How Does Stimulus Plan Help Small Business?

Thursday, February 26th 2009, 4:41 pm
By: News On 6

By Dan Bewley and Terry Hood, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- The first of President Obama's $780 billion stimulus package has been disbursed.  The Department of Health and HUD have received $25 billion.  But, some are wondering how the plan helps small business owners.

The economic stimulus plan provides $730 million to help small businesses.  Federal officials say there are a number of options for budding entrepreneurs.

Verna Roberts and her husband have owned a business since 1991.  Today they have 11 employees.

"We sell and service engineering and drafting supplies," said Verna Roberts.

Roberts is part of a rare group:  a woman and minority, she's Native American, who owns a business.

"Dedication, you have to be self motivated," said Verna Roberts.

She's spending the end of this week at the City of Tulsa's Business Expo and Fair.  It's a chance for small business owners or those looking to start their own company to make contacts in the Tulsa business community.

"It's to bring businesses together to help Tulsa grow," said Dottie Overal with the U.S. Small Business Administration.

It's also where we found Dottie Overal, the state director for the Small Business Administration.

Overal says there's plenty of stimulus money for small businesses but it's not designed to be so precise.

 "We don't have money for specific minority groups or gender groups. It's an overall loan fund for small business or aspiring entrepreneurs," said SBA's Dottie Overal.

Overal says most of the stimulus money will help free up loan money.  One plan, for example, provides a $35,000 emergency loan for business owners.  The goal, she says, is to encourage small business to help springboard the economy.

"Statistics tell us that in tough times economically when large businesses are laying off, small businesses are hiring," said SBA's Dottie Overal.

Roberts likes the plan and urges anyone thinking of opening their own business to stay positive.

"Set your goals:  short term goals, long term goals and reach those and surround yourself with great people," said Verna Roberts.

You can learn more about the stimulus plan on the Small Business Administration's website.