When stay-at-home orders were first issued in the spring, the UTSA South-West Texas Border Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network immediately pivoted existing advising and training services for virtual delivery. Additionally, CARES Act funding administered by the U.S. Small Business Administration allowed the SBDC to bring additional resources to its 79-county service delivery area with the launch of a new, specialized program to complement its existing footprint: the UTSA SBDC COVID Business Recovery Accelerator (SBDC COBRA).
As part of UTSA’s contributions to COVID recovery, COBRA provides a lifeline of support to small business owners weathering an unpredictable storm. Small businesses impacted by the pandemic face extreme challenges, needing to rapidly re-assess their business models as well as current and future markets. Unique decisions regarding how and when to reopen, evaluating supply chains, addressing workplace safety, financial recovery strategies, training and cybersecurity are just some of the areas the team of professional SBDC business advisors are equipped to address.
Staying true to its mission of fostering small business success, COBRA helps owners adapt to change and find solutions so they can get on the road to recovery.
To date, 11,858 entrepreneurs with COVID-19 disaster-related business assistance by phone and using online platforms to communicate. Clients have received over $41 million dollars in SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL), SBA Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), other SBA loan products and local grant and loan program funding.
Additionally, COBRA hosts bi-monthly town hall meetings. The town halls offer valuable information for small business owners, addressing questions and issues such as SBA Paycheck Protection legislation, reopening San Antonio and Bexar County businesses, small business workforce comeback, funding for small business, road to recovery-small business lending and next steps for small business recovery.
Town hall contributors include State Senator José Menéndez, Bexar County Commissioner Tommy Calvert, and San Antonio City Councilwoman Shirley Gonzales, plus subject matter experts from various organizations. Reservations for upcoming COVID Business Town Halls and trainings, plus viewing past webinars, are available here.
COBRA also is taking proactive steps to protect businesses against cyber threats. The Small Business Administration (SBA) reports cyberattacks are a growing threat for small businesses because of the lack of cyber infrastructure. To increase awareness and explore IT solutions, cybersecurity courses are posted and available for registration through the SBDC COBRA website.
Learn more about SBDC COBRA resources or call 210.458.2272.