Representatives of the U.S. Small Business Association are visiting businesses from Waimea to Kapa‘a tomorrow, Monday, Aug. 11, to let owners and managers know more about SBA resources available to them.
The representatives will also be asking owners and managers questions about how their small firms are doing on the island.
The representatives will begin in Waimea, working their way toward Kapa‘a during the day.
They will be accompanied by local lenders and members of the Hawaii Small Business Development Center Network Kaua‘i office.
“Many business owners are surprised to see us getting out of our offices and dropping in to talk about programs and services that can really help them maximize the potential of their operations,” said Kim Hite, SBA economic-development specialist.
“Many don’t realize the range of business assistance and financing opportunities that they can tap into through SBA, without the dreaded red tape,” Hite said.
Hite leads the SBA outreach team, here also to promote a new SBA financing program, the Community Express Loan.
The loan program was developed to provide smaller business loans in the amounts of $5,000, $10,000 and $15,000, for firms located in low- to moderate-income areas, or to those owned and operated by the typically underserved segments of the small-business community, like minorities, women, and veterans.
To increase the likelihood of success for these newer or ready-to-grow businesses, the loans are paired with a personalized plan of technical assistance with Hawaii SBDC Network professionals.
Clara Oligo, administrative assistant at the SBDC, said, “Talking with the owners at their place of business really lets us know what is going on with the business, and how we might help.
“A lot of Kaua‘i businesses can benefit from our new programs, like Community Express and the NxLevel (entrepreneur) workshops,” she said.
Hite and others will be distributing SBA resource packets.
In them, business owners can find information on SBA loan programs and participating lenders, government contracting and business development programs, and the latest resources and training opportunities available locally and on the Internet.
The goal of the expedition is to increase use of these business tools, support economic development in business districts, and stabilize many businesses that are struggling to survive, Hite said.
For more information, please contact the SBA office on O‘ahu, 1-808-541-2973, or the Hawaii SBDC Network Kaua‘i office, 246- 1748.