When it comes to resources available to small businesses, the first thing to know is what defines a small business. If you own a business with fewer than 500 employees, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) considers you a small business owner, which opens the door to an array of resources designed specifically for owners like you.
One or two-person teams own most small businesses, and if you fall into this category, you know how rewarding it is to live out your specific vision – and how difficult it is to compete and thrive. After all, only about two-thirds of small businesses survive within the first two years. But Savings Institute Bank & Trust is here to help you every step of the way, whether you need help starting, managing or growing your business or startup. Access these valuable online resources available for small business owners in Connecticut and Rhode Island.
Start with the Small Business Administration
Startups and existing business owners can greatly benefit from the services offered by the SBA, which started in 1953 as an independent agency of the federal government to help small businesses succeed. Today, their website provides a wealth of resources for small business owners, including online learning center courses, business guide planning center, and their funding programs.
Although the SBA doesn’t directly lend to businesses, they create guidelines that allow entrepreneurs to access funding by guaranteeing the loans in case of default, which reduces the risk to many local SBA lenders, like Savings Institute. SBA loans also have lower down payment requirements and flexible overhead requirements, and help business owners prepare their loan packages to increase the success rate.
- Learn more about Savings Institute Bank & Trust’s SBA loans
SCORE Free Business Advice
Over the last 50 years, SCORE has served small businesses around the country by providing free business mentoring and education. SCORE is a non-profit partner of the Small Business Administration and has helped over 10 million business owners launch, manage and grow their company. They also offer courses on demand, workshops, webinars, and a valuable library of resources for entrepreneurs.
Visit the Small Business Development Centers in Connecticut and Rhode Island
Another partner of the SBA, Small Business Development Centers offer small businesses free consulting and low-cost training. With more than three decades of experience helping more than one million companies across the country, SBDC offers small businesses in Connecticut and Rhode Island support in the following areas:
Business plan development
Lending and financing assistance
Exporting, importing and manufacturing support
Disaster recovery help
Women’s Business Centers in Connecticut and Rhode Island
Women-owned businesses play an integral role in our nation’s economy. According to an SBA survey published in 2017, nearly 12.5 million businesses are either majority or jointly owned by women. These businesses employ almost 15 million workers. Over the last couple of decades, women-owned businesses grew 54%, but only received 5% of the country’s equity capital. To help level the playing field for female entrepreneurs, the SBA has partnered with the Women’s Business Centers, which helps women succeed in starting or running their company.
Support for Veteran Business Owners
Veterans, military spouses, National Guard and Reserve members and spouses can get support via the Veteran's Business Outreach Centers to start, buy or grow a business. There are a variety of programs for businesses in Connecticut and Rhode Island including Boots to Business, pre-business plan workshops, mentors and training, support on assessing the feasibility of a business idea and more. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) also offers a variety of resources to help veterans buy, start or grow a business.
Find a Local Veteran Business Outreach Center at the New England Center page
Learn how to get listed as a veteran in the federal procurement system
Access the franchising checklist for vets
Resources for Minority Business Owners
As of 2016, there were eight million minority-owned businesses in the country. Several resources are available for minority individuals looking to start or grow their company in Connecticut and Rhode Island. The Minority Business Development Agency works to connect minority business owners with contracts and financing, while advocating within the government to promote issues central to minority entrepreneurs. They have a variety of programs including grant competitions, a research library, and local business centers.
The SBA offers the 8(a) Business Development Program to help disadvantaged businesses qualify for government contracts and compete in the marketplace. They also assist minority owners in registering their business with non-government companies and certification agencies.
Savings Institute Bank and Trust is Here to Help
Managing your own small business in Connecticut and Rhode Island can be rewarding and challenging. If you want to start your own business or you’ve already launched, free resources can help. Of course, the business bankers at Savings Institute can also be a source of guidance to help you access funding and point you in the right direction on a variety of related topics. To speak with a local business banking expert can help, please contact us today.