SBA Revamps Online Resources

Thursday Jun 19th 2003 by SmallBusinessComputing.com Staff
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The U.S. Small Business Administration has revamped its website to better serve America's 23 million small business owners, and would-be small business owners as well.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) recently relaunched its website, making significant improvements in the way the agency organizes more that 50,000 documents designed to help small business owners and operators.

Upon the relaunch of the site, SBA Administrator Hector Barreto said small businesses are the backbone of the American economy, and the agency committed to providing them with the best and latest tools and resources.

"The redesigned website expands our capacity to reach new customers in new ways, and brings the SBA one step closer to becoming America's small business homepage," Barreto said.

The SBA website provides key information to those operating a small business, or those looking to begin a small business. The new site features a new design, enhanced navigation and improved content. It also provides details in plain English — attempting to explain the "what," "where," "why," and "how-to" of starting and running a small business. Other key content improvements include:

  • Five customer-centric access views, including starting a business, financing a business, managing and growing a business, business opportunities and disaster assistance.

  • A geo-mapping feature that makes it easy for people to find and travel to nearby SBA district offices and resource partners.

  • A comprehensive and fully searchable menu of frequently asked questions.

  • More tutorials, counseling and a virtual training campus with more than 50 free online courses, a virtual library with more than 200 free w-books, and direct access to some 30 universities and colleges offering online business courses around the country.

  • New home pages for the 10 regional offices of the SBA.

One of the newest fact sheets added to the SBA site details the impact of small businesses on jobs and tax relief. The SBA's Office of Advocacy has released an analysis of how the provisions in the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act will help America's 23 million small business owners.

Chief among the provisions to assist small businesses is the acceleration of the tax cuts enacted in 2001, with the top rate decreasing from 38.6 percent to 35 percent. With the majority of small businesses filing individual returns as sole proprietorships, 79 percent of this tax relief will go to small businesses. This means approximately $9.7 billion in tax relief of $12.4 billion will benefit small business owners.

The new expensing provision is also critically important to small business investment, increasing the amount of equipment a small business can immediately expense from $25,000 to $100,000. Estimates are that more than 500,000 businesses will directly benefit from this change.

Barreto said small businesses are the first to invest extra revenue or tax relief back into their companies.

"By providing accelerated tax relief and increasing the expensing provision, small businesses across the country will be able to buy new equipment, hire additional employees and grow their businesses," Barreto said. "And we believe growing businesses will translate into new jobs and economic revitalization across America."

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