SBA Tennessee District Office Newsletter

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December 31, 2012

SBA Tennessee District Office Newsletter

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

Yes-SBA Loans are available for YOUR Small Business

Lending continues to be strong in Tennessee. Over 400 loans were made statewide totaling $255 million for the Federal Fiscal Year 2012 ending September 30.  These dollars provide working capital for Tennessee’s small businesses, from carwashes, restaurants, dentist offices to broiler houses.  And loan proceeds may be used for everything from making payroll, purchasing inventory or paying the light bill.  The point is that SBA guaranteed lending, with the actual loans made by banks and credit unions in your community, is a viable part of a business plan.  As we look back, about half of our loans last year were for start-up’s and half were for existing businesses, so loans are available no matter what the stage of your business. 

Before you go to the bank, get ready to go to the bank.  That’s where SBA, the sixteen locations of the Tennessee Small Business Development Centers and our six SCORE chapters can help you prepare.  You need a good credit history, a product or service that will generate cash flow and collateral to put on the table to be a viable candidate for a loan.  Make an appointment today to stop by and learn about the training and counseling offered by SBA, TSBDC and SCORE.  You’ll be ready to go to the bank and obtain the working capital necessary to start or expand your small business in the new year.

Walter Perry

District Director

SBA Tennessee District Office


Tennessee SBA Lending Has Strong Upward Trend for Two Years, Strong 2013 Kicks Off New Fiscal Year

Tennessee's SBA District Office experienced a strong Fiscal Year 2011 and a strong FY 2012. For Tennessee in FY 2011, year end loan approvals totaled 584 loans and $283 million. For FY2012, year end lending totaled 400 loans and $255 million.  "We're fortunate to have had some new SBA lenders in Tennessee this past year, including Southeast Bank & Trust from Athens, Tennessee," added Perry.

The top 10 volume lenders--and the number of loans from each-- in Tennessee for FY 2012 actually include 14 banks, with lenders 9 through 14 in a tie--- each having disbursed 9 SBA loans each: U.S. BANK-42; BRIGHTBRIDGE, INC.-22; HERITAGE BANK-17; SUNTRUST BANK-16; AREAWIDE DEVELOPMENT-16; WELLS FARGO BANK-11; TRIUMPH BANK-11; SUPERIOR FINANCIAL GROUP-9; BRANCH BANK & TRUST-9: BORREGO SPRINGS BANK- 9; TRUST COMPANY BANK- 9; MAGNA BANK-9; LIVE OAK BANKING COMPANY- 9: LEGENDS BANK- 9

"We are also very pleased to see a strong trend in our new 2013 Fiscal Year, with $60 million in loans through December 19, 2012," noted Perry. The January 2013 District Office Newsletter will have more information on month-over-month SBA lending statewide, including calendar year-end 2012. 

SBA Success in the Southeast and Beyond,

   by Cassius Butts, Regional Administrator

The Success of SBA Lending

For two years in a row the U.S. Small Business Administration has helped to put more than $30 billion into the hands of small business owners across the country.  In Fiscal Year 2012, the SBA loan programs posted the second largest dollar volume ever, surpassed only by the dollar volume in FY 2011, which was heavily boosted by the loan incentives under the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010.  The pace of SBA loan-making is a healthy sign for the national economy and the credit markets and is one of the foundations for ensuring the availability of financing to small businesses trying to establish themselves, grow and create new jobs for Americans.  

Over the past year, SBA began streamlining and simplifying many of the loan programs to provide more access and opportunity for both lenders and small businesses.  As part of this effort, SBA encouraged lenders to use more of their own paperwork and the agency’s updated processing systems, so that more than 80 percent of its loan applications can now be processed online.  These efforts, among other loan enhancements, have resulted in nearly 1,300 lenders returning to SBA lending, and have opened up more points of capital access for small businesses wherever they do business. We have the results to prove it.  

504 Loans Dollars Set All-Time Record. By simply improving the loan making process and reducing paperwork, we saw a record year for the Certified Development Company (504) loan program, which helped 9,471 entrepreneurs supporting $15.09 billion in small business lending.   

CAPLines Loan Program Jumps 400 Percent.  A revamped CAPLines program, which provides working lines of credit to small businesses such as manufacturers and government contractors, jumped 400 percent from 108 loans and $118 million in FY 2011, to 532 loans and $410 million in FY 2012. 

Low-dollar Loans on the Rise.  Lenders are making more low-dollar loans using the Advantage loan programs - Community Advantage and Small Loan Advantage (SLA).  These programs encourage lenders to make low-dollar loans, which are an important tool for small businesses.  The number of Community Advantage loans increased more than 11-fold from FY 2011 to FY 2012.   The Small Loan Advantage ended the fiscal year with 820 loans for $150.6 million.  Nearly 80 percent of the year’s SLA loans came after SBA simplified the processes on June 1. 

SBA’s Growth Capital Program Breaks Record for the Third Consecutive Year. The Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) debenture program provided a record $2.95 billion to small businesses in FY 2012, a 14 percent increase over the previous year and the highest single-year volume in the 54-year history of the program.  This good news is due in part to a number of improvements that contributed to an increased number of new SBIC licenses and reduced license processing times.  As we look forward to 2013, SBA stands ready to help you start, grow or expand your business. For more information about the SBA, visit:

To stay informed on what the SBA has to offer you and your small business or organization, please follow us on Twitter (@SBASoutheast) and Like us on Facebook (SBA Southeast), and please subscribe to our monthly Regional newsletter by visiting and click on “e-mail updates”. 


SBA Honors Two East Tennessee Small Businesses for Success in Government Contracting

In November, the SBA honored two east Tennessee based small busineses for their excellence in supporting mission needs of federal agencies as contractros to the U.S. Government. MS Technonology in Oak Ridge and Security Walls LLC of Knoxville, received honors from Tennessee's SBA District Office.

"We are pleased to honor these two companies which have provided innovation, job creation and economic growth to the Volunteer State," said SBA Tennessee SBA District Tennessee District Director, Walter Perry. Both companies are involved in the SBA's 8(a) Business Development Program, which is named for Section 8(a) of the Small Business Act to enable small and disadvanted businesses to compete in the marketplace and gain access to federal and private procurement markets.

MS Technology completed the 8(a) program in 2006 and was honored as the 8(a) Graduate of the Year for sustained growth following their mandatory graduation after completing nine years in the program. The company developed a microwave heating and melting technology for casting metals useful in many commercial applications worldwide, with work beginning at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge facilities. MS Technology began in 1994 with 16 employees and has grown today to over 120 employees.

Security Walls LLC received the 2012 8(a) Firm of the Year award and is a Knoxville based security and consulting services firm with the core competency of securing and protecting government facilities along with those of libraries, museums, hospitals, universities and corporate office buildings and industrial sites. The company was founded in 2003 by Juanita Walls, who serves as Chief Manager and was a Special Agent with the FBI before starting the company.

"Both companies have used their participation in the SBA's Business Development Program to further job creation and grow the economy in the Knoxville-Oak Ridge area," said Perry. We encourage minority and women owned firms to see how participation in the 8(a) program can support growth of their business through federal contracting opportunities."


Unistar-Sparco Named to Inc. 5000

Milliington, Tennessee-based Unistar-Sparco Computer, Inc. has once again made the Inc. Magazine 5000 list of the fastest growing private companies in America for the fourth time.  Sparco is a Tennessee SBA 8(a) company and has also proactively responded to the Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) IT needs for the Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) VetSuccess Program, creating a customized ordering portal specifically designed to enable the VA to meet its requirements.

Unistar-Sparco Computers, Inc. ranked number 2666 overall and number 21 within the Computer Hardware industry. "Thanks to the commitment of our staff, we have continued to be a trusted partner to our customers and this ranking reflects our hard work and dedication," stated Mr. Soo-Tsong Lim, President and co-founder of Sparco.

Unistar-Sparco Computers, a comprehensive Information Technology (IT) Solution Provider. It started as a two-person local business and has since grown into a financially secure company satisfying the IT hardware, software, office supply, and professional service requirements of school systems, federal, state, and local government agencies, as well as large and small businesses nationwide.

Tennessee District Office Moves into New Permanent Offices in Nashville

The Tennessee District Office has moved into new permanent office quarters at 2 International Plaza Drive, Suite 500, Nashville, Tennessee 37217, following the move from 50 Vantage Way, Nashville, in August.  The phone number (615) 736-7176 and the FAX number, (615) 736-7232 remain the same, as well as the SCORE office phone, (615) 736-7621.


SBA Tennessee District Office Milestones for the Last Quarter of Calendar Year 2012

  • The Tennesse SBA District Office recognized 14 distinguished entrepreneurs in Memphis on October 24th who graduated from SBA's e200 program. Memphis is one of only 27 communities in the U.S. which were chosen to participate in the Emerging Leaders e200 initiative that specifically focuses on established businesses poised for growth: "Our graduating class this year recognizes the fifth consecutive e200 class in Memphis, bringing the total number of graduates to 74," said SBA Tennessee District Director, Walter Perry.
  •  The Nashville Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (NAHCC) was named one of eight chambers in the U.S in the recently announced SBA partnership with the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce to jointly provide outreach events to the Hispanic small business community.  On November 14th the NAHCC and the SBA conducted their first Access To Capital event in Nashville as part of the nationwide partnership agreement.  A panel of bankers from Regions Bank, U.S. Bank and Fifth Third Bank, moderated by NAHCC CEO Yuri Cunza and DD Walter Perry, discussed such topics as Financial Literacy, the Five C’s of Credit, Business Planning, and SBA Loans & Programs with more than thirty attendees invited by the chamber, SBA and its resource partners.

  • SBA is reaching out to area small businesses to encourage exporting, and in early December, Sandro Murtas, SBA Regional Export Solutions Manager from Atlanta, visited Tennessee to advocate how small businesses can utilize SBA's export loans for working capital. With stops in Cleveland, Chattanooga, Murfreesboro, Nashville and Memphis, outreach events were held including with lenders and small business owners. SBA has an International Trade Loan program which offers a 90% loan guarantee for business owners whose business has an exporting component. While in Memphis, a lender roundtable was hosted by the Memphis BioWorks Foundation, give the extensive emphasis on medical technology export opportunites for small businesses and how local lenders can utilize SBA loan programs for exporting. In Nashville, Murtas participated, along with David Tiller, District International Trade Officer and District Director, Walter Perry, in the live radio program, "Common Sen$e-The Money Show", originating on WFSK 88.1 FM from the campus of historic Fisk University, where exporting opportunties were presented to the radio listeners. Tennessee has many opportunities for exporting, from lumber, to manufactured goods, to confectioneries, and SBA is ready to help with export working capital loans and counseling on how to export, available from both SBA and the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service of the Department of Commerce.
  • On December 7, SBA District Office Economic Development Specialist, Jacqueline Merritt, and  Veterans Business Development Officer, David Tiller, attended the last of five statewide Veterans programs for 2012--this one held at the Gallatin Community Center near Nashville. Known as "Rally Point" the event was again hosted by Senator Bob Corker's office and included a keynote from Tennessee's first female commissioner of the State Department of Veterans Affairs, Many Bears Grinder. District Office Staff have together covered more than fifteen statewide events for the SBA attended by more than 3,000 Veterans in 2012.


SBA Tennessee Small Business Week Awards Nominations on Track for Successful Statewide Contest in 2013

As of the end of December 2012, the Tennessee SBA District Office has received more than 15 completed nomination packages for the SBA Tennessee Small Business Week Awards. There may be more nominations forthcoming since the new deadline for this years' Tennesee SBA Small Business Week Awards is January 15, 2013.

SBA Tennessee District Office

 2013 State & National SBA Awards

Nominations Open for 2013 Small Business and Advocacy Awards


Outstanding small business entrepreneurs and small business advocates here in Tennessee


Awards for small businesses and small business advocates, including:

  • Small Business Person of the Year
  • Tennessee Small Business Exporter of the Year
  • Tennessee Young Entrepreneur of the Year
  • Tennessee HUB Zone Champion of the Year
  • Tennessee Minority Small Business Champion
  • Tennessee Home Based Business Champion
  • Tennessee Family Business of the Year
  • Tennessee Minority Small Business Champion
  • Tennessee Veteran Champion
  • Tennessee Women in Business Champion


Nominations for all awards listed above may be submitted to the Tennessee District Office at 2 International Plaza Drive, Suite 500, Nashville, TN 37217. See the nomination guidelines for additional submission options.


The deadline to submit a nomination is January 15, 2013. Winners will be notified in March and formally announced in April.


Please refer questions to David Tiller in the TN District Office, 615-736-7176,

For news and upcoming events, see the Tennessee District Office website at

SBA Tennessee District Office

2 International Plaza Drive, Suite 500

Nashville, Tennessee 37217

(615) 736-5881

Walter Perry III, District Director 

Phone: (615) 736-5881

Saundra Jackson, Deputy District Director
Phone: (901) 526-9300

For questions and information about the SBA Tennessee District Office Newsletter, please contact:

David Tiller,  Public Information Officer 

Phone: (615) 736-7176     Email: 





January 9th-- GSA Schedule Contract Training, SBA TN District Office, 2 International Plaza Drive, Suite 301, Nashville, TN 37217, 8:30am-Noon CST, Contact (615) 736-7426

January 9th-McNairy Regional Alliance Contracting Outreach,Selmer,TN, 9:30am--Noon, CST, Contact  (901) 526-9300 for infomation

January 15th- Doing Business with the Government,1400 Oak Ridge Turnpike, Oak Ridge,TN 37830 9am-Noon EST, Contact (865) 483-2668

 January 15th-Women Owned Small Business Certification, 1400 Oak Ridge Turnpike, Oak Ridge, TN 3783 1:30-3:30pm EST, Contact (865) 483-2668

January 16th-GSA Schedule Contract Training, 1400 Oak Ridge Turnpike, Oak Ridge, TN 37830, 9am-3:30pm EST, Contact (865) 483-2663 

January 24th-Doing Business with the Government, 315 10th Ave.North, Nashville, TN 37203, 9am-Noon CST, Contact (615) 736-7426

January 28th-29th-3rd Annual Veterans Business-Education Showcase, Knoxville Convention Center, Contact TN Veterans Business Association Contact (865)675-9384, or David Tiller, SBA  Vets Bus Dev.  Officer (615) 736-7176

Important Links

The Tennessee Small Business Development Center network provides counseling and workshops with sixteen locations statewide

SCORE-"Counselors to America's Small Businesses" provides counseling and workshops to both startups and experienced entrepreneurs with six chapters throughout Tennessee