LEADING THE CHARGE—Marie Johns, deputy administrator of the US Small Business Administration visits Pittsburgh spreading the word about the SBA. (Photo by Diane I. Daniels)
Access to capital, counseling and contracting support for small businesses are three tools the U.S. Small Businesses Administration offers its clients. Designed to provide assistance in helping small businesses start and grow, the SBA functions in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, the U. S. Virgin Islands and Guam. The local office, covering a 27 county region is located at 411 Seventh Avenue in Suite 1450.
Recently in Pittsburgh, SBA Deputy Administrator Marie Johns met with area federally funded agencies geared toward helping small businesses as well as Faith-based and community organization leaders and small business owners. Discussion focused on the needs of businesses in the region, what the SBA can be doing to support job creation and to assure that participants are aware of the programs and resources provided by the Administration to help them grow, hire and succeed. Conscious of what it takes to operate a small business, Johns says her focus is to ensure that entrepreneurs in underserved communities have the resources, relationships, and tools they need to start businesses and to create good-paying jobs.
“My grandfather owned a lawn care business in Indiana. I know what it is like and what it takes to operate a small business,” she said.
Throughout its 60-year history nationally and locally, the SBA is credited for assisting millions. Understanding that access to capital is a major obstacle for any size business, Johns pointed out that the SBA offers a range of loan programs for very specific purposes and is currently developing two more.
Indicating that the SBA does not directly loan money, she stressed that they work with federal, state and local entities.