Free Resources for Small Business Owners

Paducah Bank proudly supports small-business owners, always!

Tap into these tools to help your business grow. 

At your service

SBA support

Work with the U.S. Small Business Administration. 

Hands-on assistance

Consulting and low-cost training comes from Small Business Development Centers. 

Special programs

Available to women, veterans and minorities. 

Put your big plans into action for your small business

When it comes to resources available to small businesses, the first thing to know is what defines a small business. If you own a business with fewer than 500 employees, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) considers you a small business owner, which opens the door to an array of resources designed specifically for owners like you.

Most small businesses are owned by one- or two-person teams, and if you fall into this category, you know how rewarding it is to live out your specific vision – and how difficult it is to compete and thrive. After all, only about two-thirds of small businesses survive within the first two years. But Paducah Bank is here to help you every step of the way, whether you need help starting, managing or growing your business or startup.

Startups and existing business owners can greatly benefit from the services offered by the SBA, which started in 1953 as an independent agency of the federal government to help small businesses succeed. Today, their website offers a wealth of resources for small business owners, including online learning center courses, business guide planning center, and their funding programs.

Although the SBA doesn’t directly lend to businesses, they create guidelines that allow entrepreneurs to access funding by guaranteeing the loans in case of default, which reduces the risk to many local SBA lenders, like Paducah Bank. SBA loans also have lower down payment requirements and flexible overhead requirements, and help business owners prepare their loan packages to increase the success rate.

Over the last 50 years, SCORE has served small businesses around the country by providing free business mentoring and education. SCORE is a non-profit partner of the Small Business Administration and has helped over 10 million business owners launch, manage and grow their company. They also offer courses on demand, workshops, webinars, and a helpful library of resources for entrepreneurs.

Another partner of the SBA, the Small Business Development Centers, offers small businesses free consulting and low-cost training. With more than three decades of experience helping more than one million companies across the country, SBDC offers small businesses support in the following areas:

  • Business plan development
  • Lending and financing assistance
  • Exporting, importing and manufacturing support
  • Market research
  • Healthcare advice
  • Disaster recovery help

Over the last couple of decades, women-owned businesses grew 54%, but only received 5% of the country’s equity capital. To help level the playing field for female entrepreneurs, the SBA partnered with the Women’s Business Centers, which helps more women succeed in starting or running their company.

Veterans, military spouses, National Guard and Reserve members and spouses can get support via the Veteran's Business Outreach Centers to start, buy or grow a business. A variety of programs are offered for businesses, including Boots to Business, pre-business plan workshops, mentors and training, support on assessing the feasibility of a business idea and more. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) also offers a variety of resources to help veterans buy, start or grow a business.

Several resources are available for minorities looking to start or grow their company. The Minority Business Development Agency works to connect minority business owners with contracts and financing, while advocating within the government to promote issues central to minority entrepreneurs. They have a variety of programs including grant competitions, a research library, and local business centers.

The SBA offers the 8(a) Business Development Program to help disadvantaged minorities qualify for government contracts and compete in the marketplace. They also assist minority owners with registering their business with non-government companies and certification agencies.

Managing your own small business can be rewarding and challenging. If you want to start your own business or you’ve already launched, free resources can help. Of course, the business bankers at Paducah Bank can also be a source of guidance to help you access funding and point you in the right direction on a variety of related topics. Contact us today to speak with a local business banking expert.

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