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President and CEO Michael Brown starts and grows Environmental Construction Services, Inc. with SBA

Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR): How it Works and How to Qualify

By plester, Former Contributor
Published: July 7, 2014 Updated: July 7, 2014

Small businesses are the key to advancing America’s economy by bringing cutting-edge, high-impact technologies to the marketplace that improve health care, strengthen our military and protect the environment. However, small businesses often have difficulty competing with larger technology companies due to lack of capital for research and development (R&D) work that is critical for moving products from the planning to deployment stages. 

To help entrepreneurs successfully commercialize their products and services, the federal government established the Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer program, commonly known as SBIR. Eleven federal agencies including the departments of Health and Human Services, Defense and Energy participate in SBIR, which provide small businesses competitive funding for projects that meet government research needs and boost technological innovation in the public and private sectors. The Small Business Administration doesn’t directly administer the SBIR funding awards, but it oversees and manages the SBIR program by coordinating with other agencies, reviewing progress and reporting to Congress.

Much like the product development process, SBIR is structured in phases:

  • Phase 1 establishes the technical merit, feasibility and commercial potential of products or services and lasts for six months.
  • Phase 2 supports continued R&D efforts and extends up to two years. Funding levels are based on the success of Phase 1 work.
  • Phase 3 enables the small businesses to commercialize products or services. Although SBIR does not fund Phase 3, some federal agencies may provide additional financial assistance for products and services that help achieve government research goals.

To be eligible for SBIR assistance, businesses must:

  • Be organized for profit and be located in the United States.
  • Be at least 50% owned and controlled by U.S. citizens or permanent residents.  
  • Have no more than 500 employees.
  • Not be controlled by a venture capital firm, hedge fund or private equity firm that owns a majority of the stock.

Learn more about eligibility requirements and explore open and future solicitations from agencies throughout the federal government to find SBIR funding opportunities for your small business. Also, go to SBIR.gov for more information about the program including small business success stories, free upcoming events and webinars and email updates from the Small Business Administration.

About the Author:

plester
Paul Lester

Former Contributor

I am an author for the the SBA.gov Community, writing about topics that matter to you as a small business owner. Our ongoing goal is to improve this site to meet your needs, so we're happy to receive your feedback and participation. Thanks for joining our online Community here at SBA.gov!

District Office Lending Chart

7(a) Loan Guaranty Program

Lender Name 7a Number of Loans 7a Loan Amountsort ascending
NEWTEK SMALL BUS. FINANCE INC 2 5,000,000
BANK OF HAYS 10 3,348,000
INTRUST BANK NATL ASSOC 19 3,056,200
ARVEST BANK 1 2,850,000
WEST TOWN SAVINGS BANK 1 2,670,000
FIRST NATIONAL BANK AND TRUST 3 1,235,500
EQUITY BANK 3 1,050,000
COMMUNITY BANK OF WICHITA, INC 2 1,031,000
EVOLVE BANK & TRUST 1 948,000
UMB BANK, NATIONAL ASSOC 6 853,000
EMPRISE BANK 4 784,000
CENTRAL NATIONAL BANK 6 781,600
THE CITIZENS STATE BANK 1 700,000
FIDELITY BANK 2 695,000
PEOPLES STATE BANK 8 671,000
COMMUNITY FIRST NATIONAL BANK 14 487,100
COMMUNITY NATL BANK & TRUST 1 410,000
KEARNY COUNTY BANK 3 390,000
CELTIC BANK CORPORATION 3 265,000
LEONARDVILLE STATE BANK 2 251,600
COMMERCE BANK 1 249,900
BANK OF THE WEST 1 233,000
VISION ONE CREDIT UNION 1 231,500
CITIZENS BANK OF KANSAS 1 230,000
BREMER BANK NATL ASSOC 2 224,000
SIMMONS FIRST NATIONAL BANK 1 166,800
COMMUNITY BANK OF THE MIDWEST 1 162,000
SPIRIT OF TEXAS BANK, SSB 1 156,400
FIRST BANK FINANCIAL CENTRE 1 150,000
ALMENA STATE BANK 1 150,000
CENTERA BANK 1 142,700
LANDMARK NATIONAL BANK 2 135,000
THE BENNINGTON STATE BANK 3 127,500
BANK IV 1 87,000
MIDLAND NATL BANK OF NEWTON 1 75,000
ROSE HILL BANK 1 70,000
SOUTHWEST NATIONAL BANK 1 62,000
SUNFLOWER BANK NATL ASSOC 1 43,900
MILLENNIUM BANK 1 25,600
U.S. BANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION 1 25,000
1ST NATL BANK & TRUST CO OF JUNCTION CITY 1 4,600

CDC/504 Loan Program

Lender Name CDC/504 Number of Loans CDC/504 Loan Amount
PIONEER COUNTRY DEVELOPMENT INC 1 558,000
MID-AMERICA, INC 1 388,000
FRONTIER FINAN PARTNERS INC 9 7,609,000
RURAL MISSOURI, INC 4 1,115,000

Jagemann Stamping Company is a third-generation family-owned manufacturing business founded in 1946 by the grandfather of CEO Tom Jagemann. It is a leading maker of deep drawn, progressive, and fine blanked stampings. In September 2000, Jagemann Stamping moved to a 172,000 square-foot, state of the art manufacturing facility in Manitowoc. It was able to improve efficiency and diversify its product offerings to its growing customer base by expanding and upgrading its presses.

Electro-Connect Incorporated benefits from hard work, unique strategy and SBA counseling.  When it comes to running her company, Debbie Hamedi is not afraid of a little competition.

“We shine best with projects others shy away from tackling,” Debbie said.

Veteran, educator, consultant, lecturer, writer, and whitetail hunter Paul Cwiklinski represents a new beginning for hunters in a nutritional way.

Vigil Enterprises, Inc. (Vigil Enterprises) is a successful minority woman-owned, SBA 8(a) certified small disadvantaged business that was founded in 1986 by company President, Denise Vigil. She coordinates team building, develops schedules, works closely with her team to ensure good client relations and project quality, manages all lower-tier contracts and is responsible for proposal development.

District Office Lending Chart

7(a) Loan Guaranty Program

Lender Name 7a Number of Loans 7a Loan Amountsort ascending
Midwest Regional Bank 24 23,687,500
The Bank of Missouri 41 17,819,300
Hawthorn Bank 14 10,377,500
Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. 12 7,018,600
U.S. Bank, N.A. 67 5,879,600
Commerce Bank 17 5,693,100
Enterprise Bank & Trust 2 4,118,900
First Western SBLC, Inc. 2 4,078,000
United Midwest Savings Bank 1 3,616,000
Peoples National Bank, N.A. 7 3,596,000
Belgrade State Bank 3 3,069,600
PNC Bank, N.A. 13 2,888,700
St. Louis Bank 3 2,685,300
T Bank, N.A. 1 2,591,000
Fifth Third Bank 8 2,235,500
FortuneBank 4 2,109,300
PrivateBank & Trust Company 2 1,979,000
First Bank Financial Centre 1 1,910,000
Certusbank, N.A. 1 1,793,500
First Community National Bank 7 1,640,000
Cass Commercial Bank 1 1,500,000
Royal Banks of Missouri 2 1,278,700
Farmers & Merchants Bank of St. Clair 13 1,219,200
First State Community Bank 5 1,181,000
Liberty Bank 1 1,100,000
Live Oak Banking Company 1 1,052,000
The Callaway Bank 12 1,049,400
UMB Bank, N.A. 6 1,039,500
First Financial Bank 1 861,000
Illini Bank 3 800,000
Heritage Community Bank 2 765,000
Regions Bank 2 747,700
Triad Bank 2 731,500
BMO Harris Bank, N.A. 4 718,800
Columbus First Bank 2 705,000
Compass Bank 1 699,000
Frontenac Bank 2 680,000
Citizens National Bank of Greater St. Louis 2 630,100
The Business Bank of St. Louis 3 589,000
First Bank of the Lake 1 560,000
First State Bank of St. Charles 2 540,000
United Bank of Union 3 525,000
Pulaski Bank 2 457,500
Bank of Washington 3 435,800
Midwest Bankcentre 1 400,000
Bank of America, N.A. 3 350,000
Intrust Bank, N.A. 1 345,000
Jefferson Bank of Missouri 3 320,000
Boone County National Bank of Columbia 3 300,000
Celtic Bank Corporation 2 250,000
Bremen Bank and Trust 1 230,000
The Central Trust Bank 4 225,000
Bancorpsouth Bank 2 220,000
Alliance CU 3 210,000
Spirit of Texas Bank, SSB 1 200,000
Bank of Old Monroe 1 185,000
Bank of Sullivan 1 175,000
First Bank 1 175,000
The Missouri Bank II 1 140,000
Great Southern Bank 1 139,100
First Mid-Illinois Bank & Trust 1 112,000
Arvest Bank 1 100,000
Jefferson Bank & Trust Company 1 90,000
F&M Bank and Trust Company 2 85,100
Eagle Bank and Trust Company of Missouri 2 72,700
Stearns Bank, N.A. 1 45,000
MRV Banks 1 33,000
Midland States Bank 1 25,000
Golden Pacific Bank, N.A. 1 21,500
Superior Financial Group, LLC 1 15,000

CDC/504 Loan Program

Lender Name CDC/504 Number of Loans CDC/504 Loan Amount
St. Charles County Economic Development Corporation 25 13,475,000
Business Finance Corporation of St. Louis 10 6,654,000
Rural Missouri, Inc. 1 5,000,000
Economic Development Corporation of Jefferson County 3 1,284,000
Small Business Growth Corporation 3 942,000
Clay/Platte Development Corporation 1 446,000
Meramec Regional Development Corporation 1 279,000

District Office Lending Chart

7(a) Loan Guaranty Program

Lender Name 7a Number of Loans 7a Loan Amountsort ascending
Huntington Bank 62 10,793,700
Live Oak Banking (NC) 4 5,535,000
Davis Trust Company 1 5,000,000
Citizens Bank (TN) 1 4,987,200
CertUSBank (SC) 1 1,216,000
The Lorain National Bank (OH) 2 1,149,000
Newtek Small Business Finance (NY) 1 1,100,000
JP Morgan Chase 2 590,300
The First State Bank 3 514,600
Community Trust Bank 2 450,000
The Bancorp Bank (DE) 1 382,000
Washington County Council on ED (Micro) 9 306,876
Bank of Charles Town 1 300,000
Celtic Bank Corp. (UT) 2 300,000
1st National Community Bank (OH) 3 270,000
First National Bank 2 256,000
FNB Bank, Inc. 1 243,421
MVB Bank, Inc. 2 218,500
Peoples Bank NA 1 150,000
Community Bank of Parkersburg 1 150,000
BB&T 4 148,200
Grant County Bank 1 100,000
First Sentry Bank 1 80,000
The CItizens Savings Bank (OH) 2 75,000
Harrison County Bank 1 50,500
KISRA (Micro) 3 14,252

CDC/504 Loan Program

Lender Name CDC/504 Number of Loans CDC/504 Loan Amount
OVIBDC CDC 2 1,942,000
Business Finance Group 1 247,000

Do You Have A Marketing Plan?

By Rieva Lesonsky, Guest Blogger
Published: July 1, 2014

Does your small business have a marketing plan? A study by Marketo shows that companies with a documented marketing plan are more likely to be satisfied with their marketing efforts. As you might expect, however, smaller companies are less likely than large ones to have marketing plans. Overall, slightly more than one-third of the companies polled don’t have a marketing plan. But only 56 percent of small businesses (fewer than 50 employees) have one, while among companies with over 1,000 employees, 81 percent have one.

Marketing plans aren’t the only thing that some companies are missing. Although 71 percent of respondents say they sometimes or always meet their marketing goals, 23 percent admit they don't have specific marketing goals. As the saying goes, if you don’t know where you’re going, how are you going to get there?

Clearly, creating a marketing plan makes a big difference in achieving your goals. Here’s what you should include in your marketing plan:

1.     Who are your target customers? Do your market research to understand where your target customers live, their demographics (age, sex, marital status, income, etc.), their spending habits and anything else that makes them ideally suited for your product or service.

2.     Who are your competitors? Which companies compete with you for your ideal customers? How do they market themselves, what are their Unique Selling Propositions (USP) and what differentiates your business from theirs? How will you need to market your business to stand out from the competition?

3.     Where do your target customers get their information? To determine what marketing methods and channels will work best for you, you need to know, for example, if your target customers read newspapers or get news online, use social media or don’t even know what that is, watch TV or listen to the radio and what websites/publications/stations they read, watch and listen to.

4.     What are your marketing goals? If you’re launching a brand-new product, your goal might simply be to raise awareness of what you sell and build your brand name. If you’ve got a long-standing business with a well-established brand, your goal could be to sell more to existing customers. Be sure your goals are measurable—not just “to sell more” but “to increase sales to existing customers by 10 percent per quarter” or other specific numbers.

5.     How will you market the business? Based on your understanding of point #3, your marketing plan should list the different marketing and advertising methods you’ll use, such as social media, print advertising, online advertising, event marketing, etc.

6.     What’s your marketing budget? It’s important to set a budget for your marketing plan. Measure what you actually spend against your budget forecast.

7.     How will you measure success and how often? Marketing takes time to work, so don’t assume that a campaign isn’t worth the money if you don’t see immediate results. However, it’s a good idea to measure results quarterly and see which marketing tactics are working best (or not working at all). That way you can redistribute your budget as needed.

Review your overall marketing plan at least once a year. Today, the world of marketing is changing at lightning speed, and your business needs to keep up.

About the Author:

Rieva Lesonsky
Rieva Lesonsky

Guest Blogger

Rieva Lesonsky is CEO and President of GrowBiz Media, a media company that helps entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses. Follow Rieva at Twitter.com/Rieva and visit SmallBizDaily.com to sign up for her free TrendCast reports. She's been covering small business and entrepreneurial issues for more than 30 years, is the author of several books about entrepreneurship and was the editorial director of Entrepreneur magazine for over two decades

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