Small Business Edition

May 24, 2012
Dear Friends,

Small businesses are the primary driver of our nation's economy. I am fighting hard for policies that help small businesses secure the resources to invest for their future. While the past few years have been difficult, recent economic reports show the economic recovery is gatherine steam
with many small businesses leading the way.
 
The Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported approximately 754,000 jobs have been added since the beginning of 2012. In fact, April's positive job numbers represent the 26th straight month of private sector job growth. In an effort to build on this encouraging trend and to mark the National Small Business Week, I wanted to share with you several programs that can help small business owners prepare for a prosperous future.

Sincerely,

Congressman John P. Sarbanes
Maryland's Third Congressional District
 
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Economic Snapshot

Small Businesses: Small businesses in Maryland (fewer than 500 employees) comprise 97.6 percent of all employers and employ 52.4 percent of the private sector workforce.

Payroll: Maryland Small Businesses employ over 1.1 million workers and have an annual payroll of $45.7 billion.

Maryland Labor Statistics (March 2012)

Labor Force: ~3,084,000
Employed: ~2,884,000
Unemployed: ~203,000
Maryland Unemployment Rate: ~6.5 percent
National  Unemployment Rate: 8.1 percent

Maryland Business Advantages:

#1 median income in U.S.
Highly educated workforce
National leader in biomedical and security research

Resources for Small Businesses

Increasing Capital Available for Small Business: The Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 created the Small Business Lending Fund (SBLF),a dedicated fund of $30 billion in low-cost capital made accessible to qualified community banks (assets less than $10 billion) to encourage lending to small business. In April 2012, the United States Treasury Department reported that participating lending institutions increased lending by over $1.3 billion in the fourth quarter of 2011 – a 37 percent increase from the previous quarter. More information here.

Building on the Success of the 504 Loan Program: The 504 loan program provides capital for fixed asset projects, such as purchasing land and improvements; construction of new facilities; modernizing, renovating or converting existing facilities; or purchasing machinery and equipment. To ensure small businesses have access to 504 loans, the Small Business Administration (SBA) has reduced or eliminated the fees associated with this lending program and has increased the maximum loan size to $5.5 million. The SBA has reported that as of February 15, 2012, the 504 loan program has created over 2 million jobs – a proven win-win for businesses and participating lenders. More information here.

Expanding the 7(a) Loan Guarantee Program: The 7(a) loan program provides capital to establish a new business or to assist in the operation, acquisition or expansion of an existing business. The Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 permanently increased the maximum 7(a) loan size from $2 million to $5 million – helping provide the capital needed to help small businesses expand for the future. More information here.

Helping Our Veterans through the SBA Patriot Express: The SBA Patriot Express loan program provides a streamlined process for our military veterans and their families to secure capital to start or grow a business upon returning from service. The SBA Patriot Express program is equipping our nation’s heroes with the resources and know-how to invest in our communities and our economy. More information here.

Boosting Small Business Lending Micro-Loan Program: This SBA program provides very small loans to start-ups and newly established or growing small businesses. Under the SBA Micro-Loan Program, SBA makes funds available to nonprofit, community-based lenders (intermediaries) that, in turn, make loans to eligible borrowers in amounts up to a maximum of $35,000. The SBA Micro-loan program is still getting on its feet in the Baltimore Metro area, but we hope soon local small businesses will be able to access these critical capital supports. More information here.

Putting Money Back into the Pocket of the American Consumer: The extension of the Payroll Tax Holiday as part of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Jobs Creation Act of 2012 will keep more dollars in the hands of American consumers, fueling economic demand and creating more customers for America’s small businesses.

For Additional Information

U.S. Small Business Administration
http://www.sba.gov
The SBA helps Americans start, build and grow businesses. Through an extensive network of field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations, SBA delivers its services to people across Maryland and throughout the United States.

SBA Answer Desk
1-800-U-ASK-SBA (1-800-827-5722)
answerdesk@sba.gov

Baltimore District Office
City Crescent Building, 6th Floor
10 South Howard Street
Baltimore, Maryland
410.962.6195

Maryland Small Business Development Center (SBDC)
http://www.mdsbdc.umd.edu
The Maryland Small Business Development Center (MDSBDC) Network provides sound advice, counseling and support to entrepreneurs and small to mid-size businesses across the state. The Network links private enterprise, government, higher education and local economic development organizations to provide management, training and technical assistance to Maryland’s small businesses.

Central Maryland Office
(Baltimore City, Baltimore, Anne Arundel and Howard Counties)
Phone: 410.296.5613
Toll Free: 877.421.0830
Fax: 410.296.6142

Maryland Procurement Technical Assistance Program (PTAP)
http://www.mdptap.umd.edu/
The Baltimore-Washington corridor is also home to a large community of small businesses that compete for the vast array of government contracts awarded by the federal government each year. The federal government has set a goal of awarding 23 percent of all contracts to small businesses. The Maryland Procurement Technical Assistance Program assists Maryland small businesses in how to do business with federal, state, and local government agencies.

Statewide Procurement Assistance
admin@mdptap.umd.edu
Phone: 301.403.2740
Fax: 301.403.2743

For more information about specific tax provisions as they apply to your business, please visit the IRS online at www.irs.gov or contact their small business helpline at 1-800-829-4933.

BusinessUSA is a new online resource tha tmakes it easier for America's businesses to access the services and information they need to grow, hire, and export. For more information, visit www.BusinessUSA.gov.