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Local Assistance

SBA works with a number of local partners to counsel, mentor, and train small businesses.

Small Business Development Centers

The SCORE Association, supported by SBA, is a nonprofit association of thousands of volunteer business counselors throughout the U.S. and its territories.

SCORE members are trained to serve as counselors, advisors and mentors to aspiring entrepreneurs and business owners. Here are some of the ways you can connect with SCORE and get free business advice:

  • Email a mentor: Choose a mentor online and get answers to your business questions virtually
  • Visit Your Local SCORE Office: Make an appointment with a mentor for in-person advice or attend a business workshop
  • Online Workshops: Participate in free, online workshops or register for small business webinars
  • E-Newsletters: Subscribe to SCORE’s e-Newsletters and get free business tips and read interviews with small business experts

 

More about SCORE

  • There are hundreds of SCORE chapters in urban, suburban and rural communities
  • SCORE was formed in 1964 and millions of Americans have used SCORE services
  • SCORE can help if you are trying to start a business or if you need help with your existing business

 

Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) provide assistance to small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs throughout the United States and its territories. SBDCs help entrepreneurs realize the dream of business ownership and help existing businesses remain competitive in a complex, ever-changing global marketplace. SBDCs are hosted by leading universities and state economic development agencies, and funded in part through a partnership with SBA.

SBDC advisors provide aspiring and current small business owners a variety of free business consulting and low-cost training services including: business plan development, manufacturing assistance, financial packaging and lending assistance, exporting and importing support, disaster recovery assistance, procurement and contracting aid, market research help, 8(a) program support, and healthcare guidance.

With dozens of host networks branching out with hundreds of service delivery points throughout the U.S., the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, American Samoa and the U.S. Virgin Islands, SBDC assistance is available virtually anywhere.

Women's Business Centers (WBCs) represent a national network of nearly 100 educational centers throughout the United States and its territories, which are designed to assist women in starting and growing small businesses. WBCs seek to "level the playing field" for women entrepreneurs, who still face unique obstacles in the business world.

SBA’s Office of Women’s Business Ownership (OWBO) oversees the WBC network, which provides entrepreneurs (especially women who are economically or socially disadvantaged) comprehensive training and counseling on a variety of topics in several languages.

Doing business with the government is a big step to growing your business. Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTACs) provide local, in-person counseling and training services for you, the small business owner. They are designed to provide technical assistance to businesses that want to sell products and services to federal, state, and/or local governments. PTAC services are available either free of charge, or at a nominal cost. PTACs are part of the Procurement Technical Assistance Program, which is administered by the Defense Logistics Agency.

What can a PTAC do for you?

Determine if your business is ready for government contracting Pursuing government contracts is a challenge, and can be burden for your company if you do not have the resources to handle a contract. A PTAC representative can sit with you one-on-one and determine if your business is ready, and help position you for success.

Help you register in the proper places There are numerous databases to register with to get involved with the government marketplace, including the Department of Defense’s System for Award Management (SAM), GSA Schedules, and other government vendor sites. A PTAC representative can help you determine where and how to register.

See if you are eligible in any small business certifications Some government contracts are set aside for certain businesses with special certifications, such as woman-owned, small disadvantaged businesses and HUBZone. A PTAC representative can help you obtain these certifications.

Research past contract opportunities A PTAC representative can look into past contracts to see what types of contracts have been awarded to businesses like yours.

In addition, a PTAC can help you identify and bid on a contract, and if you are awarded the contract, measure your performance and help with contract audits.

The Veterans Business Outreach Program (VBOP) is designed to provide entrepreneurial development services such as business training; counseling and mentoring; and referrals for eligible veterans owning or considering starting a small business. SBA has 16 organizations participating in this cooperative agreement and serving as Veterans Business Outreach Centers (VBOC).

Services Provided by the Centers

Pre-Business Plan Workshops VBOCs conduct entrepreneurial development workshops dealing specifically with the major issues of self-employment, which include using the Internet to develop and expand businesses. Each client has the opportunity to work directly with a business counselor.

Concept Assessments VBOCs assist clients in assessing their entrepreneurial needs and requirements.

Business Plan Preparations VBOCs assist clients in developing and maintaining a business plan. The business plan includes such elements as the legal and organizational structure of the business; equipment requirements and costs; strategic and financial plans; and market research.

Comprehensive Feasibility Analysis VBOCs help identify and analyze strengths and weaknesses of the business plan to increase the probability of success. Analysis results are used to revise the strategic planning portion of the business plan.

Entrepreneurial Training and Counseling VBOCs, working with other SBA resource partners, conduct entrepreneurial training and counseling sessions specifically for service-disabled veteran entrepreneurs.

Mentorship When needed, VBOCs conduct on-site visits with clients to ensure they are following their business plans. Additionally, VBOCs review monthly financial statements to determine if the business plan needs to be changed to achieve targeted goals.

Other Business Developmental Related Services VBOCs also provide assistance and training in topics such as exporting, franchising, marketing, accounting and more.

VBOC Locations and Areas of Coverage

Exporting can enable small businesses to increase sales and profit, reduce dependence on the domestic market and stabilize seasonal fluctuations. If you're ready to explore exporting, Export Assistance Centers, located in major metropolitan areas throughout the United States, can help.

Each U.S. Export Assistance Center is staffed by professionals from SBA, Department of Commerce, Export-Import Bank and other public and private organizations. Together, their mission is to help small and medium sized businesses compete in today's global marketplace by providing export assistance.

These U.S. Export Assistance Centers have SBA representatives who are available to help you with all of your SBA export financing needs: Atlanta, GA; Arlington, VA; Boston, MA; Irvine, CA; Sacramento, CA; Los Angeles, CA; Charlotte, NC; Chicago, IL; Cleveland, OH; Dallas/Fort Worth, TX; Denver, CO; Detroit, MI; Miami, FL; Minneapolis, MN; New Orleans, LA; New York, NY; Philadelphia, PA; Portland, OR; Seattle, WA; St. Louis, MO

Certified Development Companies (CDCs) are nonprofit corporations certified and regulated by the SBA, that work with participating lenders to provide financing to small businesses. There are 270 CDCs nationwide, each covering a specific geographic area.

To find your nearest CDC, enter your zip code in our Local Asssistance tool and select "Certified Development Company" in the "Refine by Partner" section on the left.

Refine by state *

Rhode Island

1150 Douglas Pike
02917 Smithfield, RI
Phone: 401-232-6407
http://www.risbdc.org

South Carolina

471 University Parkway Box 9
29801 Aiken, SC
Phone: 803-641-3646
Fax: 803-641-3647
http://www.SCSBDC.COM

South Carolina

801 Carteret Street
29902 Beaufort, SC
Phone: 843-521-4143
Fax: 843-521-4142
http://www.SCSBDC.COM

South Carolina

1 University Boulevard
29909 Bluffton, SC
Phone: 843-208-8259
http://www.SCSBDC.COM

South Carolina

256 Bond Hall 171 Moultrie Street
29409 Charleston, SC
Phone: 843-740-6160
http://www.SCSBDC.COM

South Carolina

407 Sirrine Hall
29634 Clemson, SC
Phone: 864-710-4717
Fax: 864-656-4869
http://www.SCSBDC.COM

South Carolina

1225 Laurel Street
29201 Columbia, SC
Phone: 803-777-5118
http://www.SCSBDC.COM

South Carolina

Atlantic Hall P.O. Box 261954
29528 Conway, SC
Phone: 843-349-4010
http://www.SCSBDC.COM

South Carolina

1875 East Main Street Suite 4
29334 Duncan, SC
Phone: 864-592-6318
http://www.SCSBDC.COM

South Carolina

2713 West Lucas Street P.O. Box 100548
29501 Florence, SC
Phone: 843-661-8256
Fax: 843-661-8041
http://www.SCSBDC.COM

South Carolina

55 East Camperdown Way
29601 Greenville, SC
Phone: 864-370-1545
Fax: 864-370-1522
http://www.SCSBDC.COM

South Carolina

320 Stanley Avenue
29649 Greenwood, SC
Phone: 864-388-8492
http://www.SCSBDC.COM

South Carolina

2100 College Street
29108 Newberry, SC
Phone: 803-321-5689
Fax: 803-321-5287
http://www.SCSBDC.COM

South Carolina

2430 Mall Drive Suite 155
29406 North Charleston, SC
Phone: 843-740-6160
Fax: 843-740-1607
http://www.SCSBDC.COM

South Carolina

Algernon S. Belcher Hall 300 College Street, Box 7176
29117 Orangeburg, SC
Phone: 803-536-8445
Fax: 803-536-8066
http://www.SCSBDC.COM

South Carolina

118 Thurmond Building
29733 Rock Hill, SC
Phone: 803-323-2283
Fax: 803-323-4281
http://www.SCSBDC.COM

South Carolina

200 Miller Road Room 216
29150 Sumter, SC
Phone: 803-938-3833
http://www.SCSBDC.COM

South Dakota

416 Production Street North
57401 Aberdeen, SD
Phone: 605-626-2565
Fax: 605-626-2667
http://www.usd.edu/sbdc

South Dakota

601 N. Main Dakota Wesleyan University
57301 Mitchell, SD
Phone: 605-665-0751
Fax: 605-665-0303
http://www.usd.edu/sbdc

South Dakota

221 S. Central Avenue Suite 33
57501 Pierre, SD
Phone: 605-773-2783
Fax: 605-773-2784
http://www.usd.edu/sbdc

South Dakota

730 E. Watertown Street
57701 Rapid City, SD
Phone: 605-716-0015
Fax: 605-394-6140
http://www.usd.edu/sbdc

South Dakota

2329 North Career Avenue Suite 106
57107 Sioux Falls, SD
Phone: 605-367-5757
Fax: 605-367-5755
http://www.usd.edu/sbdc

South Dakota

USD Beacom School of Business 414 E. Clark Street
57069 Vermillion, SD
Phone: 605-677-5287
Fax: 605-677-5427
http://www.usd.edu/sbdc

South Dakota

124 First Avenue NW P. O. Box 1207
57201 Watertown, SD
Phone: 605-882-5115
Fax: 605-882-5049
http://www.usd.edu/sbdc

South Dakota

1808 Summit Avenue P. O. Box 687
57078 Yankton, SD
Phone: 605-665-0751
Fax: 605-665-0303
http://www.usd.edu/sbdc

Tennessee

100 Cherokee Blvd., Suite 202
37405 Chattanooga, TN
Phone: 423-756-8668
Fax: 423-752-1925
http://www.tsbdc.org

Tennessee

601 College Street McReynolds Building
37040 Clarksville, TN
Phone: 931-221-1370
Fax: 931-221-7748
http://www.tsbdc.org

Tennessee

3535 Adkisson Drive
37320 Cleveland, TN
Phone: 423-478-6247
Fax: 423-478-6251
http://www.tsbdc.org

Tennessee

106 West 6th Street
38402 Columbia, TN
Phone: 931-388-2155
Fax: 615-374-4608
http://www.tsbdc.org

Tennessee

1105 N. Peachtree
38505 Cookeville, TN
Phone: 931-372-3706
Fax: 931-372-6534
http://www.tsbdc.org

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