Guest view: Put small businesses on your holiday list

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By Michelle Harris, director of Small Business Administration, Delaware office

“How can we help you?”

It’s the simple question upon which most small businesses base their products and services, their community connections, and – fundamentally – their very brands. This year, America celebrates Small Business Saturday on Saturday, November 26, 2022. It’s the day that, as a nation, we come together to ask that question of our small businesses in return. And, if past years are any indication, I know that Delawareans will turn out in force – on Small Business Saturday, throughout the holiday season, and beyond—to support the Main Streets and mom-and-pops that make “home” home.

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SBA is proud to co-sponsor Small Business Saturday with American Express, and that just makes sense. SBA is the federal agency with a mission that asks: “how can we help small businesses?” In the Covid era, SBA became more of a household name, as SBA programs like the Covid Economic Injury Disaster Loan (“EIDL”), the Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”), and the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (“SVOG”) supported small businesses of every stripe as they navigated COVID-19’s impact. Indeed, since it was established in 1953 and through to the present, SBA support of small business has been unwavering.

It’s in that spirit that – right here, in Delaware – SBA backs two new small business building programs aimed directly at Delaware small businesses. First, SBA’s Community Navigator Program connects the SBA-backed Delaware Small Business Development Center with trusted local groups to effectively deliver small businesses the help that they need during an economic recovery. Second, throughout 2023, the Delaware SBDC hosts free virtual SBA Delaware sessions detailing how eligible Delaware small businesses in underserved communities can exercise competitive advantage in the federal government contracting arena by getting certified by SBA as a ‘HUBZone’ firm. Small Business Saturday is all about supporting our small businesses in every way that we can, and it’s with programs like these—along with SBA’s traditional capital, counseling and contracting programs – that SBA keeps the momentum of those efforts going strong year-round.

And it’s in that spirit that I urge you to join SBA Delaware this Small Business Saturday in putting small businesses at the top of your ‘list.’  The nationwide ‘Shop Small Map’ at https://www.sba.gov – Small Business Saturday (sba.gov) and the Delaware SBDC’s First-State-focused ‘Shop Small Directory’ at https://delawaresbdc.org/shop-small/ ; make it easier than ever to find participating small businesses. And, for information about SBA programs and services, visithttps://www.sba.gov/de

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