SBA St. Louis Gateway eGazette Newsletter - September 2013

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September 2013

Vicki LaRose

Vicki LaRose, Owner of Civil Design, Inc. (CDI)

A Kinder, Gentler Approach to Civil Engineering: How SBA Guaranteed Loans and Advice from SCORE Helped Make the Road Smoother for Vicki LaRose’s Civil Design, Inc. (CDI)

If you’re one of the thousands of St. Louis-area drivers every day making your way easier through the new I-64/Highway 40 interchange, you can offer a little thanks for the work done there from a small, but fast-growing mom-owned business.  >Read more

Dennis S. Melton, SBA St. Louis District Director

Dennis S. Melton, SBA St. Louis District Director

District Director's Corner

Looking back, current, and forward, the last few months of the year are an ideal time to reflect on past activities, evaluate where you are, and look at where you want to be in the future. Sometimes small business owners have so much to do that they can’t find the forest for the trees—in other words, they get so involved in their day to day operations that they can lose focus on planning for their business’ success.  Here are a series of questions designed to help you re-focus on successes, failures, and strategies. >Read more

ACA Questions & Answers

By SBA Region 7 Administrator Patricia Brown-Dixon and HHS Region 7  Director Stephene Moore

Q. - As outlined by the Affordable Care Act, what legal obligation does a small business have to their employees by October 1?

A. - If a small business is covered by FLSA, the owner must notify their employees by Oct. 1, 201,3 whether or not they will offer employer-sponsored health insurance. The U.S. Department of Labor has a form small businesses can use, which is on their website at

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STL-SBA loans graphic

What Your Lender Wants You to Know about Applying for an SBA Guaranteed Loan

Small business owners and entrepreneurs looking to start or grow their business often turn to the SBA to help them in obtaining needed capital. The SBA through its loan guaranty program is one method for a small business to obtain capital. >Read more 

SBA Holds Successful Borrower Training in Columbia

On July 31, 2013, SBA participated in a free training event for 18 small business owners in Columbia, Missouri. District Director Dennis Melton gave an overview of SBA and its programs and services, Lender Relations Specialist Tom Daiber talked about SBA’s loan programs, and Senior Area Manager Bob Newman discussed SBA’s export finance programs and other international trade assistance.  The event was hosted by Regional Economic Development, Inc., Missouri Small Business & Technology Development Center (SBTDC) and Enterprise Development Corporation. The event will be held quarterly at the SBTDC at 500 East Walnut in Columbia, MO.

If you are interested in scheduling a similar training in your community, please contact Tom Daiber at 314-539-6600 extension 236 or (Tom's new number will be 314-539-6614.)

FREE Workshops for Veterans, Reservists, Guard Members, and Families: Empowering Veterans, Inspiring Lives, Improving Our Community

SBA St. Louis District Office and the Veterans Business Resource Center (VBRC) will host a series of workshops for Veterans and family members. Presentations will include:
- Small Business Resources >Read more

STL - Gary Alexander, SBA St. Louis District Office

Gary Alexander presents seminar on 8(a) Government Contracting

Free Monthly Seminars Offered on 8(a) Government Contracting Program

Gary Alexander, SBA St. Louis Business Opportunity Specialist, offers monthly seminars titled How to Win Government Contracts through the 8(a) Program. These seminars are designed for individuals interested in applying for 8(a) certification. If you would like to attend an upcoming seminar or would like to schedule a seminar in your community, contact Gary at or 314-539-6600 extension 231. (Gary's new number will be 314-539-6612.) The next seminar will be on September 19 at 10:00 a.m. in our office. 

Affordable Care Act: Fact vs. Fiction

In an effort to help small business owners navigate information on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or as it is often called, Obamacare, here are a few suggested websites to guide you through the transition. >Read more

SBA Sets Dates for Educational Healthcare Webinars for Small Business Owners

The U.S. Small Business Administration and Small Business Majority have set dates for a co-produced set of weekly Affordable Care Act 101 webinars to be conducted for small business owners until the opening of the new SHOP Health Insurance Marketplaces on October 1, 2013.  > Read more

Good Question Image

Q: How can I get certified as a small business?

The Federal government sets aside certain contract bid opportunities exclusively for small businesses. In order to compete for these contracts, you must first register as a vendor with the government.

As part of the registration process, you will be required to enter information about your company in the System for Award Management (SAM) database. In SAM, you may self-certify yourself as a small business, but you must meet the Federal government's definition of a small business.

Submit your Good Question to The answer will be published in an upcoming Gateway eGazette.

Beware of Scams

Small business owners often get calls, emails or letters from entities with motives that are far from altruistic. A good thing to keep in mind is that, "If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is too good to be true." >Read more

SBA Website Spotlight

If you are a regular subscriber, you may know that SBA offers frequent webinars on disaster planning and recovery. SBA's website also contains a wealth of information on this topic. We recommend all business owners have a disaster plan in place as it could mean the difference between your business surviving or folding after a disaster--whether the disaster is a wide-spread natural disaster or a small local disaster like a fire. Start with for information on how to create your disaster plan. 

What is HUBZone Certification?

Watch this short video to find out more about HUBZone certification and check out the HUBZone maps and HUBZone program information including requirements. If you still have questions, contact Patti Guttmann at or 314-539-6600 extension 255. (Patti's new number will be 314-539-6615.)

STL-SBA Administrator Karen Mills and Dave Steward of World Wide Technology at National Small Business Week - St. Louis

SBA Adminstrator Karen Mills and Dave Steward of World Wide Technology at National Small Business Week - St. Louis

National Small Business Week - St. Louis

Harris-Stowe State University graciously opened their doors for National Small Business Week – St. Louis on June 19, 2013. Attendees had the privilege of listening to Dave Steward, Chairman of the Board and founder of World Wide Technology, Inc. (WWT) discuss his path to success with SBA Administrator Karen Mills. Steward attributes much of his success to the 8(a) Government Contracting Program and SBA St. Louis District Office staff. The morning sessions, including Steward’s motivational interview, can currently be found here. Other morning sessions included Growing and Going Global and St. Louis Entrepreneurial Ecosystem.

The day started with Speed Mentoring provided by SBA resource partners SCORE, Small Business & Technology Development Centers (SBTDC), Veterans Business Resource Center (VBRC), and Grace Hill Women’s Business Center (WBC). Afternoon breakout sessions were Small Business Supply Chain, Finding Capital for Your Business, Affordable Care Act 101, and Entrepreneurship for New Americans.

St. Louis District Office

1222 Spruce Street
Suite 10.103
St. Louis, MO 63103  map

Cape Girardeau AWS
Douglas C. Greene Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship
920 Broadway, Room 106
Cape Girardeau, MO  63701  map

Columbia AWS
The University of Missouri SBTDC
500 E. Walnut St., Suite 103
Columbia, MO  65201  map

Ask us how we can connect you with technical assistance and counseling, and financing options to start or grow your small business.

Looking for our Resource Partners?

Veterans Business Resource Center (VBRC)
315 Lemay Ferry Rd, #114
St. Louis, MO 63125
314- 531-VETS (8387)

Grace Hill Women's Business Center (Grace Hill WBC)
2125 Bissell
St. Louis, MO 63107

Missouri Small Business & Technology Development Centers (SBTDC)

St. Louis SCORE
1222 Spruce Street
Suite 10.103
St. Louis, MO 63103
314-539-6600 extension 242
(New number: 314-539-6602)
Please call for availability.
Other locations

Mid Missouri SCORE
300 South Providence Road
Columbia Chamber of Commerce
Columbia, MO 65203

US Export Assistance Center (USEAC) St. Louis

SBA Senior International Trade Specialist for Kansas, Missouri & Nebraska
John Blum
Office: 314-260-3788
Blackberry: 314-305-5080

Please note that the St. Louis District Office will be changing to a new phone system sometime in September 2013.  All phone numbers will be direct lines instead of extensions.  The new phone numbers are listed in parentheses.

St. Louis District Office Staff

District Director
Dennis S. Melton
Extension 244, Blackberry: 314-775-5170
(New number: 314-539-6607)

Deputy District Director
Maureen E. Brinkley
Extension 252, Blackberry: 314-412-5283
(New number: 314-539-6609)

Senior Area Manager
Columbia AWS
Bob Newman
Extension 239 (New number: 314-539-6611)
Columbia Office Number: 573-256-1794
Blackberry: 636-358-5941

Senior Area Manager
Cape Girardeau AWS
Bill Vickery
Blackberry: 573-225-9407

Economic Development Specialist
Small Business Week
Patti Guttmann
Extension 255
(New number: 314-539-6615)

Economic Development Specialist
Veterans’ Representative
Women’s Representative
Angie Wells
Extension 223, Blackberry: 314-305-2489 
(New number: 314-539-6613)

Business Opportunity Specialist
Gary Alexander
Extension 231
(New number: 314-539-6612)

Lender Relations Specialist
Tom Daiber
Extension 236, Blackberry: 314-520-4591
(New number: 314-539-6614)

Public Affairs Specialist
Administrative Officer
Nicki Massie
Extension 229
(New number: 314-539-6606)

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More Helpful Links

Apply for HUBZone Status
Apply for 8(a) Certification
Contracting Resources for Small Businesses
Exporting Information
Affordable Care Act (ACA) Information

Look for other helpful links in the resources section at the bottom of the St. Louis District Office homepage.