SBA Tennessee District Office Newsletter

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February 28, 2013

Tennessee District Office Newsletter

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

Inside the SBA--District Director, Walter Perry's Update

Memphis Hosts SBA Administrator

Launches 6th Year of Emerging Leaders Program

 The Tennessee District Office was honored to host SBA Administrator Karen Mills in Memphis on February 13, 2013.  Administrator Mills toured West Tennessee Ornamental Door Company, a small business manufacturer that makes security storm doors and gates.  The company’s president is a 2012 graduate of the SBA Emerging Leaders Program (formerly known as Emerge200) and is a manufacturing success story in Tennessee.  

So what is the Emerging Leaders Program?  This initiative provides a diverse group of small business owners with entrepreneurial education, new networks, and access to new markets.  Its purpose is to give participants the necessary skills to create more jobs, grow their businesses, and develops community leaders.  The City of Memphis and Shelby County Government host this initiative, which has produced 74 distinguished graduates to date.    

This Program will kick off its sixth year in Memphis during March.  Interested small business owners that have been in business at least three (3) years, have obtained sales of at least $400,000, and are located within the Memphis Metro area in Tennessee are eligible to apply.     

Selections for 17 eligible participants for the Class of 2013 will begin on April 1, 2013.   Interested business owners can use the link to learn more about the program as well as register on line. 

With the strength of this program and the success stories it produces, 2013 promises to be another exciting year for the Emerging Leaders Program.  We welcome your interest.   

Walter N. Perry III

District Director


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.  

“Streamlining and simplifying has been a key focus of our agency over the last few years. The changes are the latest steps to reduce paperwork burden, with our eye on the larger goal of expanding access to capital and giving entrepreneurs and small business owners the financial resources to grow and create jobs,” said SBA Administrator Karen Mills. “Specifically, these proposed regulations will provide greater access to capital through our two largest loan programs, while also reducing risk to taxpayer dollars.” The SBA proposes the new measures after extensive consultations with lenders and borrowers to identify the greatest challenges they face and find ways to reduce barriers to making and accessing loans, while still maintaining strict oversight. 

Among the proposed changes are:

Eliminating the Personal Resource Test: A borrower will no longer be required to obtain a maximum level of personal finance resources for a 7(a) or 504 loan. This will streamline the loan process by eliminating complicated regulations used to determine the amount of collateral required.  

Revising the Rule on Affiliation: Revising this rule will open access to SBA loans to businesses that, under current rules, would not qualify as a small business under SBA’s size standards by virtue of their association with other companies. It also would streamline 504 loan applications and reduce paperwork requirements for 504 and 7(a) loan applications.  

Eliminating the Nine-Month Rule for the 504 Loan Program: Eliminating the Nine-Month rule removes a restriction that limits a business to include in its 504 project only expenses incurred nine months prior to submitting the loan application. The new rule would allow inclusion of expenses incurred at any time (e.g., projects put on hold for more than nine months due to a natural disaster).  

Increasing Accountability of the Certified Development Companies’ Board of Directors while Eliminating Requirements for Membership: Refocusing CDC corporate governance requirements will reinforce the importance of board accountability for CDC oversight for the 504 loan program and set in place measures to strengthen oversight in order to maintain program integrity.  

For comprehensive information on the new rules and their benefits, visit You can also access the document published in the Federal Register at for the full text of the proposed rule.  


 New Initiative for HBCU's in Southeastern  


Cassius Butts

Regional Administrator

U.S. Small Business Administration


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.  Please look for an event near you where SBA is partnering with an HBCU.  We encourage your involvement. 

 2013 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) Expands Contracting Opportunities

President Obama signed the Fiscal Year 2013 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) which includes a number of provisions that impact small businesses.  The NDAA removes the $6.5M and $4M award cap from set-asides under the Women-Owned and Economically Disadvantaged Women-Owned Small Business Contracting Program. Also, a Mentor Protégé Program modeled after the 8(a) Mentor Protégé Program has been established for all small businesses.  Additionally, the SBA guaranteed surety bond limits were raised from $2 million to $6.5 million and allows for bonds up to $10 million on federal contracts if the contracting officer certifies that the surety is needed for award of the contract. Finally, the NDAA requires that agency heads ensure members of the Senior Executive Services receive training with respect to Federal acquisition requirements, including training requirements under the Small Business Act. The law also requires that the head of each respective agency take steps to ensure that members of the SES are held accountable to meeting small business contracting goals.

Region IV International Trade Officer, Sandro Murtas, and Chattanooga SBDC Host Successful Export Trade Event for Lenders

Almost fifty lenders attended an International Trade Seminar and luncheon presented by SBA Region IV International Trade Officer, Sandro Murtas from SBA's Region IV Atlanta Office, and hosted by Sharyn Moreland of the Chattanooga SBDC and her entire staff. Murtas delighted the audience with the prospect of lending to small busiensses who would like to try export trade finance programs such as Export Express, the Export Working Capital Program (EWCP) and the International Trade Loan.

SBA's export trade finance programs are still the only SBA guaranteed loans that offer a 90% loan guaranty.

Following the successful Murtas' presentation, SBDC Director Sharyn Moreland said, " Robert Leach (of the Department of Commerce) is hosting another seminar with us scheduled for April 26th, at our location.  The topic is 'Managing International Distributors for Sales Growth & Profit,' and we hope to have another great turnout."

Nashville Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and SBA Present Second Series of Small Business Outreach Events

On Thursday February 28th, the Tennessee SBA and the Nashville Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (NAHCC) presented their second outreach event as part of the nationwide agreement signed in October 2012 between the SBA and seven other Hispanic chambers of commerce throughout the U.S. Twenty-three attendees enjoyed a breakfast roundtable discussion and workshop hosted at the DHPM law firm in Nashville, an NAHCC member,and by Yuri Cunza and Loraine Segovia, NAHCC Chairman and President respectively. The roundtable discussion participants included NAHCC members and new attendees from retail, construction, insurance, web-development, and event planning small businesses, as well as participation by representatives Luis Parodi, Rick Miller and Dwayne King from Fifth Third Bank and Claude Whatley from U.S. Bank in Nashville. SBA loan programs and services were also discussed as the program was led by David Tiller, SBA Tennessee Public Information Officer. Rick Miller, a Vice-President from Fifth Third is also a member of SCORE, and a co-host of the local CBS affiliate TV show, "SCORE on Business."


SBA Acting National Ombudsman, Yolanda Swift, Regulatory Fairness Forum for Small Business - Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce-3050 Medical Center Parkway-2nd Floor, Conference Room A-Murfreesboro, TN 37129

Wednesday, March 13, 2013 -  2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m., Central Time

Small business owners will have an opportunity to discuss issues regarding Federal regulatory compliance and enforcement during this Forum. Have you or a small business owner you know been unfairly fined or penalized by a Federal Government agency, or is a Federal agency enforcement action imminent? SBA Acting National Ombudsman Yolanda Swift will meet with members of the Murfreesboro area small business community to hear issues and comments about federal regulatory enforcement and compliance actions. Small business owners, representatives of trade associations and community and business leaders are invited to participate, comment about compliance actions and enforcement of regulations by federal agencies and learn more about the impact of federal regulations on small businesses.To create a more cooperative regulatory environment among federal agencies and small businesses, Congress has directed the SBA and the National Ombudsman to hold Regulatory Fairness forums for small businesses.  The National Ombudsman will direct any specific issues addressed at this forum to the appropriate Federal agency for a higher-level review of fairness of the enforcement action.     Members of the small business community, trade organizations and media are encouraged to attend.  RSVPs should be made to José Méndez in the Office of the National Ombudsman at (202) 205-6178 or by email to before the forum. Small business owners or representatives unable to attend can contact the Office of the National Ombudsman for further assistance.  Please contact David Tiller, Public Information Officer, Tennessee SBA Office, (615) 736-7176 for more information. 



SBA Tennessee District Office

2 International Plaza Drive, Suite 500, Nashville, Tennessee, 37217


 Phone: 615-736-5881

To include yourself or your business on the SBA Tennessee Newsletter email list, please visit




 Walter Perry, District Director 

Phone: (615)736-5881

Saundra Jackson, Deputy District Director

Phone: (901)526-9300

David Tiller, Public Information Officer 

Phone: (615) 736-7176     Email:  




March 7th -"How to Start and Finance a Small Business", Memphis Public Library, 3030 Poplar Ave., Memphis, TN 38111, (901) 526-9300 6PM-8PM Central Time

March 12th-" How To Do Business with the Federal Government", Boliver Chamber of Commerce, 114 South Main, Boliver, TN 38008, (901) 526-9300, 9:30AM-Noon Central Time

March 13th--SBA Acting National Ombudsman, Yolanda Swift, "Regulatory Fairness Forum for Small Business" Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce, 3050 Medical Center Parkway, 2nd Floor Conference Room A, Murfreesboro, TN 37129, 2PM-3PM-Central Time, Contact David Tiller, PIO, (615) 736-7176

March 14th-"How to Do Business with the Federal Government," Small Business Development Center, 406 S. Lindell Street, Martin, TN 38232, (731) 587-7333 9AM-Noon, Central Time

March 20th-"SBA's 8-a Business Development Program", Small Business Development Center, 17 Market Sqaure, Knoxville, TN 9AM-Noon-Eastern Time 

March 22nd- "How to Obtain a GSA Schedule", Renaissance Business Center, 555 Beale St., Memphis, TN 38103 (901) 526-9300, 8:30AM-3PM, Central Time