South Florida District Business News

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.

Volume 1, Issue 8

South Florida Business News

Brought to you by the Small Business Administration South Florida District Office

Serving the Small Business Community since 1953
Find us online at

The South Florida District is comprised of 24 counties south of Orlando: Brevard, Broward, Charlotte, Collier, Desoto, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Hillsborough, Indian River, Lee, Manatee, Martin, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Okeechobee, Osceola, Palm Beach, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Saint Lucie, and Sarasota.

In this month's issue of South Florida Business News...

  • From the Director: AAPI, Trade and Military Appreciation Month
  • SBA Administrator visits South Florida District
  • Preparing your Business for the 2017 Hurricane Season

What Business Plan Type Is Best for Me?

Director with Title

From the Director

We have reached the mid-point in our calendar year and I am pleased to share some great lending news.

As of June 23, the South Florida District exceeded the $1B mark in small business lending! This is the third consecutive year we have broke one billion, and I know this would not have been possible without the relationship we have with our lending and resource partners.

Also, I would like to recognize our lender partners who recently received Preferred Lender, Certified Lender and Express Lender Statues:                                            

Fidelity Bank of Florida, N.A
Freedom Bank
Professional Bank

First Citrus Bank
Marine Bank and Trust Co.
Premier Community Bank
Sanibel Captiva Community Bank
Sunshine Bank

Fidelity Bank of Florida, N.A.
Floridian Community Bank
Freedom Bank
Sunshine Bank

We’d also like to congratulate Neighborhood Lending Partners of West Florida on their approval as our newest Community Advantage Lender.  Our Agency is dedicated to providing diverse access points for capital through our guaranteed loan programs.

With all the success, we must also remember that June 1 officially kicked off the 2017 Hurricane season, and this year is the 25th anniversary of Hurricane Andrew.  I, like many others, may not have lived in South Florida when this unfortunate devastation rocked the community to the core.  Recovery efforts from Andrew spanned over many years for residential and business owners, and unfortunately, many were unable to return to life as they knew it before the event. Some businesses closed temporarily and many never recovered. But for the residents who sought SBA assistance, our agency responded posthumously by approving 23,387 loans for a total of $656M in disaster funds.

The "return to whole" motto is something I hold near and dear which is why I've charged my team with an all-out education effort to ensure our communities are aware of the top-notch services available from the SBA's Disaster Team. I also ask that you make a concerted effort to brief your respective small businesses on disaster preparedness steps they should take to ensure their families and employees are ready to operate with minimal delay, in the event a disaster strikes.

SBA Ignite Tour Blazes Across the Country

SBA Administrator to visit more than 60 Cities.
>Read more here

Funding Awarded for “Boots to Business” Entrepreneurship Training

A total of $2,324,100 awarded to two nonprofit organizations.
>Read more here.  

HUBZONE Map Updates Released

SBA Launches New HUBZONE Maps, Partners w/ U.S. Digital Services.
>Read more here

SBA's HUBZone map has a fresh new look. Check it out at

Start Your Journey of Government Contracting This Summer: SBA Step By Step

By Mark S. Hayward, Region Administrator (A), Region 4

Are you looking to grow and diversify your small business?  This summer may be the perfect time to strategically place your business on the global playing field.  How do you begin the journey to find work with local, state or federal governments? The below checklist provides information on general requirements that need to be addressed by businesses entering the government contracting arena; a perfect starting place for you.  And please remember: you are never alone on this journey. The SBA is here to assist you every step of the way.

Begin Your Journey To Success Here:

  Contact Your Nearest PTAC:  Free one-on-one assistance and training is available from a Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC). Take advantage of it by finding one nearest you at and schedule an appointment.

  Is Your Company Name Legal? Verify your company’s exact legal name as registered with your state’s Secretary of State. You will use your company’s registered name for all registrations and certifications.

  Differentiate Yourself: Develop a capability statement describing what your company does. The statement also references past projects. Contact your PTAC for samples. Ask your PTAC if your products or services are sought after by governments (domestic and international).

  Tax ID Number:  Obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) also known as a federal tax identification number by visiting:

  DUNS Number:  Obtain (at no cost) a Dun & Bradstreet Data Universal Number System (DUNS) number by visiting The D&B D-U-N-S® Number is a unique nine-digit identifier for businesses used to establish a Dun & Bradstreet business credit file, which is often referenced by lenders and potential business partners to help predict the reliability and/or financial stability of a company.

  Select Your Industry Codes: Identify your business’s North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code(s) at NAICS is the standard used by Federal statistical agencies to classify business establishments in order to collect, analyze and publish statistical data related to the U.S. business economy. NAICS was developed under the auspices of the federal Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and adopted in 1997.

  Register in the System for Award Management (SAM) at

Make sure to “Opt In” for a public search so that government agencies can find your registration. This no cost registration in the (SAM) is required to do business with the federal government. Doing business as a small business requires one more step. At the end of the SAM registration, there is a link titled “Register or Update SBA Profile” which takes you to the Dynamic Small Business Search (DSBS) database. Complete your profile and ask your PTAC or SBA District Office to verify that your profile is complete. The DSBS is used by government agencies and prime contractors to identify “small” business contractors, subcontractors and suppliers. Your DSBS profile should be reviewed and updated at least annually. You will not be able to access these systems using Internet Explorer (IE) Versions older than IE9 – you will need to either upgrade to IE9 or higher, or access SAM with another supported browser type - Chrome, Firefox, Safari, etc.

  Research:  Identify your customers and research their requirements. Sites like,, FedBizOpps at  and the Federal Procurement Data System at include information on agency profiles, government spending, and current opportunities. Government agencies have different requirements and objectives than commercial buyers. Understanding what and how each federal agency buys and their process helps you understand their agency goals and challenges, what they have purchased in the past, and potentially possible fits for your product or service.

Market Yourself:  Don’t be shy. Attend and actively market your product or service at procurement fairs. Government agencies regularly participate in procurement fairs. Use these opportunities to market your products and services to agency contracting officers.  Networking is key to success.

  Meet One on One: Schedule meetings with agency contracting officers from the list that you developed during your research to learn about opportunities and the process they use to purchase goods and services. Networking is about raising awareness of your company and building relationships, which the majority of contractors find key to success.  Ask contracting officers for referrals. If an agency doesn’t use your products or services, they may know others who do.

  Educate Yourself:  Learn everything you can about federal contracting basics. You can participate in federal government contracting webinars hosted by the SBA district offices.  Find your local office at: – webinars are listed on each district office website and they are free to anyone in the nation.

  Meet Your SBA Specialist:  Work with an SBA District Office Business Opportunity Specialist to determine if your business is eligible for federal preferences in contracting, and with your PTAC to learn more about the bidding and contract award process.

The government contracting process is a learned process, and once you have it down, the benefits are everlasting.  Be patient with the process and please take advantage of all of the help and resources along the way.  There is no need to spend a dime throughout the process.  The end results will reap benefits for you and your business for years to come and will place you strategically on the global competitive map.  Enjoy the journey.  The journey is filled with amazing experiences that can fulfill only true entrepreneurs.  Have a great “summer” following your entrepreneurial dreams.

News from Around South Florida

SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans Available Following Florida Droughts

MIAMI - The U.S. Small Business Administration announced that federal economic injury disaster (EID) loans are available to small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, most private nonprofit organizations of all sizes, and nurseries located in Florida as a result of droughts sustained on or after April 11, 2017.  

“Our agency released several EID loan announcements this year regarding the 2017 droughts of Central Florida,” said South Florida District Director Francisco “Pancho” Marrero... Click here to read more.

Previous Florida EID Notices:
Drought Notice dated 21 March 2017 here.
Drought Notice dated 02 May 2017 here.

Access to Business Capital Workshop

FORT LAUDERDALE - SFDO Public Affairs Specialist Heather Hines served as a panelist for the first inaugural Ft. Lauderdale Village District Financial Summit, hosted by the Ft. Lauderdale Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) on June 9. Following opening remarks by District 3 Commissioner Robert McKinzie, the 80+ attendees were updated on the roles of the SBA as a guarantor and ways the agency's 7(a) and 504 loan programs can benefit their small business. Additional panelist included banking professionals from Suntrust, Wells Fargo and Bright Star Credit Union; along with economic development specialists from Metro Broward and the Urban League of Broward County. 


During the Expo, Heather Hines used the South Florida District's Resource Guide to assist a small business owner in locating the nearest SBDC.

"Doing Business w/ the Military" Workshop

MIAMI – SFDO Lead Economic Development Specialist Althea Harris delivered SBA programs and services remarks at the "Doing Business with the Military" Workshop sponsored by Military Miami-Dade, a program of the Miami-Dade Beacon Council State of Florida, Department of Economic Opportunity on June 27.


Expo Attendees (pictured with Althea Harris): Christopher, L. George and Andrew Yup operate Leasa Industries Inc., a SBA-assisted, Liberty City-based company that has become one of the largest growers, manufacturers, processors and packers of healthy food products across the Southeastern United States. Locally, L. George has been applauded for his outreach in employing community members who were formerly incarcerated.

Updated and Revised Export Express Lender Training Manual

In order to assist lenders with understanding the unique features of the Export Express program, the Office of International Trade has revised and updated the Export Express Lender Training Manual. The training manual provides an overview of the program, from how a lender applies for Export Express authority to post-closing servicing actions on Export Express loans.

Congratulations to the Florida SBDC Network!


The Florida Small Business Development Center (SBDC) recently announced the winners of the 2017 Performance Excellence Awards. 

Florida Level Awards (located in the South Florida District):
The Florida State Star Award was presented to Yolanda Cowart, a business consultant for the Florida SBDC at the University of South Florida - Pinellas County Economic Development. The State Star award, the highest accolade achievable by SBDC employees, recognizes extraordinary performers who have made strong contributions to their state network. Since 2012, Cowart has delivered over 3,300 hours of business consulting to clients, resulting in 827 jobs created and retained, over $6.5 million in capital accessed, nearly $30 million in sales increased, and over $26 million in government contract awards.  As part of the award, Cowart will be honored among State Star awardees from SBDCs across the country as part of the 37th Annual America's SBDC Conference in September in Nashville.

The Florida Employee of the Year Award was presented to Brian Van Hook, associate director of the Florida SBDC at Florida International University (FIU). Earlier this year, Van Hook organized and led an extremely successful cybersecurity event with JP Morgan Chase and other partners that drew more than 150 attendees.  Van Hook also worked with the FIU Extreme Events Institute and the U.S. Agency for International Development to develop Bizaster, a mobile disaster-preparedness application for businesses.  He is a Certified Business Continuity Professional with over 12 years of experience with business continuity and cybersecurity issues.

The Florida Best Practice of the Year Award was presented to the Florida SBDC at FIU in recognition of its Bizaster app, a mobile disaster-preparedness app for Android and iOS. Available in English and Spanish, Bizaster features risk assessments, customizable checklists, and other resources to help businesses prepare, respond, and recover from natural and man-made disasters. The Florida SBDC at FIU partnered with FIU's Extreme Events Institute and the U.S. Agency for International Development Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance to develop the app.

Regional and Service Year Awards:
As part of the awards, the network also recognized exemplary employees and partners for making significant contributions to their respective SBDC regions and for achieving service year milestones. Regional awards were earlier presented to recipients at local events organized by the regional center. To view the list of regional and service year winners, please click here


The 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season kicked-off June 1. For small business owners, being prepared can mean staying in business following a disaster. Explore the resources that can help you develop an emergency preparedness and disaster relief plan.

Click here for more information and Emergency Preparedness Tips.


Learn What is Happening in YOUR Area!



Access to more than 60 SBA online courses is only a click away!

South Florida Resource Guide

2017 Resource Guide

SBA Lending Report

Get the latest lending activity for South Florida District Office.

Upcoming Events in South Florida

Free or low-cost business training workshops are scheduled throughout the South Florida District through our network of SCORE resource partners! Click on the links below to find a class this month near you!


South Broward/North Miami


Fort Myers

Boca Raton

West Palm Beach

Fort Pierce/Stuart/St. Lucie


Pinellas County




Pasco/Hernando County

Free or low-cost training workshops on a wide variety of business topics from financing to government contracting are available statewide through the Florida Small Business Development Center (SBDC). Their schedule of workshops can be found HERE.

For women entrepreneurs, the three Florida Women's Business Centers offer training for you:
Helen Gordon Davis

Florida WBC


"Let's Talk SBA"

MIAMI - Join the SBA South Florida District Office on Tuesdays with Pete De La Torre's World Business Radio Network (WBRN) where we "Talk SBA."  The segment airs live twice a month at 8:00 a.m., followed by various replays throughout the day. Listen ONLINE.