The Small Business Administration (SBA) theme for the upcoming National Small Business Week is “Building a Better America Through Entrepreneurship.”
SBA Director of Strategic Alliances Morning Washburn announced the schedule for the week, May 2-7, which includes a virtual summit, a winner’s event, field office events and a national bus tour. Events of the National Small Business Week are free but you must register.
During a webinar April 27, representatives from SBA partners SCORE (service corps of retired executives) and the Public Private Strategies Institute detailed the SBA’s new Equity Action Plan.
Presenters were Public Private Strategies Institute founder Rhett Buttle, SCORE VP of External Relations Betsy Dougert and SBA Senior Advisor Aditi Dussault.
What’s the SBA Equity Action Plan?
Buttle explained that the plan Equity Action Plan is to support the Building a Better America goal through nurturing a small business resource community.
The community will help more underserved entrepreneurs access capital, take part in government procurement and contracting opportunities, get disaster assistance, get business counseling and more.
What’s New from SCORE
As an SBA resource partner, SCORE provides mentoring, business training and business resources.
New from SCORE:
Resilience Hub – In response to the pandemic, SCORE will partner with business owners to help them achieve government funding, pivot their business focus if needed, rework marketing and address any employee issues.
SCORE for All – To foster diversity, SCORE will foster diversity by providing specialized resources for women, Veteran and minority small business owners.
Dougert said that SCORE is a free resource funded by the federal government. She advised partnering with a mentor to get help with specific questions.
Updates from the SBA
Effects of the Infrastructure and Jobs Act
Dussault pointed out that the 2021 Infrastructure and Jobs Act provided $550 billion in new funding. The funding is earmarked for improvements to public transit, broadband availability, clean water, and repairs to roads and bridges.
How will that affect small businesses?
- Improvements to transportation infrastructure will reduce shipping delays.
- Creation of universal broadband will help business owners reach new customers and boost ecommerce.
- Focus on the Minority Business Development Agency will help small business owners learn resources which are available to them.
Ongoing Benefits from the American Rescue Plan/CARES Act
- Community Navigator Pilot Program – The program will focus on diverse communities to provide financial assistance and help with access to capital, as well as help with marketing, operations, exporting and business development.
- Changes to the federal Made in America procurement guidelines. New requirements are that products have 75% of components made in the US (was 55% previously).
- Covid Roadmap for the Future – The approach will focus on protecting against new variants, while preventing economic and education shutdowns and continuing to push vaccinations.