Welcome to the U.S. Small Business Administration Region 6 first online newsletter. We are the largest Region in SBA with five states and 10 district offices - Little Rock, New Orleans, Albuquerque, Oklahoma City, Dallas/Fort Worth, El Paso, Harlingen, Houston, Lubbock, and San Antonio. We have one branch office located in corpus Christi, Texas.
Small businesses number more than 3.3 million in Region 6 and in fiscal 2011 we supported more than $2.7 billion in financing to 6,308 entrepreneurs. We have more than 1,300 8(a) contractors in the Region who were awarded over $1.7 billion in federal contracts.
Read below to find out what is happening in each of the Region 6 District Offices.
Arkansas District Office
Linda Nelson, District Director
The Arkansas District is participating in the first Youth Entrepreneurship Camp organized by Elevate Youth Biz, a non-profit organization working with potential youth entrepreneurs in underserved markets. Janie Barrera, President of ACCION Texas d/b/a ACCION Arkansas, an SBA Microlender, announced the establishment of the first Youth Microloan Fund in Arkansas. The announcement was made during the the camp's kick off event at the Arkansas State Capital on Monday July 23. I'm proud to say SBA is committed to youth entrepreneurship in Arkansas.
Herb Austin, District Director
Lending as of 7/27 is at 1,178 loans totaling $484.5 million.
Listed below are some of the significant events taking place in the district during the next few weeks:
August 6 - Kick off of the Source Link Dallas Partner Network. 55 to 60 businesses and organizations are expected to attend.
August 9 - Deal Day – This is a yearly event that attracts over 100 small businesses and lenders. At that conference, matchmaking between prospective borrowers and lenders take place.
August 14 - Asian Business Expo is also a yearly event that attracts about 800 small businesses. SBA will speak and staff a booth at the event.
Phillip Silva, District Director
We were happy to host the SBA Deputy Administrator Marie Johns for an action-packed two days, July 24-25. She met with about 75 members of the El Paso Greater Chamber of Commerce. She also visited with the SBA district staff and El Paso resource partners and business partners addressing a wide variety of subjects and issues. Ms. Johns also held a small business roundtable attended by 29 small business owners, the dean of the business college at the University of Texas at El Paso, the vice president of workforce/economic development at the El Paso Community College, U.S. Representative Silvestre Reyes' district representative, and SBA resource partners. Ms. Johns later visited with local small business owner Fred Borrego and toured his company, ALCO Machine, Tool, & Steel, Inc., a small manufacturing firm.
Upcoming events include:
August 15 - Annual Veterans Conference that has an average attendance of 270 participants;
August 20 - OSHA 30 hour safety and health training
August 30 - “Dancing Backwards in High Heels” annual Women’s Business Border Center (WBC) conference.
El Paso exceeds 504 loan volume by more than 50 percent, so far in fiscal 2012.
Pictured from left, Phil Silva, District Director; Rita Madrid, Lender Relations Specialist; SBA Deputy Administrator Marie Johns and Fred Borrego, owner of ALCO Machine, Tool and Steel, Inc.
Sylvia Zamponi, District Director
The South Texas Border and Coastal Bend known as the Lower Rio Grande Valley District is proud to honor two SBA lending partners at the upcoming Mid America Lenders Conference in Houston. The Valley has suffered economically similar to other parts of the state and country due to insufficient access to capital limiting business start-ups and stifling growth.
However, things are beginning to change thanks to our lenders and our SBA lender relations staff. Our 2012 Lender Relations Team consists of Specialist Maria Perez, Lead Thelma Garza and Branch Manager Debbie Fernandez who must be credited with the smart strategic approach to leading which has resulted in an awesome increase in loan volume by our two top lenders. BBVA Compass Bank, made only two SBA loans in 2008. After being visited and trained by Maria Perez, the bank went from 48 loan approvals in 2011 to 109 approvals in 2012 for a 127% increase, helping them win our Top 7(a) Volume Lender Award. Our Rising Star Award goes to Lone Star National Bank who showed a 200% increase in loan volume. Training from Thelma Garza helped them increase from only one loan approval in 2008 and five loans in 2011 to 15 loans in 2012, for a 200% increase.
The lender relations team is now working to increase participation from local federal credit unions to join the SBA lending family: Chemcel Federal Credit Union headquartered in Bishop, TX submitted a request to the branch office of the LRGV district to participate in the 7(a) loan program as a result of the presentation and training by Debbie Fernandez to the Coastal Bend Chapter of Federal Credit Unions in March 2012. Chemcel FCU has six Texas locations in Bay City, Bishop, Corpus Christi, Pasadena (Clearlake), Kingsville, and Dallas and is submitting an expansion request to the NCUA for Jim Wells County.
Manuel Gonzalez, District Director
It is with great pleasure and humility that we welcome regional lenders and SBA officials to the great city of Houston for the 2012 Mid America Lenders Conference at the Hilton of the Americas August 13-15, 2012. We are expecting in excess of 509 attendees, 50 vendors/exhibitors and 32 sponsors for the event.
The First MALC conference started in Houston 18 years ago when my predecessor decided to meet with our local lenders at a small hotel in the Astrodome area in 1994. Today the conference includes all of the five states of SBA's Region 6 and representatives from other states that are involved in SBA lending.
We are also proud that in a recent survey done by Forbes of the top 68 metropolitan areas, Houston was named Number 1 Coolest City to Live and Work. A major criteria for this selection was job creation. Houston has something many other major cities don’t - jobs. With the local economy humming through the recession, Houston enjoyed a 2.6% job growth last year and nearly 50,000 Americans flocked to the city, including many young professionals.
Mike Ricks, District Director
We've been busy in Louisiana!
June 19-20 - We had the distinct pleasure of hosting the SBA Deputy Administrator Marie Johns. She conducted a roundtable discussion in Baton Rouge with over 80 attendees. She also toured Southern University, which is registered as an Historically Black College and Univeristy, escorted by Mayor “Kip” Holden, and 8(a) graduate firm, Keith Tillage of Tillage Construction. Tillage is responsible for the renovation of an old abandoned post office that will now house a small business incubator center at the University.
July 25 - The LADO hosted its annual 8(a) Retreat and Veterans Conference recognizing the outstanding contributions the 8(a) Program has provided Louisiana’s minority small business community. Keith Tillage of Tillage Construction was awarded the 8(a) Graduate Firm of the Year. Founded in 2000, Tillage construction is one of the nation’s fastest growing, 100% minority owned, construction companies.
July 28 - The LADO participated in the National Urban League’s Small Business Matters One-Day Summit. I was honored to host the Opportunity Forum and Loretta Poree was an expert panelist for the “Small Business Building Your Financing Capacity” Workshop. The four-day event drew over 5,000 attendees.
August 14 - SCORE Palooza – New Orleans Hilton - SCORE Palooza is a free annual event with education workshops and peer-to-peer networking for small business owners looking to start and grow their business. About 150 -200 attendees are expected.
August 22 – U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu Small Business Summit - A Small Business Summit hosted by St. Tammany Parish President Pat Brister and Senator Landrieu, chair of Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship. the event will be held at the Northshore Harbor Center in Slidell from 8:30am-12:30pm
August 22 – 23 – U.S. Representative Cedric Richmond Small Business Summit & Expo. A panel of representatives from federal agencies and local officials will lead a discussion on procurement and contracting processes and issues facing small businesses.
August 23 - 24 - Gateway 2012 – This is Louisiana’s premier minority business conference and expo. Attendees will meet buyers and decision makers to learn about opportunities available to Louisiana’s minority business community.
Calvin Davis , District Director
Listed below are some of the significant events taking place in the West Texas District during the month of August:
August 7 - Governor’s Small Business Forum – 100% SBA staff participation to host a booth with resource partners. This conference will attract more than 350 business owners.
August 16 - Lender’s Roundtable Discussion held in Odessa, Texas to discuss E-Tran, changes to the Small Loan Advantage Program, purchase process, and other lender relations topics.
August 21 - Minority Business Breakfast, Odessa, Texas. District Director to speak on Legal Business Issues and also present an award to the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in recognition of their support to SBA and the small business community.
August 22 - Host a Liquidation and Purchase Training in Midland, Texas for area lenders.
August 23 - HUBZone training in Midland to be held at the UTPB Small Business Development Center
The West Texas Office has strong participation in the “Feds Feed Families Program” where contributions will be made to the South Plains Food Bank.
John Woosley, District Director
The New Mexico District events include:
July 18 - 19 - Dr. Winslow Sargeant, Chief Counsel for Advocacy was in Albuquerque along with Assistant Advocate Major Clark, Region VI Regional Advocate Caitlin Cain and Carol Walker, director of SBA’s Office of Native American Affairs. They had five separate meetings regarding women owned businesses, economic development, contracting and Native American issues. They were very well received in New Mexico and took back lots of good ideas.
July 26 - The Computer Security Seminar was presented by SBA, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the National Institute of Security and Technology, SCORE and Infragard. The Albuquerque event was completely booked and it is clear there is great interest in this topic among New Mexico small businesses, especially as they contract with our three Air Force bases - White Sands Missile Test Range, Fort Bliss and our two National Laboratories.
Dottie Overal, District Director
The Oklahoma District has several accomplishments to brag about:
#1 in the US for manufacturing jobs growth (6.6% growth)
#2 in the US for job growth rate among states.
#4 in the US for labor force growth, showing that people are coming to OK to work
#5 in the US for lowest unemployment rate (4.8%). Of the two main metro areas, OKC grew 4.1%, while Tulsa grew 2.1%
Upcoming events that the Oklahoma District Office continues to support include:
August 1 - Ft Sill TAP (Transition Assistance Program) review. Our Veteran’s Liaison, John Veal, will be working for a full week with the staff at Ft. Sill on the breadth and depth of TAP content as it relates to assisting soldiers transitioning out of the Army and into civilian life as an entrepreneur. John will also leverage his knowledge as a veteran to give input in the other areas of TAP.
August 7 - Strategies for Growth - Federal Contracting (seminar). At least once per month we deliver this seminar in various locations throughout the state to help small businesses understand the SBA programs that help their businesses develop, such as HUBZone, the 8(a) program, Women Owned Businesses, Veteran Disabled, and other programs.
August 15 - Tinker & the Primes Matchmaking and Trade event. This trade event is the biggest of its kind in Oklahoma and a featured activity is matchmaking of small businesses with the Primes and various Federal agencies. SBA will be working with the Oklahoma SBDC staff to conduct this large matchmaking event.
August 26-28 - Indian Country Business Summit. SBA will hold a big matchmaking event at the summit, matching small businesses (many Native American) with large businesses, primes and Federal agencies. A special keynote speaker will be SBA Assistant Administrator for Native Affairs, Chris James.
Pam Sapia, District Director
The SBA San Antonio District Office has approved 721 loans totaling $299,760,400.00 for this fiscal year through July 25, 2012. The staff is in full blast conducting outreach activities and lender trainings in support of SBA’s mission. Below are our scheduled activities:
August 7 - Governor's Small Business Conference - Freeman Coliseum, San Antonio – Day long conference with sessions on small business development, financing, contracting, exporting and Veteran-owned companies.
August 14 - SABOC Conference –Contracting conference at the Norris Center in San Antonio. Event to promote disadvantaged small businesses especially those owned by Veterans, women. There will be breakout sessions dealing with Federal contracting. There will also be exhibits from Federal agencies.
August 17 - TAMACC Procurement Roundtable –Sheraton Guntel Hotel, San Antonio. This is an Hispanic business organization event to promote Hispanic businesses in Texas. There will be a business procurement roundtable to discuss important issues of business growth and development.
September 6 - Veteran Programs with SBA for the Military Community Conference - Laredo, TX with TAMIU Continuing Education Division to reach the Veteran community. The day will increase awareness and participation in SBA programs and services to focus on starting a business and certifications for contracting opportunities.