WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and Business Forward, Inc., a non-profit organization working with small business leaders in support of policies promoting America’s economic competitiveness, announced the launch of the Small Business Digital Alliance (SBDA).
A joint public-private co-sponsorship, the SBDA will connect small businesses with critical tech resources to start and expand their e-commerce business to scale for success. The new initiative will also feature a series of free briefings and training to help small businesses access and utilize these digital tools to reach new markets, find diverse talent, improve operations, and raise capital.
Beyond access to technical skills development and tools, the SBDA will play a significant role in helping entrepreneurs expand their networks — a key component for small businesses as they seek new customers and stronger relationships with vendors, lenders, and other stakeholders needed for success.
Specifically, through the SBDA, the SBA and Business Forward will convene some of America’s most respected leaders in business, government, economic development, and other aligned spaces to facilitate cooperation and help small business owners fully harness the power of technology to fuel growth.
“The world’s economy has grown increasingly digital, particularly over the course of the pandemic, and small businesses have pivoted and adapted by adopting technology at incredibly high rates. Through our new Small Business Digital Alliance and agreement with Business Forward, the SBA will help more small businesses accelerate their online and social media strategies to power their businesses in e-commerce and better engage with their customers where they are,” said SBA Administrator Isabel Casillas Guzman. “And as access to highspeed internet increases, thanks to President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s $65 billion in broadband infrastructure investments, the SBA will be working to ensure that entrepreneurs in every community in America are ready to take advantage of new opportunities to innovate and leverage technology to start, operate, grow, and be resilient.”
Small businesses depend on a comprehensive suite of tools to expand their customer base, manage their growth, find and retain talent, and enter new markets, including globally, but often encounter obstacles. Aligned with the Biden-Harris Administration’s focus on equity and leveling the playing field, the collaboration with Business Forward through the SBDA will prioritize creating access to competitive opportunities and lowering barriers to entry for small businesses, especially those from historically underserved and disadvantaged communities across the country.
“In today’s economy, small businesses are moving online to attract customers, open new markets, develop new products, and obtain capital – and there is a range of new digital tools and services that can help, particularly when small businesses partner with their community,” said Jim Doyle, President of Business Forward. “By leveraging their community’s local tech incubator, VC firm, university lab, training program, and free digital tools from global businesses – small businesses are more likely to succeed. Collaboration is critical, and the SBDA will help small businesses and their communities work together to achieve and maintain critical mass for success.”
The SBA and Business Forward, along with Members of the SBDA, will also host a series of joint virtual and in-person events across the nation to include policy briefings on small business trends and showcase the digital tools small businesses can take advantage of — free of charge. A list of Members of the Small Business Digital Alliance will be released in the coming weeks. We encourage any and all companies interested in supporting small businesses with trainings, insights, and free digital tools to contact us to become part of SBDA at [email protected]