SBA Tar Heel Business Briefs April 2017

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April 2017

SBA Tar Heel Business Briefs

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

National Small Business Week


This year’s National Small Business Week will be held from April 30 - May 6, 2017.  SBA Administrator Linda McMahon will start the week in Washington, D.C., where she will recognize and award outstanding small business owners from around the country. She will then continue the week with small business events in New York City, Indianapolis, Dallas and finish up in Fresno, California. Additionally, recognition and educational events throughout SBA’s 10 Regions and 68 Districts will be held throughout the week. 

Every year since 1963 SBA takes the opportunity to highlight the impact of outstanding entrepreneurs, small business owners, and others from across the nation through National Small Business Week.

As events are finalized more details will be posted on

Congratulations to the North Carolina 

Small Business Week Award Winners


2017 NC Small Business Person 

of the Year


 Michelle Coffino 

Queen City Metal & Recycling



The SBA is proud to announce the winner of the 2017 North Carolina Small Business Person of the Year, Michelle Coffino. Michelle is CEO and owner of Queen City Metal Recycling & Salvage (QCMRS) in Charlotte. The metal and scrap recycling company collects thousands of tons of metal including steel, copper and aluminum. It also recycles electronics and hundreds of cars every month.

Michelle was selected as the 2017 North Carolina Small Business Person of the Year because her company has demonstrated staying power, growth, innovation, and regularly gives back to the community through several charitable efforts.

Michelle used an SBA 7(a) loan for $2.1 million to buy the land, machinery and equipment to open up shop.

 “I approached numerous banks that wouldn’t event consider my loan,” said Michelle. “I really put my heart and soul into this project and the SBA helped me bring it to life. The SBA assistance is without a doubt immeasurable.”

Queen City started with 10 industrial accounts and now serves 85 companies, schools, and non-profits around the Charlotte area and beyond. The company currently has 23 employees.

Michelle has contracts with two large national auto auction companies. Through a non-profit sister company, QC Auto Sales, she buys and refurbishes these cars and sells them at cost to economically disadvantaged individuals who don’t have transportation. She has also instituted a “second chance” program in her company which includes hiring policies for ex-convicts, and those with mental illness or substance abuse issues.

2017 NC Small Business 

Exporter of the Year


Mark Doble

Aviator Brewing Company



Congratulations to Mark Doble on being named the 2017 NC Small Business Exporter of the Year!
Mark established Aviator Brewing in 2008 by himself in an old airplane hangar with two used dairy tanks for brewing. Aviator now has 127 employees and sales of about $3.5 million. They currently export products to South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Brazil, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy and New Zealand.

The criteria for the award include: Increased sales, profits and/or employment due to exporting, creative overseas marketing strategies and introduction of unique trading relationships, products or services.

SBA financing and counseling has been an integral part of Aviator Brewing’s success. In 2011, Mark receive two rounds of SBA funding totaling over $900,000 including an SBA 504 loan package to purchase land and a larger space for the brewery.

The team at Aviator has worked closely with the SBA-sponsored North Carolina Small Business & Technology Development Center (SBTDC). The SBTDC assisted the firm with beverage distribution and market research to help develop their marketing and digital strategy.  A student team organized by the SBTDC assisted them in human resources, including the compilation and editing of an employee handbook.

SBTDC also worked with Aviator to employ a direct market entry strategy into foreign markets. This helped Mark and his team to sign a contract with a wholesaler in the United Kingdom for distribution to 1,800 locations.

    2017 SBA North Carolina Advocate Winners


    2017 NC Veteran Business
    Advocate of the Year


    Kyle Winder

     North Carolina
    Veteran's Business Association



     Kyle is the current President and Board Chairman of the North Carolina Veteran’s Business Association (NC VetBiz). He has worked to increase business opportunities for veterans, and to foster awareness of barriers, challenges and successes of veteran-owned businesses. He has taught classes and met individually with countless veterans who either wanted to start or expand small businesses.

    2017 NC Minority Business
    Advocate of the Year


    Renee Jones


    Skanska USA

    renee jones

    Renee is Senior Regional Diversity Director for Skanska USA. She is responsible for the overall supplier diversity efforts in North and South Carolina, Virginia, Florida, Georgia & Louisiana. Renee developed a multi-step process that includes outreach to firms, identifying barriers to success and technical assistance to small businesses. She has created and implemented an internal mentor protégé program to identify small, minority and women general contractors and partner them with a mentor to deliver pre-construction and construction services.

    Dan Gotte


    2017 NC Financial Services

    Advocate of the Year


    Dan Gotte

    Imagine Software


    For more than a decade, Dan has been dedicated to guiding small businesses as a financial advisor, SCORE mentor, teacher, and angel fund developer. As a presenter for CPCC's Small Business Center, Dan has taught funding and financing, managing cash flow, and tax obligations. Dan also does one-on-one business counseling for CPCC, focusing on financial analysis, capital opportunities, and venture creation. Dan is the board chair of the Charlotte Regional Advisory Board for the SBTDC. He ran the Inception Micro Angel Fund {IMAF), the original angel fund in the Charlotte region, and subsequently found the Charlotte Angel Fund.

    2017 NC Women in Business Advocate of the Year


    Patrick Fitzsimmons

    Mountain BizWorks



    Patrick has participated in the Western Women's Business Conference educating and encouraging female entrepreneurs to become business owners.  He has worked with numerous woman business owners, nurturing them and their businesses become successful. He has provided lending to women-owned businesses who account for more than half of all clients.

    In 2016, Mountain BizWorks under Patrick's leadership had its largest lending year ever- $3.3 million to entrepreneurs in Western North Carolina. Of the 114 loans by Mountain Biz Works made in 2016, over half were to women business owners.  Statistically, women business owners are only half as likely as men to obtain business loans. Patrick helped women-owned businesses beat these odds and secure the funding needed to grow their businesses.

    New VBOC Director at Fayetteville State University

    Fayetteville State University has selected Tamara Bryant to lead the Fayetteville Veteran’s Business Outreach Center (VBOC).  Tamara replaces Robert Rehder, who was the VBOC director until he retired last year.

    SBA provides funding for 20 VBOCs around the country.  Each VBOC provides entrepreneurial training, comprehensive business assessment, and mentoring to active duty service members, veterans and service-disabled veterans, National Guard reservists, and military spouses interested in starting a small business. VBOCs also provide instruction for the Boots to Business program. In NC, Boots to Business is taught on all four bases:  Ft. Bragg, Seymour Johnson AFB, Camp Lejeune and Cherry Point. 

    Tamara was the Small Business Center Director at Fayetteville Tech Community College for the past nine years. She has a degree in telecommunications from Fayetteville State University and a Master of Science in Human Resource Administration from Central Michigan University. We welcome Tamara to the SBA family. 

    National Volunteer Week

    April 23 - 29, 2017 is
    National Volunteer Week

    National Volunteer Week, brought to you by Points of Light, is an opportunity to recognize and thank volunteers who lend their time, talent, voice and support to causes they care about in their community.

    SCORE is a nonprofit group of volunteers dedicated to the formation, growth and success of small businesses.  The U.S. Small Business Administration began sponsoring SCORE in 1964 and since then, SCORE has over 10,000 volunteers throughout the country.

    These retired and working executives and business owners donate their time and expertise as volunteer business counselors and provide free confidential, one-on-one counseling.  In addition, SCORE also provides email counseling. Small business owners can find an expert to answer their questions from anywhere in the country.  To contact SCORE in North Carolina, click here.

    upcoming events

    Small Business Events
    Mark Your Calendar!

    This is a sample of small business events going on around the state. For additional events visit the SBA Event Calendar at


    Government Certifications - Live in Charlotte or Webinar - 2nd Tuesday of Every Month    

    The Charlotte District Office hosts this workshop from 9-11 a.m. every 2nd Tuesday.  6302 Fairview Road, Suite 300, Charlotte.   No RSVP needed -   sign in at seminar.  If you can’t come in person, attend a FREE Webinar.  Federal certifications to be discussed:  Woman-Owned Small Business, Small Disadvantaged Business, Veteran & Service Disabled Veteran Program, 8(a) Business Development Program, HUBZone Empowerment Contracting Program.   Dial in: 888-858-2144.   Log on:  Meeting Access Code: 6906107#


    SBA 8(a) & Government Contracting Webinars – 4th Tuesday of Every Month

    There is a different topic each month…. Did you know that the Federal Government is the world’s largest buyer of goods and services, spending over $500 billion dollars every year?  Would you like to find out how your business can access the federal marketplace?  Attend an SBA webinar on SBA Procurement Programs, Tools and Resources hosted by the North Carolina District Office.   If you are interested in discovering programs designed to enhance federal and non-federal procurement opportunities for your small business, you can learn how SBA can help on one of these dates.  For more information, e-mail  When:   4th Tuesday* of the Month 10:00 am – 11:00 am Call:   888-858-2144; passcode: 6906107#  

    May 4                   
    A New Mission: Military Women as Entrepreneurs         Jacksonville

     Join the Women's Business Center of North Carolina and the Small Business Center at Coastal Carolina Community College for "A New Mission," an event designed to accelerate entrepreneurial success on May 4, 2017, at the Onslow County Government Center, Jacksonville, NC from 9:30 AM - 3:30 PM.   At the event you will have an opportunity to connect with resources to help you on your journey, grow your network of peers, and get inspired by the dynamic lineup of speakers.

    May 9                   
    Export 101: Learn the Basics of Exporting              Rock Hill, SC

    Want to grow your business?  Join experts in trade compliance, logistics, finance and international law to learn from their experience the basic concepts of exporting.  Topics covered are logistics, shipping, getting paid, compliance and legal considerations.  Presenters are from the US Department of Commerce, SC Department of Commerce, ExIm Bank, SBA, First Tennessee Bank and others.  Cost: $45.  Location: Winthrop University, Thurmond Building, 1708 Memorial Circle, Rock Hill SC.  8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Questions? Contact or call 803-312-5059.  Register by April 26: 

    May 31       
    Marketplace                      Durham

    If you have not registered for Marketplace you might want to get it on your calendar and register as soon as you can.  As a Marketplace attendee, you will have the opportunity to network and learn how to sell your goods or services to federal, state, and local governments. This biennial “reverse” trade show allows small business owners like you the opportunity to meet contracting officers from federal, state, and local government agencies and large prime contractors. Marketplace will be held at the Sheraton Imperial, Durham.  $95.      


    June 22        
    WWBC 3rd Annual Conference                  Asheville

    Save the Date!   The Western Women’s Business Center is hosting this day long conference at the US Cellular Center.  For more information, please contact Rose Vieira at   or call 828.633.6065.


    Check out the SBA Event Calendar


    Online Classes