Interesting article below about what the SBA really offers. The quote about nobody using the SBA field offices is inaccurate as they are showing that they had over 500,000 visits last year. Based on my own experiences, however, it isn’t business owners who are using them but aspiring business owners. I went there myself when I was young and had no idea how to accomplish starting a business.
I can’t say it helped much, either. I learned a lot more from books at the library and trial and error experience. It may have been helpful for other people, however- and if some of them turn into business owners and contribute to the economy down the road then it is worth it to keep the service available.
What I personally found much more helpful was being able to get an SBA loan to buy a business for sale that I used to catapult my own net worth skyward. Without the small business loan terms provided by an SBA loan that never would have happened. So for that aspect of their services I am indeed very grateful. It’s also where I learned to do bookkeeping for the first time! 🙂
I’ve sometimes heard from business owners that “nobody” uses the SBA’s 900 field offices known as small business development centers or SBDCs. Turns out that’s just not true.
With funding for SDBCs on the chopping block at both the state and federal level, the SBA has documented the SBDCs’ impact in a new report. It appears entrepreneurs definitely visit the SBDCs — more than 500,000 of them in 2010, the study found — and the business owners report the resources there helped their businesses thrive.
One of the biggest advantages users of SBDCs gained was knowledge of how to get a business loan. There’s also good crossover with business education, as many of the centers are hosted on college campuses.