Shopping at small businesses strenghtens America | Calvin Goings

During the holiday season, Americans across the country have a unique opportunity to strengthen their local economies, support their communities and get great services and products by shopping small – shopping at small businesses, that is.

During the holiday season, Americans across the country have a unique opportunity to strengthen their local economies, support their communities and get great services and products by shopping small – shopping at small businesses, that is. The holidays give us all the chance to reconnect with our neighbors and, whether you’re grabbing a cup of coffee from the shop around the corner or patronizing a local book store, every purchase at a small business makes a difference in your community.

America’s 28 million small businesses are the backbone of our economy, creating two out of every three net new private sector jobs, and we all have a role in helping small businesses succeed. At the U.S. Small Business Administration, we are committed to ensuring small businesses have access to the capital, counseling and contracting opportunities they need to start and grow a business.

Since 2009, SBA has supported more than $126 billion in lending to more than 260,000 small businesses and entrepreneurs across the country.  In Fiscal Year 2013 alone, SBA supported more than $29 billion in loans to America’s small businesses and entrepreneurs.  Since 2009 in the Seattle District, SBA guaranteed $2.9 billion in supported loans.

SBA also has an extensive counseling and training network of Small Business Development Centers, Women’s Business Centers and SCORE volunteers which cumulatively reach more than 1 million people each year.   In the Seattle District office, our partners have provided counseling and training to more than 7,500 small businesses.

In addition to helping small businesses access the tools and resources that can help them take their business to the next level, SBA also encourages the federal government to shop small by overseeing its supply chain for small businesses. Federal contracting is a win-win.  The federal government gets to work with innovative small businesses – often with direct access to the CEO – and small businesses get an important source of revenue.

In FY 2012, 22.25 percent of federal contracting dollars went to small businesses, up from to 21.65 percent in FY 2011. And for the first time, more agencies than ever before reached or surpassed their prime contracting goals. In Washington state, nearly $2 billion of federal contract dollars awarded went to small businesses in FY 2013.

On Nov. 30, millions of Americans shopped small in celebration of Small Business Saturday. By shopping small and supporting local business during the rest of this holiday season, we can all help give millions of families the opportunity to achieve the American dream.

When small businesses succeed, we all win.  Here in the Seattle District office, the SBA is committed to helping small business owners do what they do best: provide exceptional products and services and create jobs. And American consumers have an important part to play.

For more information about the small business resources in your community, contact the Seattle District office at 206-553-7310.

More in Business

Remember 1993

Twenty-five years ago, business took a beating in Olympia. The swing to the left in the 1992 general election was swift and potent. It drove higher costs to employers and more government regulations.

Rural prosperity essential to Washington

While Seattle is growing rapidly, our rural areas continue to struggle. They don’t have the corporate giants such as Amazon, Microsoft and Boeing creating jobs and economic opportunities. Farms are predominantly family-owned.

Amazon’s plan reminiscent Boeing’s Chicago move

Last year, Seattle Times aerospace reporter Dominic Gates wrote about the similarities and differences between Boeing’s corporate office move to Chicago and Amazon’s plan for a second headquarters.

LiveLocal98022 meeting cancelled

Bob Green, the night’s speaker, notified the organization he couldn’t attend due to an illness.

Expanded Panama Canal among challenges for Washington Ports

The $5.4 billion spent to expand the Panama Canal is paying off for East Coast and Gulf of Mexico seaports; however, it is putting more pressure on the Northwest to remain competitive.

Players taking a knee hurting the NFL | Don Brunell

On a recent Saturday afternoon in Portland, a young woman stepped onto the playing field at the beginning of the University of Montana vs Portland State football game and started singing our national anthem. She immediately drew a blank on the words and briefly stopped, but as she started apologizing, the fans spontaneously took up the singing.

New metal collecting machine may clean up contaminated waters

There is a new machine being tested in Montana which could decontaminate toxic mine tailings while recovering valuable precious minerals for everyday use.

Workshop will focus on business, social media

All are invited to learn how social media can impact business and how it can be used to create a positive experience for customers.

Impact of Hirst decision must be address

In Washington, the legislative stalemate over permitting new household wells and the state’s construction budget has not only delayed needed funding for public projects, but triggered yet another salvo in the wider conflict over future supplies of fresh water for people, fish and farms.

Mitigate massive wildfire danger | Don Brunell

At last count firefighters were battling 82 major wildfires in 10 western states. The fires have already scorched 2,300 square miles of forests and range lands, dislocated thousands of people, and burned hundreds of homes and buildings.

Silver linings to Hurricane Harvey | Don Brunell

All of the things that went wrong in New Orleans with Hurricane Katrina in 2005, appear to have been corrected with Houston’s recent Hurricane Harvey. Chalk it up to a series of important lessons learned.

Workshops aim to help small business owners and startups | Pierce County Library System

Pierce County Library System, in partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), is offering two workshops to help entrepreneurs start and grow a successful business as well as share tips to advance existing small businesses.