Unite News collaborates with business development resource agencies to update business readers

Closed signs are now seen on non-essential businesses as COVID-19 makes it’s way to Springfield, Missouri.

Springfield, MO— The City of Springfield and surrounding counties have issued “stay at home” orders to protect the public health with new regulations that impact businesses, organizations, and employees operating in the area.


The orders began at 12:01 a.m. on Thursday, March 26, and last 30 days unless renewed or withdrawn. Each order contains information about the types of businesses that are considered essential and can continue to operate and provide goods and services, within certain parameters, for the duration of the order.


We know you all are dealing with considerable challenges that are changing rapidly related to the pandemic and our community’s (and our nation’s) response to it. We know some of you have had to scale back your services or shut down completely.


We are working in collaboration with Minorities In Business, the local chamber, and other business development resource agencies to keep all of our business readers updated on the business news and resources available to you to with we all search for ways to manage our businesses, and families during this difficult period.


As always, thanks for your patience as we continue to work through this health crisis and please don’t hesitate to let me know how we can best be helping your businesses through-out this crisis.


How SBA is Helping Small Businesses Impacted by Coronavirus
JEFFERSON CITY – The U.S. Small Business Administration approved Missouri’s request for assistance through the federal agency’s disaster loan program. This move makes low-interest disaster loans available to small businesses and private non-profits severely impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19).


SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans offer up to $2 million in assistance for each affected small business or non-profit. These loans can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing.


Process for Accessing SBA’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) Disaster Relief Lending
The Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance declaration issued by the SBA today makes loans available statewide to small businesses and private, non-profit organizations to help alleviate economic injury caused by the Coronavirus (COVID-19).


Applicants will be able to apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.

Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov for more information on SBA disaster assistance. Individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing may call (800) 877-8339. Completed applications should be mailed to U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.


SBA Customer Service Representatives will be available to answer questions about SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program and explain the application process.


Eligibility for Economic Injury Disaster Loans is based on the financial impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The interest rate is 3.75 percent for small businesses. The interest rate for private non-profit organizations is 2.75 percent.


SBA offers loans with long-term repayments in order to keep payments affordable, up to a maximum of 30 years and are available to entities without the financial ability to offset the adverse impact without hardship. The deadline to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan is Dec. 21, 2020.


For additional information, please visit the SBA disaster assistance website at www.SBA.gov/Disaster.

The Minority Business Development Agency Launches the “Minority Business and Technology Initiative” with Amazon Business (This initiative is a nationwide training and development series for minority business owners, entrepreneurs, and startups to grow their business with e-commerce.)

WASHINGTON, DC—The U.S. Department of Commerce and Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) announced an exciting new collaboration with Amazon Business, The Minority Business and Technology Initiative.

The initiative will help thousands of minority entrepreneurs expand their businesses globally and increase sales exponentially through e-commerce technology. As the fastest-growing category of small businesses, minority-owned businesses are significant contributors to the economic vitality of U.S. communities.

The Minority Business and Technology Initiative (MBTI) will provide participating minority-owned businesses with guidance, information, and resources to harness the power of the internet and reach more business customers in nine countries around the globe where Amazon Business is available.

“This collaboration with Amazon Business is an important step into the future. After a yearlong pilot to test, gather feedback, and assess scalability, we are excited to launch the MBTI,” said Henry Childs II, MBDA National Director. “Global e-commerce sales are anticipated to hit over $3 trillion by the end of 2020.

Further, Forrester, projects e-commerce sales in the U.S. alone to reach $892 billion by 2022. The MBTI will provide tremendous opportunities for minority-owned businesses in the rapidly changing world of commerce.”

MBTI will leverage resources and content from the Amazon Small Business Academy, with a specific focus on accelerating B2B capabilities of minority-owned businesses through interactive programming. The initiative will feature training seminars, led by Amazon Business experts, that focus on increasing revenue, exporting, mentorship, job growth, and raising corporate capital.

We are deeply committed to giving small business owners the help and guidance they seek to take advantage of digital business opportunities,” said Anne Rung, Public Sector Director at Amazon Business. “The Minority Business and Technology Initiative will harness the educational content of our Small Business Academy that was launched in 2019. The Initiative will benefit small businesses in both urban and rural communities, as well as those that are brand-new companies to those that have existed for generations.”

According to the 2019 Amazon Small Business Impact Report, third party selling partners, which consist of medium-sized businesses account for more than half of everything sold in Amazon’s online stores and have created more than 1.6 million jobs worldwide.

Amazon Business and MBDA will launch the first Minority Business and Technology Initiative webinar event in April, hosted by the San Antonio MBDA Export Center. The free program will provide minority-owned businesses with insights, best practices, and skills needed to start and grow online or to expand an existing business with e-commerce.

To learn more about Minority Business and Technology initiative and webinar registration, visit http://www.mbda.gov/MBTI.