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SBA ND director: 'Bullish' on small business

North Dakota Small Business Administration director Alan Haut

The Small Business Administration is marking “Small Business Week.”

"SBA's mission is to help small businesses start, grow, expand and recover from natural disasters," said North Dakota SBA District Director Alan Haut. "We try to spotlight America's entrepreneurs, in helping to build back the economy, especially this year during the economic crisis brought on by the pandmeic."

Haut said over the last year, SBA has been helping small businesses through federal pandemic aid, as well as through local programs such as the Small Business Center, the Veterans’ Business Outreach Center, and SCORE, the program that provides retired executives as mentors for local businesses.

"All provide additional guidance and experience, and they have especially stepped up to the plate this year in helping small businesses that needed to pivot, change their operations, to maintain and continue their businesses during this economic hardship," Haut said.

Haut also said SBA works with local lenders, to provide financing for the small businesses.

"Over the last couple of years, our loan volume has actually gone up," Haut said. "This year, we're on track to have our best year in probably five or six years."

Haut said that's because of the support of the local lenders — community banks and credit unions — and the small businesses looking for opportunities to expand.

Haut said he continues to be "bullish" about small businesses.

"A lot of the innovation, and new products come out of individuals that have a great idea, and run with it," Haut said. "They create a wonderful business model out of it."

Haut said you look at a lot of the big businesses — Fortune 500 companies — and all started as one or two person shops with an idea.

"It just exploded from there," Haut said.

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