SBA Offices and Resource Partners

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

Regional Innovation Clusters

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 business mentors 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. The SBA has 15 organizations participating in this cooperative agreement and serving as Veterans Business Outreach Centers (VBOC).

Read more about Veterans Business Outreach Centers and their 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 one or more of the following: 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: Arlington, VA, Atlanta, GA; ; Boston, MA; Charlotte, NC, Chicago, IL; Cleveland, OH; Dallas/Fort Worth, TX; Denver, CO; Detroit, MI; Irvine, CA; ; Los Angeles, CA; ; Miami, FL; Minneapolis, MN; New Orleans, LA; New York, NY; Philadelphia, PA; Portland, OR; San Francisco, CA, 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.

The U.S. Small Business Administration is investing in regional innovation clusters throughout the US that span a variety of industries, ranging from energy and manufacturing to advanced defense technologies.

Clusters are geographic concentrations of interconnected companies, specialized suppliers, academic institutions, service providers and associated organizations with a specific industry focus. They provide high-value, targeted connecting of small and large businesses, including networking with potential industry partners abroad.

The Regional Innovation Clusters serve a diverse group of sectors and geographies. Three of the initial pilot clusters, termed Advanced Defense Technology clusters, are specifically focused on meeting the needs of the defense industry. The Wood Products Cluster, debuted in 2015, supports the White House’s Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization (POWER) Initiative for coal communities. All of the clusters support small businesses by fostering a synergistic network of small and large businesses, university researchers, regional economic organizations, stakeholders, and investors, while providing matchmaking, business training, counseling, mentoring, and other services to help small businesses expand and grow.

Read more about the Clusters Initiative

The SBA’s new ScaleUp America Initiative is designed to help small firms with high potential “scale up” and grow their businesses so that they will provide more jobs and have a greater economic impact, both locally and nationally. The SBA has structured this community-focused initiative with local entrepreneurial ecosystems in mind: a key emphasis of the program is building and strengthening entrepreneurial networks within a particular community, so that firms can grow by leveraging and complimenting the existing resources and expertise in their areas.

The ScaleUp initiative functions by supporting communities’ efforts to deliver cohort-based intensive assistance to established high-potential small businesses and entrepreneurs that are primed for growth beyond the start-up or early stages. The initiative provides funds to organizing entities in local communities to do the following:

  • deliver a proven entrepreneurship education curriculum for growth-oriented entrepreneurs and small businesses; provide on-going one-on-one support,
  • provide mentoring and technical assistance;
  • facilitate connections to growth capital; and
  • identify opportunities to build and strengthen connections and networks in their community.

Read more about the ScaleUp Initiative.

Refine by State*

Alabama

TechRICH
515 Sparkman Drive
Huntsville, AL 35816
Phone: (256) 428-8195

Arkansas

Ozark Regional Innovation Cluster; Startup Junkie
1 East Center St Suite 270
Fayetteville, AR 72701
Phone: (479) 225-7550

California

San Diego Regional Defense Cluster
6475 Alvarado Rd Suite 105
San Diego, CA 92120
Phone: (619) 594-7355

Connecticut

Northeast Electrochemical Energy Storage Cluster
222 Pitkin St #101
East Hartford, CT 06108
Phone: (860) 291-8832

Illinois

Illinois Smart Grid Cluster
18 S. Michigan Ave 12th Floor
Chicago, IL 60603
Phone: (773) 519-1440

Minnesota

Advanced Power and Energy Cluster
1835 Energy Park Drive
St. Paul, MN 55108
Phone: (651) 642-1800

Mississippi

Enterprise for Innovative Geospatial Solutions Cluster
88360 Diamondhead Drive East
Diamondhead, MS 39525
Phone: (228) 222-5922

Mississippi

Marine Industries Science & Technology (MIST) Cluster
Building 1103 Suite 135H
Stennis Space Center, MS 39529
Phone: (228)688-3144

Missouri

BioSTL St. Louis Bioscience Cluster
7515 Forsyth Blvd
St. Louis, MO 63105
Phone: (314) 880-8877

New Mexico

New Mexico Unmanned and Autonomous Systems Cluster; Emerging Technology Ventures
1300 La Velle Ave.
Alamogordo, NM 88310
Phone: (575) 483-6002

Ohio

FlexMatters Cluster
1111 Superior Avenue Suite 1600
Cleveland, OH 44114
Phone: (216) 363-6889

Ohio

Appalachian Ohio Wood Products Cluster
35 Public Square PO Box 456
Nelsonville, OH 45764
Phone: (740) 753-5359

Oklahoma

Oklahoma-South Kansas Unmanned Aerial Systems Cluster; Development Capital Networks
13905 Quail Pointe Drive Suite A
Oklahoma City, OK 73134
Phone: (480) 477-6408

Wisconsin

The Milwaukee Water Council; Global Water Center
247 W. Freshwater Way Ste. 500
Milwaukee, WI 53204
Phone: (414) 988-8755