About the SBA

Since its founding on July 30, 1953, the U.S. Small Business Administration has delivered millions of loans, loan guarantees, contracts, counseling sessions and other forms of assistance to small businesses. Read more about SBA history.

SBA provides assistances primarily through its four programmatic functions:

  • Access to Capital (Business Financing)

    SBA provides small businesses with an array of financing for small businesses from the smallest needs in microlending — to substantial debt and equity investment capital (venture capital).

  • Entrepreneurial Development (Education, Information, Technical Assistance & Training)

    SBA provides free individual face-to-face, and internet counseling for small businesses, and low-cost training to nascent entrepreneurs and established small businesses in over 1,800 locations throughout the United States and US territories.

  • Government Contracting (Federal Procurement)

    In keeping with the mandate of Section 15(g) of the Small Business Act, SBA’s Office of Government Contracting sets goals with other federal departments and agencies to reach the statutory goal of 23 percent in prime contract dollars to small businesses. This office also provides small businesses with subcontracting procurement opportunities, outreach programs and training.

  • Advocacy (Voice for Small Business)

    Created in 1978, this Office reviews Congressional legislation and testifies on behalf of small business. It also assesses the impact of the regulatory burden on behalf of small businesses. Additionally, it conducts a vast array of research on American small businesses and the small business environment. The Chief Counsel of this office is appointed by the President of the United States.

Learn more about the SBA.

U.S. Small Business Administration- Business Development Program SBA 8(a)

The 8(a) Business Development Program is an important resource for small businesses seeking business-development assistance.

Named for Section 8(a) of the Small Business Act, this program was created to help small and disadvantaged businesses compete in the marketplace. It also helps these companies gain access to federal and private procurement markets.

The focus of the program is to provide business development support including:

  • Mentoring
  • Procurement assistance
  • Business counseling
  • Training
  • Financial assistance
  • Surety bonding
  • Other management and technical assistance

For more information on the program and its requirements, visit 13 CFR 124 (8(a) Business Development/Small Disadvantaged Business Status Determinations) as well as the 8(a) Business Development page to learn about benefits, eligibility standards and goals of the 8(a) Business Development Program.

SBA Certiication

The Federal government sets aside certain contract bid opportunities exclusively for small businesses. In order to compete for these contracts, you must first register as a vendor with the government.

As part of the registration process, you will be required to enter information about your company in the System for Award Management (SAM) database. In SAM, you may self-certify yourself as a small business, but you must meet the Federal government’s definition of a small business.

The US Small Business Administration defines a “small business” in terms of the number of employees over the past year, or average annual receipts over the past three years. Size standards vary by industry. Visit Am I a Small Business? to find out if you can be classified as a small business.

SBA Small Business Certifications

The following are SBA Small Business Classifications:

  • Women-Owned Small Businesses
  • Veteran-Owned Businesses
  • Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Businesses
  • Disadvantaged Businesses
  • Alaskan Owned Corporations
  • Native Hawaiian Owned Corporations
  • Natural Resources Assistance Program

Read more about SBA Small Business Certifications and the new registration procedures and requirements that go into effect July 29, 2012.

Contact SBA

By Mail:

US Small Business Administration
409 3rd St, SW
Washington DC 20416

By Phone:

SBA Answer Desk: 800-827-5722
Disaster Loans: 800-659-2955
HUBZone Program: 202-205-8885

By Email:

SBA Answer Desk: answerdesk@sba.gov
Disaster Loans: disastercustomerservice@sba.gov
HUBZone Program: hubzone@sba.gov


SBA District Offices

LBA/LBA-Institute Supplier Diversity Boot Camp Training Program

The Latin Business Association, in collaboration with its sister-organization the Latin Business Association Institute proudly present the LBA/LBA-Institute Supplier Diversity Boot Camp Training Program, a comprehensive, seven-week course designed to provide business owners the knowledge and tools they need to become certified, qualified for and able to successfully obtain diverse contract opportunities!

Read about the 2012 LBA/LBA-Institute Supplier Diversity Boot Camp Training Program, which took place June 2 through July 14, 2012,

and watch for future announcements regarding upcoming
LBA/LBA-Institute Supplier Diversity
Boot Camp Training Programs for 2013!