The United States SBA (Small Business Administration) was formed to help the economy of the country by assisting small businesses. Eevery year the SBA puts out a roadmap for how they will meet their goals for the upcoming year. The 2008 plan was just released, so let’s touch on some of the more important parts.
You need to understand the stated goals of the SBA in this document:
- Outcomes Driven
- Customer Focused
- Employee Enabled
- Accountable, Efficient and Transparent
Yes, they are buzzwords, but they do a good job of explaining them. One would think that a group organized to help small business would focus, so this is heartening.
Here are the three areas that stood out to me:
Support entrepreneurship in markets with higher poverty and unemployment, and in our military community: This is an interesting development for the SBA. The focus on poverty has almost always been there, but the new focus on military is consuming. With many veterans pouring out of the military it’s good to see the organization focused on this. Imagine the new small businesses that could start with military veterans.
Respond quickly, efficiently, and effectively to disaster applicants: I think I’ll call this the Katrina impact. Even years later this still resonates for all governmental organizations. The SBA’s plan revolves around improving concurrent usage to their systems and expediting grants to existing, impact small businesses.
Provide financial and performance management services to support efficient and effective program delivery: There have been complaints in the past that the SBA doesn’t track their performance that well. They are promising to go beyond the easy numbers and start manipulating their small business assistance functions. They are going to begin linking their reporting with the actual, real world performance.
You might not have the hour or two to go through the plan, but if you’re looking to start a small business jump in and read it. There is something there for everyone.