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SBA Region 4 News To Share

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August 2014

SBA Region IV News To Share

Brought to you by the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Region IV Office

Cassius Butts

Cassius Butts

Regional Administrator

U.S. Small Business Administration

Federal Government Meets Commitment to U.S. Small Businesses

As Regional Administrator for the Southeast Region for the SBA, I am proud to announce our federal government met its small business federal contracting goal for the first time in eight years, thanks to the SBA and President Obama’s commitment to increasing small business contracting opportunities. In Fiscal Year 2013, our government awarded 23.39 percent in federal contracts to small businesses which is $83.1 billion of eligible contracting dollars according to SBA’s Small Business Procurement Scorecard.

Advancement and progress continues in several small business prime contracting categories. The SBA has increased its efforts and collaboration with all federal agencies to broaden opportunities for our small businesses to compete and qualify for federal contracts. Furthermore, the Obama Administration has accelerated payments to small businesses through the “QuickPay ” program so small business owners can maintain cash flow to grow their businesses. Additionally, the private sector’s equivalent, SupplierPay will support private sector contracting for small businesses.

We all know that when small businesses earn federal contracts, it’s a ‘win-win’ for small businesses, the innovative job creators who fuel the nation’s economy, and the federal government.

My goal is to ensure our small businesses continue to gain federal contracts to expand their opportunities and fuel the American economy. Therefore, you may wonder: what can my small business do to earn a share of federal contracts?

One of the first steps in becoming a government contractor is to determine if your small business qualifies for government contracts on SBA.gov. If your small business qualifies, you will need to register your business with the federal government’s System of Award Management (SAM), the primary database of vendors doing business with the federal government.

Once you determine your business is small and register on SAM, you can contact your local SBA District Office to answer any immediate questions and to help your business flourish. There are additional support programs for America’s small businesses such as:

The SBA 8(a) Business Development Program offers an inclusive and broad scope of assistance to firms that are owned and controlled by minority individuals. This program includes SBA’s Mentor-Protégé Program, designed to connect successful firms with 8(a) program participants to establish your small business entrepreneurial success.

The ChallengHer Initiative, a SBA partnership with Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP) and American Express Open provides women a forum for discussion on federal contracting and connects women-owned businesses to one another to increase their small business network.

You can learn further about small businesses and federal contracting through the SBA classroom. The GC Classroom can be accessed at www.sba.gov/gcclassroom.

By using these tools, you can successfully navigate the federal contracting marketplace and propel your business and the American economy. The SBA is here to help you, so after exploring the various SBA tools above, make sure you contact your nearest SBA office for additional resources and counseling.

Under the leadership of Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet, the new SBA looks forward to being Smart, Bold, and Accessible to America’s small businesses as they are the backbone of our economy. Therefore, we will continue to work tirelessly to create opportunities and continue the President’s efforts for small businesses to secure government contracts.


Mississippi SCORE Counselor Honored

SCORE Counselor honored

(Left to right); Janita R. Stewart, MS District Director; John “Dave” Philo, SCORE Counselor; and Gary K. Reed, MS Deputy District Director.

On July 30th the SBA Mississippi District Office and Gulfport SCORE Chapter honored John “Dave” Philo, SCORE Counselor and current Chair of the Gulf Coast Chapter with a Certificate of Recognition and Appreciation and a Lifetime Achievement award for his service and dedication to counseling small business entrepreneurs. Dave has been a SCORE volunteer for 12 years, counseling entrepreneurs and small businesses across the state and nationally. “It takes a special person to be a volunteer,” said Stewart. “Their sole reward is in helping someone else reach their dreams and aspirations. Even through personal challenges, Dave has been steadfast in this undertaking. He is truly the glue that holds the Gulfport SCORE Chapter together.”

Find Out What is Happening in YOUR Area in the Southeast!


Tom Todt

Alabama District Office

Tom Todt, District Director

Small Business Awards Presented to Alabama Banks and Service Providers at SBA Alabama Lenders Conference

The Fifth Annual Alabama Lenders Conference presented by the Alabama Small Business Development Center Network was held at the Hyatt Regency Wynfrey Hotel in Hoover, AL August 5th and 6th.

Opening the conference at a reception sponsored by the Alabama Bankers Association were SBA Regional Administrator Cassius Butts and Alabama State Superintendent of Banks John Harrison. Mr. Butts told the crowd about exciting developments at SBA including SBA One and electronic loan submission all of which he related to the conference theme of “not your father’s (or mother’s) SBA.” Mr. Harrison discussed the state of banking in Alabama and his remarks included his continuing support of the public/private partnership of SBA and the Alabama banking community that is so vital to small business lending in the state. Following his remarks Mr. Harrison was presented with the Director’s Award by SBA Alabama District Director Tom Todt in recognition of his support of SBA lending in Alabama.

Presenters included Linda Reilly, Chief, 504 Program Branch, Office of Financial Assistance, Washington, D.C., Lesley McClure, Regional Executive and Sr. Officer, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, Birmingham Branch and Rhonda Fisher, Lead Lender Relations Specialist, SBA Mississippi District Office.

A Small Business Awards Luncheon was held on day two and awards were presented to the outstanding SBA lenders in Alabama for the previous year. The keynote for the luncheon was provided by National Association of Government Guaranteed Lenders (NAGGL) President and CEO Tony Wilkinson and BBVA Compass Bank Executive Vice President Greg Clarkson. Winners and their categories were:

AL Lender of the Year – Loan Volume

BBVA Compass Bank

AL Lender of the Year – Loan Dollar Volume

ServisFirst Bank

Community Bank of the Year

First Partners Bank

AL Lender of the Year: Express Lender

BBVA Compass Bank

Certified Development Company Lender of the Year – 504 Loan Volume

Southern Development Council

Certified Development Company Lender of the Year – 504 Loan Dollar Volume

Southern Development Council

Alabama Lender of the Year – 504 Participation: Loan Volume

ServisFirst Bank

Alabama Lender of the Year – 504 Participation: Loan Dollar Volume

ServisFirst Bank

Alabama Vanguard Award Lender

Southern States Bank

 The award for SBA Small Business Person of the Year was presented to Harvey Nix of Proventix Systems, Inc., a Birmingham-based business that makes hand sanitation systems for medical centers and hospitals.

 A special award was presented to the Small Business Development Center at Jacksonville State University, the Center for Excellence and Innovation Award.  Accepting the award were past and present center Directors Pat Shaddix, Robbie Medders and Ken Grissom. Carmin Industries’ Carolyn Minerich, a past Small Business Person of the Year, gave remarks at the presentation concerning the valuable assistance she received from the SBDC.

Left to right: Regional Administrator Cassius Butts, Alabama Superintendent of Banks John Harrison, Alabama District Director Tom Todt

AL Lenders Conference

Willie Gonzalez

Florida (North) District Office

Wilfredo J. Gonzalez, District Director

SBA’s North Florida District Office recently provided Boots to Business training at the Mayport Naval Station. Training topics included starting a business, financing options, business planning, marketing, and the economics of small business. Participants also learned about franchising, creating a business, and purchasing a business. The training was well attended, and included both enlisted and veteran participants.

SBA’s Boots to Business program is available to all veterans, transitioning members of the military, and their families. The NFDO team hosts these trainings at various military installations in North Florida. For information about the next Boots to Business training opportunity or to learn more about the program, contact Natalie Hall at (904) 443-1902.

Left to right: Marshall Reddy, Owner, FranNet and B2B Trainer; Natalie Hall, SBA Economic Development Specialist; Military personnel including Mathew Gley; Osiris Lluberes; Joshua Saffa; Kristin Gilesjohns; Angel Diaz (veteran); Travis Locker; and Master Chief Rickie Smith.

B2B Jacksonville

Pancho Marrero

Florida (South) District Office

Francisco “Pancho” Marrero, District Director

Assistant District Director Area 2 Vince Lopresti signed a Strategic Alliance Memorandum (SAM) renewing our relationship with the city of Palm Bay on Aug. 7.  Deputy District Director Jonel Hein renewed our SAM with the Town of Jupiter on Aug. 19.  These alliances help us expand the awareness of our small business resources in these South Florida communities.

More than 60 transitioning veterans completed another round of Boots to Business workshops at MacDill Air Force Base on July 28-29, and at Naval Air Station Key West on August 13-14.  SBA’s Boots to Business REBOOT program at Miami’s Veterans Administration Medical Center attracted another 80 veterans who left military service before the program was created two years ago.  After completing the 2-day workshop and follow-on, 8-week online entrepreneurship course, these students will have the tools and knowledge they need to identify a business opportunity, draft a business plan, and launch their enterprise.

The “Let’s Talk SBA” radio segment on Miami’s 880 AM “Pete De La Torre Business Hour” had a special guest on August 21. SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet discussed SBA’s efforts to provide South Florida small business owners and entrepreneurs financing they need to start and grow their small businesses.

Photo of Strategic Alliance Memorandum signing in Palm Bay.  Left to right:  Deputy Mayor Ken Greene, SBA South Florida Assistant District Director Area 2  Vince Lopresti, Mayor William Capote, Councilman Harry Santiago Jr., and Councilwoman Kristine Isnardi; not pictured, Councilwoman Michele Paccione

Palm Bay SAm Signing

Terri Denison

Georgia District Office

Terri Denison, District Director

The Georgia District Office in conjunction with the Savannah Small Business Development Center, and other local partners will host an economic empowerment symposium for the LGBT community, Wednesday, September 3, 2014, Savannah Civic Center.

 To learn more and register for the event CLICK HERE.

 The symposium will cover:

• From Themes to Dreams; Getting the Right Start

• Yes, You Do Need a Business Plan

• Strategies for Building Capacity

• Financing for Growth

• Federal Contracting and Certifications

• How to Market Smart and Master Social Media


Ralph Ross

Kentucky District Office

Ralph Ross, District Director

Kentucky District Office Finishes Year with a Flurry

The SBA Kentucky District Office is participating in 10 outreach events, presentations and training events across the state in the next few weeks.  Highlights include:

·        Training event to SCORE Chapter 75 volunteers on SBA loan programs;

·        Participation in webinar focused on small business services to KY WBC small businesses and entrepreneurs, along with EEOC, IRS and Louisville’s city economic development department;

·        Presentation on SBA programs and services, along with SBDC, KY Innovation Network, and state Cabinet for Economic Development to Economic Development Council members in western KY;

·        Presence at SBDC Regional Entrepreneur Conference in eastern Kentucky;

·        Presentations on SBA Capital Access, Counseling and Contracting programs at a Small Business Forum in central KY;

·        Discussion about disaster preparedness at the KY Convention and Visitor’s Bureaus annual conference;

·        Boots to Business programs at the U.S. Army’s military bases in KY. Ft. Knox is operated by both the Marine Corps and the Army, and Ft. Campbell is home of the Army’s 101st Airborne Division;

·        Lender Relations training on SBA Servicing, Liquidation and the Guaranty Purchase to lenders in the Louisville area;

·        Bi-monthly “Meet the SBA” outreach meetings in Louisville, with a focus on 8(a), government contracting and exporting opportunities, as well as the HUBZone program.

To learn more on these programs, please visit www.sba.gov/KY.


Janita Stewart

Mississippi District Office

Janita Stewart, District Director

National Ombudsman and Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Brian Castro met recently with small business leaders during a Regulatory Fairness Roundtable at the SBDC Mississippi e-Center at Jackson State University.

With support from SBA District Director Janita Stewart, the Greater Jackson Chamber Partnership, the SBDC, Jackson State University, and representatives of other federal agencies, the Roundtable provided an informal forum for area small businesses to voice federal regulatory concerns.

During the Roundtable, small business owners provided real-time feedback and identified regulatory concerns including:

  • DOL Wage and Hour and OSHA enforcement
  • Military procurement opportunities for small businesses and subcontractors
  • Medicare audit and procurement practices that disproportionately impact small providers of medical equipment, reduce patient access to critical health care, and eliminate competition
  • Accessibility of the HubZone and 8(a) programs and the associated certification processes

In addition to providing participants with connections to local resources available through the SBA and federal agency partners, the discussion highlighted the benefits for small businesses – made possible through SBA regulations – that directly boost the economy with targeted resources like business development counseling, contracting opportunities, and access to capital.

Brian Castro provides an overview of the mission and role of the SBA’s Office of the Ombudsman at a Regulatory Fairness Roundtable in Jackson, Mississippi on July 15.

Brian Castro

SBA Mississippi District Office to Host 8(a) Bi-Annual Conference and Procurement Summit on September 4, 2014 in Jackson, MS

The SBA Mississippi District Office will host this training event, conducted bi-annually, for Mississippi District Office 8(a) companies to learn about SBA’s 8(a) Mentor Protégé programs, joint venture relationships, the new Mississippi Construction Lien Law and more.  In addition, firms in attendance will be able to take advantage of a match-making session with federal agencies and prime contractors who are seeking their goods and services.


Lynn Douthett

North Carolina District Office

Lynn Douthett, District Director

SBA North Carolina District Hosts Annual 504 CDC Meeting

On Wednesday July 30, 2014 the SBA North Carolina District office hosted the annual meeting of North Carolina Certified Development Companies. The purpose of the yearly meeting is to update CDCs on policy or procedural changes affecting the 504 loan program and discuss marketing strategies in collaboration with the district office for the coming fiscal year.

SBA NC District staff and representatives of the 504 Certified Development Companies in North Carolina attended.

504 Group Photo NC

(standing left to right): Mike Arriola SBA Deputy District Director, Phil Trew, Director, Region D Development Corp. Dale Harrold, Director, Self-Help, Anthony Starr, Asst. Executive Director, Region E Development Corp., Janet Brown, 504 Loan Officer, Self-Help, Guy Williams, President, Neuse River Development Authority, Sanjay Mistry, Executive VP Centralina Development Corp., Don Spry, SBA Southeastern NC Regional Area Manager, Karen Hoskins, SBA Lead Lender Relations Specialist, Bynum “Bufi” Rudisill, SBA NC District Counsel, Lynn Douthett, SBA NC District Director, Alan Steinberg, Executive Director, Smoky Mountain Development Corp.

(seated) Cheryl and Bob Kendrick, Avista Business Development Corp., Charlie Cleary, Director of 504 Lending Self-Help, Elaine Fairman, Executive Director BEFCOR


Elliott Cooper

South Carolina District Office

Elliott Cooper, District Director

This month, the South Carolina District Office is reminding everyone that fees on SBA loans up to $150,000 are set to a big, fat ZERO through September 30.

In the 2014 fiscal year, more than 100 SBA loans in South Carolina have been $150,000 and under–accounting for over 41 percent of all of the state’s SBA loans through June 2014. This means that South Carolina small businesses saved more than $123,000 through June–an average of $1,300 per loan.

So, how can this help your small business? Let’s break it down.

1.      An SBA guaranty on a loan means that the loan can have up to a 25-year term with a fixed rate and no balloon payments.

2.      To sustain the guaranty program, the SBA charges what’s known as a guaranty fee, which is added to the amount of the loan.

3.      But with this guaranty fee waived, small businesses get the benefit of long-term, fixed-rate business financing at no additional cost.

And the news is even better for veterans. SBA has also eliminated the guaranty fee for all loans made to veterans under the SBA Express Program. The SBA Express Program, which supports loans up to $350,000, is SBA’s most popular loan delivery method and one of the most popular delivery methods for getting capital into the hands of veteran entrepreneurs. In fact, 73 percent of SBA loans to veterans are $350,000 and under. Just like the zero-fee initiative above, fees for SBA Express loans to veterans will remain at zero through September 30.

For more information about participating lenders in South Carolina, contact our office at 803-765-5377.  For more information about participating lenders outside of South Carolina, contact your local SBA district office.


Walter Perry

Tennessee District Office

Walter Perry, District Director

Highlighting SBA’s commitment to rural underserved markets, District Director Walter Perry and Rural Liaison, David Tiller, presented the Rural Small Business Award to McCurdy Sod Farm in Dyer, during an event sponsored by the Greater Gibson County Chamber of Commerce, in cooperation with the Dyersburg State Community College Small Business Development Center.  And on August 12th, they presented at the annual West Tennessee Veterans Connection event in Jackson at Jackson State Community College, which was keynoted by  Tennessee Veterans Affairs Commissioner, Many Bears Grinder.  Gloria Armstead, Business Opportunity Specialist, presented at the Tennessee Department of Transportation’s Annual Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Conference in Nashville on August 18, highlighting how small business firms can offer goods and services to federal agencies through participating in SBA’s 8(a) Business Development Program.  The District has received great news that BrightBridge, Inc. in Chattanooga has been approved by SBA’s Office of Credit Risk Management as the first Community Advantage Pilot Loan Program Lender in Tennessee, which was facilitated by Lender Relations Specialist Anna Maria Lloyd.  Looking ahead, the District’s Northeast Tennessee  “Services for Those Who Have Served” Veterans Outreach event will be held in Johnson City on September 12 and planning is underway for several Hispanic Heritage Month events to be held September through mid-October in the Nashville area.

UPCOMING EVENTS

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Find out what is Happening in YOUR Area

Click HERE for a Small Business Calendar of Events

SBA’s Office of Advocacy

SBA Office of Advocacy Chief Counsel Departing

On Wednesday, July 30, 2014, Dr. Winslow Sargeant, Chief Counsel for the SBA Office of Advocacy, announced that after four years with the SBA Office of Advocacy, he will be leaving to spend more time with his family.  He recognizes that small businesses deserve an ardent voice and strong leadership, so he will be staying on until the new year to give the Administration the much-needed time to find a replacement.  Dr. Sargeant has been an invaluable asset to the nation’s small business community.

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