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These 3 C’s can help you succeed

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Do you have a great idea for a product or service? Or, have you always wanted to start your own business?

Small businesses create two out of every three net new private sector jobs, and half of working Americans either own or work for a small business. Would you like to be one of these entrepreneurs?

2014 is a great time to start. And, a business plan is the first step. As you come up with a plan, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) stands ready to help. SBA has many resources to assist you, and you can start by going to our website to learn about the products and services we have to offer.

On our website you’ll learn about our core programs, or what we like to call our 3 C’s: counseling, contracting and capital.

We know that business counseling helps small businesses succeed, which is why SBA has a strong counseling and training network to help small business owners and entrepreneurs gain access to these resources. I encourage you, as you think about starting or growing your business, to drop by the Seattle District Office who has staff ready and willing to be of assistance. Or visit a Small Business Development Center, Women’s Business Center, SCORE volunteer or the Veterans Outreach Business Center who all have helpful staff who can guide you, as you begin your journey toward entrepreneurship.

Contracting is the second ‘C.’ At SBA, we connect small businesses with the federal government’s supply chain. As you might imagine, the federal government is the largest purchaser of goods and services in the world – from paperclips to jet airplanes and everything in between, at the SBA we’re tasked to ensure that small businesses get at least 23 percent of federal contracts, nearly $90 billion a year! Your small business could be one of them.

At SBA we want to make sure that every entrepreneur or small business owner who wants to start or grow their business can achieve their dream, which usually entails looking for financing. This past fiscal year, SBA has supported more than $29 billion in lending to small businesses and entrepreneurs nationwide, including over $1 billion across the Pacific Northwest. And for the current fiscal year, we have set fees on SBA-supported loans, for $150,000 and under, to zero. This makes loans cheaper for the borrower — another way SBA is helping to serve small business owners, as they look for ways to access capital.

That’s just some of what SBA has to offer our nation’s entrepreneurs.

The American tradition of entrepreneurship has helped grow our country for the long term, creating jobs and strengthening the economy. Let’s keep that tradition going.

Calvin Goings is the regional administrator for the Small Business Administration.