SBA Expands Outreach with New Agreements

By Kutner, Joshua A. | National Defense, October 1999 | Go to article overview

SBA Expands Outreach with New Agreements


Kutner, Joshua A., National Defense


New Agreements

The Small Business Administration (SBA) recently forged partnerships with three national African-American organizations. Together, the four organizations are working to provide financing, technical assistance, and contracting to minority entrepreneurs. The agreements were signed at the headquarters of the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW), headquartered in Washington, D.C. Representatives from the National Association of Black Accountants (NABA) and the Phelps Stokes Fund also signed the agreement.

The NCNW-a volunteer non-profit network of community-based organizations-aids African-American women seeking to improve their quality of life, families and community. NABA is a professional membership organization that supports approximately 200,000 accountants. The Phelps Stokes Fund works to give education opportunities to African-Americans, Native Americans, Africans and underprivileged white students.

"These agreements will help ensure more Americans a seat at the nation's economic table," said SBA Administrator Aida Alvarez. "Combining the resources of the SBA with the networks of these influential and vigorous organizations sends a powerful message that we're serious about all Americans sharing in our economic prosperity.

"These partnership agreements commit us all to the hard work of increasing participation by African-American entrepreneurs in SBA's capital access, procurement, international trade, advocacy, welfare-to-work and women-owned business programs," she said. "SBA's role is to make sure that access to credit, access to technical assistance and access to federal contracts are part of the solution, not part of the problem."

New HUBZone Program

Alvarez has launched the HUBZone Empowerment Contracting Program-a new initiative designed to educate small businesses on how they can qualify to be designated as being located in historically underutilized business zones (HUBZones) and explains the benefits involved with such a designation.

Companies located in these areas are more likely to receive federal contract awards because of the incentives that are offered in the program. To qualify, a small business's main office must be in a HUBZone, and at least 35 percent of its employees must live in the designated area.

"The HUBZone program is going to be a real economic boost for people and places that have not fully participated in our current prosperity," said Alvarez, who joined local government officials from Washington, D.C., at a town hall meeting, where the program was kicked off.

"The HUBZone program is about creating jobs and keeping them in the community," added Alvarez. …

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