FAQ’s We're Here to Help! What is the SBDC? What is the SBDC? The SBDC (Small Business Development Center) provides no cost consulting and low- cost training programs in business operations and management, marketing, financing, business planning and more to current business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs throughout the Orange, San Bernardino and Riverside counties. Through providing excellent assistance to small businesses and entrepreneurs looking to start or grow their ventures, the OCIE SBDC helps stimulate the local economy and ultimately the nation’s economy together with close to 1,000 other SBDC locations nationwide. Am I eligible to receive consulting and training services? Am I eligible to receive consulting and training services? We’re here to help! Although most small business are eligible to receive SBDC assistance, please feel free to review the information below if you’re not sure. OCIE SBDC services are available to: For-profit businesses Generally under 500 employees Located in Orange, San Bernardino or Riverside Counties The individual(s) must be an American citizen by birth or naturalization You do not have to be in business yet to use SBDC services, so if you’re an aspiring entrepreneur call us today to make an appointment! We also have a variety of Startup programs to help you start your business including the Small Business Jumpstart offered at the OC SBDC, Small Business Focus offered throughout the network and more. Although we assist mainly for-profit businesses, we do have partners and resources to assist individuals looking for assistance with starting or managing non-profits. Contact us to learn more. All Federal and State funded programs including the SBDC are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis. Do I have to pay for services? Do I have to pay for services? SBDC consulting services are offered at no cost while some of our workshops and training programs are offered at a low-cost, check out our calendar for more information about our upcoming workshops (link to calendar). The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) funds the SBDC program in part through a cooperative agreement while the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz), California State University, Fullerton and our many hosts and partners throughout the network provide additional funding and support – all which allow our services to be offered to the local business community. What can I expect from my OC IE SBDC consultant? What can I expect from my OC IE SBDC consultant? You can expect excellent customer service, a wide array of business expertise and a vivacious attitude about assisting you with your business. As many of our network consultants are current or former business owners each with different skill sets and experiences, clients typically receive not only great business advice from our consultants, but other great services including referrals to credible service providers, recommendations for networking events, introductions within a consultant’s professional network and more. The benefits of the SBDC extend far beyond the consulting services and training opportunities to personal relationships and a supportive team. At your first appointment, your business consultant will assess your challenges and/or business needs, determine a scope of work that identifies the areas of need and what your consultant will work on with you to achieve a desired outcome, whether that may be obtaining a loan, increasing your sales, improving your cash flow or other goals. Once you agree on the desired outcome, your scope of work and an estimated time frame for completion, your consultant will likely set your next appointment and continue working with you until your outcome(s) are achieved. Our SBDC consultants can help you achieve your goals and will have an ongoing relationship with you as your business needs and challenges change, we’re here to help through every stage of your business. Can the SBDC provide me with a Business Loan? Can the SBDC provide me with a Business Loan? The SBDC is not a bank and does not provide our clients with funding or financing. However we do work with our clients to: create and review financial documents, consult our clients on the best financing options, help our clients package their loan and obtain the best rates through our extensive network of lending partners. Will the SBA provide me with a loan? The SBA does not provide loans to businesses, however they can guarantee loans based on eligibility and other factors. That is, the U.S. government backs term loans available at most banks and commercial lending institutions. For example, with the SBA 7(a) loan one of the SBA’s primary programs, the SBA can guarantee as much as 85% on loans of up to $150,000 and 75% on loans of more than $150,000. For this particular program, the SBA’s max exposure amount is $3,750,000. Thus if you were to obtain a guaranteed loan for $5 million, the max guarantee to the lender the SBA would provide is $3,750,000 (75%).* In offering guarantees to lenders, the SBA gives lenders further confidence to approve loans and allow borrowers to sometimes pay loans back over a longer period. For more information regarding SBA loan programs and eligibility visit: sba.gov/starting-business/finance-your-business/loans/sba-loans *https://www.sba.gov/loans-grants/see-what-sba-offers/sba-loan-programs/general-small-business-loans-7a/7a-loan-amounts-fees-interest-rates Have a question or concern that isn’t answered here? Use our inquiry form to send us a note and we’ll get back to you right away!