What makes a small business “small”?

Logo_SBAWe are asked all the time “What defines a small business?” and “Why does it matter?”

Many would answer that small businesses are anchors of a community, creating jobs and opportunity in cities and towns across America.

According to the SBA, “The two most widely used standards to qualify a business as small are 500 employees for most manufacturing and mining industries and $7.5 million in average annual receipts for many non-manufacturing industries.”

And to the second question, only a qualifying small business is able to provide certain services to the SBA, and qualifies for certain financing programs from the SBA. These include SBA 7(a) loans, the most common and popular small business loans which are provided by traditional bank, community bank and non-bank lenders, and up to 85% of which are guaranteed by the SBA.

Learn more about SBA loan programs here.

~Norris Lozano, CEO of BusinessUS

Lozano congratulates Spirit of Small Business Award winners

spirit-sample-graphic_cropThe 2014 Spirit of Small Business Award winners for the Los Angeles District Office were announced today. The event is co-sponsored by the SBA.

Along with the team at BusinessUS, I would like to congratulate the winners for their success and their positive impacts on their communities. This year’s winners are:

East Ventura County – Agnew Multilingual

West Ventura County – Staples Construction Co.

South Santa Barbara County – The French Press

North Santa Barbara County – Old Town Market

San Luis Obispo County – The Wallace Group

Minority-Owned Business – Alliance Wealth Strategies

Women-Owned Business – Ohana Pet Hospital

Exporter of the Year – Zesto Audio

Green Business – AB Design Studio

Well done!

~ Norris Lozano, CEO of BusinessUS

He’s Back: Al Gore, “The Turning Point: New Hope for the Climate”

gore-600-1403097332Al Gore is back with an even stronger message on climate change and a low-carbon economy necessity. His article in Rolling Stone is detailed, stark, and ultimatelty, optimistic:

“Is there enough time? Yes. Damage has been done, and the period of consequences will continue for some time to come, but there is still time to avoid the catastrophes that most threaten our future. Each of the trends described above – in technology, business, economics and politics – represents a break from the past. Taken together, they add up to genuine and realistic hope that we are finally putting ourselves on a path to solve the climate crisis.”

~ Norris Lozano, CEO of BusinessUS

Congrats to the SBA’s California Small Business People of the Year

BusinessUS congratulates Ricardo Robles, Jacqueline Robles, and Pablo “Rene” Robles of Anita’s Mexican Food on being selected by SBA as 2014 California Small Business People of the Year!

RoblesMauro Robles emigrated from Mexico, acquired U.S. citizenship, and created La Reina, a company that makes tortillas, in 1958. Today, all five of his children own it and its subsidiary, Anita’s Mexican Food, with Ricardo as president, Jacqueline as secretary and GM, and Pablo as the vice president of operations running the company day to day.

The company now ships a wide variety of products to customers around the world, and its East Los Angeles factory produces at least 1.5 million tortillas each day. In 2012, Anita’s took an SBA loan to dramatically expand its operations and in the past three years has grown revenue by over 100% and grown to 359 employees.

 

Read about all 2014 Small Business People of the Year here.

~Norris Lozano, CEO of BusinessUS

We’re Sponsoring Olympic Hopeful Whitney Pavlik


p1160807430-3BusinessUS is super proud to announce our sponsorship of Olympic-hopeful women’s volleyball player Whitney Pavlik (@WhitneyPavlik)
!

She’s a superstar athlete, (note the skywalker on the left of this awesome Allen Szto photo – and she’s not even the hitter on her team!).

Whitney’s strength and hard work really inspire us.

She’s in China for the first tournaments of the 2014 FIVB season, and sporting some fine BusinessUS gear – – Bring back some hardware, Whitney!

 

7 Powerful Business Women to Watch This Year

Women Rock Stars collage

“These seven innovators are having a major influence on technology, healthcare and the government. Their ideas are changing the ways we do business and are addressing broader issues of national security, gender bias, world poverty and the state of the startup community at large. We’ve got our eye on these powerful women. You should, too.”

Read the article here

~ Norris Lozano, BusinessUS

“This country was founded by risk-takers, resourceful pioneers who built this prosperous nation. Entrepreneurialism is in our heritage.”

mscMaria Contreas-Sweet was sworn in as SBA Administrator on Monday. Here are some quotes from her acceptance speech (hat-tip to Bob Coleman):

  • “The American Dream has always been about the opportunity to earn a good education and the keys to own your home. But the expanding American Dream is also about the opportunity to start your own business. I’ve lived that dream. And as the SBA Administrator, I’m determined to help others realize theirs as well.
  • SBA is a driving force that helps propel this economic activity. SBA provides access to capital, contracting opportunities, and consultation through a national network of partners, and of course, disaster relief loans.
  • Two out of three new jobs in America are created by small businesses. Millions of middle-class families are working for folks who depend on the SBA’s ability to facilitate access to capital, counseling and contracting opportunities. We must draw on technology to streamline the process of working with the SBA to make it easier for borrowers to access capital and easier for lenders to lend. The SBA must be nimble, agile to keep pace with our digital age.

Read more here:

~Norris Lozano, CEO of BusinessUS

 

Boomers in Business: the 411 on 50+

baby-boomer-small-business-owner-shop-happy-workingThis brief article reinforces several we’ve read recently about a stealth “target small business owner” – the Boomer Entrepreneur.

study by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation reported that the highest rate of entrepreneurial activity over the last few years is not Gen-Y upstarts, but Baby Boomers in the 55-64 year age group.

Here’s a link to the study

~Norris Lozano, CEO of BuisnessUS, a national small business lender missioned to provide Innovative Lending to American Small Business

Lozano and Bitters presenting at NAGGL Lending Leadership Summit

Headshot_NLozano 2_BWNorris Lozano, CEO of BusinessUS, will be presenting “Delivering Capital to Underserved Communities” with Stephanie Bitters at the Lending Leadership Summit of the National Association of Government Guaranteed Lenders (NAGGL), February 20.

In speaking to the 80+ C-level executives invited to the NAGGL summit, Lozano will reach into a deep well of experience in serving underserved communities with loans and resources. He has been responsible for leading teams in delivering key financing to projects with total costs of over $1 Billion in the last decade.

For more information on Norris Lozano, please visit this link.

For the text of the press release on the NAGGL Lending Leadership Summit, please click here

Stephanie Bitters presenting at NAGGL Lending Leadership Summit

Headshot_Stephanie Bitters_BWREMINDER: Stephanie Bitters is presenting at the the Lending Leadership Summit of the National Association of Government Guaranteed Lenders (NAGGL), a national organization focused on loans guaranteed by government agencies. The presentation is titled “Delivering Capital to Underserved Communities”.

Ms. Bitters, Managing Director of SBA Lending and Chief Credit Officer of BusinessUS, will be presenting with CEO Norris Lozano during the morning session, February 20th.

Read the whole release here

Stephanie Bitters speaking at Lending Leadership Summit, NAGGL, Atlanta

Headshot_Stephanie Bitters_BWStephanie Bitters, Managing Director of SBA Lending and Chief Credit Officer of BusinessUS, is speaking on “Delivering Capital to Underserved Communities” at the Lending Leadership Summit of the National Association of Government Guaranteed Lenders in Atlanta, February 19-20.

Bitters will be presenting “Delivering Capital to Underserved Communities” with Norris Lozano, who is CEO of BusinessUS. She has 27 years lending experience and is a longtime member of NAGGL.

Read the full press release here

Norris Lozano to speak at NAGGL Lending Leadership Summit, Atlanta

Headshot_NLozano 2_BWNorris Lozano (CEO of BusinessUS) is traveling to Atlanta February 19-20 to speak to the Lending Leadership Summit of the National Association of Government Guaranteed Lenders. NAGGL serves the needs and represents the interests of the small business lending community that utilizes SBA business loan programs.

Lozano will be presenting on “Delivering Capital to Underserved Communities” with Stephanie Bitters, Managing Director of SBA Lending & Chief Credit Officer of BusinessUS. Lozano brings over 15 years’ experience working directly with small businesses in underserved communities. He has led teams in financing projects in low-income community with a total cost of more than $1 Billion, including office, retail, manufacturing, schools, medical and arts facilities, creating thousands of FTE jobs, and generating millions in fiscal benefits to target areas.

See the full press release here

11 Reasons 2014 Will Be A Breakout Year For Women Entrepreneurs

FORTUNE Most Powerful Women Summit - Day 2
Sara Blakely, founder of Spanx

Forbes is reporting optimism for women entrepreneurs in 2014, citing data from “Growing Under the Radar: An Exploration of the Achievements of Million-Dollar Women-Owned Firms”, which was put out by American Express OPEN project.

Here are a few quick factoids from the study:

  • Between 2002 and 2012, the number of all women-owned firms has grown by 28.6%, slightly more than the 24.4% increase in all U.S. businesses. (Similarly, the number of $1M+ women-owned firms has grown by 30.7%, just over the 28.9% increase in all million-dollar firms.
  • But, at the highest end of sales achievement, the number of $10M+ women-owned firms has grown by 56.6%—fully 47% higher than the 38.4% increase among all $10M+ firms.
  • Over the past decade, the growth in the number of women-owned firms with $10 million or more in revenues has increased by 56.6%, a rate 47% faster than the rate of growth of all $10M+ firms and nearly twice (+98%) the rate of growth of all women-owned firms.

The full report is available here

~ Norris Lozano, CEO of BusinessUS, a California-based small business lender with women executives in several top leadership positions.