The Small Business Administration is stepping into the world of online education.

Working with the economic policy-focused nonprofit Business Forward, the SBA is launching a new initiative called the Small Business Digital Alliance, it announced in a press release last week. The online initiative is expected to offer a variety of free resources for business leaders, all aimed at helping them expand their e-commerce footprint. The site will also aim to help small-business owners stay abreast of policy changes and governmental resources with monthly news updates.

Digital resources are not yet available on the SBDA's website, though the SBA expects to roll out tools during the first quarter of 2022. For now, business leaders can sign up to join the initiative's "Business Leader Network," which will notify them via email as resources are added to the site. The SBDA's site is expected to include a variety of tools, among them training platforms on e-commerce, benefits, data analytics, and more, says Elizabeth Fairchild, executive director of Business Forward.

While networking isn't the focus of the alliance, business owners can expect to find opportunities to connect with their peers and with industry leaders through virtual and live events that have yet to be announced, including live monthly news briefings, says Fairchild. Additional details on events, including locations, will be shared as dates are announced.

There's also opportunity for larger businesses to give back: In its press release, the SBA encourages all businesses that are interested in offering "trainings, insights, and free digital tools" to reach out at In coming weeks, the SBDA will publicly share the names of companies that have committed to sharing resources.