SBA Updates for Entrepreneurs Across the South- From SBA Region 4

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Southeast Regional Office  -  January 2018

u s small business administration
Valentines Day

January is #NationalMentoringMonth! This is your opportunity to find a mentor OR become a mentor! Learn more about mentoring opportunities below with one of SBA's resource partners:

mentoring month

SCORE Counselors to America's Entrepreneurs

SCORE counselors provide no-cost small business mentoring, advice, and seminars to help you better operate your small business. SCORE is a great resource to utilize when starting your own small business. Nearly 135,000 entrepreneurs in Region IV were assisted by SCORE volunteers this past year.

Locate Your Local SCORE Chapter Here

SBDC's from computer

Small Business Development Centers (SBDC)

SBDC's are located throughout every state. These centers offer no-cost counseling for existing small business owners. Nearly 70,000 small business owners were counseled just last year in the Southeast Region alone.

Locate Your Local SBDC Here


Women's Business Centers (WBC) 

The WBC's offer counseling, mentoring services as well as educational programs and networking events for women-owned small businesses (all entrepreneurs).  Nearly 22,000 women entrepreneurs were trained and counseled through WBC's across the Southeast last year.  

Locate Your Local WBC Here 


Veteran's Business Outreach Centers (VBOC) 

VBOC's are located strategically across the Southeast to service Veteran entrepreneurs every step of the way. Last year, VBOC's in the Southeast counseled and trained nearly 7,000 veteran entrepreneurs; assisting them in reaching and surpassing their entrepreneurial goals. 

Locate Your Local VBOC Here

What Entrepreneurs Need to Know TODAY

SBA Presents Free Webinar Series to Help Small Businesses Navigate the HUBZone Program

The SBA will present a six-part, free webinar series to help small businesses navigate its Historically Underutilized Business (HUB) Zone Program that will run from February to mid-March. 

The hour-long webinars will cover the following topics: 

Feb. 7:  HUBZone Contracting:  Make the Federal Government Your Customer

2-3p.m. EST

Small businesses will learn about HUBZone contracting vehicles and regulations.

Click on this link 10 minutes before the Feb. 7 webinar begins:

Feb. 14:  HUBZone Joint Ventures: How to Partner with Other Companies for HUBZone Contracts

2-3p.m. EST

Small businesses will learn how to enter into a HUBZone joint venture and the importance of having a well-defined joint venture agreement whether or not the agreement falls under the All Small Mentor-Protégé Program.

Click on this link 10 minutes before the Feb. 14 webinar begins:

Feb. 21:  Continued HUBZone Compliance:  How to Maintain Your HUBZone Certification

2-3p.m. EST

Small businesses will learn how to remain compliant to reap the benefits of their investment.

Click on the link 10 minutes before the Feb. 21 webinar begins:

Feb. 28:  How Does HUBZone Consider Employees and Affiliation?

2-3p.m. EST

Small businesses will learn who to count as an employee for the purpose of the HUBZone Program.  The webinar will also help small business owners understand when to combine the employees from their other businesses to evaluate the principal and employee residency compliance of the HUBZone firm.   

Click on this link 10 minutes before the Feb. 28 webinar begins:

March 7:  Understanding How HUBZones are Designated

2-3p.m. EST

Small businesses will learn how areas become designated as HUBZones. 

Link to the webinar will be announced by mid-February.

March 14:  HUBZone Protests and Appeals

2-3p.m. EST

Small businesses will learn the process for filing HUBZone protests and appeals; and for responding to protest notices.

 Link to the webinar will be announced by mid-February.

All of the webinars will be archived on SBA’s YouTube page.

For more details about the HUBZone program, please visit

Stay Connected

Follow SBA Administrator Linda McMahon on Instagram

Follow SBA on Instagram @SBAgov

No time to attend one of SBA's workshops in person?  Why not take a course from wherever you are!  Check out what courses we have available to help you grow your small business- at no cost! Click on "The Learning Center" to get started!

Learning Center

What's Happening in YOUR Area

For Small Business?

Tom Todt

SBA Alabama District Office

Thomas A. Todt, District Director

The wages of wagering is…humiliation.  Given the contestants in the NCAA national championship stakes, it was inevitable that there be a friendly wager between the Alabama and Georgia District offices.  Terri Denison, SBA Georgia District Director, and Rosemarie Drake, SBA Georgia Deputy District Director, proposed that the losers don the team insignia of the victors. A picture is still worth a thousand words. Kudos to Terri and Rosemarie for being good sports, admirable colleagues and superb resources for Georgia small businesses!

District competition

Wilfredo Gonzalez

SBA North Florida District Office

Wilfredo J. Gonzalez, District Director

The North Florida District is committed to helping veterans start and grow their businesses. The district is home to several military installations including NS Mayport and NAS Jacksonville. The district will host 4 Boots-to-Business (B2B) sessions at various locations over the next month. B2B is a two-step training program that provides participants an overview of business ownership as a career vocation, an outline and knowledge on the components of a business plan, a practical exercise in opportunity recognition, and an introduction to available public and private sector resources. Step one is the Introduction to Entrepreneurship course eligible to Veterans of all eras, service members (including members of the National Guard and Reserve) and their spouses. This course is instructed by SBA and its partners, who are skilled business advisors. For more information about B2B or to register, contact Natalie Hall at (904) 443-1902.

Here are a list of the upcoming B2B Trainings in the district

Clay County - Boots to Business|Reboot
Tuesday, January 30, 2018 - 8:30am EST
Clay County Chamber of Commerce
1845 Town Center Blvd
Fleming Island, FL 32003

Orlando Boots to Business (B2B)|Reboot
Tuesday, February 6, 2018 - 8:30am EST
Orlando SCORE @ National Entrepreneur Center
3201 E. Colonial Drive - Suite A-20
Orlando, FL 32803
Boots to Business @ NS Mayport
Monday, February 12, 2018 - 8:00am EST
NS Mayport
Building 1 Massey Avenue
Jacksonville, FL 32228

Ocala Boots to Business (B2B)|Reboot
Monday, February 26, 2018 - 8:30am EST
Ocala Power Plant Business Incubator
405 SE Osceola Avenue
Ocala, FL 32271


Attention Small Business Owners!! Toastmasters is coming to the North Florida District office starting February 1, 2018. 

The Baywood Toastmasters Club will meet every Thursday from 12-1 PM in the Lucille B. Trotter Conference Room. This club is open to the public. 

U.S. Small Business Administration
7825 Baymeadows Way, Suite 100B (Lake side of the building)
Jacksonville, FL 32256

*Please visit the Baywood Toastmasters Club Website for more information. The SBA is not able to provide any information about the club, dues, or meetings.

jonel hein 3


SBA South Florida District Office

Jonel Hein, District Director (Acting)

2017 South Florida District Accomplishments

Lending - For the THIRD year in a row, our office approved over $1 Billion in SBA loan guarantees. This could only happen with the collaboration of our lender partners and with the staff's efforts to increase the knowledge of SBA financing programs with our small business constituents.

SFL Emerging Leaders

Emerging Leaders - We successfully graduated our 4th and 3rd Emerging Leaders classes from Miami and Tampa, respectively. Interise, our curriculum contractor, has used our Miami site as a model for the program on class member engagement and instructor/facilitator collaboration.

SFL Emerging Leaders Alumni

Emerging Leaders (Alumni) - In addition to being selected as a site model, the District was also one of four nationwide sites offered the opportunity to conduct EL Alumni events this year and we received enthusiastic participation by our cadre of alumni.


Administrator Visits - We were honored to host SBA Administrator Linda McMahon twice last year.

During her inaugural filed visit as the Administrator, McMahon participated in a Freebee ride as part of her first stop to the Florida Small Business Development Center at Florida International University on April 13. 

 These customized open-air electric cars offer free, short-distance rides in parts of downtown Miami and Miami Beach. The company also received capital-access assistance through SBDC-FIU.

 Her next stop included a meeting with local government officials followed by an opportunity to speak with patrons will attending a luncheon at Miami’s Versailles Restaurant with HUD Secretary Ben Carson (left).

McMahon AAA

McMahon also toured AAA Million Auto Parts, a family-owned business originally established in Cuba in 1938 by José R. Hernández. After Hernández passed away in 2005; his daughter, Margarita Hernández, and granddaughter, Cristina, continued on in his footsteps to now offer auto repair services in addition to a selection of rare parts for classic cars from the 1950s and ’60s.

McMahon's visit wrapped with a roundtable discussion with local small businesses followed by a meeting with staff members from the South Florida District.

Disaster Assistance: After weathering Hurricane Irma, the SFDO assisted the Office of Disaster Assistance with their efforts to get the word out about applying for disaster assistance. During the Administrator's visit on Sept. 27, she met with Hurricane Irma survivors and expressed heart-felt gratitude towards those assisting in the recovery efforts.

McMahon disaster Assistance

The Florida Small Business Development Center (SBDC) deployed Mobile Assistance Centers to the Florida Keys in an effort to assist small businesses located in Monroe County recover from Hurricane Irma.  To date, the SBA has approved more than $1B in disaster loans for Florida residents.  Read more.

8(a) Business Development - The SFDO completed over $90 million in 8(a) program acceptance letters for our firms in the District. This translates to contracting dollars and experience for our firms that can be multiplied in their future contracting efforts. Additionally, we welcomed 25 new 8(a) firms to our portfolio in FY-2017.

To kickoff 2018, Regional Administrator Mark Hayward (A) (pictured below) took part in a two-day visit to the South Florida District Office Jan. 8-9. In addition to meeting with individual members of the staff; he participated in a Q&A session during the District’s monthly staff meeting and discussed the transitional stages of the agency’s goals and field alignment plan while relaying the Administrator’s passion and commitment to grow small businesses.

RA Hayward

Terri Denison

SBA Georgia District Office

Terri L. Denison, District Director

SBA Georgia District Director Terri Denison was the keynote speaker at the B2G Procurement Conference and Expo held at Fort Benning, a military installation in Columbus, Georgia. Denison discussed the SBA Mentor Protégé Program as well as led a panel discussion on federal government procurement certifications. The event hosted at various military installations around the country brings together contractors, government agencies, small business owners and others in the procurement industry. More than 250 participants from the all over the southeast were in attendance. The event included formal presentations, panels, product demonstrations and networking sessions.

Terri Denison speaking Procurement
Terri Denison, SBA Georgia District Director Keynotes B2G Procurement Conference & Expo, Fort Benning

Ralph Ross

SBA Kentucky District Office

Ralph Ross, District Director

Kentucky District Office Participates in Multiple Contracting Events in Early 2018

On January 17, 2018, the Society of American Military Engineers (SAME) hosted its annual Small Business Workshop in Louisville. The Kentucky District Office was an exhibitor at this event, which promotes the role and relevance of small businesses in SAME through outreach, training, opportunity and recognition. SAME presented multiple small business awards and highlights success stories.   

On January 24, 2018, the Kentucky District Office participated in the Metropolitan Sewer District’s 3rd Annual “Can You Dig It” event at the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage in Louisville. This was an opportunity for M/WBEs to hear firsthand about upcoming MSD capital construction projects, various contract opportunities, learn about new MSD initiatives, and network with primes, M/WBE contractors, and the MSD team. 

In February, BOS Cherie Guilford will participate in a workshop on GSA schedules with the Louisville SBDC, a workshop on GSA Schedules. Later in the month, Ms. Guilford will also be teaching a HUBZone workshop for the Lexington-Fayette County Government.

Janita Stewart

SBA Mississippi District Office

Janita R. Stewart, District Director


EL Jackson

SBA Mississippi District Office seeking small business owners for its 2018 Emerging Leaders Entrepreneurship Training

The Mississippi SBA District Office is accepting applications for those interested in participating in the 2018 Emerging Leaders Program.  Emerging Leaders is an intensive executive-level entrepreneurship training program for small business owners who want to take their business to the next level of success. 

 To qualify, the small business must:

  • Have been established for at least 3 years
  • Is located in Hinds County or surrounding areas
  • Have annual revenue between $400,000 and $10 million (Firms are not disqualified solely on this basis)
  • Have at least one employee other than self
  • Make a commitment to attend each class and complete all course assignments

This initiative has trained thousands of promising small business owners nationally. The proof is in the success of the Program's graduates nationwide:

  • Nearly 3,000 new full-time jobs have been created since the program’s inception
  • Graduate businesses  have secured more than $73 million in new financing
  • Increase in confidence when competing for government contracts
  • $1B+ in federal, state, local and tribal contracts.
  • 62% of surveyed graduates reported an increase in revenue
  • 72% of surveyed graduates have maintained or created new jobs in their communities

Applications interested in applying should register at by March 11th.  To view testimonies of graduates of the program, visit more information, call (601) 965-4986 or email

Congratulations to Alice Doss on Her Retirement after 43 Years of Federal Service!

Alice Doss
Deputy District Director Gary Reed, Alice Doss and Janita Stewart

On Friday, January 5, 2018, SBA’s Supervisory Business Opportunity Specialist, Alice Doss, retired. Doss was presented an “Acknowledgement of Service and Appreciation” certificate.  It read:  In recognition of 43 plus years of esteemed federal government service.  In appreciation for the true dedication, exceptional commitment, unyielding support, and invaluable contribution demonstrated through your “body of work” as a team member of the U.S. Small Business Administration Mississippi District Office, and for your perseverance in supporting the small business community.  Doss says that she “enjoyed the ride” and will continue to help small businesses through volunteerism and other efforts.  We wish her all the best in retirement!

Alice Doss celebrates
Alice doing her “Happy Dance” & known for her stylish footwear, the cake decorations were a no brainer

Lynn Douthett

SBA North Carolina District Office

Lynn Douthett, District Director

SBA is Helping Women Business Owners MOVE FORWARD!

On January 11, SBA North Carolina District Director Lynn Douthett spoke at the second annual “Moving Forward Conference” at the Raleigh Convention Center.  The event, hosted by the SBA Women’s Business Center of North Carolina, included dynamic speakers, networking, and thought-provoking dialogue. This year’s topic, “United We Are...", helped participants initiate conversations, realize their collective impact, and move forward with purpose. The half-day event featured subject experts, an entrepreneurial panel, and an award ceremony.


NC Director and Women Movement
From left to right: Elaine Marshall, North Carolina Secretary of State; Briles Johnson, Director of the Women’s Business Center of North Carolina; and Lynn Douthett, SBA North Carolina District Director.

NC new employee

SBA Welcomes New Staff Member to North Carolina

The SBA North Carolina District would like to welcome Ms. Aregnaz “Ari” Mooradian as the new Lead Business Opportunity Specialist. The Lead Business Opportunity Specialist oversees the 8(a) Business Development Program in the state. Ari began with SBA as a Lender Relations Specialist in 2013 in the Arizona District Office. She then moved into the position of Business Opportunity Specialist.  Prior to SBA, she worked with the Peace Corps in Uganda, East Africa, as a microfinance specialist.  There she led change management initiatives for a local lender. Ari has worked with a Los Angeles based non-profit, where she was responsible for human capital and fund development.  Welcome Ari!

Gregg White

SBA South Carolina District Office

Richard "Gregg" White, District Director


SBA South Carolina is Now on Twitter!

SC Now on Twitter

LaTanya Channel

SBA Tennessee District Office

LaTanya Channel, District Director

Tennessee District Office Training Opportunities with Regional Appeal

The SBA Tennessee District Office hopes that you are staying warm and staying safe this Winter – and, come this Spring, we hope to see you!

On March 14, 2017, the US Army Corp of Engineering Nashville District will host its annual Small Business Industry Day and this year’s focus is on the HUBZone and SBA All Small Mentor Protégé programs. The Tennessee District Office, the Tennessee State University SBDC, and the Tennessee PTAC will all be providing trainings, workshops, and information – in addition to the many federal agencies and prime contractor that will be in attendance. This is the 7th Annual Nashville District Industry Day and the first with the Tennessee District Office as a full partner. For more information, visit here

We also would love to see you on March 28, 2018, when the SBA Tennessee District Office will host a Business Development Academy. For small business contractors, the Academy will offer sessions on the following:  marketing techniques (use of social and local media) and efficient cash flow budgeting. Contractors can also have peer to peer discussions on lessons learned.  

At this same event, college students have the opportunity to connect with small business contractors for potential internships. These internships will provide an experience of learning the ins and outs of small business as well as gaining real life work experience.  If you are a small business contractor interested in this opportunity or if you are a college student who is seeking an internship opportunity, then we hope to see you there! To find more information on the Academy and to register, please visit here.