SBA Tennessee District Office May 2018 Newsletter

Tennessee District Office  - May 2018 Newsletter

u s small business administration

SBA Tennessee District Office Announces 2018 Small Business Week Award Winners

The U.S. Small Business Administration(SBA) Tennessee District Office is proud to announce this year’s Small Business Week award winners for the State of Tennessee.

The winners are Joseph Powers of Green Cube Solutions (GCS), LLC, Tennessee Small Business Person of the Year; Ann Miller of Glitz-Nashville, Tennessee Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year; and  Christopher and Brenda Newton of Epic Event Centre and Chef Christopher’s, Tennessee Rural-Owned Small Business of the Year.


Small Business Person of the Year: Mr. Powers started Green Cube Solutions (GCS)  in 2012 as regional company doing business from a local level. The business provides services for many different uses of the containers to the Northeast, Midwest, and Southern portions of the United States. These large containers can be seen on the backs of trucks, trains, and on large ships. GCS takes pride in assisting their customers in by designing the perfect solution to meet their needs. This propelled the business to the next level of success. Some GCS custom projects range from “tiny home” builds to containers with multiple doors that allow a platform for self-storage facilities. 


Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year: In April of 1996, Ms. Miller purchased Glitz, a rental business for prom and bridal gowns in Nashville, Tennessee. Soon after, Ann realized that the wear and tear on the gowns plus the added cost of alterations was not profitable.  She decided the business would become a strictly retail business with one full- time employee and seasonal help during the first few years. Ann marketed Glitz to high school students by participating in prom fashion shows and purposely not selling the same dress to any of the young ladies attending the same prom. In 2006, Ann purchased property to house the business, which allowed the increase of space creating 16 prom dress fitting rooms and 2 bridal fitting rooms.

Epic Events picture

 Rural-owned Small Business of the Year: In 2002, Christopher and Brenda Newton started Chef Christopher’s Catering. The business managed to be kept debt free, grew to 20 employees, and became the top catering company in Sumner County, Tennessee. Chef Christopher’s Catering is a family business with the Newtons and their three sons working together.  In 2011, the Newtons wanted to expand the beyond Chef Christopher’s Catering and opened Epic Event Centre. This business is devoted to hosting special events from charity fundraisers and corporate outings to weddings.


 Regional Subcontractor of the Year:  The SBA Office of Government Contracting awarded a Tennessee firm, TEVET, with this award. Tracy D. Solomon, President of TEVET, founded the company in 2004. This Greenville, Tennessee, veteran owned company provides goods and services to U.S. Department of Defense and other Federal agencies.

National Small Business Week is being held from April 29-May 5 and is an annual event hosted by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to recognize the nation’s top small businesses, entrepreneurs, small business advocates and champions. Every day they’re working to grow small businesses, create 21st century jobs, drive innovation, and increase America’s global competitiveness.

SBA Honors Top Tennessee Lenders

 The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)—the largest backer of loans to America’s small businesses—honored its top SBA lenders for federal fiscal year 2017 on May 2, 2018 , in a ceremony conducted during an event in Manchester, Tennessee. The event was hosted by the South Central Business Development Company as part of the CDC’s annual lender’s conference. Eleven SBA lenders in 7 different categories received awards.

“We’re very pleased to honor these lenders for their partnership with SBA and their continuing contribution to the economic development of Tennessee by bringing much needed capital to small businesses,” noted LaTanya Channel, SBA Tennessee District Director.

During FY 2017, SBA placed $285 million into the hands of Tennessee small businesses, guarantying 515 loans. Fiscal year 2017 began October 1, 2016 and concluded on September 30, 2017.  Only with the efforts of SBA’s lending partners was this achievable.

The top winning lenders cover several different types of SBA loans including the 7(a) Guaranty Loan, 504, Community Advantage, and Microloan Programs.  This year’s award winners are as follows:

  • Lender of the Year: Live Oak Bank, Wilmington, NC (Top Dollar; $24,889,000.00)   US Bank, Cincinnati, OH (Top Volume; 66 Loans)  
  • Community Lender of the Year: Pinnacle Bank, Nashville, TN (Top Dollar: $16,007,600 & Top Volume: 18 Loans)
  •  CDC of the Year: Areawide Development Corp., Alcoa, TN (Top Dollar: $3,306,000)  504 Volume Tied:  Brightbridge, Inc., Chattanooga, TN (6 Loans), Areawide Development Corp., Alcoa, TN (6 Loans)  
  • Micro Lender of the Year: Pathway Lending, Nashville, TN (Top Dollar: $661,300 & Top Volume: 30 Loans)

  • Community Advantage Lender of the Year: Brightbridge, Inc., Chattanooga, TN (Top Dollar: $1,569,800 & Volume: 11 Loans)

  • 504 1st Mortgage Lender of the Year: Pinnacle Bank, Nashville, TN (Top Dollar: $2,769,645.00 & Volume: 4 loans)

  • Credit Union of the Year:  Enright Credit Union, Nashville, TN (Top Dollar: $710,000.00)  UTFCU, Knoxville, TN (Top Volume: 3 Loans) 

  • Resource Partner of the Year: Most Loan Referrals – Tennessee Small Business Development Center: Jackson, TN
  • Advocate of the Year:  Superior Marketing of SBA 7(a) Loan Programs – Gary Griffin    Superior Marketing of SBA 504  Loan Programs – Eddie Fitzgerald

"All of our SBA lenders in the state of Tennessee deserve recognition. They help SBA fulfill our mission. Also, we are always interested in working with Tennessee banks who may not have processed SBA loans but who see an opportunity to serve the small business community by offering SBA-guaranteed loans to Tennessee small businesses,” noted Channel.   

Lender Awards 1
From left to right:: Maria Lloyd, SBA Lender Relations Specialist; LaTanya Channel, SBA Tennessee Director; Shell Wood of US Bank; Jill Rey of US Bank, Lisa Denson, SBA Lender Relations Specialist; Shawn McKeehan, SBA Tennessee Deputy Director; and Bill Higginbotham, SBA 7(a) Loan Guaranty Processing Center Deputy Director-Hazard, KY
Lender Awards
From left to right: Maria Lloyd, SBA Lender Relations Specialist; LaTanya Channel, SBA Tennessee Director; Eddie Fitzgerald, Loan Officer/CDC Manager of South Central Tennessee Development; Bill Higginbotham, SBA 7(a) Loan Guaranty Processing Center Deputy Director-Hazard, KY; Lisa Denson, SBA Lender Relations Specialist; and Shawn McKeehan. SBA Tennessee Deputy Director
Lender Award 2
From left to right: LaTanya Channel, SBA Tennessee Director; Bill Higginbotham, SBA 7(a) Loan Guaranty Processing Center Deputy Director-Hazard, KY; Jim Gugliemino of Pinnacle Bank, Lane Rhodes of Pinnacle Bank, and David Leonard, SBA Regional Export Finance Manager


At the conference, David Leonard, SBA Regional Export Finance Manager, conducted a workshop on SBA export financial assistance programs. Bill Higginbotham, SBA 7(a) Loan Guaranty Processing Center Deputy Director-Hazard, Kentucky, provided SBA 7(a) loan processing updates and changes during the general session. 

David L
Bill Higginbotham, SBA 7(a) Loan Guaranty Processing Center Deputy Director-Hazard, KY

SBA Training Opportunities For Entrepreneurs

Access the SBA Tennessee District Calendar    


Memphis trainings

Want to learn about contracting opportunities for small businesses?

First Tuesdays of the Month: Coffee, Tea, and Contracting

 A monthly opportunity for potential and current small business owners to learn about government contracting.

June 5, 2018

For more information, click here


Financing the SBA Way

Want to learn about SBA financial assistance options?

First Thursdays of the Month: Financing the SBA Way Brown Bag Lunch and Learn

A monthly opportunity for current and potential small businesses owners to learn about financial assistance.

June 7, 2018

For more information, click here



        Other Training Opportunities-SBA Participating

World Trade Month Go Global Webinar Series

 As part of World Trade Month, federal agencies will be conducting a Go Global online program.  The four-part webinar series helps participants gain valuable insights on strategies for international sales success.

Go Global Webinar Series – Schedule:

Go Global: GET PAID
Date: May 16, 2018
Time: 2-3 p.m. EDT

WebEx: Click Here  
Dial-In: 888-843-9207
Passcode: 4 7 6 2 2 4 7

Date: May 23, 2018
Time: 2-3 p.m. EDT

WebEx: Click Here
Dial-In: 888-843-9207
Passcode: 4 7 6 2 2 4 7

Date:  May 30, 2018
Time: 2-3 p.m. EDT

WebEx: Click here
Dial-In: 888-843-9207
Passcode: 4 7 6 2 2 4 7

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Memphis Small Business Industry Day 


Small Business Workshops

USACE Programs & Small Business Opportunities

 Meet and Connect with Federal Agencies

Networking & Matchmaking with Other Federal Contractor

May 30, 2018

For More Information, click here


THINK BIG: Learn to Do Business With NASA


 Small Businesses: Catch this Chance to Network, get Training & Contracting Opportunities 

       Workshops include:

Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR/Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Programs)

Small Business Administration, Procurement Technical Assistance Center and Small Business Development Center Resources

Doing Business with the Primes

NASA Mentor Protégé Program

June 19, 2018

For More Information, click here

                           SBA Blogs

     What Makes Up a Small Business Credit Report?

     A business credit report is an essential tool for banks, lenders, suppliers and credit grantors in assessing the creditworthiness of small businesses. The information contained in a report provides crucial details needed to make informed credit decisions.

    How Much Energy Do You Need to Own and Operate a Franchise?

    There’s hard work, and there’s really hard work. Owning and operating a franchise business falls under “really hard work.” Are you prepared for it? 


    the learning center

    Entrepreneurs can access online training 24/7 at no cost! 

    Resources Partners

    score live webinars

    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. Over 7,000 entrepreneurs in Tennessee were assisted by SCORE volunteers this past year. Find your local SCORE Chapter here.

    (423) 552-1722  

    (865) 692-0716

    (901) 544-3583

    (615) 736-5881

    Small Business Development Centers

    The Tennessee Small Business Development Center (TSBDC) offer no-cost counseling for existing small business owners. Over 16,000 small business owners were counseled and trained just last year in the state. There are 15 Tennessee locations for the TSBDC and most are located conveniently on college or university campuses.

     Locate your local SBDC here

    Visit the Tennessee Small Business Development Center (TSBDC) website:



    The Veteran's Business Outreach Centers (VBOC) may be one of the best small business resources available for veteran entrepreneurs. The mission of the VBOC program, which is funded by the SBA, is to create, develop and retain veteran-owned small business enterprises. The centers assist thousands of entrepreneurs each year.  The VBOC serving the Tennessee region is:


    Veterans Business Outreach Center at Pathway Lending


    Telephone: (615) 425-7171


                                        SBA Resource Guide

     All of SBA's Resources Right At Your Fingertips! Click The Link Above to Access The Guide.



    The Women's Business Centers (WBC) offer mentoring services as well as educational programs and networking events for women who own small businesses (as well as all entrepreneurs). Over 4,000 women entrepreneurs were trained and counseled through WBC's in Tennessee during the last year.

    Please visit the Women's Business Center in Tennessee in Nashville:

    Pathway Women's Business Center, Nashville:


    Telephone: (615) 425-7171.

    Need Financial Assistance:

    Start or expand your business with loans guaranteed by the Small Business Administration. Use Lender Match to find lenders that offer loans for your business.

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