SBA St. Louis District Office Newsletter - March 2013

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March 2013

Pamela Blair at expo

Knowing Your Place in the Past Can Help Assure Your Place in the Future: How SBA Resource Partners Helped EyeSeeMe LLC Turn Their Vision into Reality

When she was a young child, Pamela Blair was spellbound by the stories her father, Shadrock Porter, would weave of the leaders and peoples of the ancient great kingdoms of Africa.  Thanks to sage planning advice from St. Louis-area SBA resource partners, she’s joining her husband, Jeffrey, in an effort to bring tales of African heroes and great African Americans to children in the community.

The family-owned business, EyeSeeMe, provides books, games, puzzles, posters and music to highlight positive images to children of Biblical and African American heroes.  The couple launched its web site in April 2012, and is becoming a steady presence at vendor fairs and school fundraising events.

>Read more

Pamela and Jeffrey Blair

Jeffrey and Pamela Blair want children to have positive role models they can relate to from the Bible and from history.

Pamela and Jeffrey Blair attend expos to sell their products. 

Pamela and Jeffrey Blair at expo
EyeSeeMe secular products

EyeSeeMe sells secular products (above) and Biblical products (below).

EyeSeeMe Biblical products

Business Success at Any Age? Missouri SBTDC Assists Baby Boomer John House of JHS Specialties, LLC

John House of JHS Specialties with some of his green products

In our fifties, many of us count down the years until we can retire.  We join AARP.  We start thinking about the money we should have put aside over the years and look at how we can put aside a little more.  We see our children leave home. We start thinking about things we’ve put off that we’d like to do before we get too old.  Often we look at what we’re going to leave our children as a legacy.  John House was 56 years old and considering all of this and more when he started JHS Specialties, LLC, a green product industrial supply sales company, in July 2011. 

House medically retired from the Army as a 71L, Clerk-Typist; an 11B, Infantryman; and 05C, SCUBA Diver.  He had lost the sight in his right eye and developed bad knees but had other work experience as a police officer, a salesperson and volunteering as a SCUBA trainer for Rescue and Recovery workers.  Because his wife has a lifelong debilitating disease, together their medical expenses total about $7000 a month…but House was one who hoped to leave a legacy to his children.

He sat down with his kids to see if they wanted to run a company he would start.  They were interested, so he set forth to find out how to start and manage one.  House met with Greg Tucker from the Missouri Small Business & Technology Development Center (SBTDC) in Hillsboro, Missouri, and found not only an adviser, but his cheering section, and “an occasional kick in the pants along the way” as he started a specialty company to sell commercial and industrial supplies from his home in Valles Mines, Missouri.

>Read more

District Director's Corner

Dennis S. Melton, SBA St. Louis District Director

Dennis S. Melton,
District Director

“I didn’t know the SBA did that!”  We hear that statement on a daily basis in our SBA offices.  Even people who have used our services for years often don’t know about all the things we can do for them.  Most of the services we provide fall within three broad categories—the three “C”s as we call them. 

The first is access to Capital or Credit.  (It must be noted here that the SBA does not give grants to clients—any grants are made to organizations which assist small businesses.)  Access to capital is through all of our loan services, including our disaster loans.  All loans except disaster loans are made through our SBA lending partners—such as banks, credit unions, certified development companies, and SBA lending intermediaries. 

> Read more

Patricia Brown-Dixon, Region 7 Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration

March 2013 Regional Administrator's Column

Pat Brown-Dixon

SBA Wants To Give Small Businesses The World: Exporting Can Help Businesses Expand, Create Jobs

In today's global economy, selling around the world can bring large rewards. It just makes good business sense to expand your customer base to the more than 95 percent of the world’s population outside our country where demand for American goods and services is growing every day.

Small businesses now constitute 34 percent of our nation’s total export dollars, and make up about 97.8 percent of all exporters. At the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) we provide counseling, training and financing to ensure that small businesses can tap into the global market. Since FY 2009, SBA has guaranteed 6,400 loans to small business exporters for over $3.3 billion.  This financing supported more than $6.3 billion in exports and an untold number of American jobs. 

>Read more

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Please join us

FREE Federal Contracting and Government Contract Management Training

Date: March 21, 2013
Time: 8:30—5:00
Location: SBA St Louis District Office
1222 Spruce Street, Room 10.103*
St Louis, MO 63103
*This training may be moved to the auditorium.  Please contact Gary Alexander (contact information below) prior to the training for training location and other information.

The Small Business Administration (SBA) in conjunction with Stover & Associates, Inc. (Stover) is presenting a FREE one day workshop focusing on Government Contract Negotiations for individuals or enterprises eligible for assistance under Section 7(j) of the Small Business Act, 15 USC 636.

This course is designed to provide an exposure to federal government contracting.
>Read more

National Encore Entrepreneur Mentor Day

Mentor Month: Connecting Baby Boomers to Business

This event will be presented in conjunction with AARP.  There will be a panel discussion with successful baby boomer business owners.  SBA resource partners will also be on hand to answer your questions. 

Date: April 11, 2013
Time: 10 a.m. to noon (Registration at 9:30 a.m.)
 Location: St. Louis County Library Headquarters, 1640 South Lindbergh, St. Louis, Missouri, 63131, Directions

Reservations are required.  For more information, or to reserve your spot, contact Patti Guttmann at 314-539-6600 extension 255 or email

SBA/AARP Mentor Month: Start Your Second Career as a Small Business Owner

Over 50 and Looking for a Second Career as Your Own Boss?  Attend our Cape Girardeau Mentor Month Event!

SBA and AARP have partnered to provide Americans over the age of 50 with the real-world, actionable information they need to start and grow small businesses. The event will feature a panel of small business owners who started their business at age 50 or older. They will share their stories, challenges, and triumphs and then answer questions from participants. Resources will be on hand to provide information on what’s available to help you realize your goals.

Date: April 24, 2013
Time: 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Location: Cape Girardeau Public Library, 711 N. Clark, Cape Girardeau, Missouri, 63701
RSVP: Required to Bill Vickery at 573-225-9407 or or to Angie Wells at 314-539-6600 extension 223 or

Small Business Week of Eastern Missouri logo

Small Business Week of Eastern Missouri will take place May 6-10, 2013.  The calendar of events should be released in mid-March.  We encourage small business owners to visit the website ( and sign up for updates under the Events tab.  For more information contact Patti Guttmann at 314-539-6600 extension 255 or

Export Opportunities for Missouri-Based Businesses

If you would like to learn more about exporting your American-made goods and services this SBA workshop is for you! The presentation will provide small business owners with information on marketing assistance for exporters, export finance, and credit insurance to protect both exporters and the businesses that finance sales to buyers in Canada, Mexico and around the globe. Presenters will include the U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Small Business Administration, Missouri Department of Economic Development and others.

Date: Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Time: 9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Location: St. Louis County Library – Headquarters, 1640 S. Lindbergh Blvd, East Room, St. Louis, MO, 63131, Directions
Cost: Free
RSVP: Bob Newman at 314-539-6600 extension 239, or

Last Chance to Join Emerging Leaders!

Looking to take your business to the next level? The U.S. Small Business Administration is taking applications for a free program that could help.
Event Flyer  Directions

The SBA is taking applications for its 2013 Emerging Leaders Program (formerly known as e200). The program provides business owners or chief executives with more than 70 hours of advanced management training.

The seven-month program includes about 100 hours of professional and specialized training, classroom time, and peer-to-peer counseling per participant and provides the opportunity for small business owners to work with mentors, attend workshops and develop connections with their peers, city leaders and financial communities.

The program is open to small business owners and executives in Eastern Missouri that have:

- At least one employee besides the owner.
- Have annual revenues of at least $300,000.
- Have been in business for at least 3 years.

Want more information? You are cordially invited to an informational session.  Former graduates, SBA staff, presenters, and sponsors will be on hand to answer any questions you might have about the program. 

Date: March 15, 2013
Time: 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Place: Webster University, East Academic Building, Room 253, 545 Garden Avenue, St. Louis, Missouri, 63119. 
RSVP: Required to Angie Wells at 314-539-6600 extension 223, or at

For Emerging Leaders applications, visit

Good Question Image

With a shout out to the Alaska District Office for a really good idea, we're starting a new column called "Good Question!"  We're even borrowing their good question!

Q. I would like to offer my client a deferment on his SBA loan payments. I'm proposing interest only payment and deferment on the principal for six months. Will this be OK with SBA?

A. The lender may approve a deferment under their delegated, unilateral authority and would have to document their file to ensure their credit decision was based on prudent lending practices as well as SBA policy. However, if the loan was sold on the secondary market, a deferment exceeding 3 months would require both investor and SBA approval.

If you have a "good question" to ask the St. Louis District Office staff, please email it to Nicki Massie with "Good Question" in the subject line at 

Exporting Hero Banner

Sell Around the Globe? Tell the World

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

WASHINGTON – 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. that will highlight how the small business became a successful exporter, Eligible small business exporters are encouraged to submit a video to the benefits of exporting and government programs available to help them export.

>Read more


SBA's St. Louis District Office would like to welcome the following firm to the 8(a) program.

B.E. Scaife Plumbing Co.
Bryant E. Scaife, Sr., President
Office: (314) 429-5200
Fax: (314) 429-5201 
9453 Lackland Road
St. Louis, MO 63114-3633

And now a word from our resource partners...

Why Export? Key information for companies desiring to connect to international markets
Date: May 7, 2013
Time: 10:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. (lunch provided)
Location: Matt's Steakhouse, 12200 Dillon Outer Road, Rolla, MO, 65401
Fee: $30 (includes lunch and materials)
Registration link:
For more information contact John Woodson at or 573/341-7544.
Resource Partner: Missouri SBTDC

SCORE Speed Coaching Event

SCORE, Mentors to America's Small Business, will hold a Speed Coaching event on Wednesday, March 20, from Noon - 2:30 p.m. at the St. Charles Convention Center.

The event features a unique opportunity for a 30-minute individual mentoring session from an experienced business mentor. Speed coaching is intended to help business owners whose small businesses are poised for growth and improved profitability. If you want to expand but have encountered roadblocks and are looking for free resources to help you on the right path for growth, attend this coaching opportunity.

The event is free but registration is required and space is limited. Register at For more information call 314-569-0076. 

Building the Perfect Website

Date: March 16, 2013
Time: 9:15 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.
Location: SCORE Kirkwood Office (Inside PNC Bank), 333 South Kirkwood Road, Kirkwood, MO, 63122, Directions
Fee: $30 Payable by PayPal, Cash, or Check
Reservations: Required to Registration Link or 314-539-6600 extension 242
Resource Partner: SCORE

Whether you have a website already or you need to create your first one, this workshop is for you.

In this workshop you will learn:

- The purpose of your website
- What to include on your website
- More

QuickBooks for Small Business

This is a basic, computer, hands-on learning opportunity for small business owners, office managers, and anyone with financial responsibilities. Boost the accuracy of your small business accounting. In this session, you will learn how to: set up your company with the Easy Step Interview, set up accounts, enter transactions, invoicing, tracking customers and vendors, and generating financial reports.

Date: March 12, 2013
Time: 9:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Location: Columbia Area Career Center, 4203 S. Providence Road, Room 135, Columbia, MO 65203, Map
Fee: $129
Registration Link:
Resource Partner: Missouri SBTDC

For more information contact Olivia Gill,, 573-884-8087

Workshop in Business Opportunities (WIBO)

The Grace Hill Women’s Business Center is now accepting applications for their WIBO business development class. WIBO is an in-depth, 16-week business development program in which participants learn how to start a business and be successful. This is only the second time this curriculum has been offered and the first was well-received by the participants.

Classes will be held on Wednesday evenings from 6-9 p.m. and will begin March 13. Registration fee is $275 and is due at the time of registration and must be made in the form of cash, check or money order. Registration is limited.

For additional information or to register contact Falencia Moore at 314-584-6840 or e-mail

The Basics of Writing a Business Plan

Date: March 20, 2013
Time: 5:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Location: St. Louis County Library Headquarters, 1640 S. Lindbergh Boulevard, St. Louis, MO, 63124, Directions
Registration: Required, 314- 994-3300
Resource Partner: Missouri SBTDC

During this course, participants will learn the importance of business plans, the key required elements of a basic plan and data that must be included.  More information

Women’s History Month – 14th Annual Grace Hill WBC Wall of Fame Event

This is a celebration of achievement to honor four outstanding women entrepreneurs who have been connected with Grace Hill WBC. The event will include drinks and light refreshments with a keynote speaker, local officials, proclamations and awards, and attendance by SBA District Office District Director and staff. 

Date: Thursday, March 28, 2013
Time: 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Location: Rose of the Hill, 2300 Edwards, St. Louis, MO, 63110
RSVP: By March 21, 2013 to Falencia Moore, 314-584-6840,

Protecting Intellectual Property

Date: April 6, 2013
Time: 9:15 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.
Location: SCORE Kirkwood Office (Inside PNC Bank), 333 S. Kirkwood Road, Kirkwood, MO, 63122, Directions
Fee: $30, payable by cash, check, or PayPal Registration: Required at Registration Link or 314-539-6600 extension 242

Your valuable ideas must be protected by you to earn the rewards you deserve.

In this workshop you will learn:

- What is a patent and what does it cover
- What is patentable and what protection does it offer
- More

Boots to Business, Veterans Fast Launch 

Date: April 13, 2013
Time: 8:15 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Location: St. Louis Community College, Meramec, 11333 Big Bend Rd., Social Science Building, Room 112, St. Louis, MO, 63122, Directions Registration: Required at or 314-531-8387
Resource Partner: VBRC

We offer entrepreneurial, strategic coaching and mentoring from other Veteran business leaders and entrepreneurs.

These are just a few of many training events offered in our area.  For more training events visit and input your zip code or visit the resource partner websites. 

Program Highlight

The 8(a) Business Development Program was mentioned briefly in the District Director’s Corner.  It is a government contracting program managed by the SBA.  The point of contact in this office is Gary Alexander, 314-539-6600 extension 231,  Gary is available to provide one-on-one information on the 8(a) program. 

About the 8(a) Business Development Program

In order to help small, disadvantaged businesses compete in the marketplace, the SBA created the 8(a) Business Development Program.

- The 8(a) Business Development Program is a business assistance program for small disadvantaged businesses. The 8(a) Program offers a broad scope of assistance to firms that are owned and controlled at least 51% by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals.

- The 8(a) Program is an essential instrument for helping socially and economically disadvantaged entrepreneurs gain access to the economic mainstream of American society. The program helps thousands of aspiring entrepreneurs to gain a foothold in government contracting.

>Read more

The ABCs and 123s of SBA’s Governmentese

The public often laments government’s tendency to use acronyms.  While many acronyms make sense as they are composed of the first letter from each word, such as SBTDC, VBRC, or Grace Hill WBC, others appear to make no sense at all.  With the SBA, these acronyms often cite the law from which they are derived, such as 8(a) Business Development Program, 7(a) Loan, 504 Loans.  If you’re ever unsure what an acronym means, feel free to contact a member of our office for clarification.  The acronyms were confusing to us when we started working with the agency, too!

SBA Website Picks

SBA’s website is overflowing with information and training opportunities.  Here are some of our picks.  (Of course, we hope you’ll check out the St. Louis District Office site.)    

Business Plans

As the adage goes, those who fail to plan, plan to fail.  Before you start your business, you should have a business plan.  Your plan should be updated as your business changes and grows.

Disaster Planning

Businesses which have a disaster plan are far more likely to survive a disaster than those which don’t. (transcript and podcast)


How can you get financing to start, maintain, or grow your business?

Websites, Social Media, Online Businesses

Most businesses need at least an online presence.  Many people only search online for goods and services, so if you don’t have an online presence, you are missing those potential clients.


The federal government is an enormous market.  If you have goods and services that the government buys, it’s a good idea to check out government contracting opportunities.

SBA St. Louis District Office

1222 Spruce Street
Suite 10.103
St. Louis, MO  63103

Ask us how we can connect you with technical assistance and counseling, and financing options to start or grow your small business.  


Looking for our Resource Partners? 

Veterans Business Resource Center (VBRC)
315 Lemay Ferry Rd, #114 
St. Louis, MO  63125
314- 531-VETS (8387)

Grace Hill Women's Business Center (Grace Hill WBC)
2125 Bissell 
St. Louis, MO 63107 

Missouri Small Business & Technology Development Centers (SBTDC)  

St. Louis SCORE
1222 Spruce Street
Suite 10.103
St. Louis, MO 63103
314-539-6600 extension 242
Please call for availability.
Other locations

Mid Missouri SCORE
300 South Providence Road 
Columbia Chamber of Commerce
Columbia, MO  65203

St. Louis District Office Staff

District Director
Dennis S. Melton
Extension 244, Blackberry: 314-775-5170

Deputy District Director
Maureen E. Brinkley
Extension 252, Blackberry: 314-412-5283

Senior Area Manager
Columbia AWS
Bob Newman
Extension 239
Columbia Office Number: 573-256-1794
Blackberry: 636-358-5941

Area Manager
Cape Girardeau AWS
Bill Vickery
Blackberry: 573-225-9407

Economic Development Specialist
Small Business Week
Patti Guttmann
Extension 255

Economic Development Specialist
Veterans’ Representative
Women’s Representative
Angie Wells
Extension 223

Business Opportunity Specialist
Gary Alexander
Extension 231

Lender Relations Specialist
Tom Daiber
Extension 236, Blackberry: 314-520-4591

Public Affairs Specialist
Administrative Officer
Nicki Massie
Extension 229