SBA Unveils New Website and Launches SBA Direct - A New Tool Delivering Personalized and Targeted Resources
SBA.gov Demonstrates Agency’s Commitment to Transformation – Giving Small Business Owners Quick and Easy Access to the Resources they need to Succeed and Create Jobs
WASHINGTON – As part of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s mission to ensure that small business owners and entrepreneurs have access to accurate, timely and helpful information, SBA Administrator Karen Mills today unveiled a newly re-designed SBA website. The new site also features the launch of SBA Direct, a dynamic new web tool with a variety of personalization features that will help small businesses start-up, succeed and grow.
“With the launch of the new SBA.gov, we have reached a significant milestone in how the agency has evolved in using interactive web tools, social media and blogs to engage with, and better meet the needs of small business owners,” said SBA Administrator, Karen Mills. “While the SBA website has traditionally been an information-rich site, we wanted to make it easier for small business owners to navigate. With the new improved SBA.gov, business owners can access the answers they need, specific to their business profile, in an instant – it truly presents the face of the future of SBA.”
While the site features a variety of enhancements including a full re-design, new content, and improved navigation, the centerpiece is a dynamic new web tool called SBA Direct.
SBA Direct allows visitors to personalize their browsing experience according to their business type, geography and needs. SBA Direct then delivers relevant and targeted information on all aspects of running a business such as the steps involved in getting started, business growth strategies, and how to stay compliant with current laws and regulations. SBA Direct also provides information on the available SBA programs that can help businesses succeed, such as financial assistance, exporting and government contracting opportunities, counseling and training.
“Transforming the SBA into a proactive, responsive and ‘customer-centric’ organization that better serves the needs of the nation’s more than 29 million small businesses is an exciting, yet enormous effort,” said Mills. “We’ve made significant progress, and the new SBA.gov is just one example among many, including record growth capital financing, expedited loan approvals and the acceleration of disaster assistance resources and funds of how SBA has, and will continue to support the growth of small businesses and job creation.”
Other new features to the web site include:
· SBA’s small business search that improves the accuracy and relevancy of search results —saving time and frustration.
· Improved navigation that gives users one-click access to the information they need. Combined with the personalization features of SBA Direct, users no longer have to mine through pages of information to find answers.
· Integration of Business.gov content including a variety of guides and tools that collate information from across government agencies to help business owners comply with laws and regulations, and take advantage of government programs.
· Interactive location-based maps that allow users to quickly find small business resources in their area, including local SBA offices, and other sources of training and support.
· User-rated content gives visitors to the site direct control in determining the most useful and relevant information to feature by small business topic.
SBA’s commitment to using web services to provide small businesses with greater access to the pool of government resources available began in 2006 with the launch of the award-winning Business.gov website, and later with the Business.gov Community initiative in 2009 (the first government-sponsored online community built specifically for small businesses), and more recently with SBA’s own social media presence on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.
The new SBA.gov built on these achievements and best practices as a driver for its transformation. The project is also a flagship for the agency’s Open Government Plan, with the goal of building an online presence for SBA that is transparent, participatory and collaborative.
At-a-Glance Agency Fact Sheet
Agency U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)
Headquarters 409 3rd Street, SW
Washington, DC 20416
Description The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) was created in 1953 as an independent agency of the federal government to assist, counsel and protect the interests of small business concerns, to preserve free competitive enterprise and to maintain and strengthen the overall economy of our nation. We recognize that small business is critical to our economic recovery and strength, to building America's future, and to helping the United States compete in today's global marketplace. Although SBA has evolved over the years, the bottom line mission remains the same. The SBA and its resource partners provide the tools American small businesses need to start-up, succeed and grow.
Through an extensive network of field offices and collaboration with public and private organizations, the SBA delivers its services throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, the U. S. Virgin Islands and Guam.
Administrator Karen G. Mills
Karen G. Mills was sworn in April 6, 2009, as the 23rd Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration. Appointed by President Barack Obama and confirmed unanimously by the Senate, Ms. Mills directs a federal agency with more than 2,000 full-time employees, and serves a leading role helping small business owners and entrepreneurs secure financing, technical assistance, training and federal contracts. The SBA also plays a leading role in disaster recovery by making low interest loans for businesses and residents. With a portfolio of direct and guaranteed business loans and disaster loans worth more than $90 billion, the SBA is the nation’s largest single financial backer of small business.
Media Contact Carol Chastang
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Fact Sheet | The New SBA.gov Website – More Tools, More Services, More Answers.
The SBA is the only government agency whose exclusive mission is to assist the nation’s 29 million small business owners. The current SBA.gov site serves millions of users each year seeking timely, accurate and reliable information about SBA programs (financing, training, disaster assistance, exporting and government contracting opportunities) as well as resources and guides to help them start-up, succeed and grow their businesses.
What to Expect from New SBA.gov
Launched on December 21, 2010, the website includes a number of progressive and powerful new features that help users quickly find and connect with the resources they need, including:
· SBA Direct – “The Answers You Need Start Here”: The centerpiece is a dynamic web tool called “SBA Direct”. Just by answering a few simple questions about their business, SBA Direct will deliver personalized and targeted resources to help small businesses start, operate and grow – directly to their desktop.
· Find Information Fast with an Enhanced Search Tool: This new search tool vastly improves the accuracy and relevancy of search results for all users —saving time and frustration.
· Get Turnkey, Location-Based Information with One-Click Navigation and Interactive Maps: The new SBA.gov includes intuitive and improved navigation that gives users one-click access to the information they need. The site also includes location-based interactive maps that allow users to quickly find small business resources in their area.
· Small Business How-To’s, Tips and Guides: The new SBA.gov includes the integration of content from its Business.gov website (www.business.gov), including a variety of guides and tools that collate information from across government agencies to help business owners start-up and grow.
· User-Rated Content: SBA.gov gives visitors to the site direct control in determining the most useful and relevant information to feature by small business topic.
Over the coming months, SBA.gov will expand to include additional web services and tools including online communities, blogs and other interactive services. The future SBA.gov will also include new tools for lenders that will provide quick access to lending news, notices, rates and FAQs – making it easier for lenders to locate Lender Relations Specialists (LRSs), loan forms, and other SBA resources.
Moving forward, SBA will continue to improve and enhance the SBA.gov website to support the growth of small businesses, serve the needs of the lending community, and drive job creation.
Posted: December 22, 2010