National Small Business Week is coming: Improve your business today

March 20, 2017

SBA Administrator Linda McMahon plans to tour several U.S. cities as part of this year's Small Business Week.

The Small Business Administration is promoting National Small Business Week, which will run between April 30 and May 6. Though that's still some time away, it's a chance to look closely at your own business venture and determine whether you need to change anything through more creative financing projects.

Newly appointed SBA Administrator Linda McMahon made the official announcement on March 13, in a statement on the official SBA website. The statement also outlined McMahon's schedule for the week, including stops in a cross-country tour from Washington D.C. to California.

In its most recent Weekly Lending Report, the SBA measured the amount of funds disbursed through 7(A) and 504 loans, for the last five years up until March 10. According to this, the dollar amount of both has increased steadily since 2014. For 7(A) loans, this number reached more than 10.1 billion as of this year, and for the 504, it was closer to $2.1 billion.

"Use this as a time to acquire your own much-needed business funds."

Furthermore, 11 percent of the businesses that acquired 504 grants were at least half owned by women, compared to 18 percent of 7(A) loans. Out of all total 504 recipients, 24 percent identified as non-white, while this number was 26 percent for the 7(A) program. Though the 7(A) figure was the same as last year, minority borrowers increased by 2 percent for the 504.

You can use this as a time to acquire your own much-needed business funds in a few useful ways. 

Promote your small business by redoing an existing facility. Whether it's a much-needed addition or a chance to match competitors, an SBA fund can cover your costs. The SBA 504 Loan Program allows for up to $5 million in regular loans and can count toward certain renovation improvements on existing facilities. Set up the borrowing plan you need and give your business a new look in time for the big week.

The 504 program can also help you purchase existing buildings as a way to grow. Just like a renovation, this can be an event that helps spotlight growth in the small-business community. The program might also apply to "special use" cases, allowing you to build certain specific sites that don't fall under traditional loans. If you run a hotel, gas station, farm or tennis club, you could possibly use this loan to continue building.

A particularly crucial use of the 504 is refinancing. Businesses can take the week from April to May to restructure a loan or loans from behind the scenes and make headway toward a lower amount of debt.

Certain operating expenses can even count as part of this loan, so it helps to take some of the weight off project financing. This may not be as visible as a renovation, but it can free up capital for other things. Read here to find out more.