Small Business Administrator Visits Valley, Wants Business Owners to Use Programs

Not Enough Small Business Owners Taking Advantage of Services and Benefits

Contreras (1)

PALM DESERT, Calif. - The government wants more business owners to take advantage of programs to help them succeed. Small Business Administration Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet visited the valley Tuesday hoping to help business owners thrive, and create more jobs.

Chad Roberson owns Small Time Luxury Car Rentals in Palm Springs. Since opening in 2009, its proved to be successful and he's now looking to expand.

"I usually have a waiting list of 70 customers per month during the winter so, I could rent out an additional 30 vehicles. So, what I'm hoping to get is enough funding to get about 30 cars," Roberson said.

He was among nearly 200 people who attended a business forum presented by the Coachella Valley Economic Partnership. Maria Contreras-Sweet spoke at the event and told business owners they are *not* taking advantage of the SBA's services and benefits.

"We have services that are generally complimentary, compliments of Uncle Sam," Contreras-Sweet said, "So, what we're trying to do is just encourage people to go to SBA.GOV to learn how they can get capital, counseling, and contracting opportunities with the federal government," Contreras said.

Roberson says it's this kind of government help he's looking for, especially now that he's looking to apply for a loan.

"Hopefully with the loan, it'll just skyrocket the company," Roberson said.

Contreras-Sweet says the SBA can help small business owners like Roberson making loans more obtainable.

"We've zeroed out fees for loans under $150,000," Contreras said, "That's one thing, the second thing is we're enhancing what we call the micro-lender network to make sure that there are more micro-lenders out there for even those who want loans under $50,000," She said.

Roberson's looking forward to seeing how much he can grow his company...
"You know without SBA funded programs, it's really hard to make a small business a very profitable decent size company, so without these loans id be in a similar position five years from now," he said.

For more information on services and benefits offered by the Small Business Administration click on the link

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