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How the SBA Can Help You and Your Firm Grow Your Business

What is the SBA?

The Small Business Administration (SBA) is a government agency with the sole goal of promoting American small business interests in the United States and abroad. The SBA sets the standards for the size of small businesses that qualify for government loans and other federal government assistance. The SBA also provides business counseling, financing and disaster assistance. Finally, the Administration enforces small business standards in government contracts.

The SBA is eager to work with AIA members to help you start or grow your business! The SBA offers several services which are outlined below:

Government Contracting

The SBA enforces regulations which require 23 percent of all government contracts go to small businesses, disadvantaged businesses, veteran owned businesses and other types of businesses. There are a wide array of services which are provided.

    Small Business Certification: This is the first step towards winning a Small Business award. Make sure that you qualify through this link. Also there may be other types of qualifications which you qualify for?

    Federal Contracting Support: AIA members state that applying for a federal government contract can be onerous. There is help! Find your local SBA office and connect with their officers for support.

    Contracting Rulebook: Now that you have won the contract, what do you do? The SBA has pulled together a resource to help you through the reporting process.

Small Business Mentoring

One of the hidden benefits of the SBA is that the SBA has a number of tools to help you create or build your business. If you are one of the over 90 percent of our members who qualify as small businesses, this can be invaluable assistance.

In Starting Your Business, the SBA provides local resources regarding writing a business plan to permitting and legal issues to finding a mentor. In Managing your Business, there are resources on growing your business, HR issues, international exporting, business regulations and shutting down your business.

Small Business Financing

We all know that getting credit is hard. In addition to the AIA’s Stalled Projects initiative, there are other avenues for financing. The SBA specializes in financing small businesses. Whether you are starting a business, or looking for ways to expand nationally or internationally, the SBA will have financing for you. From microloans to links to venture capital, the SBA provides you with the resources to connect with lenders.

How to connect with the SBA in your area!

The Small Business Administration has 64 local offices throughout the US and its territories. The easiest way to find these offices and connect with local staff is to click here! The AIA is working with the SBA and your components to roll out additional information and links on this Administration.

If you have any questions, please feel free to send them to Thanks!

Additional Resources:

Small Firm Round Table

SBA Homepage

2011 AIA Architectural Services Data Summary (PDF)

AIA’s Resource Page on the SBA’s Proposed Size Standards Change

Jobs Act Tour Information

Tax Breaks for Small Businesses

Small Business Loans and Grant Information

Information Tailored to Your Needs as a Small Business Owner

Helping Small Firms Find Work (SBA Presentation at 2010 Convention)


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