On Nov. 18 the Regional Administrator for the Small Business Association, Calvin Goings, came to Bellevue College and gave a presentation about the SBA and all of the local businesses it has helped. Additionally, he spoke of the ways in which the SBA can help existing and emerging small businesses.
The SBA does not have a publicity budget and no one will ever see a commercial for the SBA. Goings’ role in the organization is to not only “make sure that the programs are functioning efficiently and effectively but also to get the words out,” said Goings. “So any time I get a chance to speak to a Rotary or a chamber of commerce or a community college class to tell people that the SBA is a resource for them, I jump on that opportunity.”
Goings was invited to speak at BC by the Entrepreneurship/Business Management instructor Brooks Brophy. Due to a short turnaround time, the IBIT program was only able to advertise the event through email promotions sent out to faculty in order to spread the word. However, the turnout for the event was still significant.
As a regional administrator for the Northwest which includes Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Alaska;Goings is a presidential appointee. This means he serves “at the pleasure of the president” said Goings. When the president’s term in office is up so is the regional administrator’s. “I come in with the president and I leave with the president,” he added.
Goings proceeded to explain that U.S. small businesses account for 65% of net new jobs and that for long term growth, small business is a key factor. From year end the SBA has supported over $30 billion nationally in loans to small businesses. Locally in the Northwest the SBS supported over $1 billion in loans.
SBA is a “phenomenal agency that does wonderful things,” said Goings. “Most people in their lives have thought about starting their own business or have great ideas, so we really help with the American Dream, we help people realize their full potential.”
The SBA has business counseling available free of charge where they help translate the ideas that people have always had for a business into a written business plan. They also help businesses that are already in existence take the next step and grow whether it is through loans or creating a business plan. “I am optimistic that the students here learned something they had not known before and can incorporate when they start their own small businesses,” said Goings.
“The ability to impact positively local entrepreneurs and Main Street small businesses is what excites me every day and what gives me the passion to be a part of SBA,” said Goings.
The Dean of IBIT Jody Laflen explains that “small business is the very core of our local and national economy … our campus community includes many students who are interested in starting their own business, or who have already done so.”
“Since the presentation, we have received feedback from a few attendees who are already making contacts for counselors and other services from the SBA to assist them with their entrepreneurial goals,” added Laflen.