It’s the start of the New Year, and you may notice an influx of people at the gym, new employees at work, or friends making new budget resolutions for their families. The New Year is often a season of hope and new beginnings. For many, it is a time to refresh old habits and to work toward new goals. This may include reconsidering your career, retiring, or even starting a new business venture.
According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), approximately 4,000-6,000 businesses are approved for loans with them each month, averaging $24 billion between 2015 and 2016. While entrepreneurship in the 21st century has certainly adapted and changed over time, SBA has been a steady contributor to allow businesses across the country to get started, to expand, and to prosper.
In 2017, the number of entrepreneurs and small business owners is expected to continue growing. Some even expect this number to reach 1 billion entrepreneurs globally by 2020, doubling the current number. Both millennials and baby boomers alike are looking now more than ever to have more options, either financially or with work and life flexibility. Workers today want the ability to control their own financial destinies and have a shot at the American Dream of business ownership through the free enterprise system.
The SBA defines a small business based upon the size within each industry category. Generally, the size-standard for a services or construction firm is based on the average receipts (over three years) of a firm, and the size-standard for a manufacturing firm is based on the number of employees. While SBA determines size on an industry-by-industry basis, the “anchor” standard, more broadly, is $7.5 million in annual receipts and 500 employees.
Once you determine whether your business qualifies as a “small business,” check and see if you are eligible for a small business loan through the standard SBA requirements. To check your eligibility, visit the SBA.gov evaluation criteria page to see what they look for in an ideal business loan request.
You can also use the Benefit Finder on Benefits.gov to find specific small business benefits that will be most helpful to you, as it relates to qualifying for loans, identifying tax breaks, and more. Through the Browse by Agency page, you can filter benefit programs related to the SBA to find benefits you may be eligible for. Also be sure to check out GovLoans.gov to find additional loan information and resources that may be helpful to you and your small business.