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SBA extends loan programsRecently, the U.S Small Business Administration (SBA) announced that fee relief for small business loans made to Veterans will be extended through fiscal year 2015, and that programs for its Veterans Advantage program will be enhanced.

Last year, the SBA implemented its zero-fee loans for Veteran owned small businesses on 7(a) loans of $150,000 or less. This benefit was supposed to expire on September 30, 2014. The continuation of the loan relief was slated to extend from October 1, 2014 to September 30, 2015.

“We zeroed out fees on loans of less than $150,000 to any 7(a) borrower because we don’t want SBA fees to be an impediment to getting capital out to communities where it can make a game-changing difference, especially to our underserved communities, who use these small dollar loans more frequently,” said SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet.  “We also owe a debt of gratitude and so much more to our service men and women, and veterans who are the cornerstone of small business ownership. This fee relief will continue to help veterans business owners who grow their businesses, create jobs in their communities, and put their training and passion for our country to work in their neighborhoods.”

As of the middle of September, the SBA had guaranteed more than 28,800 loans under $150,000 for a total of over $1.74 billion in FY 2014. These totals are up from FY 2013, when the SBA guaranteed $1.34 billion for 23,337 loans under $150,000.

For loans larger than $150,000, the SBA will continue to offer an annual servicing fee at 0.519% of the guaranteed portion of the outstanding balance of the loan. The upfront guarantee fee will continue to depend on both the amount and the maturity of the loan.

The SBA will also continue to offer zero upfront guaranty fee on all SBA Express loans to veterans, on loans of $150,000 up to $350,000 through FY2015.

One of the other enhancements that the SBA is implementing is the upfront guaranty fee for non “SBA Express” loans $150,000 up to $5 million, which will be reduced by 50%. There is no reduction on the annual servicing fee for loans over $150,000.

The SBA determined that 70% of its loans made to Veterans are $350,000 or less. In FY 2014, the SBA had guaranteed 153 loans for $38,861,900 through its Veterans Advantage program. Fee relief for these loans resulted in savings to borrowers of about $571,000.

For further information on all SBA programs and services, visit the SBA website at www.sba.gov, or contact your local SBA field office.

The Veteran and Military Business Owners Association (VAMBOA) is a non-profit business trade association that promotes and assists Veteran Business Owners, Service Disabled Veteran Owned Businesses (SDVOB) and Military Business Owners. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and responsible for job generation. That is why VAMBOA provides its members with Business Coaching, Contracting Opportunities, a Blog that provides information, Networking contacts and other resources. Membership is FREE to Veterans. Join Now!

VAMBOA: SBA Extends Loan Programs: By Debbie Gregory

Maria-Contreras-SweetOn Thursday, October 16, 2014, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced the launch of “Destination: HUB.”

Since 1998, the SBA’s HUBZone program has served small businesses in urban and rural communities to gain preferential access to federal procurement opportunities. The program encourages economic development and employment growth in “Historically Underutilized Business Zones” by providing opportunities for companies to become active participants in the federal supply chain.

“Destination: HUB” will promote and highlight HUBZones for opportunities in federal procurement, according to SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet

“More than any other SBA initiative, the HUBZone Program has been a critical resource, creating jobs, alleviating poverty and reducing unemployment in our nation’s most vulnerable communities.  The program has had a transformational effect on small businesses all across the country. SBA’s Destination: HUB will put a spotlight on our underserved small businesses and promote HUBZones as ideal places for government contractors to do business,” Contreras-Sweet said.

The SBA maintains a goal of providing 3% of the federal government contracts to HUBZone businesses. According to Contreras-Sweet, HUBZone businesses only received 1.7% of federal contracts in 2013. The new initiative is intended to better aid the SBA in achieving, or even exceeding, its goal.

Destination: HUB will promote HUBZone firms in federal contract opportunities, while ensuring government officials, federal buyers, prime contractors, and local economic development boards cooperate to bring more awards directly for HUBZone businesses.

In an effort to generate maximum effectiveness, Destination HUB will consist of three major components.

1) Examining the successes and needs in the HUBZone program.

2) Analyzing the ideal situations for successful HUBZone collaboration, using the power of public and private partnerships and market research to recruit more firms for HUBZone participation.

3) Launching an educational initiative, in collaboration with community organizations, faith leaders, local economic development, and key stakeholders, to encourage participation in and inspire collective ownership of, the HUBZone program, at both the regional and national levels.

It is the hope of Contreras-Sweet that Destination HUB will further the SBA’s effort to improve access to capital and close opportunity gaps in communities of color by empowering entrepreneurs and small business owners’ economic and social mobility through employment and business growth.

The Veteran and Military Business Owners Association (VAMBOA) is a non-profit business trade association that promotes and assists Veteran Business Owners, Service Disabled Veteran Owned Businesses (SDVOB) and Military Business Owners. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and responsible for job generation. That is why VAMBOA provides its members with Business Coaching, Contracting Opportunities, a Blog that provides information, Networking contacts and other resources. Membership is FREE to Veterans. Join Now!

VAMBOA: New SBA Initiative: By Debbie Gregory

T4NGAs many business owners in the technology industry know, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has issued a Request for Information (RFI) for tech companies in support of their impending $22.3 billion IT overhaul. All RFI submissions were due on August 28th, and the VA’s Technology Acquisition Center recently held an Industry Day for upcoming bidders.

The VA has dubbed the project the Transformation Twenty-One Total Technology Next Generation (T4NG) contract. The T4NG contract will be an Indefinite Delivery, Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) Multiple Award Task Order contract. For T4NG, the VA is looking for contractors to provide total IT services solutions, including the following functional areas:

  • Program management
  • Systems and software engineering
  • Software technology demonstration and transition
  • Test and evaluation
  • Independent verification and validation
  • Enterprise network and enterprise management framework
  • Operations and maintenance
  • Cyber security
  • Training
  • Information technology facilities
  • Other solutions encompassing the entire range of IT and Health IT requirements, including software/hardware incidental to the solution

At the Industry Day for the contract, the importance of employing Veterans was stressed to potential vendors. The evaluation factors for vendors will include technical, past performance, Veterans involvement, Veterans employment, small business participation commitment, and price.

The VA announced plans to award up to 20 IDIQ contracts under T4NG, which will be good for an initial five year period, with an option for an additional five years.

The VA is reserving twelve spots strictly for small businesses. There are also eight reserved contracts for companies that  are Veteran-owned, four for Veteran-owned small businesses, and four for Service-Disabled Veteran-owned small businesses.

The VA plans to release the T4NG draft request for proposals soon, with proposals due December, 2014. The announcement for awarding contracts is expected by December, 2015.

The Veteran and Military Business Owners Association (VAMBOA) is a non-profit business trade association that promotes and assists Veteran Business Owners, Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Businesses (SDVOB) and Military Business Owners. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and responsible for job generation. That is why VAMBOA provides its members with Business Coaching, Contracting Opportunities, a Blog that provides information, Networking contacts and other resources. Membership is FREE to Veterans. Join Now!

VAMBOA: VA’s Multi-Billion Dollar Contract Proceeds: By Debbie Gregory

Business Loans 101

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SBA Georgia District Office

Who:  Minorities, women,disabled, and veteran; existing and prospective small business ownerswelcome.

When: Tuesday, November 4 and Wednesday, November 5, 8:00 am ‐ 2:30 pm

 Where: KSU Center at Kennesaw State University, 3333 Busbee Drive Kennesaw, GA 470.578.6450.  For more information contact Carole Arnold, Program Coordinator

Cost: Only $89 for both days, including breakfast, networking lunch and all materials. Click here to register.  http://www.colescollege.com/sbdc

The Georgia SBDC Credit School:  Business Loans 101 for Women, Minorities, Veterans and the Disabled

In 2013, the Georgia SBDC network helped small business owners obtain over $155,000,000 in capital infusion. The Georgia Small Business Development Center (SBDC) has utilized its lending expertise, knowledge of SBA and other loan programs, loan packaging skills, and banking relationships to develop The Credit School, a “business loan 101 guide” specifically designed for minorities, women, veterans and the disabled.

Here’s your opportunity to learn from Georgia SBDC experts who have already helped thousands get business loans. This innovative program is an intensive two‐day workshop that will teach you everything you need to know about getting a business loan – from start to finish.

Georgia SBDC Consultants from around the state will show you how to tap into business loan sources including:

·         what SBA loans are, how they work and how to get one

·         impact of negative personal credit and what to do about it

·         how bankers think and why it matters

·         how other small business owners successfully got funded

·         commercial bankers, SBA lenders and certified development companies who have loaned to small businesses

VAMBOA Small Business SaturdayIn 2010, American Express founded Small Business Saturday in an effort to help small businesses compete with the mega-stores. Through the Shop Small website, the nation-wide event encourages consumers to shop at “mom and pop” stores in their own communities on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. This year, Small Business Saturday falls on November 29th.

Over the past four years, Small Business Saturday has grown into a powerful movement, and more people are taking part than ever before. In 2011, federal, state and local government officials, including President Obama, voiced their support of the event, and Small Business Saturday was officially recognized by the U.S. Senate.

In 2012, it was estimated that Americans spent $5.5 billion at independent businesses on that year’s Small Business Saturday. In 2013, it was estimated that approximately 1,500 communities across the nation pledged to support the day as “Neighborhood Champions.”

Neighborhood Champions are the members of their community who support both independent businesses and Small Business Saturday by organizing events in their own neighborhood. Neighborhood Champions have made the event a success for their communities by planning such activities as fun-runs, street fairs, rallies, scavenger hunts, and other family events that raise awareness for independent small businesses in their area. When a small business owner or community leader signs up to be Neighborhood Champion, Shop Small will send them an event kit to help them get started.

Every American is encouraged to participate in Small Business Saturday by shopping at independent small businesses on November 29th, and by participating in the events that your local Neighborhood Champions have planned.

The idea behind Small Business Saturday is not to get consumers to just buy from small businesses on that one day. The intention is to give the public a reason to venture away from the big-name retailors and global chains, and into the small businesses that are run by their neighbors, in an effort to boost the local economy.

Small businesses are the life-blood of this nation and its economy. When small businesses fail, so too do local economies. This November 29th, be sure to support Small Business Saturday.

The Veteran and Military Business Owners Association (VAMBOA) is a non-profit business trade association that promotes and assists Veteran Business Owners, Service Disabled Veteran Owned Businesses (SDVOB) and Military Business Owners. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and responsible for job generation. That is why VAMBOA provides its members with Business Coaching, Contracting Opportunities, a Blog that provides information, Networking contacts and other resources. Membership is FREE to Veterans. Join Now!

VAMBOA: Small Business Saturday 2014: By Debbie Gregory