South Florida Business Newsletter March 2013

March Masthead

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

Find us online at

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.

Southern Florida Minority Supplier Development Council Business Expo

SBA will be attending this year's SFMSDC Business Expo at the Broward County Convention Center.  Learn more about the Expo HERE.

Save the date!

Government Contract Negotiations Workshop Apr. 23

SBA South Florida is hosting a FREE one-day seminar on government contract negotiations at our Tampa, Fla. location.  REGISTER

SBA South Florida District Lending Report

As of Feb. 28, SBA has approved 522 7(a) loans and 142 504 loans in the South Florida District.  Who are the lenders? 


In this issue of South Florida Business News....

From the Director

March is the traditional time of year when SBA joins many other organizations in celebrating Women’s History Month.  In South Florida, women-owned businesses are fueling the Sunshine State’s economic recovery and creating new jobs.

To continue our recovery, entrepreneurs must have access to the right resources to be successful.  SBA provides valuable resources through counseling, providing capital, and growing business with government contracts.  For women entrepreneurs, SBA provides even more specialized assistance. 

Women entrepreneurs seeking professional advice and guidance can find it at one of south Florida’s women business centers that are part of SBA’s Women Business Center (WBC) program.  This network of more than 110 community-based centers provide business training, coaching, mentoring and other assistance geared toward women, particularly those who are socially and economically disadvantaged.  You can learn more about a woman business center near you HERE

Our nation’s economic recovery relies on the entrepreneurial spirit of all business people and the availability of capital.  SBA loan programs provide equal access to every entrepreneur wanting to start or grow a business and create jobs.  Lending activity at the end of the first quarter of FY 2013 is ahead of the pace at the same point a year ago.  District loan activity for south Florida’s women-owned business exceeds that of the same time frame of the previous fiscal year.   

Finally, SBA has made great strides in leveling the playing field for women-owned businesses to compete for government contracts through the Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) Federal Contract Program.  Earlier this year, SBA announced new federal contracting opportunities for women-owned businesses  as a result of changes included in the National Defense Authorization Act of 2013 (NDAA).  Learn more about WOSB and the recent changes.

Women’s History Month may only be observed once a year but my office is committed to work on improving our outreach and strengthening our programs to women entrepreneurs all year long.   Bookmark SBA’s Women Owned Business Guide for more information about loans, selling to the government.  Finally, check out some of our south Florida district women-owned business success stories this month on our district web site

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Upcoming Events in South Florida

Automated Export System Seminar and Workshop, March 7-8 NOVA Southeastern Univ., Fort Lauderdale

Free or low-cost business training workshops are scheduled throughout the South Florida District through our network of SCORE resource partners! Click on the links below to 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.

For women entrepreneurs, the two Florida Women's Business Centers offer training for you HERE and HERE.

SBA to Expand Access to Loan Programs

Fewer regulations will streamline applications and ensure program integrity through enhanced oversight

WASHINGTON – Borrowers and lenders of loans backed by the U.S. Small Business Administration will have greater access to capital and less paperwork as a result of a proposed regulation aimed at streamlining the SBA application process, while also strengthening oversight and the integrity of the agency’s loan programs. READ MORE 

New Report Analyzes Florida’s Small Businesses

WASHINGTON – Small businesses significantly impact Florida’s economy, employing 2.8 million workers in 2010 with most of the employment coming from firms with 20 – 499 employees, according to a new state-by-state report released today by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Office of Advocacy. READ MORE

Tell Your Export Story and Win $$$

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SBA Southeast Region Works To Partner With Historically Black Colleges and Universities

by: Cassius Butts

SBA Regional Administrator

Cassius Butts Region 4

I am very pleased to introduce to you an initiative we have kicked off in the Southeastern Region of the SBA that is very important and it is very dear to my heart. The SBA district offices located in the 8 Southeastern States are working with my office to reach a goal of signing agreements with each of the 59 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU's) located in our region. The Strategic Alliance Memorandum (SAM) agreements are representative of the level of commitment of the SBA and the higher education institutions. The purpose is to educate today's youth and minority students of the entrepreneurial opportunities that exist today and to connect these students with resources that can help to fulfill their entrepreneurial dreams. This initiative is not meant only for business school students, but to all of the students within the college or university. As we all know, an entrepreneur can come from any department and from any background. I am honored to be a part of history taking place and to assist the SBA in in reaching the agency's ambitious goals of supporting America's underserved markets. 

Export Outreach Workshop Brings Experts Together

Export group shot

SBA South Florida District partnered with U.S. Dept. of Commerce on Feb. 5, in hosting an Export Outreach workshop with federal, state and local export officials at the Miami Free Trade Zone.  The workshop was designed  to increase understanding of members’ international trade resources, develop referral protocols and share best practices through three interactive case studies. 

SBA Surety Bond Guarantee Ceiling Tripled

WASHINGTON – A major revision in the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Surety Bond Guarantee (SBG) Program more than triples the eligible contract amount, from $2 million to $6.5 million, the Agency will guarantee on surety bonds for both public and private contracts. The higher surety bond guarantee limits are expected to help construction and service sector small businesses gain greater access to private and public contracts and secure larger contracts vital to small business growth.


Is Your Business Ready For Unexpected Bad Spring Weather?

WASHINGTON – Winter snows are sometimes followed by floods. Severe storms—sometimes in the form of deadly tornadoes or massive rainfall—can wreak havoc across the U.S. during spring.  Get business continuity tips at a free webinar hosted by SBA & Agility.  LEARN MORE

SBA South Florida District 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 ext. 24

James Brooks, Public Information Officer

Phone: (305) 536-5521 X104