Benefits.gov is Here to Help Small Business Owners!
Do you own a small business? Do you need assistance with getting a loan to start a business, or assistance with an unforeseen situation? Benefits.gov is partnered with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), along with 16 other Federal agencies, to provide you with information on help that is out there. Every year, SBA delivers millions of loans, loan guarantees, contracts, counseling sessions and other forms of assistance to small businesses just like yours. According to SBA, in 2010, there were over 27.9 million small businesses in the United States and 99.7 percent of U.S. employed firms were these same small businesses.

Here are just a few programs housed on Benefits.gov that may help you in your specific situation:

7 (a) loans: These loans are the most basic and most used type of SBA's business loan programs. Its name comes from section 7(a) of the Small Business Act, which authorizes the Agency to provide business loans to American small businesses. The loan program is designed to assist for-profit businesses that are not able to get other financing from other resources.

Business Physical Disaster Loans: SBA is responsible for providing affordable, timely and accessible financial assistance to private, non-profit organizations and businesses of all sizes located in a declared disaster area. Financial assistance is available in the form of low-interest, long-term loans for losses that are not fully covered by insurance or other recoveries.

Microloan Program: The MicroLoan Program provides very small loans to start-up, newly established, or growing small business concerns. Under this program, SBA makes funds available to nonprofit community based lenders (Microlender Intermediaries) which, in turn, make loans to eligible borrowers in amounts up to a maximum of $35,000. The average loan size is about $13,000. Applications are submitted to the local intermediary and all credit decisions are made on the local level.

Equity Investment-Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) Program: The Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) program, part of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), was created in 1958 to fill the gap between the availability of venture capital and the needs of small businesses in start-up and growth situations. SBICs exist to supply equity capital, long-term loans and management assistance to qualifying small businesses.

President Obama in 2009 said that "Small Businesses have always formed the backbone of the American economy. These entrepreneurial pioneers embody the spirit of possibility, the tireless work ethic, and the simple hope for something better that lies at the heart of the American ideal." Benefits.gov is here to help you, as you help the American economy grow!

To find out if you are eligible for these or any of the over 1,000 benefits on our site, click "Start Now" on the homepage to use our confidential Benefit Finder. You can also view a list of 8 related benefits from SBA on Benefits.gov by visiting the "Browse by Federal Agency" page and selecting U.S. Small Business Administration. Also, be sure to check out GovLoans.gov, where you can find different types of loans that the Federal government offers small business owners just like you!