SBA Massachusetts Newsletter | July 2018

Massachusetts District Office  - July 2018

u s small business administration
HubZone Event
Marianna Pardo


Keynote Speaker:

Mariana Pardo

Director, HUBZone Program 

HUB Zone Program in Plain Language!

The Federal government's goal of awarding 3% of all dollars for federal prime contracts to HUBZone certified small business concerns

Join us for the following:

  • Keynote speaker Mariana Pardo, Director of the HUBZone Program
  • Panel of officials from Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization Offices
  • Federal Agency and Large Prime representatives discussing their HUBZone procurements
  • HUBZone Success Stories
  • Learn the benefits of the HUBZone Program and the certification process
  • Discover how the HUBZone Program can help you grow your business 

If you have any questions, please contact:
Nadine Boone, Lead Business Opportunity Specialist

twitter chat

Join us for a Twitter chat on how to attract and retain customers on July 26. We’ll be sharing tips and resources to help you start, grow, expand, or recover your small business. Follow along with the hashtag #SBAChat

Also, please follow the NEW SBA Massachusetts District Office Twitter handle for localized latest news and events: @SBA_MA 

Success Story


Lilian Radke: Navigating the SBA Resource Partner Network for Success!

The SBA is making it easier than ever for women entrepreneurs to access resources.

The newly reimagined SBA is modernizing its’ service delivery experience so entrepreneurs likeLilian Radke, can efficiently connect to government contracting opportunities and lending programs.

Recently launched is Certify.SBA.Gov – an online portal that allows entrepreneurs to prescreen for certification eligibility and streamlines the application process for federal contracting programs. 

Also new is – an online referral tool that connects entrepreneurs with SBA-approved lenders through a streamlined business loan application process.

In recent years, Lilian Radke has taken advantage of both programs to propel the rapid growth of her company, Unic Pro – expanding her client portfolio at a rate of about 45% annually and increasing her overall staffing level to over 120 employees. 

A native of Brazil, Radke came to the United States as a teenager in early 2000.  

Radke was a top-rated volleyball player who was recruited by a visiting coach from the University of Arkansas.  She was one of five players who were offered a full scholarship – but the only one from her group accepted after passing all of the required tests.

Lilian became a star for Arkansas volleyball and in her second year on the team, named captain and awarded the MVP.  In the last year of her collegiate career playing volleyball, she met her husband Silvano who is also from Brazil and was living in Massachusetts – where they settled to start a family and a small business.      

Read More

Lender Match Testimonial

Check out this testimonial video about how a business owner utilized SBA Lender Match to connect with lenders to reduce his monthly debt service. 

Check out this testimonial video about how a business owner utilized SBA Lender Match to reduce his monthly debt service 

Michael Rayos

Upcoming Events

8/1 Department of Education Small Business Boston Conference

department of ed

The U.S. Department of Education (Education) Office for Small and Disadvantage Business Utilization (OSDBU) will host a three hour conference to share ED contracting information with small business owners and to increase our vendor database with qualified SDVO/HUBZone firms. ALL small business categories are welcome to attend.

View Event Summary

Registration Deadline: Friday, July 27, 2018


Space is LIMITED and there will be no on site registration!

When: Wednesday, August 1, 2018 10AM  -  1PM 

John W. McCormack Post Office & Courthouse
5 Post Office Square
Law Library, 12th Floor
Boston, Massachusetts 02109 


The SBIR Road Tour is coming to Manchester, NH on Thursday, August 23, 2018, to convey the non-dilutive technology funding opportunity provided through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs.

Individual program managers from as many as 11 participating agencies representing $2.5 billion in early stage funding will participate in a one day event alongside technology entrepreneurs and state innovation ecosystem members.

If you’re an innovator, entrepreneur, researcher, or small technology firm, don’t miss this opportunity.


Reserve Your One-on-One Meeting with SBIR/STTR Program Managers from:

  • Department of Agriculture (USDA)
  • Department of Defense - Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)
  • Department of Defense - Missile Defense Agency (MDA)
  • Department of Defense - Navy
  • Department of Defense - Special Operations Command (SOCOM)
  • Department of Health and Human Services - National Institutes of Health (NIH)
  • Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
  • Department of Transportation (DOT)
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
  • National Science Foundation (NSF)
  • United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)
  • Federal Laboratory Consortium (FLC)
  • National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
  • Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA)
  • Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR)

Other Agenda Highlights Include:

  • Learn how to access local and state resources available to innovators, researchers, and technology entrepreneurs.
  • SBIR Agencies Funding Priorities Overviews
  • Engaging Panel Sessions:
  • Inside the Head of an Evaluator: Common Mistakes
  • Grant Opportunities for a Public Purpose
  • Staying On Track: Aligning Your Company for Success in the DoD


This SBIR Road Tour stop is Hosted By: University of New Hampshire

Located at:

UNH Manchester
88 Commercial Street
Manchester, NH 03101

Learn more by visiting

Follow America’s Seed Fund on Twitter via @sbirgov #SBIRRoadTour

7/25 Free LIVESTREAM Workshop

SBDC Summer Schoolmsbdc


School is in session! Sharpen your pencils and sit down to Small Business Summer School to learn lessons to stand out online, build relationships and prepare for a great end of year.

We’re so excited to be partnering with Google, Constant Contact, LinkedIn and Vistaprint to host a FREE livestream workshop on July 25th where we'll share key strategies, tools and products to prepare you for a successful 2nd half of the year, including the upcoming holiday season.

Join us, and invite anyone you think would benefit.

Small Business Summer School

Wednesday, July 25, 2018 / Time: 11:30 PM - 1:30 PM

Location: Springfield MA, 1 Federal St., Scibelli Enterprise Center, Bldg 101, 3rd floor

11:30 - 12:00 pm Registration and Pizza Lunch is served

12:00 - 1:30 pm Google Livestream

1:30 -2:00 pm Help to set up your Google Business Page 

Be sure that you know your Gmail address and your password if you will build your Google page.

For more info, contact:
Lynn Shedd, Client Services Coordinator
MA Small Business Development Center - Western Regional Office
413-577-1768 x 0

Grow Your Business via 8(a) Business Development

Thursday, July 26 / 10:00am-11:30am
O'Neill Federal Building, Suite 265, 10 Causeway St, Boston, MA 02222
The 8(a) Business Development Program is intended to help socially and economically disadvantaged small business owners: Gain federal contracts;Grow your businesses; Gain access to sole source contracts and get technical assistance. (FREE) 


Opening Doors to Federal Government Contracting

Friday, July 27 / 10:00am - 12:00pm  
O'Neill Federal Building, Suite 265, 10 Causeway St, Boston, MA 02222
Small business certifications are like professional certifications; they document a special capability or status that will help you compete in the marketplace. Learn more about certifications at this workshop.  


7/20: CALLING ALL SPRINGFIELD SMALL BUSINESSES IN NEED OF CAPITAL!  Application Deadline for Inner City Capital Connections


SBA Massachusetts District Office is participating in this program. 

Inner City Capital Connections (ICCC) is a national program designed by Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC) to help small businesses in economically distressed areas build capacity for long-term growth, and it is accepting applications for the 2018 Springfield cohort!

The 40-hour program spans 3-6 months and covers a diversity of topics, including best practices in strategy, sales & marketing, talent recruitment and management, and entrepreneurial finance. It is structured as follows:

  • Opening Seminar (Springfield’s seminar is on Wednesday, August 8)
    If this date does not work for you, consider attending one of our 10 other seminars.
  • Webinars (August to October 2018)
  • Individualized Coaching with bankers/consultants (October 2018)
  • National Conference in Boston (November 2018)
    This includes the opportunity to pitch live to capital providers and to network with ICCC participants from all of our 10 cohorts.

Participants graduate from ICCC with a clearer understanding of their growth plan, custom solutions to their unique business challenges, and a new network of peers, mentors, and capital providers.

ICCC is offered at no cost to all accepted participants thanks to our sponsors! Participants are, however, responsible for travel and lodging related to the opening seminar and national conference.

Apply for the 2018 Boston ICCC program at by Friday, July 20.

For questions regarding the program and its application process, contact Program Coordinator Vi Mai at (617) 238-3038 or

* Includes Springfield and West Springfield as well as Adams, Chicopee, Easthampton, Greenfield, Holyoke, Ludlow, North Adams, Pittsfield, and Westfield

SBA's Government Contracting Classroom. Online training to help small businesses compete for contracts.

Government Contracting Live Chat Series

Join us for these informal, weekly telephone conversations to speak with representatives from agencies and organizations that can help you grow your business.

Dial-in Instructions:  Participate in the session with the toll free number 888-858-2144 and when prompted, provide the access code of 4633674#.

July 19 at 11AM Natick Solder Systems Command – Chris Sao, Small Business

July 26 at 10AM Abt Associates, Kathy Echols, Small Business Specialist


U.S. Small Business Administration offers the 7(j) Management and Technical Assistance Program for eligible Small Businesses. Training is provided by Stover & Associates, Inc. For more information and to register, please visit: Stover & Associates


Managing and Administrating Government Contracts
July 23, 2018 / 1:00—4:00 pm EDT

Government Contract Negotiations
July 24, 2018 / 1:00—5:00 pm EDT

Audits and Accounting Systems
July 25, 2018 / 1:00—4:30 pm EDT

Strategic Planning for Small Business
July 26, 2018 / 1:00—2:00 pm EDT

Facilities Clearances
July 26, 2018 / 3:00—4:00 pm EDT

Construction Contracting
July 30, 2018 / 1:00—4:00 pm EDT

FAR Primer for Small Business
July 31, 2018 / 1:00—5:00 pm EDT

Marketing to the Government Buyer
August 1, 2018 / 1:00—4:00 pm EDT

E-Commerce Tools for Generating Federal Business Opportunities
August 2, 2018 / 1:00—4:00 pm EDT

Developing and Managing Contractor Teams
August 6, 2018 / 1:00—3:00 pm EDT

Federal Contracting Basics
August 7, 2018 / 1:00—4:00 pm EDT

Introduction to Construction Project Management
August 13, 2018 / 1:00-5:00 pm EDT

Government Contract Negotiations
August 14, 2018 / 5:00 – 9:00 pm EDT

SBA now offers locally customized email messages for small business owners. To receive more information about official SBA training and events in your area, please take a moment to input your zip code at:

Meet Alix Howie, General Attorney

Alix Howie

Alix was born in Boston and grew up with her parents and sister in Hingham, MA.  Alix also has a large extended family that all live on the south shore and they get together almost every weekend for a meal, a sports game, or a trip to the beach.

Alix was recruited to row at Lehigh University where she became a three-year captain and earned the Most Valuable Rower award for her senior year.  She graduated with a B.A. in both English and History.

After graduation, Alix participated in the Jesuit Volunteer Corps., and moved to Anchorage Alaska to live and work in solidarity with the native homeless population.  She worked in a domestic violence shelter for women and children and lived below the poverty line with six other volunteers all working at different non-profits around the city.  It was this difficult yet rewarding year that sparked Alix’s desire to eventually pursue public service work.

After returning to the Boston area and working in sales for two years, she went back to school at Suffolk University Law, where she worked part-time at different Boston law firms, participating in the Journal of Health and Biomedical Law, and ultimately graduated with honors.  She spent a year working at a budding creditor’s bankruptcy firm, analyzing financials and participating in court proceedings.  She then transitioned to work under a solo-practitioner working in insurance defense and personal injury.   Alix gained valuable experience as the primary contact for the firm’s clients and in preparing and participating in litigation proceedings.  

Alix is very excited to be joining SBA!


Past Events

The SBA Lender Network in Massachusetts is showing off their new SBA “LENDER” decals at branch banks all across the Commonwealth.  

lender decal

On June 27th, MA District Director Bob Nelson moderated a panel discussion titled “What are Debt Providers Looking For” as part of the 2018 Inner City Capital Connections program in Boston.   On the panel was Charles Smith, SVP and SBA Specialist at Eastern Bank; Nancy Lee Monroe, SVP Business Banking at Bank of America; Jonathan Tower, General Partner, Arctaris Impact Fund; and Matthew Walsh, VP and Relationship Manager at Santander Bank.    The panel was part of a day-long event, Inner City Capital Connections sponsored by Initiative for a Competitive Inner City held at Suffolk Law School.  About 100 small businesses participated in the event.  

inner city capital connections

On Monday, June 25, 2018 – the District Director Bob Nelson welcomed Susan Lourie to the Massachusetts District Office.  Joining as a Business Opportunity Specialist, Susan is bringing 5 years of experience working with the IRS. 

new hire

On Friday, June 15th, District Director Bob Nelson and Economic Development Specialist Lisa Gonzalez Welch participated in the Merrimack Valley Chamber of Commerce Annual Small Business Recognition Awards Program held in Haverhill, Massachusetts. 

merrimack valley chamber

SBA Massachusetts District Director Robert Nelson and Lead Lender Relations Specialist Ili Spahiu held a Lender’s Roundtable Meeting at the MSBDC Central Regional Office at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts.  Over 30 representatives from central Massachusetts lending institutions attended the event. 

clark university round table