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A new initiative to connect small businesses with crucial tech resources

The Small Business Digital Alliance (SBDA) is a joint collaboration between the U.S. Small Business Administration and Business Forward, Inc. 

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On Friday, Jan. 21, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and Business Forward, Inc. announced the official launch of the Small Business Digital Alliance (SBDA).

The SBDA is a new joint public-private co-sponsorship venture that will convene major tech companies and executives with free access to digital tools that will help expand its e-commerce footprint, and ultimately, its 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 ultimately, raise capital. 

“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,” said Isabel Casillas Guzman, SBA Administrator.

“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,” she added. 

With the passage of President Joe Biden's $65 billion Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, more Americans will have access to high-speed Internet and broadband services. 

In addition to providing access to technical skills development and tools, the SBDA will play an important role in helping entrepreneurs expand their networks.

As small businesses continue to rely on advanced technology tools to expand their customer base, manage their growth, find and retain talent, and enter new markets domestically and globally, the ability to access and use them has become paramount. 

The collaboration between the SBA and Business Forward will prioritize creating access to competitive opportunities and reducing barriers to entry for small businesses, with a special focus on those in historically underserved and disadvantaged communities across the country. 

"There are a number of new digital tools and services that can help (businesses attract customers, open new markets, develop new products and raise capital), especially when small businesses partner with their community," said Jim Doyle, president of Business Forward, Inc.

"By leveraging their community's local technology incubator, venture capital firm, university lab, training program and free digital tools from global companies, small businesses are more likely to succeed. Collaboration is key, and the SBDA will help small businesses and their communities work together to reach and maintain the critical mass for success," he continued.

In addition to this new venture, the SBA and Business Forward, Inc. will partner with SBDA members to host a series of joint virtual and in-person events across the country that will include briefings on small business trends and showcase digital tools that small businesses can take advantage of, free of charge. 

More information about the Small Business Digital Alliance can be found on its website.

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