Celebrating African American Entrepreneurs in South Central Region

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Feb. 27, 2013

South Central Region - AR, LA, NM, OK, TX

Celebrating South Central Region African American Entrepreneurs

South Central Region Newsletter serves AR, LA, NM, OK, TX

Brought to you by the U.S. Small Business Administration South Central Region

Yolanda Garcia Olivarez, Regional Administrator

A Message from the Regional Administrator

Yolanda Garcia Olivarez

Entrepreneurs are diverse.  They represent every aspect of our great country – every ethnicity, every religion and every economic level.  When these hard working men and women do well, our families grow, our neighborhoods thrive and our communities prosper.  In this newsletter, we spotlight successful African American entrepreneurs in the South Central Region who are meeting the challenges of these tough times by making a living for themselves and their employees. 

El Paso District

Von Washington

IDA Technology, LLC is moving forward fast with help from SBA contracting program

Von Washington, a service-disabled veteran became 8(a) certified in March 2000.  A retired U.S. Army officer, Washington runs a company that specializes in program management, project analysis, systems evaluation, weapons systems evaluations and facilities maintenance.  He has created 72 jobs after three federal contracts.  Washington is a dynamic leader who is taking his fast moving company forward with clear goals and objectives.  Read More...

Louisiana District

Diedria B. Joseph

New Orleans entrepreneur creates Topp Knotch Personnel company with SBA 

Within two years of becoming certified in the SBA 8(a) program, Diedria Joseph's Topp Knotch Personnel company received its first federal contract.  Today, Topp Knotch is providing professional personnel through offices in Houston and Conroe, Texas, and Jacksonville, Fla. The company has employed over 10,000 personnel since opening doors in 1995, and is offering expanded staffing solutions to include drug testing, background checks and vendor  management.  Read more...

Houston District

Reggie Slater

Former pro basketball player dribbles to success with SBA assistance

Reggie Slater's desire to help and encourage young people to live better lives through health, fitness, and sports motivated him to start Slater’s Sports Zone in Fort Bend County, Texas.  With the help of Ft. Bend County SBDC Director Joe Decker, Slater was approved for an SBA 504 Program loan to help finance the project.  Read More...

New Mexico District

Easton Kamala

Embodying the Goddess - SBA counsels entrepreneur to succeed in her passion

WESST, an SBA Women's Business Center, led Dr. Kamala Easton to transform her passion of spiritual healing and education into a successful business.  Through workshops and one-on-one counseling, Dr. Easton has generated customers worldwide and now employs two part-time assistants.  WESST's technical assistance has helped Dr. Easton expand into a wider market that inlcudes yoga events.  Dr. Easton is also an author and speaker.  Read More...

West Texas District

An SBA loan helps African American U.S. Air Force veteran transition into a profitable music business

Nelson's Organ Service Center is the last music store standing in Abilene, Texas and owner, Nelson Wilson is gobbling up all the business.  It's not because he's greedy. It's because when the other business owners had to shut their doors they recommended Wilson to their customers.  The owners believed in Wilson's excellent work ethic, good reputation and quality service.  Wilson is comfortable in his new career thanks to direct assistance from the Lubbock - West Texas District Office staff and First State Bank of Abilene who helped him secure an SBA backed loan. Read More...

SBA is here to help

Together with our resource partners, SBA is engaged at every level to help all small businesses reach their full potential. Explore what SBA has to offer at www.sba.gov.

Loan Programs. Across the country, and particularly in underserved communities, small business owners are often faced with the challenge of accessing the capital they need to start and grow their business. Through a variety of loan programs, SBA can help you take this important step by facilitating a loan with a third party lender, guaranteeing a bond, or helping you find venture capital.

One option may be SBA’s Small Loan Advantage (SLA) Program, “SLA 2.0,” which offers lenders the opportunity to invest in neighborhoods hit hardest by the recession; streamlining the process to get more loans into the hands of small businesses and entrepreneurs. The loan limit for the program is $350,000 and banks may use their own documentation and underwriting process. In the South Central Region SBA approved $23 million in SLA loans so far this fiscal year. For more information and a complete list of SBA’s loan products, visit http://www.sba.gov/content/sba-loans.

Free Counseling. SBA is uniquely positioned to help you find ways to start and grow your business. We have 175 different resource partners throughout the South Central Region to speak with you one-on-one about your business plan, marketing and other strategies.  Our resource partners include Small Business Development Centers, Women Business Centers, SCORE, and Veteran Business Outreach Centers. Visit www.sba/direct or contact your local SBA District Office, listed below, for more information.

Government Contracting.  Our latest contracting data shows $9 billion in federal contracts awarded to small businesses in the South Central Region.  SBA can help you compete for set-aside contracts in the federal marketplace through programs such as the Women Owned Business Certification Program, HUBZone Certification Program, and the 8(a) Business Development Program.  The 8(a) Program offers a broad scope of assistance to socially and economically disadvantaged entrepreneurs the help them gain a foothold in government contracting. 

Interested in learning more?  Stay connected. Follow us on Twitter @sbasouthcentral or Facebook www.facebook.com/southcentral.


SBA to Expand Access to Loan Programs

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


Sell Around the Globe? Tell the World

Enter SBA and Visa’s export video contest for a chance to win:

  • 1st - $10,000
  • 2nd - $8,000
  • 3rd - $6,000
  • 4th - $4,000
  • 5th - $2,000


SBA Launches 2013 Emerging Leaders Initiative

Entrepreneur Training Initiative Sparks Small Business Growth, Job Creation. 

Classes will be held in the following South Central Region Districts.  Find out how to sign up for classes by contacting the District closest to you.