Welcome to "Ask the White House" -- an online interactive forum where you can submit questions to Administration officials and friends of the White House. Visit the "Ask the White House" archives to read other discussions with White House officials.
April 12, 2006
Hello and welcome to Ask the White House. I am SBA Administrator Hector Barreto and look forward to discussing Small Business issues with you today during Small Business Week, a celebration of America's entrepreneurial spirit.
During Small Business Week, more than 100 outstanding small business owners from around the country will be honored in our Nation's capital. Small business honorees reflect the full range of business products, services and innovations offered by America's entrepreneurs.
Let's get started!
Dennis, from Chicago, Illinois writes:
There are primarily two forms of franchising: Product/trade name franchising and Business format franchising.
In the simplest form, a franchisor owns the right to the name or trademark and sells that right to a franchisee. This is known as "product/trade name franchising." The more complex form, "business format franchising," involves a broader ongoing relationship between the two parties. Business format franchises often provide a full range of services, including site selection, training, product supply, marketing plans, and even assistance in obtaining financing.
To learn more about franchises and SBA resources, please visit www.sba.gov.
Robert, from Beltsville, Maryland
By cutting individual income-tax rates, taxes were also lowered for small businesses, most of which pay taxes at individual income-tax rates. Because of the tax cuts, small businesses now have greater incentives to expand their businesses and add jobs. In 2006, 25 million small business owners will receive an estimated $93 billion in tax relief.
President Bush feels strongly that small businesses need tax relief, which why we need to continue to work closely with Congress to make small business tax relief permanent.
Daniel, from Lakeville, CT
Our nations economy is strong, due in large part to America's entrepreneurs. More than 5.1 million jobs have been created since August 2003 211,111 of those created just last month. The unemployment rate is 4.7 percent lower than the average of the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s and 1990s.
According to Employment Consulting Firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, College Graduates face the best job market in five years.
Small businesses account for 99.7% of all employer firms in America and the Office of Small Business Advocacy within the SBA estimates that small businesses create between 60% to 80% net new jobs in the economy.
Joel, from Superior, WI writes:
You also have the opportunity to participate in Small Business Week events happening all over the country and the best way to find out about these activities is to contact your local district SBA offices.
As far as advice, SBA has tremendous resources to help a future business leader. Please go online to www.sba.gov or work with one of our great resource partners like the Small Business Development Centers, the Service Corps of Retired Executives to get free, one-on-one counseling.
Bradford, from Phoenix Az.
It sounds like the SBAs 504 loan program may be an option for you, although you obviously wouldnt be able to purchase the federal building. However, you would be able to buy equipment or make improvements with the loan dollars.
Proceeds from 504 loans must be used for fixed asset projects such as: purchasing land and improvements, including existing buildings, grading, street improvements, utilities, parking lots and landscaping; construction of new facilities, or modernizing, renovating or converting existing facilities; or purchasing long-term machinery and equipment. The 504 Program cannot be used for working capital or inventory, consolidating or repaying debt, or refinancing.
Last year, fully 1/3 of all SBA loans went to minority owned businesses. So, I invite you to call the local SBA office in Phoenix or talk with your local bank. The SBA distributes its loan programs through 6,000 individual banking companies in the United States, so that is another option for you to obtain information about how to apply for a loan.
Joseph, from Pomona, CA writes:
Most of our programs, especially our mentoring programs, requires a small business person to be of age but there is a tremendous amount of information that we can provide, as well as assistance, when you are ready to start your small business.
In addition, please check out the Web site: mindyourownbiz.org - where you can find the links to turn your entrepreneurial dreams into reality. Created by the U.S. Small Business Administration and Junior Achievement, this site walks you through five easy steps of business ownership - whether you've just had a brainstorm for your first business venture or you've been at it a few years.
Joseph, good luck and keep us posted on your success.
Jeff, from Encino, CA
One of the programs that the SBA offers is the Service Corps of Retired Executives. This is an organization that we work closely with that consists of over 11,000 executives that are retired. These are individuals who have achieved great success in their careers and would like to give something back.
I recommend that you contact the local chapter in Los Angeles and set up an appointment to meet with someone who can assist you in starting up your business. One of the great advantages is that many of these individuals have the experience and knowledge you may be looking to gain which would be an excellent first step.
I wish you both success in your new venture!
Chavon, from West Palm Beach writes:
While SBA does not offer grants to small businesses, we offer many other resources. In addition, there may be opportunities outside of the SBA to work with other non-profit organizations for other funding resources. I would contact the local economic development offices of your city or state.
I also suggest that you reach out to one of our regional SBA offices in Florida. We have branches in Miami, Orlando, Tampa and Jacksonville.
Ada, from Miami, Florida writes:
Many small business owners start with a very small amount of capital and gradually increase that with larger loans or other types of capital infusions.
In addition, there is small business guide available on the SBA website by visiting http://www.sba.gov/starting_business/startup/guide.html. This guide is intended to serve as a roadmap for starting a business. It is both comprehensive and easy to use. It also includes numerous electronic links for additional information.
Again, I encourage you to call the SBA district office in Miami (305) 536-5521 and they will assist you in starting your successful business.
Michael, from Powell, TN writes:
If youd like to avoid that statistic, the best thing you can do is start developing a plan that can not only help you in starting the business, but in sustaining and growing the business in the long term.
The SBA regional office in Nashville is an excellent resource for you, as well. Their contact information may be found online at http://www.sba.gov/tn/.
Rafe, from San Diego, CA
For example, you dont want to apply for a loan thats bigger than what you can service or one too small to meet your needs. Sometimes when we work with small business owners, we find that they really dont need the loan they thought they needed but rather something else such as identifying what type of technology their business requires or what kind of employees they need, information about markets or networking opportunities to help grow their business, or perhaps gaining access to a center of influence inside a procurement agency. So, you never know what your needs will be until you actually sit down and have that conversation.
The local SBA office in San Diego, CA can be reached at (619) 557-7250.
Fred, from Irvine, CA
The President has asked Congress to approve his fiscally responsible budget so we begin the process of decreasing the national deficit. There is no doubt that if we do that, the prospects for ourselves and our children will be much better in the future and small businesses deserve to have that assurance. We are working very diligently at the federal level to make that a reality.
Thanks for logging on to Ask the White House - it's been a pleasure and an honor hearing from America's entrepreneurs and potential small business owners. President Bush believes that the American people can spend their hard-earned money better than the Federal government can - he has said it is not the role of the government to create wealth - but to create an environment where entrepreneurs can flourish - and the SBA is here to help.
If you should have any additional questions about learning to start or grow your business, please contact your local SBA office. You can find where the office nearest to you is located by going to sba.gov and clicking on your state on the map.
You can also call us at 1-800 U ASK SBA. We can answer your questions on the phone and we can send you a small business start up kit. Small businesses need the same thing that all businesses need. You need capital, technical assistance, contract opportunities, etc.
We look forward to hearing from you and wish you much success!