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The Houston Small Business Administration provides financing, mentoring, education, and networking to help Houstonians start, build, and grow businesses.
The Small Business Administration establishes guidelines for loans, but does not make direct loans to small business. However, established SBA guidelines for loans are adhered to by its partners. In addition to the general small business loans, the SBA offers disaster loans, microloans, and real estate and equipment loans.
===Venture Capital Program===
The Venture Capital Program provides services to help fill the gap between available growth capital and the needs of small businesses. While the SBA does not invest directly in small businesses, it encourages private investment funds to do so.
If a small business is unable to obtain surety bonds, the Small Business Administration will enter a surety agreement. Surety bonds are guaranteed for contracts up to $5 million. However, in some cases, the SBA will guarantee bonds for contracts up to $10 million.
===Women-Owned Small Business Program===
Offers Economically Disadvantaged Women-Owned Small Businesses the opportunity to compete against each other for federal contracts in industries where women-owned small businesses are underrepresented.
===8(a) Business Development Program===
Offers business assistance to small businesses controlled, at least 51%, by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals. The program is a nine year commitment with a four-year developmental stage and a five-year transition stage. Participants in the program can receive sole-source contracts up to $10.5 million for goods, services, and manufacturing costs.
In order to qualify for all Small Business Administration Programs, the business must meet the small business size standard.
In order to be eligible for the Women-Owned Small Business Program, 51% of the business must be directly owned by women who are United States citizens. Additionally, women must manage the day-to-day operations, hold the highest officer position, make long-term decisions for the business, work full-time during normal working hours. In order to qualify for the Economically Disadvantaged Women-Owned Small Businesses program, personal net work must be less than $750,000 and gross income average over three years is $350,000 or less.
To be eligible for the 8(a) Business Development Program, 51% of a small business must be owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals.
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