News from the South Florida District - July 2020

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South Florida District Office  - June 2020

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Dear Small Business Owners,

Among the many things to be grateful for is that we live in the United States of America, a great country that offers small businesses opportunities and freedoms. Those liberties are what drives our economy and allows businesses thrive and grow.  In July, we celebrate our country’s Independence Day on the 4th and the SBA’s birthday on the 30th.  As we have for the last 67 years, SBA’s sole purpose is help you start, grow, and succeed in business.  Check out some of SBA’s programs and services: 

8(a) Business Development Program helps certified small businesses grow in a sheltered market with the federal government, the world’s largest buyer of goods and services. SBA also administers the HUBZone and Woman-Owned Business certifications that can be helpful in obtaining federal contracts.

Opportunity Zones is a powerful tool to spur economic growth and job creation in underdeveloped communities across America. 

Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) & Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) are two grant programs that encourage small business technology innovation, research and development especially those with high potential for commercialization. 

State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) provides financial awards to state and territorial governments to help develop and prepare small businesses to export their products and services.

SBA Resource Partners offer high-quality consultation and training to position your business for success.  Join any of our partners near you: Small Business Development Centers, SCORE, Women’s Business Centers & Veterans’ Business Outreach Centers. 

Please know, my staff and I are here to help you, our small business owners.  Be a part of our SBA family, sign up for our newsletters, webinars and trainings here!  We want you and your business to thrive; see how our various programs can help you do that. 

Email us at SouthFlorida_DO@sba.gov.

Wishing you a spectacular 4th of July celebration!

-Victoria Guerrero, SBA South Florida District Director 

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SBA Reopens EIDL and Advance Program for COVID-19 Applications

WASHINGTON – To further meet the needs of U.S. small businesses and non-profits, the U.S. Small Business Administration reopened the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance program portal to all eligible applicants experiencing economic impacts due to COVID-19.

“The SBA is strongly committed to working around the clock, providing dedicated emergency assistance to the small businesses and non-profits that are facing economic disruption due to the COVID-19 impact. With the reopening of the EIDL assistance and EIDL Advance application portal to all new applicants, additional small businesses and non-profits will be able to receive these long-term, low interest loans and emergency grants – reducing the economic impacts for their businesses, employees and communities they support,” said SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza.

Read more here.

Upcoming WOSB and EDWOSB certification improvements

New regulations have eliminated self-certification in the 20-year-old SBA Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) certification program that helps small firms owned and controlled by women access the federal marketplace.  These changes will improve customer experience and strengthen SBA’s program oversight. 

Starting October 15, 2020, businesses competing for WOSB Federal Contracting Program set-aside contracts must be certified either through SBA’s new, free online certification process; or through an approved Third-Party Certifier (TPC) for a fee.  

All currently certified WOSB firms must download their current certification documentation from the old WOSB Program Repository located at: www.certify.sba.gov by October 15th in order to prepare, reapply, and upload into the new system which will be available starting July 15th.  Likewise, firms that are already TPC-certified must create an account on the new platform and upload their TPC certificate for SBA to complete the initial processing starting on July 15th, too.  Current self-certifications will remain in the old Repository until October 15, 2020 when SBA will begin issuing decisions on certification.  Please note: SBA will not transfer the data into the new system and all transfers from the old system must be completed by October 15.

These are the approved Third Party Certifiers:

To stay up to date with these important changes to the WOSB Federal Contracting Program, please visit sba.gov/wosbready, review the latest FAQs and certification options table.  For additional no-cost help, contact an SBA Resource Partner, or Procurement Technical Assistance Center

To stay up to date with changes to the WOSB Federal Contracting Program, please visit sba.gov/wosbready. For small businesses located in the South Florida District, you can contact our office directly, an SBA resource partner, or Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) with questions.  Please review SBA’s latest FAQs and certification options table for more information about the certification changes.

DYK: The federal government's goal is to award at least five percent of all federal contracting dollars to women-owned small businesses each year.

WOSB Ready, Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contracting program, Certification changes

 

Virtual Partnership

The South Florida District Office participated in two virtual Strategic Alliance Memorandum signing ceremonies during the month of June. The purpose of a SAM is to develop and foster mutual understanding and a working relationship between the SBA and partnering organization in order to strengthen and expand small business development in the local area.

SAM Signing 02

L-R: Victoria Guerrero, South Florida District Director; and Antranette Forbes, City of St. Cloud Economic Development Director.

SAM Signing 01

L-R: Victoria Guerrero, South Florida District Director; and Helene Caseltine, Indian River County Chamber’s Economic Development Director.