Wichita SBA News and Events

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March 1, 2013

Wichita District Office Newsletter

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

Healthy SBA Lending Continues  

The pace of SBA-backed lending continues to rebound. SBA lending remains strong, providing capital to small businesses. In January 2013, loan approvals were the highest over the past 5 fiscal years at $1.58 Billion.  This follows the first quarter of FY 2013 when more loans and more dollars were loaned than the same period a year ago, a year in which SBA recorded the second highest loan volume in the agency’s history.  Overall, the pace of SBA loan-making is a healthy sign for the 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. 

In the Wichita District, SBA has approved 84 loans through February 2013 for $31.3 Million.  Local high growth activity is increasing as manufacturing firms represent 35% of Wichita loan dollars and 15% of the loan volume. 

Sell Around the Globe? Tell the World

Enter SBA and Visa’s export video contest for a chance to win $10,000.

Do you sell bowling balls to Bangladesh? Or dish towels to Delhi? Maybe you send laser technology to Lisbon? If you export your goods or services around the world and have used a federal government program or assistance to get there, the U.S. Small Business Administration and Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) want to see your story. Enter the “2013 SBA-Visa Export Video Contest”, where participants will have a chance to win up to $10,000 in prize money. Eligible small business exporters are encouraged to submit a video to www.exportvideo.challenge.gov that will highlight how the small business became a successful exporter, the benefits of exporting and government programs available to help them export.

To participate in the contest, the company must be a small business as determined by SBA’s size standards (http://www.sba.gov/content/summary-size-standards-industry) and comply with a set of requirements that include successfully completing at least one export transaction and using at least one federal program or service to support such transaction. Contest participants must register and create an account with www.challenge.gov, the contest portal that also will serve as a repository for the submissions. Registration is free.  

A panel of judges chosen by SBA will select five videos to be awarded cash prizes directly by Visa, Inc. – $10,000 for first place; $8,000 for second place; $6,000 for third place; $4,000 for fourth place and $2,000 for fifth place.

The videos must meet specific criteria that include duration no longer than three minutes and high-resolution format. Content should be educational, not promotional. The contest is open from Feb. 25 through April 5, 2013. Winners will be announced no later than May 31, 2013.

For more information and submission procedures and requirements, please visit www.exportvideo.challenge.gov

SBA Intern Makes a Big Difference for Small Business  

SBA Intern Kelly Zens

Engineer Kelly Zens is working with the Wichita SBA team to provide Industrial Engineering support to small businesses.  “I saw the need for the type of support an IE (Industrial Engineer) could provide our clients,” says Wayne Bell, District Director for the SBA Wichita office, “So this is really exciting for us.”  The opportunity with the SBA was created in collaboration with the Wichita State University Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurial Engagement and the Workforce Centers of South Central Kansas.  Kelly began her engineering career in the aviation industry then took a sabbatical to spend time with her two young boys.  She recently began graduate school at Wichita State University to further educate herself and better prepare herself to reenter the workforce.  “I always knew I would go back to work as an engineer but I also knew I needed to brush up on my technical and analytical skills first.”  Regarding her position with the SBA, she says, “This is perfect…I’ve been able to use my education and experience to help small businesses while transitioning back to work.  It’s very fulfilling” says Kelly. 

While at the SBA, Ms. Zens has undertaken various projects, including developing a capacity model for a startup commercial laundry service.  “The variability of their processes and demands makes it difficult to understand their capabilities.  The model I’ve built will help them make better business decisions.”  She has also helped a recycling and trash handling service with their new facility layout by pointing out potential problems and offering cost-effective solutions.  Currently, Kelly is working with the owners of a fiber processing mill to establish a costing structure and prioritize efficiency improvements.  Sally Brandon, an owner of The Shepherd’s Mill in Phillipsburg, Kansas, says:

We have been so blessed by the work and effort that Kelly has put into our project.  We were at a loss to know how to figure costing on the wide range of variables that make up our custom fiber processing business.  After sharing our problem with SCORE, they recommended Kelly as someone who could help us with such an analysis.  Her help has been invaluable.  We never would have had the time, knowledge or understanding to organize and evaluate the data involved.  With Kelly’s help with this project, we are poised to begin our next exponential growth phase.

Kelly has participated in SBA events and has enjoyed the many opportunities to interact with small business owners from Wichita and the surrounding area.  “I’ve come to really respect and appreciate the entrepreneurial spirit of Kansas.”

Office Directory

Wayne Bell, District Director 

Phone: 316-269-6566 Ext. 200     Email: wayne.bell@sba.gov

Patrick Carney, Deputy District Director

Phone: 316-269-6566 Ext. 228     Email: patrick.carney@sba.gov 

Vanessa Klein, Public Information Officer / Lead Lender Relations Specialist 

Phone: 316-269-6571 Ext 220     Email: vanessa.klein@sba.gov 

Teri Taylor, Business Opportunity Specialist 
Phone: 316-269-6273 Ext 223     Email: Teri.Taylor@sba.gov 

Wichita District Office

271 W. 3rd Street N.
Suite 2500

Wichita, KS 67202

Phone: 316 269 6566

Email: Wichita_DO@sba.gov