Since its inception in 1976, the U.S. Small Business Administration has been the primary advocate for small businesses on Capitol Hill. Appointed by President Barack Obama in April of this year, Cassius Butts is the regional administrator for the southeast region. Butts talked to ro about the role of the SBA. –amyr heard
What do you hope to accomplish during your tenure at the SBA?
What I hope to bring about is more contact with the community. What I mean by that is to let folks know that the SBA is here to really help them start and grow their own businesses within this region. It is my primary job to make sure that they have access to capital. To understand that there are opportunities for them to come into our office to talk about have access to capital, counseling, to talk about training, security bonds and business [or] home disaster — and this is all done without any cost.
Has informing the community about the SBA been challenging?
… Part of the challenge as you mentioned, is just letting folks know. We need to continue to rely on different outlets to inform the public of these programs. So, my regional communications director has made us available on Twitter, we have a Facebook account, we believe in doing interviews such as this one and others. There are opportunities to talk about SBA and our bottom line mission. This is also a great avenue to talk about our programs, particularly the policies that the president is handing down through our administrator, Karen Mills; and deputy administrator, Marie Johns. And this is something we’ve seen as of late with the American JobsAct, which has a lot of opportunities for folks to get back on their feet and allow small businesses to be vital again.
Why is it important for small businesses to connect to the SBA?
It’s important because they are benefiting from the taxes that they pay yearly. This is what it means to be a taxpaying citizen … you can meet with a SCORE Counselor and they will talk to you about your business plan, access to capital, grow and starting your own business and there’s no cost to it. There’s no cost at all. So wherein sometime we may pay other folks to do it for us, our federal government … the Obama Administration, has made sure that folks are aware that you can come into the office and talk about realizing your own dreams.
Visit www.sba.gov to learn more about the regional administrator, Cassius Butts, and how the SBA can help your business.