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    Small Business Resource Guide

    This resource guide provides easy access to information on national organizations and programs that can provide assistance to small businesses on a variety of financial services. Use the Resource Guide to explore capital access and technical assistance sources for small and minority-owned businesses. The information is organized under the following categories:

    General Information and OCC Resources

    Advisory Letter on Capital Access for Minority-Owned BusinessesThis is an updated version of the original advisory letter, released in 1998, and identifies activities and practices that assist national banks in supporting the financing needs of minority-owned businesses.

    National Bank Community Development Investments DirectoryDescribes investments made under 12 CFR Part 24, the OCC’s Community Development Investment authority.  Under “Part 24” national banks may make investments in CDCs and CD projects that are designed primarily to promote the public welfare.  Some of these CDCs and CD projects target small business as the investment opportunity.

    Strengthening America: The Small Business Advantage The OCC’s Winter 2003 edition of the Community Developments newsletter looks at what banks and other financial institutions are doing to support small businesses.

    Capital Access Programs (CAP) – Capital Access Programs are pooled loan programs usually administered by state agencies.  CAPs allow banks to use their own underwriting standards to make loans – no government approval is required.  The U.S. Treasury maintains a report on capital access programs, Capital Access Programs: A summary of nationwide performance that is available at http://www.treas.gov/press/releases/docs/cap01.pdf

    National Commission on Entrepreneurship (NCOE) - The National Commission on Entrepreneurship is a non-profit organization that was established to provide local, state, and national leaders with information on how to sustain and expand a flourishing entrepreneurial economy. Entrepreneurship is the critical force behind innovation and new wealth creation -- the key drivers of economic growth. Through research, publishing, conferences and other events, the NCOE promotes an agenda that helps grow a successful entrepreneurial economy into the 21st century.


    National Small Business Association (NSBA) - The National Small Business Association® is a volunteer-directed association, the primary mission of which is to advocate state and federal policies that are beneficial to small business, the state, and the nation; and to promote the growth of free enterprise.


    Education/Training/Technical Assistance

    SBA Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) - The U.S Small Business Administration (SBA) administers the Small Business Development Center Program to provide management assistance to current and prospective small business owners. SBDCs offer one-stop assistance to individuals and small businesses by providing management and technical assistance.


    Small Business Development Center National Information Clearing House (SBDCNET) - The mission of the Small Business Development Center National Information Clearinghouse is to meet the information needs of the SBDC community in the U.S. and its territories. SBDCNET serves as a resource providing timely, relevant research, web-based information, and training to SBDC counselors and their small business clients.


    National Business Incubation Association (NBIA) – NBIA was established to advance business incubation and entrepreneurship. NBIA provides information, education, advocacy and networking resources to bring excellence to the process of assisting early-stage companies worldwide.


    Small Business and Self-Employment Service (SBSES) - SBSES is a service of the Office of Disability Employment Policy of the U.S. Department of Labor that provides comprehensive information, counseling and referrals about self-employment and small business ownership opportunities for people with disabilities.

    National Association of Government Guaranteed Lenders (NAGGL) - The National Association of Government Guaranteed Lenders, Inc. was established as a source of technical information for small businesses and financial institutions on the SBA 7(a) loan program.


    Senior Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) – SBA originally sponsored the now-independent SCORE to assist in providing technical assistance, advise, and mentoring to aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners.  SCORE is a nonprofit association with 11, 500 volunteer business counselors located throughout the U.S. in 389 chapters.


    Kauffman Foundation – Entreworld.org is a web portal providing online resources for small business owners. It contains a search engine that can provide articles, program information, and contacts for entrepreneurs and small businesses.


    Government Resources

    U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) – The SBA’s mission is to maintain and strengthen the nation’s economy by aiding, counseling, assisting, and protecting the interests of small businesses and by helping families and businesses recover from national disasters.  It provides these services through a number of programs.

    Office of AdvocacyThe Office of Advocacy of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is an independent voice for small business within the federal government that conducts economic research, policy analyses, and small business outreach to help identify issues of concern.  Regional Advocates and an office in Washington, DC, support the Chief Counsel's efforts in these areas.

    SBA 7(a) Loan Guaranty ProgramThis loan guaranty program is designed to help eligible small businesses obtain bank financing when they might not qualify for traditional financing.  Loan proceeds may be used for most business purposes, including working capital, machinery and equipment, furniture and fixtures, land and buildings, leasehold improvements, and debt refinancing. SBA offers tips for ensuring that 7(a) loan guaranty claims get paid in full.

    CAPLinesFinances the short-term and cyclical working capital needs of small businesses. 

    SBA 504 Certified Development Company Loan Program Provides subordinate financing needed by some small businesses.  A certified development company, or CDC, is a nonprofit corporation established to work with lenders who make senior debt financing available to growing small businesses.  Typically, a 504 project includes a loan secured with a senior lien from a bank covering up to 50 percent of the project cost, a subordinate 504 loan from the CDC (backed by a 100 percent SBA-guaranteed debenture) covering 40 percent of the cost, and the remaining 10 percent in equity from the borrower.  Loans made under the SBA 504 program are typically used for the purchase of real estate or machinery and equipment for small business expansion or modernization.

    CommunityExpressCommunityExpress is a subset of the 7(a) program and provides loan guarantees of up to 85 percent on loans up to $250,000.  Unique features of the program are that it targets low-and moderate-income geographies and women and minority business entities (MBEs).  The program contains the requirement for pre- and post loan technical assistance to the MBE to be provided by independent third parties. 

    Small Business Investment Companies (SBIC) SBICs are privately owned and managed companies licensed by the SBA, The primary benefit of becoming a licensed SBIC is that once approve, the SBA provides a 2:1 public/private-funding match on the required minimum private capital, thereby leveraging the investor’s initial equity contribution.  Funds raised by SBICs are then invested in firms, which meet the SBA’s definition of small businesses.

    SBA’s Office of Native American AffairsDevelops initiatives that ensure Native Americans have access to business-development resources, training and services in their communities.  The primary focus of the Office of Native American Affairs is economic development and job creation through small business ownership and education.  The Office works with individual and tribally owned organizations; other federal, state, and local agencies; non-profit organizations; and national Native American organizations.

    SBA 8(a) Business Development CertificationSmall, minority-owned businesses are certified by the SBA and then compete for government contracts.  Firms end up competing against firms with similar qualifications and size, and do not have to compete with larger, more established businesses. 

    Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) – U.S. Department of Commerce –- The MBDA encourages the creation, growth, and expansion of minority-owned businesses.  Technical assistance is provided to minority-owned businesses through agency workshops, conferences and direct technical assistance provision.  MBDA also funds Business Development Centers around the country to assist with the start-up, expansion, and development of minority-owned firms. 

    U.S. Department of Agriculture – Business and Industry Guaranteed Loan ProgramThe Business and Industry (B&I) Guaranteed Loan Program helps create jobs and stimulates rural economies by providing financial backing for rural businesses. This program provides guarantees up to 90 percent of a loan made by a commercial lender. Loan proceeds may be used for working capital, machinery and equipment, buildings and real estate, and certain types of debt refinancing. The primary purpose is to create and maintain employment and improve the economic climate in rural communities.

    Rural Business and Cooperative Service (RBCS)The USDA's RBCS office provides financial assistance for rural businesses and also funding assistance for nonprofits or CDCs that in turn loan to rural businesses in their local area.

    U.S. Department of Transportation Short Term Lending Program (STLP) – This program assists Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBE) in obtaining short-term working capital. The Short Term Lending Program (STLP) offers certified DBEs the opportunity to obtain short-term working capital at prime interest rates for transportation-related projects. The primary collateral consists of the proceeds of the contracts. Borrowings under the lines of credit are to meet the short-term costs of performing the contract(s) being financed.

    Venture Capital

    National Association of Small Business Investment Companies (NASBIC) is the professional association for the Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) industry.  The association campaigns for federal laws, regulations, policies, and low-cost capital that support SBICs and their ability to invest long-term debt and equity venture capital in small businesses.


    National Association of Investment Companies (NAIC) – The National Association of Investment Companies is the only industry association for investment companies dedicating financial resources to investment in an ethnically diverse marketplace. NAIC member companies invest in privately held minority-owned businesses that have a high probability of growth and the ability to generate significant returns for investors and shareholders.


    National Association of Seed and Venture Funds (NASVF) – The National Association of Seed and Venture Funds is an organization of private, public and nonprofit organizations committed to building their local economies by investing and facilitating investment in local entrepreneurs.


    Community Development Venture Capital Alliance (CDVCA) is the trade association for the rapidly growing community development venture capital industry.  CDVCA promotes use of the tools of venture capital to create jobs, entrepreneurial capacity and wealth to advance the livelihoods of low-income people and the economies of distressed communities.


    Mezzanine Funds – Mezzanine financing is a form of investment with risks and returns between those of secured bank loans and equity investments. Traditional mezzanine funds provide subordinated debentures with warrants to purchase stock. Several multibank small business mezzanine funds now provide a similar type of capital for smaller companies – but with changes that are appropriate to their smaller deal sizes. For more information on mezzanine funds, click on the link below which will take you to an article from our Winter 2000/2001 newsletter.


    Small Business Investment Companies – see Small Business Administration in the Government Resources section.


    Fund for Innovation, Effectiveness, Learning and Dissemination (FIELD) – A program of the Aspen Institute, the mission of FIELD is to identify, develop and disseminate best practices and to educate policymakers, funders, and others about microenterprise and an anti-poverty intervention.  FIELD conducts research, on microenterprise and provides a microenterprise directory, listing program and resources for micro businesses and investors.


    ACCION International – The mission of ACCION International is to provide "micro" loans and business training to poor women and men who start their own businesses.


    Association for Enterprise Development (AEO) - AEO supports the development of strong and effective U.S. microenterprise programs to assist underserved entrepreneurs in starting, stabilizing, and expanding businesses. Through workshops and on-going research, AEO puts entrepreneurs in touch with organizations that can help.


    Minority and Women-owned Business

    Womenbiz.gov – This is the gateway for women-owned businesses seeking access to procurement contract with the Federal government. The site offers links to assist in finding markets and business opportunities and provides key contacts for the woman entrepreneur.

    Office of Women’s Business Ownership - OWBO promotes the growth of women-owned businesses through programs that address business training and technical assistance, and provide access to credit and capital, federal contracts, and international trade opportunities. With a women's business ownership representative in every SBA district office, a nationwide network of mentoring roundtables, women's business centers in nearly every state and territory, women-owned venture capital companies, and the Online Women's Business Center, OWBO is helping unprecedented numbers of women start and build successful businesses.

    Women Entrepreneurs - The Department of Labor and the U.S. Small Business Administration have recently launched a web site devoted to women entrepreneurs and small business owners.  The Women of the 21st Century web site provides information on federal government resources that can help entrepreneurs.  To see the data from the Center for Women's Business Research, go to http://www.nfwbo.org/StateMetroReports.html.

    National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) – NAWBO is a national organization representing the interest of all women entrepreneurs in all industries, and whose mission is to strengthen the wealth creating capacity of women-owned businesses by building strategic alliances and affiliations.


    SBA’s Office of Native American Affairs - see Small Business Administration in the Government Resources section.

    Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) – U.S. Department of Commerce - see the Government Resources section.


    National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) – Providing a direct link between corporate America and minority-owned businesses is the primary objective of the National Minority Supplier Development Council. It was chartered to provide increased procurement and business opportunities for minority businesses of all sizes. 


    SBA 8(a) Business Development Certification - see Small Business Administration in the Government Resources section.

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