In 2011, President Barack Obama ordered the creation of BusinessUSA, a one-stop platform for small businesses to get the services they need to make good hires and to grow. The service now offers more than 200 online classes, videos and chat transcripts, as well as information on how to start a business, obtain financing, look into exporting, expand, find opportunities, learn about health care changes, be aware of taxes and credits, get help with hires, and ferret out regulations and green opportunities. BusinessUSA is especially interested in in-creasing ownership among veterans, women, the socially and economically disadvantaged, Native Americans and Alaska Natives.
Santa Barbara County Small Business Development Center
The Santa Barbara County Small Business Development Center in Santa Barbara provides free consulting and training for new and expanding business ventures, as well as classes, workshops and training sessions. The center is part of the Ventura County EDC-SBDC, the Los Angeles Regional Network and the national Small Business Administration.
Santa Maria Economic Development Commission
The website for the Santa Maria Economic Development Commission has useful links such as “How to Really Start Your Business,” “10 Good Reasons to Expand or Relocate Your Company to Santa Maria, CA” and “8 of Santa Maria’s Most Dynamic Manufacturing Companies.”
Service Corps of Retired Executives
Santa Barbara has a SCORE chapter (Service Corps of Retired Executives), a resource partner of the Small Business Administration, which provides professional consulting and information to small businesses through seminars, workshops, publications and one-on-one advice.
Women’s Economic Ventures
Women in business in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties can get help from Women’s Economic Ventures, a Women’s Business Center that gets its funding from the federal Small Business Administration. So far, WEV has helped more than 4,000 small businesses get on their feet or expand, and these businesses have created more than 8,700 jobs. The organization has provided more than $4 million to local businesses.