SBA November Newsletter l 11/24 Small Business Saturday

Massachusetts District Office  - November 2018

u s small business administration

Small Business Saturday
November 24th, 2018

Small businesses are the engine of our national economy.  According to the SBA Office of Advocacy, there over 652,661 small businesses in Massachusetts and over 30 million nationwide.  This year marks the ninth annual celebration of Small Business Saturday, with communities across the United States hosting events and activities in celebration of Small Business Saturday 2018.  

On Monday, November 19th, SBA New England Regional Administrator Wendell Davis along with local distinguished elected officials, were in Framingham at Jack's Abby Brewing this week to raise awareness about the importance of shopping local this holiday season and every day!  

Regional Administrator Wendell Davis

Participating in the event: United States Congresswoman Katherine Clark; Massachusetts State Representative Elect Maria Robinson; and City of Framingham Mayor Dr. Yvonne Spicer.  Sam Hendler, one of the three Hendler brothers gave a tour of the brewery and shared how important the resources were to helping Jack’s Abby grow with the SBA 504 loan program.  


Last year, an estimated 108 million nationwide consumers shopped small on Small Business Saturday.  For more information on Small Business Saturday visit:

Group Photo

On Tuesday, November 20th, District Director Bob Nelson led another Small Business Saturday small business visit tour in collaboration with the Plymouth Area Chamber of Commerce - along with local distinguished elected officials, including: United States Congressman William Keating, Massachusetts State Senator Vinny de Macedo, Massachusetts State Representative Mathew Muratore, Massachusetts State Representative Elect Kathy LaNatra, Plymouth Board of Selectmen Chairman Kenneth Tavares. 

The small businesses tour started at the 1620 Winery with owners Robert and Raquel Mullaney - who went from owning Comfort Keepers in Plymouth, Massachusetts for 15 years, the second largest private duty home care company in the world, to becoming owners of the 1620 Winery & Wine Bar in Plymouth.

winery1620 Winery

Next stop was to Flair Floral, a local florist where we met owner Holly Ewell who shared that her SCORE mentor Rod Clark was instrumental in supporting her with the business.  


Final stop was to Jolly Bean Café, where we met owner Amanda Roy who shared that she had been working with MA Small Business Development Center Senior Business Advisor Cliff Robbins to grow her business. 

JollyJolly Bean

Special thanks to all of our special guests who joined us to remind everyone to shop small!  For more photos, please connect with us on Twitter @SBA_MA

National Apprenticeship Week, November twelfth through the eighteenth

Apprenticeship is an industry-driven, high-quality career pathway where small biz owners can develop and prepare their future workforce. Here are two types of apprenticeship programs employers can offer →

Now Accepting Nominations for 2019 National Small Business Week Awards!

Nominate a Business!

NSBW 2019

Manufacturing Success Story

Greg Acerra

SBA Ignites Fireking Baking Company’s Manufacturing Expansion

American manufacturing is on the rise in Braintree, Massachusetts. According to the National Association of Manufacturers – total output from Massachusetts manufacturing showed a steady increase from 2009, reaching $48.75 billion in 2016.[1] Commercial real estate loans from the SBA are fueling this trend by providing small business owners like Greg Acerra with tools to grow locally and scale operations nationally.

Fireking Baking Company has been an innovator in the baking industry and a leading manufacturer of European-style artisan breads since 1995. Baking high-quality, all-natural products for restaurants and retail grocery stores – Fireking has been rapidly expanding through the development of a national distribution network and by utilizing state-of-the-art equipment that fulfills large orders with short turnaround time.

Before starting Fireking Baking Company, Founder Greg Acerra worked his way up in the food service industry, opening several restaurants including Stars and Tosca – and that’s when he started baking his own bread.

SBA Ignite

Rapid Expansion and Job Creation with the SBA 504
As a restaurant owner, Acerra wanted to serve fresh artisan bread that was baked in-house. So when he saw a shuddered gas station directly across the street – he saw an opportunity to start his own bakery, renovated it and opened Fireking Baking & Bistro. Within a year, Greg landed his first major wholesale account for his new artisan breads – so he bought a delivery truck and moved the operation to an 11,000-sq.ft. facility in Weymouth. In 2012, Fireking outgrew that facility and moved to the current 40,000-sq.ft. factory in Braintree with support from the SBA 504 program. Today, Acerra’s factory currently houses five bread lines and four packaging lines to produce about 191,000 cases of product every year.

"Through the SBA’s 504 program and in collaboration with James Graziano of Weymouth Bank (now Equitable) and Barbara Arena of Granite State Development, Fireking Baking Company has been able to complete an expansion phase unprecedented in the bakery’s twenty-year history,” said Acerra. “In three years, Fireking has doubled sales, added 44 employees and now operates out of a new, 40,000 square foot state of the art facility in Braintree, MA."

> Read more


Upcoming Events



Reverse Business 2 Business (B2B) Matchmaking Event being held to generate collaborations between entreprenuers, procurement agencies and prime contractors.

  • Goal is to increase procurement-ready firms into Massachusetts portfolio

  • Increase significant contracts realized by firms in Massachusetts portfolio

  • Create events with expected and realized outcomes.

  • Increase job creation

Starting and Growing Your Business
Monday, November 26, 2018 / 10:00am - 3:00pm
Wilmington Memorial Library, 175 Middlesex Ave, Wilmington, Ma

Legal Considerations for New Business Owners
Tuesday, November 27, 2018 / 1:00pm - 3:00pm
24 School Street, Boston, MA 02108

Risk Management in Business
Wednesday, November 28, 2018 / 10:00am - 12:00pm  
Newton Free Library, 330 Homer Street, Newton, MA 02459

Tax Strategies as Part of Your Strategic Planning
Wednesday, November 28, 2018 / 9:00am - 12:00pm
950 Main Street, Grace Conference Room, Worcester, MA,01610

Steps to Start Your Business
Wednesday, November 28, 2018 / 3:00pm - 4:30pm
24 School Street, Boston, MA 02108

8(a) Business Development Eligibility Briefing
Thursday, November 29, 2018 / 10:00am - 11:30pm
10 Causeway Street, Suite 265, Boston, MA 02222

Opening Doors to Federal Government Contracting
Friday, November 30, 2018 / 10:00am - 11:30pm  
10 Causeway Street, Suite 265, Boston, MA 02222


USITC and SBA Listening Tour

Barriers to Exporting to United Kingdom



U.S International Trade Commission and The U.S. small Business Administration will host a listening tour throughout the U.S. beginning 12/3/2018.  The purpose of this tour is to support the USITC study on “Barriers to exporting to the United Kingdom (UK).

The USITC welcomes your views on this topic in Boston on Friday, December 7th. If you are a U.S.-based SMEs that exports to the UK either directly or through your supply chain we are actively seeking out your perspective on this topic.

Due to security, please arrive at 11:30 a.m.

For more background on this investigation, the Federal Register Notice is located at:

The USITC listening session event is held in conjunction with the Massachusetts Export Center's annual Export Expo. To register for the Export Expo, visit

11/30 New Hampshire Matchmaker

NH Matchmaker


Meet one-on-one with over 30 expected exhibitors
• Learn from the experts at breakout sessions
• Network with other small businesses
• Connect with a business mentor

Regular Registration: Nov. 1 - 29, $70; Veterans, $35
Day of Event: Nov. 30, $85; Veterans $50


12/3 SBA Advocacy Roundtable on the ADA: DOJ Presentation and Listening Session

Monday, December 3, 2018; 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 pm (Eastern Standard Time/EST) U.S. Small Business Administration 409 Third Street SW Washington, DC 20416* Eisenhower Conference Room B A teleconference option is also available. (See below)

The Office of Advocacy of the Small Business Administration invites you to a Small Business Roundtable on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  Pursuant to President Trump’s Executive Orders, 13771 and 13777, the Office of Advocacy has held roundtables across the country to hear from small businesses regarding regulations that impact their business.  

Representatives from the Department of Justice’s Disability Rights Section have been invited to provide a high-level introduction on three ADA hot topics for small businesses—physical accessibility, website accessibility, and service animals.  Then, there will be an opportunity for small businesses to share their experiences on these issues and other ADA areas and provide general feedback during a DOJ Listening Session.  Please note that during the roundtable, we will not be seeking any collective consensus on these issues and any comments made during this roundtable will not be considered official comments on any past, present, or future DOJ rulemaking

  • To attend in person: RSVP by reply e-mail if you plan to attend the meeting to: or call at 202-619-0312. Please RSVP as soon as possible, as space is extremely limited. 
  •  To participate by teleconference, please email:    You will receive an e-mail with the dial-in numbers and a personalized access code..

Roundtable meetings are open to all interested persons, with the exception of the press, in order to facilitate an open and frank discussion about small business-related issues.   Agendas and presentations are available to all, including the press.  Anyone who would like to receive roundtable agendas or presentations, or be included in the regular distribution, should forward such requests to   The purpose of these roundtable meetings is to exchange opinions, facts, and information and to obtain the attendees’ individual views and opinions regarding small business concerns.  The meetings are not intended to communicate or achieve any consensus positions of the attendees. Please note that this meeting will not be recorded. 


* We are located at the Federal Center SW Metro stop on the Orange, Silver, and Blue lines.


Past Events

Lender Relations Specialist, Carlos Hernandez was at the Brazilian Women's Conference at Babson this Saturday talking SBA with Lilian Radke of Unic Pro, the SBA's MA 2018 Women Owned Biz of the Year.

Massachusetts District Director Bob Nelson was in Leominster this morning for the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce’s “Good Morning North Central” program, interviewed by Leslie Storrs of Century 21 North East. 

North CentralNorth Central

The Massachusetts District Office held its 2018 Annual Meeting at Worcester State University on Friday, November 9th with about 200 participants joining the event.  The program kicked off with welcome remarks from state and local officials, led by District Director Bob Nelson;  Next, Deputy District Director David Polatin led a graduation ceremony of the 2018 Emerging Leaders class which was held in the City of Worcester for the first time this year.  In honor of National Veterans Small Business Week, a panel of veteran entrepreneurs shared success stories which was moderated by Ray Milano, Deputy Associate Administrator, Office of Veterans Business Development.  The event concluded with an awards ceremony recognizing our district SBA lenders.

Annual Meeting

Worcester Area Chamber of Commerce President Tim Murray 

Nam Pham

Nam Pham, Assistant Secretary, Commonwealth of MA Office of Business Development and International Trade

Gina Betti

Special thanks to Gina Betti for helping with the Emerging Leaders Program

Annual Meeting

Leader Bank - Massachusetts SBA Lender of the Year to Veterans

Annual Meeting

Class Instructor: Alison Berglund, Encore Age, LLC
Class Speaker:  Renee King Diaz owner of The Queen’s Cup

Veterans Panel

Veteran Owned Small Business Success Stories
Oreste Varela, SBA Springfield Branch Manager
Moderator: Ray Milano, Deputy Associate Administrator SBA Office of Veterans Business Development
David Adams, President, AFC Urgent Care
Jess Brown, Co-founder/President, Heidrea Communications
Tony Fields, President, Cleartech Group

Annual Meeting