It's Your Business! SBA Newsletter | November 15, 2012

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November 15, 2012

It's Your Business!

U.S. Small Business Administration, Massachusetts District Office

We have a New Springfield Branch Manager!

Director Bob Nelson Swears in Oreste Varela

We are happy to announce that Oreste Varela will be the new manager for our Springfield branch office, which serves the counties of Berkshire, Franklin, Hampden and Hampshire.

Mr. Varela most recently worked for the USDA Forest Service, Chief Information Office as the National Litigation and eDiscovery Program Manager since January 2012.  He is also a US Air Force veteran with over 27 years of experience in administrative leadership, management and strategic planning and is currently a Colonel in the US Air Force reserves.

At the swearing in ceremony, District Director Bob Nelson said, “I believe Oreste has the leadership qualities required of this position and my staff and I are extremely happy to have him join the SBA team. Under his leadership we will continue to provide top service to our small business customers and strengthen our partnerships in western Massachusetts."

To learn more, please click here

Small Business Week 2013

Every year since 1963, the President of the United States has issued a proclamation announcing National Small Business Week, which recognizes the critical contributions of America’s entrepreneurs and small business owners.  As you might know, more than half of Americans either own or work for a small business, and they create about two out of every three new jobs in the U.S. each year.

As part of National Small Business Week, the U.S. Small Business Administration in Massachusetts takes the opportunity to highlight the impact of outstanding entrepreneurs, small business owners, and others from across the state. 

To nominate a person or small business for a Small Business Week award, or to see the award categories, please click here.

HealthConnector Offers Small Business a Host of Choices and Savings

The Massachusetts Health Connector now has almost 100 high-quality, affordable health plans available for small businesses from all of the state’s leading health insurance carriers.

Through the Health Connector’s Business Express program, businesses with 50 or fewer employees are eligible to shop online and view plans in an easy-to-understand, side-by-side format. To get a price quote, brokers and business owners just enter some basic data about their work force and array of plans and premiums will display within seconds. Every plan has been awarded the Massachusetts Health Connector (Health Connector) Seal of Approval. There are no membership or monthly fees required. 

Participating health insurance carriers include Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, BMC HealthNet Plan, CeltiCare Health Plan, Fallon Community Health Plan, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Health New England, Neighborhood Health Plan, Tufts Health Plan, and new entrant Network Health.

For more information, contact the Health Connector’s Director of Business Development David Kerrigan at 617.933.3040 or or contact your broker.

One more thing...

The SBA is always seeking out firms that may qualify for certification programs.  If you are a disadvantaged firm looking to do business with the U.S. government, visit If you are a woman-owned business, click on or if you are a firm that may be located in a historically underutilized business zone, check out  You may be eligible for government contracting assistance via one of the above certification programs. 

For more information, visit our web site of and click on Contracting; or call the SBA’s MA District Office in Boston at (617) 565-5590.