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The 3 C’s of the SBA

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The 3 C’s of the SBA

By Marie Johns, Former Deputy Administrator
Published: January 7, 2011 Updated: May 16, 2011

Hi, I’m Marie Johns, Deputy Administrator at the SBA. Happy New Year! Since we just launched this blog, I thought it might be helpful to give a quick primer on what we do at the SBA.

At the SBA, our focus is on giving small businesses the tools they need to grow and create jobs. We like to talk about our “3 C’s”—capital, contracting, and counseling.

The first C is capital. If you’re looking for a way to finance your growth, an SBA loan might be what you need. The SBA doesn’t actually make the loans. Instead, we guarantee a percentage of each loan made by lenders who partner with us. Our guarantee reduces the risk, which means these SBA lending partners are more likely to help small businesses that can’t get access to conventional loans.

The second C is contracts. The federal government spends $500 billion a year in contracts. We work with all federal agencies to put at least 23 percent of that money in the hands of small businesses. We also work with small business directly, through training and business development programs, to help them compete for and win contracts.

The third C is counseling. Our nationwide network includes 68 district offices, nearly 900 Small Business Development Centers, 110 Women’s Business Centers, and 350 chapters of SCORE. These business experts offer counseling and training (nearly always free) to over 1 million small business owners each year. If you don’t have a counselor or mentor, you should. Our data shows that businesses that spend three hours or more with an SBA counselor have higher revenue and more employees as a result.

Of course, there’s a lot more to the SBA. From disaster assistance to surety bonds, we’re there with the tools you need.

How can SBA help you? Find your nearest SBA district office or resource partner by visiting SBA Direct. Check out the new website, and keep coming back to this blog for more tips.

About the Author:

Marie Johns

Former Deputy Administrator

Marie Johns is a former Deputy Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration. 


Capital is so important to small businesses and I would like to see access to capital improved to enable business growth.
I happen to agree with on your three C's and see all of these as equally important for all small businesses.
Hello, Marie! I would like to know the way to find SBA office in my area. Do you have any list of SBA officed divided by states?
I generally don’t respond on web pages but you contain a quantity of good quality readable post.

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