South Florida Business News December 2012

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Brought to you by the U.S. Small Business Administration South Florida District Office

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Serving the Sunshine State's 24 counties south of Orlando:  Brevard, Broward, Charlotte, Collier, Desoto, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Hillsborough, Indian River, Lee, Manatee, Martin, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Okeechobee, Osceola, Palm Beach, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Saint Lucie, and Sarasota.


Featured Workshop

Going Global: International Trade Basics

The SBDC at the University of South Florida will get you ready to go global!  Find a starting point and learn the fundamentals of international trade.  Held Tuesday, Dec.18 at 1 p.m. at the Tampa Port Authority.  REGISTER!

Featured Conference

Entrepreneurial Development Training for Veteran Women

(V-WISE) 2013

The SBA has partnered with Syracuse University’s Whitman School of Management and the Institute for Veterans and Military Families to provide veteran women with a unique training opportunity to start or grow a business. Register online before Dec. 14.  Conference will be held in Jacksonville, Fla., Jan. 10-12, 2013.  Lodging provided! 


Top 5 Lenders

Oct. 1 - Nov. 23 (by loans approved)

7A Loans

  1. JP Morgan Chase Bank                              
  2. BankUnited                      
  3. Wells Fargo  Bank                
  4. Live Oak Banking Company           
  5. TD Bank                          

504 Loans

  1. Florida Business Development Corp.
  2. Florida1st Capital Finance Corp. 
  3. Gulf Coast Business Finance Inc.

Who were South Florida District's top lenders in FY12 responsible for more than 1630 loans approved for more than $783.5 million?  See this list HERE.

By the numbers

From the Director

December is typically one of the busiest times for each of us.  But it’s not too hectic for me to recall the past year and what was accomplished in the SBA South Florida District in 2012.

With a national goal to double U.S. exports by 2015, the South Florida District has worked hard to encourage entrepreneurs to tap the global marketplace.  In 2012, we increased the number of export business loans for the fourth consecutive year.  SBA’s Regional Manager of the U.S. Export Assistance Center Mary Hernandez, has been diligently working with many partners to increase the number of export loans in our district.  Of course, South Florida is a natural launchpad for exports to Latin America and the Caribbean.

You will read in this newsletter about the selection of two non-profits for SBA's new Intermediary Lending Program, three new partnerships formed with community and educational groups, and free or low-cost small business training opportunities around South Florida.  SBA offers a vast number of resources to help entrepreneurs start, expand and create new jobs in the community. 

Finally, the South Florida District lending dollar volume has steadily increased since 2009 and FY12 dollars were nearly double 2009 loan amounts.  With the start of the new fiscal year, SBA-backed lending continues to rebound and our performance is on track as compared to last year.  This steady pace is a healthy and optimistic sign for our economy and for our entrepreneurs seeking capital.  Their success in getting the money they need to grow their business is vital to our continued economic recovery.  

I wish everyone a great holiday season and a prosperous New Year!

pancho signature

Francisco "Pancho" Marrero

South Florida District Director

Upcoming Events

Free or low-cost business training workshops are scheduled throughout the South Florida District through our network of SCORE resource partners!  Find a class this month near you!


South Broward/North Miami 


Boca Raton 

West Palm Beach 

Fort Pierce/Stuart/St. Lucie   


Pinellas County



Pasco/Hernando County  

Free or low-cost training workshops on a wide variety of business topics from financing to government contracting are available statewide through the Florida Small Business Development Center (SBDC).  Their schedule of workshops can be found HERE.  

Althea Trinity

This month! Trinity Broadcasting's Lakisha Carvil, the host of "Joy in Our Town," interviews South Florida district's Althea Harris on SBA's military veteran programs and opportunities.  Check your local listings!

Nominations Sought for South Florida 2013 Small Business and Advocates of the Year Awards

MIAMI -- The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is seeking nominations for South Florida's 2013 Small Business Person of the Year and nominations in seven other award categories recognizing excellence in small business and small business advocacy.


Business Expansion Project Celebrated in Palm Beach County

Ribbon Cutting

RIVIERA BEACH, Fla. – The U.S. Small Business Administration's (SBA) South Florida District Office joined local Palm Beach County officials and business leaders Nov. 1 at a ribbon-cutting ceremony celebrating a $3.1 million renovation project at the Smart for Life Manufacturing and Distribution Facility.


SBA Selects Paragon Foundation and Tampa Bay Economic Development Corp. For Intermediary Lending Pilot Program

MIAMI – The U.S. Small Business Administration is helping small business startups, newly established and growing small businesses in South Florida with a new source of financing by recently selecting Paragon Foundation and the Tampa Bay Economic Development Corp. (TEDCO) into its Intermediary Lending Program.


SBA Miami District Office Supports Veteran-Owned Business Efforts at Local Supplier Day


MIAMI (Nov. 15) - The South Florida District Office participated in a Veteran’s Supplier Day event hosted by NBCUniversal and Telemundo on Nov. 15 at Doral Golf Resort and Spa.

SBA South Florida Assistant District Director for Marketing and Outreach, Area 1 Althea Harris discussed SBA’s programs and services to support entrepreneurship for veterans, service-disabled veterans, reservists and their family members or survivors. Business Opportunity specialists Gwen Carrion and Ray Lewis were also on hand to work one-on-one with veteran business owners attending the event.

The event sought to pair veteran-owned businesses that have experience in the entertainment industry with private sector buyers from NBCUniversal and Telemundo.

Three New SBA Partnerships Formed in Single Day

HBIF SAM Signing

TAMPA (Nov. 14) - Deputy District Director Jonel Hein signed strategic alliances between the U.S. Small Business Administration and the Hispanic Business Initiative Fund of Florida (HBIF), St. Leo University, and the Pinellas Country Urban League during three ceremonies last month.

“The purpose of these memorandums are to foster collaboration between SBA and these organizations, and to strengthen and expand the development of small businesses in the State of Florida,” said Hein. 

Pictured: HBIF's Augusto Sanabria (left) and Ed Ramos (right) sign the strategic alliance memoranda with Hein.

Employers Hiring Veterans by Year’s End May Get Expanded Tax Credit

Employers planning to claim an expanded tax credit for hiring certain veterans should act soon, according to the IRS. Many businesses may qualify to receive thousands of dollars through the Work Opportunity Tax Credit, but only if the veteran begins work before the new year.

Here are six key facts...


South Florida District Office Directory

Francisco “Pancho” Marrero, District Director

(305) 536-5521 ext. 118  

Jonel Hein, Deputy District Director

(305) 536-5521 ext. 147 

Miguel Gonzalez, Assistant District Director Lender Relations

(305) 536-5521 ext. 141  

Jeffery Campbell, Assistant District Director 8(a) Business Development

(305) 536-5521 ext. 137

Althea Harris, Assistant District Director for Marketing and Outreach, Area1 (Miami)

(305) 536-5521 ext. 152

Vincent LoPresti, Assistant District Director Marketing and Outreach, Area 2 (Ft. Pierce)


Robert Chavarria, Assistant District Director Marketing and Outreach, Area 3 (Tampa)

(813) 228-2100  

James Brooks, Public Information Officer

Phone: (305) 536-5521