SBA St. Louis District Office December 2012 newsletter

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December 2012

Karen Mills at the roundtable event

St. Louis area business owners meet with Karen Mills during a roundtable event. 

Administrator Mills purchases album at Vintage Vinyl

Mills purchases a classic album at Vintage Vinyl.

Vintage Vinyl's marquee states "Welcome Karen Mills S B YAYY!

Mills and the SBA were welcomed to University City on Vintage Vinyl's marquee.

Mills and Melton admire artwork at Compônere

Mills and Melton admire artwork at Compônere.  Works shown were created by owner Eleanor Wilson Ruder.

SBA Administrator Karen Mills Visits University City Loop Area Businesses

SBA Administrator Karen Mills visited the University City Loop area in St. Louis Dec. 5. Mills began the morning with a business round table at Fitz’s American Grill and Bottling Works with local small business leaders, including Mike Alter, owner of Fitz’s; Joe Edwards, owner of Blueberry Hill and other small businesses; Tom Ray and Lew Prince, owners of Vintage Vinyl; Gloria Carter-Hicks, owner of Hicks-Carter-Hicks, LLC; Russ Odegard and Mike Pruett, co-founders of Dynalabs; Christy Ford Schlafly, co-owner of Ford Hotel Supply Company; and Vicki LaRose, owner of Civil Design, Inc. 

>Read more

Brown-Dixon and business owners pose at Fitz's

Alter and Brown-Dixon beam as LaRose, Prince, and Ray show off their Fitz's root beer.

Mills holds classic vinyl

Mills holds album at Vintage Vinyl. 

District Director's Corner

Dennis Melton, St. Louis District Director

Many business owners are currently experiencing anxiety.  There is uncertainty about the “Fiscal Cliff” and its effects.  The NHL lockout has checked the bottom line of many local establishments.  Financial issues in other parts of the world affect the local economy.  Hurricane Sandy devastated the East Coast and has economically affected the Midwest. What can businesses do in this situation?

>Read more

Tom Daiber

Welcome aboard

Lender Relations Specialist Tom Daiber joined the SBA in November 2012. He can be reached by email at or by phone at 314-539-6600 extension 236.  

>Read more

Dennis S. Melton, SBA St. Louis District Director


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What's in it for Me?

How to Write a Business Plan

There is a wealth of information on the SBA website that can be of great benefit to current and future small business owners.  Each issue of the Gateway eGazette will focus on information available on the SBA website.  This information is free of charge and has been compiled by experts. If there is a topic of interest to you as a current or prospective small business owner, our web site should always be at the top of your search list. 

While current business owners may think they no longer need a business plan, a business plan can be of immense benefit if used properly throughout the life of a business.  Read more... 

e200 participants

e200 participants listen to speaker.

St. Louis District Office Graduates Second e200 Class, New Class Forming for Spring 2013!

The Emerging 200, e200 for short, is an intensive training initiative to accelerate growth of high potential small businesses located in America’s inner-cities. Developed by the U.S. Small Business Administration, e200 offers qualified business owners powerful benefits including innovative strategies to grow, acquire financing, access new markets and leverage networking.

Congratulations to the second class, which graduated on November 13, 2012... >Read more


Workshop in Business Opportunities (WIBO) Presented by Grace Hill Women’s Business Center
Dec. 19
Dec. 26
Jan. 2
Jan. 9
Jan. 16   
6–9 p.m. 
Washington University West Campus, 7425 Forsyth, Clayton, MO, 63105

How to Start and Manage Your Own Business presented by SCORE 
Jan. 2, 8:15 a.m.-3 p.m.
St. Louis Community College at Meramec, 11333 Big Bend Blvd., Rm. SO-105, St. Louis, MO, 63122

Exploring Entrepreneurship presented by SCORE
Jan. 16 6-7:30 p.m.  
Small Business & Technology Development Center, 500 E. Walnut, Suite 103, Columbia, MO, 65201

Writing a Business Plan: The First Step to a Successful Business presented by SBTDC Jan. 23, 1:30-4:30 p.m.  
Small Business & Technology Development Center, 500 E. Walnut Street, Suite 103, Columbia, MO, 65201

For more information, including registration information, and other workshops, please visit

SBA resource partner helps build succeed in Columbia

Jina Yoo

From Classically Trained Musician to World Class Chef

How on earth does a classically trained pianist from South Korea become a world class chef in Columbia, Missouri?  Jina Yoo’s story is as interesting as her food.  
As a child, Jina showed incredible talent as a musician.  
From the age of six, her career path was laid out for her, and it had nothing to do with cooking—she wasn’t even allowed in the kitchen for fear she would cut or burn her fingers and reduce her practice time.  At the age of six Jina practiced three hours a day and that expanded to eleven hours a day as a teen.  Jina was extremely talented and hard-working, but she was never passionate about music.  She graduated with a major in pipe organ and was accepted into graduate school at Indiana University.  At a recital where she made several errors, she had an epiphany that her future was not in music.  She told her professor she was leaving music.  Her professor wished her luck and didn’t seem overly upset, which surprised Jina.  


SBA St. Louis District Office

1222 Spruce Street
Suite 10.103
St. Louis, MO  63103

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

315 Lemay Ferry Rd, #114 
St. Louis, MO  63125
314- 531-VETS (8387)


Grace Hill Women's Business Center
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
Please call for availability.
Other locations


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

St. Louis District Office Staff

District Director
Dennis S. Melton
Extension 244, Blackberry: 314-775-5170

Deputy District Director
Maureen E. Brinkley
Extension 252, Blackberry: 314-412-5283

Senior Area Manager
Columbia AWS
Bob Newman
Extension 239
Columbia Office Number: 573-256-1794
Blackberry: 636-358-5941

Area Manager
Cape Girardeau AWS
Bill Vickery
Blackberry: 573-837-2313

Economic Development Specialist
Small Business Week
Patti Guttmann
Extension 255

Economic Development Specialist
Veterans’ Representative
Women’s Representative
Angie Wells
Extension 223

Business Opportunity Specialist
Gary Alexander
Extension 231

Lender Relations Specialist
Tom Daiber
Extension 236

Public Affairs Specialist
Administrative Officer
Nicki Massie
Extension 229