans who are business owners, most states have offices or agencies that help veterans access their benefits, run programs related to the employment of veterans, and encourage business ownership by military veterans. Here is a list to links to those state agencies.()

5 Reasons Small Businesses Should Hire 1 Million Veterans

If every small business in America that has between 10 and 99 employees were to make it a priority to look for a veteran when filling their next position, every veteran would have a job and businesses would have great employees. ()

Resources That Help Small Businesses Find and Hire Veterans

These resources and initiatives–governmental, non-profits, and even a veteran-run startup company–can help you learn more about hiring veterans, and even help you find a perfect one for your company.()

These 10 Fastest-Growing Military Towns Are Helping Grow Small Businesses

Throughout the United States, veterans and active-duty military personnel play an important role in stimulating local economies. But for some cities, the military can be the biggest employer in town. Here are the 10 fastest-growing military towns in America, the home to many small businesses that serve those who serve the nation. ()

See also: Information on small business resources for veterans can be found on The WIKI at the Veterans Category Hub.