For years, community institutions have been the preferred choice of small businesses due to the attention to detail they place on customer service. This National Small Business Week, lenders can continue to support small business customers by providing access to resources outside of the traditional bank-customer relationship.
To help, we’ve gathered a list of resources that you can share with small business customers for success this Small Business Week and beyond.
General Resources for Small Business Development and Growth
Small Business Administration
The Small Business Administration (SBA) is a government-backed agency focused on helping small businesses thrive. The SBA provides business owners with a plethora of resources for every stage of creating and operating a small business, including guides that detail the necessary steps to start a small business, funding programs, contracting assistance, educational programs, local resources, and more.
Regional Innovation Clusters
Regional Innovation Clusters are a sector of the SBA that provides local support for small businesses across the country. These groups focus on bringing together small businesses, suppliers, service providers, and other resources to foster innovation and collaboration.
Small Business Development Centers
Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) are another resource provided by the SBA that focuses on growth and development of small businesses. There are 62 SBDCs operating across all fifty states. They offer resources to small businesses through free business advising on a multitude of topics.
SCORE has the nation’s largest network of volunteer business mentors. They are a nonprofit organization partnered with the SBA to help small businesses thrive with a wide variety of resources ranging from mentoring, online resources, and local events.
Marketing and Advertising Resources
Google My Business
Google My Business allows small business owners to create a business profile that allows for easy access to key information customers need when searching for a business online. Accounts can be personalized to include photos, services, locations, business hours, and more.
Mail Chimp is an email marketing service that allows businesses to connect with their customers through email communication. They offer a free version that allows for 10,000 emails to be sent per month, and is a great resource for small businesses that are beginning to explore email marketing campaigns.
Canva is a user-friendly graphic design platform with thousands of pre-made templates that allow business owners to easily create graphics that can be used across many different types of content and platforms. The base plan is free with the option to upgrade to different plans with additional resources.
Buffer is a social media management tool that allows business owners to streamline and simplify their social media efforts. This tool makes social media marketing easier by centralizing all accounts in one place allowing for easy scheduling and reporting. They offer a free base plan with the option to upgrade to paid.
Editors Note: This blog was originally published on April 21, 2022. It was updated on May 1, 2023.