Small Business Benefit

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) approves nearly 70,000 loans per year providing over $30 billion for small business. The majority of SBA loans are in the amount of $250,000 or less providing new business owners the capital to acquire a business. SBA primarily makes these loans available to refugees seeking asylum, immigrants awaiting naturalization, minorities, and minority veterans. SBA then assists and trains these new business owners on how to run a small business. The SBA also provides access to their tools, resources, and capital for America’s 30 million small businesses.

The purpose of the Small Business Benefit (SBB) is to provide the opportunity to any USCF member who is truly interested in starting a small business. SBB is not just for select individuals as it gives equal consideration to every member providing equal opportunity. Any USCF member with an innovative idea or desiring to start a small business can utilize SBB resources. SBB is not for established businesses or for business owners seeking to expand their franchise. SBA remains available for existing business owners as SBB is a separate entity for USCF members.

SBB can help members develop a business plan, conduct a market research study, fund their business, select an optimum location, develop the business structure, register the business, apply for licenses, permits, patents, trademarks, and so on. When the business plan is complete and the market research study demonstrated the business is viable, SBB will assist the new business owner in completing all processes. SBB staff can also provide on-the-job training for the new business owner and employees. SBB monitors the progress of the new business during the 3-month probation period providing additional assistance when needed.

SBB loans are up to $250,000 with no asset or collateral requirements and members cannot be turned down for their small business loan as long as their business plan and market study are viable; however, a member’s loan amount may be limited. A member’s combined Home Owners Benefit (HOB), Supplemental Income Benefit (SIB), and SBB cannot exceed 50% of the value of the Virtual Funds (VF) in their USCF. To help ensure the required loan amount for the new small business is met family members over the age of 18 and/or business associates may consent to combine their SBB to increase borrower’s potential. The percentage of the member’s loan contribution equates to their percentage of business ownership.

Operating a business, particularly a new business can be very difficult and demanding. Typically, owners need to work 10-12 hours per day, 6-7 days per week and it can take months before a new business turns a profit. Since 80% of new businesses fail within the first 2-years, SBB new business owner’s contributions and dedication to their business is essential in demonstrating to SBB that they are committed to making their business succeed. If the new business owner(s) give up or do not demonstrate the requires skills and dedication after their 3-month probationary period they will be evaluated and could lose their business. If the evaluation recommends removal then the next USCF member waiting in-line will have their opportunity at running a new business. The member(s) who lost their business opportunity will be released from their SBB contract and must wait one full calendar year before they can add their name back in the queue for a small business application.