SBA can assist small business owners

Published 7:00 am Thursday, May 17, 2018

Wednesday, the U.S Small Business Administration held a workshop featuring information about Small Business Administration programs and services at the Margaret Reed Crosby Memorial Library.

Lance Foster, branch manager at the SBA Gulfport office, gave a presentation about the services SBA offers that could help someone start a new business or build an existing one.

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Foster said their mission is to assist small businesses with counseling and training opportunities, understand the type of business and administer the appropriate SBA loan programs and help facilitate government contracting.

He said they seek to assist entrepreneurs and help them become successful through the programs and other grant funded partners.

In the past year, the SBA provided about 401 loans and counseled over 5,000 individuals in matters pertaining to business, Foster said.

He went on to provide in-depth information regarding SBA’s loan programs, which included the business loan program, financial assistance program and federal government contracting programs.

Foster said the SBA also provides disaster loans through its Office of Disaster Association. These loans are available at a low-interest and will be long-term loans for physical and economic damage caused by any catastrophic event.

At the end of the presentation Foster provided industry resources to attendees seeking advice and critiques on their business plans. He also provided assistance with their market business research.

He said they also have an office of advocacy that represents the interests of small businesses, speaks out about possible unfair regulations and acts as a voice for small businesses to the federal government.

Foster said that anyone looking to start a business should do as much research as humanly possible.

“Keep in mind the industry life cycle, product life cycle and local and state economies,” he said.

This will help analyze the industry’s position in the market and where they will fit in with their peers.

Foster said it is important to analyze the standing of the industry in relation to growth and decline. Starting a business in an industry that’s on a decline is not advised, unless there is an innovative idea that would boost that business, he said.

For more information about the programs offered by SBA, visit