U.S. Small Business Administration

VI Energy and Environmental Incentives

Small Business Development Centers (SBDC)

SBDC’s mission is to build, sustain, and grow small businesses; as well as to promote small business development and enhance local economies by creating businesses and fulfilling its mission of creating jobs. The SBDCs, vital to SBA’s entrepreneurial outreach, have been providing service to small businesses for almost 35 years. It is one of the largest professional small business management and technical assistance networks in the nation. With over 900 locations across the country, SBDCs offer existing and future entrepreneurs free one-on-one expert business counseling and low-cost training by qualified small business professionals. In addition to its core services, the SBDCs offer special focus areas such as green business technology, disaster recovery and preparedness, export assistance, international trade assistance, veteran’s assistance, technology transfer and regulatory compliance. The Valley’s SBDCs are located in downtown Los Angeles, at:

Women’s Business Centers (WBC)

The SBA’s WBC is a network of over 100 community-based centers that provide business training, counseling, coaching, mentoring and other assistance geared toward women, particularly those who are socially and economically disadvantaged. They are partially funded through a cooperative agreement with the SBA. WBCs are located within non-profit host organizations that offer a wide variety of services in addition to the services provided by the WBC. Many of the WBCs also offer training and counseling and provide materials in different languages in order to meet the diverse needs of the communities they serve. WBCs often deliver their services through long-term training or group counseling, both of which have shown to be effective. WBC training courses are often free or are offered for a small fee. Some centers will also offer scholarships based on the client’s needs. While most WBCs are physically located in one designated location, a number of WBCs also provide courses and counseling via the Internet, mobile classrooms and satellite locations. Below are the Valley-located WBCs:

Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HUBZone) Program

The HUBZone program helps small businesses located in distressed urban and rural communities gain access to federal set-aside contracts and sole source contracts, as well as a price evaluation preference in full and open contract competitions. There is a statutory goal that HUBZone small business concerns be awarded not less than 3 percent of the total value of all prime contract and subcontract awards. The HUBZone program also establishes preference for award of federal contracts to small businesses in these areas.

8(a) Business Development Program

This program is a nine-year program established to assist eligible socially and economically disadvantaged individuals to develop and grow their businesses. Business development assistance includes one-on-one counseling, training workshops, match-making opportunities with federal buyers and other management and technical guidance. There is a statutory requirement that small disadvantaged business concerns be awarded not less than 5 percent of the total value of all prime contract awards. All firms that become eligible for SBA’s 8(a) business development assistance are also considered small disadvantaged business concerns for the purpose of federal contracting.

Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTACs)

Provide local, in-person counseling and training services for small business owners. 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. PTACs can help you identify and bid on a contract, and if you are awarded the contract, continue to provide you support through measuring your performance and helping with your contract audits.

Small Disadvantaged Business (SDB) Contract Program

A SDB is defined as a small business that is at least 51 percent owned and controlled by one or more individuals who are socially and economically disadvantaged. There is a federal government-wide goal of awarding at least 5 percent of prime contracting dollars to SDBs each year. Large prime contractors must also establish a 5 percent subcontracting goal for SDBs in their subcontracting plans which includes SBA 8(a) certified small businesses. Firms self-certify as SDB in the federal data base called the System for Award Management (SAM) without submitting any application to the SBA; however, firms approved by the SBA into the 8(a) Business Development Program are automatically certified as an SDB.

Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) Contract Program

The SDVOSB program has a federal government-wide goal of awarding at least 3 percent of prime and subcontracting dollars to Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses each year. Large prime contractors must also establish a subcontracting goal for SDVOSBs in their subcontracting plans. These subcontracting goals are reviewed at time of proposal by both the contracting officer and the SBA prior to the award of a contract.

Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) Contract Program

The WOSB Federal Contract Program authorizes contracting officers to set aside certain federal contracts for eligible women-owned businesses and economically disadvantaged women-owned small businesses (EDWOSB) in industries where it has be determined WOSBs and EDWOSBs are underrepresented.

Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program

The SBIR is a highly competitive program that encourages domestic small businesses to engage in Federal Research/Research and Development (R/R&D) that has the potential for commercialization. Through a competitive awards-based program, SBIR enables small businesses to explore their technological potential and provides the incentive to profit from its commercialization. By including qualified small businesses in the nation’s R&D arena, high-tech innovation is stimulated and the United States gains entrepreneurial spirit as it meets its specific research and development needs.

Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Program

STTR is another program that expands funding opportunities in the federal innovation research and development (R&D) arena. Central to the program is expansion of the public/ private sector partnership to include the joint venture opportunities for small businesses and nonprofit research institutions. The unique feature of the STTR program is the requirement for the small business to formally collaborate with a research institution in Phase I and Phase II. STTR’s most important role is to bridge the gap between performance of basic science and commercialization of resulting innovations.

SBA Basic 7(a) Loans

The 7(a) Loan program is the SBA’s primary business loan program. It is the agency’s most frequently used non-disaster financial assistance program because of its flexibility in loan structure, variety of uses for the loan proceeds and availability. The program has broad eligibility requirements and credit criteria to accommodate a wide range of financing needs. The Basic 7(a) Loan is the most commonly provided type of SBA business loan based on historical dollars approved. They are the most flexible types of SBA loans because they can help finance such a large variety of business purposes for the largest number of business types, engaged in the widest spectrum of activities.

SBA Specialty Purpose 7(a) Loans

The Specialty Purpose 7(a) loan program is the most flexible of the SBA’s lending programs. Over time, the Agency has developed several variations of the Basic 7(a) Loan in order to address specific financing needs for particular types of small businesses or to give the lender greater flexibility with the loan’s structure. The general distinguishing feature between these loan types is their use of proceeds. These programs allow the proceeds to be used in ways that are not otherwise permitted in a basic 7(a) loan. These special purpose programs are not necessarily for all businesses but may be very useful to some small businesses. They are generally governed by the same rules, regulations, fees, interest rates, etc., as the basic 7(a) loan. Types of specialty purpose loans include:

  • International Trade Loan (ITL) – designed to help small businesses enter and expand into international markets or, when adversely affected by import competition, to make the investments necessary to better compete. The ITL offers a combination of fixed asset, working capital financing and debt refinancing with the SBA’s maximum guaranty–90 percent–on the total loan amount. The maximum loan amount is $5 million.
  • Export Working Capital Program (EWCP) – assists businesses exporters in meeting their short-term export working capital needs. Exporters can use the proceeds to make the products they will be exporting. They can also apply for such lines of credit prior to finalizing an export sale or contract. With an approved EWCP loan in place, exporters have greater flexibility in negotiating export payment terms—secure in the assurance that adequate financing will be in place when the export order is won.
  • CAPLines – this program for loans up to $5 million is designed to help small businesses meet their shortterm and cyclical working capital needs. The programs can be used to finance seasonal working capital needs; finance the direct costs of performing certain construction, service and supply contracts, subcontracts, or purchase orders; finance the direct cost associated with commercial and residential construction; or provide general working capital lines of credit. The maturity can be for up to 10 years except for the Builders Capline which is limited to 36 months after the first structure is completed. Guaranty percentages are the same as for a Basic 7(a) Loan.
  • SBAExpress Loan or Line of Credit – a flexible smaller loan up to $350,000 that a designated lender can provide to its borrower using mostly their own forms, analysis, and procedures to process, structure, service, and disburse this SBA-guaranteed loan. When structured as a term loan the proceeds and maturity are the same as a Basic 7(a) Loan. When structured as a revolving line of credit the requirements for the payment of interest and principal are at the discretion of the lender and maturity can’t exceed 7 years.
  • Export Express SBA’s Export Express loans offers flexibility and ease of use for both borrowers and lenders on loans up to $500,000. It is the simplest export loan product offered by the SBA.

SBA 504 Loans

The 504 Loan program is an economic development program that supports American small business growth and helps communities through business expansion and job creation. The 504 loan program provides long-term, fixedrate, subordinate mortgage financing for acquisition and/or renovation of capital assets including land, buildings and equipment. Some refinancing is also permitted. Most for-profit small businesses are eligible for this program. The types of businesses excluded from 7(a) loans (listed previously) are also excluded from the 504 loan program. The SBA’s 504 Certified Development Companies (CDC) serve their communities by financing business expansion needs. Their professional staff works directly with borrowers to tailor a financing package that meets program guidelines and the credit capacity of the borrower’s business. CDCs work with banks and other lenders to make loans in first position on reasonable terms, helping lenders retain growing customers and provide Community Reinvestment Act credit. Recent additions to the program allow $5.5 million for each project that reduces the borrower’s energy consumption by at least 10 percent; and $5.5 million for each project that generates renewable energy fuels, such as biodiesel or ethanol production. Projects eligible for up to $5.5 million under one of these two requirements do not have to meet the job creation or retention requirement, so long as the CDC portfolio reflects an average jobs-to-debenture portfolio ratio of at least 1 job per $65,000.

Here are the certified (Valley) development companies:

SBA Microloan Program (Loans Up to $50,000)

The Microloan program provides very small loans (up to $50,000) to women, low-income, minority, veteran, and other small business owners through a network of more than 100 Intermediaries nationwide. Under this program, the SBA makes funds available to nonprofit intermediaries that, in turn, make the small loans directly to start-up and existing businesses. Entrepreneurs work directly with the Intermediaries to receive financing, and business knowledge support. The proceeds of a microloan can be used for working capital, or the purchase of furniture, fixtures, supplies, materials, and/or equipment. Microloans may not be used for the purchase of real estate. Interest rates are negotiated between the borrower and the Intermediary. The maximum term for a microloan is six years.

The program also provides business-based training and technical assistance to micro-borrowers and potential micro-borrowers to help them successfully start or grow their businesses. Such training and technical assistance may include general business education, assistance with business planning, industry-specific training, and other types of training support.

Physical Disaster Loans

Physical Disaster Loans are the primary source of funding for permanent rebuilding and replacement of uninsured or underinsured disaster-caused damages to privately-owned real and/or personal property. SBA’s physical disaster loans are available to businesses of all sizes, private nonprofit organizations, homeowners and renters. Businesses and private, nonprofit organizations of any size may apply for a loan up to $2 million (actual loan amounts are based on the amount of uncompensated damage) to repair or replace real property, machinery, equipment, fixtures, inventory and leasehold improvements. A homeowner may apply for a loan of up to $200,000 to repair or replace the primary residence to its pre-disaster condition. Homeowners or renters may apply for a loan up to $40,000 to help repair or replace personal property, such as clothing, furniture or automobiles, lost in the disaster. The SBA may increase a loan up to 20 percent of the total amount of physical loss as verified by SBA to make improvements that protect the property from similar future disasters.

Economic Injury Disaster Loan

Economic Injury Disaster Loans provide the necessary working capital after a declared disaster until normal operations resume. Small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture (fisheries, for example) and most private nonprofit organizations of all sizes are eligible for EIDL assistance, regardless of whether there was any physical damage. The loan limit is $2 million. The EIDL helps small businesses meet ordinary and necessary operating expenses as they recover from a disaster. The limit for physical and EIDL loans combined is $2 million.

Military Reservists Economic Injury Disaster Loan

The Military Reservists Economic Injury Disaster Loan is a working capital loan for small businesses facing financial loss when the owner or an essential employee is called up to active duty in their role as a military reservist. The loan limit is $2 million and the business can use the funds to cover operating expenses until the essential employee or business owner is released from active duty.

The Surety Bond Guarantee Program

This program is a public-private partnership between the Federal government and surety companies to provide small businesses with the bonding assistance necessary for them to compete for public and private contracting and subcontracting opportunities. The guarantee provides an incentive for sureties to bond small businesses that would otherwise be unable to obtain bonding. The program is aimed at small businesses that lack the working capital or performance track record necessary to secure bonding on a reasonable basis through regular commercial channels. Through this program, the SBA guarantees bid, payment, performance and ancillary bonds issued by surety companies for individual contracts and subcontracts up to $6.5 million. The SBA reimburses sureties between 70 and 90 percent of losses sustained if a contractor defaults on the contract. Participating Prior Approval (Valley) Surety Companies for the Valley include:

  • Hudson Insurance Company – 23901 Calabasas Rd., Ste. 1085, Calabasas, CA 91302
  • Canaan Insurance Agency – 6520 Platt Ave., Ste. 840, West Hills, CA 91307
  • Contractors Best Insurance Services, Inc. – 20335 Ventura Blvd., Ste. 426A, Woodland Hills CA 91364
  • Noddle Surety & Insurance Services, Inc. – 19507 Ventura Blvd., Tarzana CA 91356
  • Preferred Bonding Services – 1800 McCollum St., Los Angeles CA 90026
  • American Contractors Indemnity CO – 601 S. Figueroa St., Ste. 1600, Los Angeles, CA 90017

Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) Program

SBICs are privately owned and managed investment funds, licensed and regulated by SBA, that use their own capital plus funds borrowed with an SBA guarantee to make equity and debt investments in qualifying small businesses. The funds raise private capital and can receive SBA-guaranteed leverage up to three times private capital, with a leverage ceiling of $150 million per SBIC and $225 million for two or more licenses under common control. Licensed SBICs are for-profit investment firms whose incentive is to share in the success of a small business. The U.S. Small Business Administration does not invest directly into small business through the SBIC Program, but provides funding through SBA guarantee debentures to qualified investment management firms with expertise in certain sectors or industries.

SBA – Los Angeles District Office

For more information about all SBA programs and financing opportunities specifically for the Los Angeles area, the district office is located at:

  • 330 North Brand, Suite 1200, Glendale, CA 91203