Tips for Small Business Vendors This National Farmers Market

August 6 – 13 marks the 24th annual National Farmers Market Week. It is a time to celebrate the irreplaceable role that the nation’s 8,000-plus farmers markets play in our food systems and local communities. It is also an opportunity to acknowledge how these types of businesses impact the economy. In fact, the Farmers Market Coalition estimates that every dollar spent on farm direct purchases, such as at a farmers market, results in up to three dollars of revenue to the greater U.S. economy.

 The SBA is proud to be a resource for America’s small business vendors. Whether your dream is to provide your community with fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy products, baked goods, or handmade crafts, we have the tools and programs to help you bring your business dreams from farm to market.

1. Find resources in your area through SBA local assistance. The SBA’s resource partner network is an invaluable asset for small business vendors. Many farmers markets are located in rural areas, which are historically underserved. Resource partners like Community Navigators, however, strengthen outreach to undeserved businesses by partnering with organizations with deep roots in their communities. There are also organizations such as Small Business Development Centers, which offer a wide range of training and counseling services at nearly 1,000 locations across the U.S., and SCORE, where entrepreneurs can find expert mentorship on a variety of small business topics. For veteran and women entrepreneurs, Veterans Business Outreach Centers and Women’s Business Centers help their populations break into the marketplace.

2. Take advantage of SBA funding opportunities.A local farmers market can open lots of doors in the business world. Often times, a key requirement is securing financial assistance. That’s where SBA funding solutions come into play. The SBA’s largest financing program, the 7(a) Loan Program, helps businesses that meet eligibility requirements but do not qualify for conventional financing. Real estate, equipment, inventory — 7(a) loans make it possible for small business owners to continue to expand. They also allow entrepreneurs to acquire working capital and refinance business debt. For those seeking easier access to funds for supplies, equipment, and more, SBA microloans are a great option.

3. Explore SBA export assistance programs. Your business goals don’t have to stop at the farm stand. The SBA’s international trade programs make it easier to sell your goods and services outside of the U.S. If you’re interested in expanding into export sales, the International Trade loan program can help you compete globally. And if you’ve been in business for at least a year, the Export Working Capital program increases your chances of getting approved for export financing programs.

If you’re interested in starting a farmers market of your own, the SBA encourages you to visit the USDA National Farmers Market Directory. There, you can learn about requirements such as permits and vendor fees. Follow the SBA on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn to see how we’re highlighting National Farmers Market Week 2023.

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