SBA offers variety of helpful programs for small businesses

By Kalona News
Posted 2/25/99

A smorgasbord of programs available through the Small Business Administration (SBA) were explained to Kalona business representatives at the Chamber of Commerce Luncheon Monday, February 22.

Joe …

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SBA offers variety of helpful programs for small businesses


A smorgasbord of programs available through the Small Business Administration (SBA) were explained to Kalona business representatives at the Chamber of Commerce Luncheon Monday, February 22.

Joe Studer, business development director, with the SBA office in Cedar Rapids, and his assistant, Diane Martin, outlined a variety of SBA financial and planning services. They also noted that more information can be obtained by visiting their web page

Other business

In other business, president Ron Slechta introduced Jeremy Statler of Statler Construction as a prospective member. Jane Stutzman of Country Cookin’ served the meal.

Slechta asked that those businesses who decorated buildings at the Kalona Historical Village make sure they take down and store their decorations soon.

The March 29 meeting will feature a hospitality training video that was purchased jointly by the Kalona Chamber and Amana Convention and Visitors Bureau. The Amana director will be present. The May 24 meeting will feature the director of the Eastern Iowa Airport which recently became a member. Ideas for a program for the April 26 meeting were requested.

Meg Scarf announced that Kalona Days will be June 18 and 19. She invited anyone wishing to serve on the committee to attend an organizational and planning meeting at the Chamber Office at 8 a.m. Saturday, February 27.

Activities being planned for Kalona Days include a parade, car show, toy show, variety of games in the park, bed races, kiddie tractor pull, street dance, and local talent show. Saturday evening there will again be a meal and music by the Renegade band.

Jan Peterseim announced that Kalona will again have a booth in the Varied Industries Building at the Iowa State Fair August 12 to 22. She urged merchants to plan now when they want to help out in the booth.

Coupon book

Mary Leedy of the Kalona Elementary Booster Club explained that in order to raise funds the boosters were planning to print a coupon book for the Kalona community. The books would be sold at school registration next fall.

She invited all Kalona merchants to be represented in the book, noting this was a way to promote business locally. And it would hopefully help reduce the number of other fund-raisers that need to be done.

SBA programs

Studer said the Cedar Rapids SBA district office guaranteed 214 loans for a total of $33,745,556 during the fiscal year ended September 30, 1998. These loans retained and/or created 2,490 jobs. For the previous fiscal year, those numbers were 258 loans for a total dollar amount of $36,675,124 with jobs totaling 2,875.

The Cedar Rapids District Office has divided the eastern 29 counties of Iowa which it serves into two territories, North and South. Each territory is served by a team of SBA professionals. Basically the division occurs along Highway 30.

The SBA office is located at 215 4th Avenue SE, Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401, 319-362-6405.

Studer urged Chamber members to contact the SBA office for help with planning business growth or a new business. He noted the SBA staff can help develop business strategic plans, personnel handbooks, tax planning, and a variety of financial aid. He noted that the SBA works with banks to guarantee loans. He noted that small businesses are a high risk with four out of five failing after five years. He noted that by guaranteeing small business loans, banks are able to protect their depositors so funds will be available for other services.

Studer pointed out that CAPLines is an umbrella lending program that helps small businesses meet their short-term and cyclical working-capital needs. CAPLines can be used to finance the direct costs associated with commercial and residential construction without a firm commitment for purchase and finance operating capital by obtaining advances against existing inventory and accounts receivable.

The SBALowDoc loan program has a one-page application that streamlines the making of a loan. Maximum loan amount is $150,000. Interest rates are 2.25 per cent over prime for loans of less than seven years.

Studer encouraged use of the SBA answer desk and use of help from SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives) chapter members. SCORE volunteers are retired business executives who can counsel and train small businesses to solve their business challenges and further develop their businesses.

SBA Pro-Net helps businesses buy and sell businesses.