SBA South Central News

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October 30, 2012

SBA South Central Newsletter

Region VI States - Arkansa, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas

SBA Region VI - South Central

Serves Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas

Brought to you by the U.S. Small Business Administration

A message from the Regional Administrator

Yolanda Garcia Olivarez

Yolanda Garcia Olivarez, Regional Administrator

Finding capital to finance a business venture is one of the most basic and important of all business activities.  SBA continues to work to ensure small business owners have access to capital and the opportunities they need to expand their companies.  Many American jobs are created by entrepreneurs who own small businesses such as  manufacturing plants, restaurants, medical offices, hotels, construction companies, and the corner bakery.  These and so many other companies make up the backbone of our nation's economy, so when small businesses are strong, America is strong.  During Fiscal 2012 SBA's South Central Region VI supported almost $2.3 billion in lending to 5,386 entrepreneurs.  Overall, the pace of SBA loan-making is a healthy sign for the economy and the credit markets and is one of the foundations for ensuring the availability of financing to small businesses. 

FY2012 Region VI District Loan Numbers


 These charts show the Fiscal 2012 loans supported in each of the 10 District Offices in the South Central Region. 

Region VI District Loan Chart

South Central Region VI Lender Profile

BBVA Compass - Greg Clarkson, Executive Vice President

Greg Clarkson, BBVA Compass Executive Vice President

BBVA Compass was honored by the Dallas/Fort Worth District Office recently with the Pinnacle Award for approving 333 loans for $40.8 million during Fiscal 2012.  BBVA Compass  is active in several of the Districts in the South Central Region.  Below is a Q&A feature on Greg Clarkson and BBVA Compass. 

Q. - What is the full name and brief background of BBVA Compass?

A. - BBVA Compass is a Sunbelt-based financial institution that operates more than 709 branches, including 368 in Texas, 93 in Alabama, 79 in Arizona, 65 in California, 45 in Florida, 38 in Colorado and 21 in New Mexico.  BBVA is a full service commercial bank with a customer centric focus on meeting the entire financial needs of its small business clients.  BBVA Compass is part of BBVA, a global financial services group founded in 1857.  BBVA has 52 million customers worldwide and relies on technology as a key sustainable competitive advantage.  More information on BBVA Compass can be found at

Q. - How long have you been active with SBA loan programs? 

A. - BBVA Compass has been active in SBA lending since 1996.  Our philosophy has been to use the SBA loan as one of several financing tools for the bank’s loan officers to meet our customers’ needs.  Several of the employees in the SBA group, including Division Manager Greg Clarkson, have been in the department since it was established.  With an average SBA Group tenure in excess of 8 years, BBVA Compass has a depth of experience to work with the SBA and small business customers to ensure the process is efficient and accurate. 

Q. - How many SBA loans and for what dollar value, were approved by BBVA Compass in Fiscal 2012? 

A. - For fiscal 2012, BBVA Compass approved 1,345 SBA 7A loans totaling $252,583,500.  This dollar volume ranks BBVA Compass as the 6th most active lender nationally.  This is an improvement from the national 7th ranking in fiscal 2011. 

Q. - In which states are you active in SBA lending?

A. - BBVA Compass focuses its lending activity in the states within its footprint including Florida, Alabama, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, and California.  This primary lending area allows BBVA Compass to offer a full array of financial products including mortgages, depository services, and treasury management to its small business customers.  In addition, BBVA Compass provides SBA loans to certain small business segments outside the primary footprint. 

Q. - What is it about the SBA Loan Programs that make it a viable financing tool for your customers and of interest to you as a lender? 

A. - The SBA loan products allow BBVA Compass the opportunity to provide lending solutions tailored to the specific needs of each small business.  Depending on the individual financial situation, the borrower may require an extended maturity, lower down-payment, or less restrictive collateral requirements to meet its objective.  The small business also may have reduced cash flow coverage or limited guarantor support which requires the benefits of the SBA guaranty for the bank to share in the transactional risk.  Through the SBA product, BBVA Compass is able to help small businesses obtain financing and fulfill their dream of starting or expanding their small businesses. As individual lenders, the SBA product allows us to work with customers that may not otherwise have access to capital to meet their needs.  The entrepreneurs that we meet have a variety of products and services that aid the local communities or have worldwide impact.  The excitement these business owners possess is contagious.  

Q. - What is the key to the bank’s success as an SBA lender? 

A. - The key to our sustained success is our operational staff.  From underwriting to closing and funding to servicing, accounting and exception processing, the BBVA Compass SBA group has the in-depth technical expertise to ensure the SBA rules are followed and the guaranty is secured.  The expertise is coupled with a dedication and passion for the customer and meeting their financing requirements.  It is a difficult job but one that they successfully complete every day. Our employees also realize that we are not just bankers but integral parts of our communities.  We work to give back to the community through charitable activities, financial education, and volunteer service.  We also strive to meet the public policy initiatives of the SBA.  Through our SBA Express program, BBVA Compass is able to provide small dollar loans to further support the SBA financial impact while expanding the economic prosperity of our communities.

Q. -  What has been one or two of the most interesting or unique businesses you have funded with an SBA loan? 

A. - It’s difficult to single out any SBA borrower as being special as each loan is unique and each small business owner equally excited about their new business venture.  From doctors to restaurants to movie theaters to cabinet makers to gymnasiums to tortilla factories, each customer shares the common bond of pursuing the American Dream.  At BBVA Compass, we are able to share a small piece of their entrepreneur spirit and drive by unlocking their business potential with the SBA loans.

(NOTE:  Periodically, the South Central Newsletter will feature lenders that are successful in providing access to capital for America's small businesses.  SBA does not endorse the views, opinions, products or services of any lender or other person or entity.)

Keith Tillage - Region VI 2012 Minority Small Business Person of the Year

John Shoraka, Keith Tillage, SBA Deputy Administrator Marie Johns

SBA Deputy Administrator Marie Johns, right, and  Associate Administrator for Government Contracting and Business Development John Shoraka, at left, are pictured with Keith Tillage.


Keith Tillage, co-owner of Tillage Construction LLC in Baton Rouge, La. has been named the U.S. Small Business Administration’s 2012 Region VI Minority Small Business Person of the Year.  Tillage, along with other winners from 10 SBA Regional offices were honored during ceremonies at the National 8(a) Training, Business Matchmaking and Awards event at the Carnegie Library in Washington, D.C. Oct. 10, 2012.  

Tillage was distinguished for this honor based on the company’s growth, response to adversities and obstacles, use of minority suppliers and participation in community projects. 

“It is an honor to recognize Mr. Tillage with this prominent Regional honor,” said SBA Regional Administrator Yolanda Garcia Olivarez.  “He demonstrates the spirit of innovation and perseverance characteristic of prosperous entrepreneurs who see the importance of building successful businesses and boosting the economy of their community and the nation.” 

Since its inception in 2000, Tillage Construction LLC has experienced steady growth becoming one of south Louisiana’s leading minority full-service commercial construction companies with 26 full-time employees.  The company has received several 8(a) contracts including a multi-year Job Order award worth $12 million at the Fort Polk Army Base in Louisiana.   

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Texas Veterans Business Summit: Where Opportunity Meets Action!

November 13, 2012

Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas

9:30 a.m. to 5:30 a.m.

Call 214-773-4663