SBA is Headed Your Way

February 2019

u s small business administration
Ashley Bell



Ashley D. Bell

Region IV Administrator

U.S. Small Business Administration



Catch Regional Administrator Ashley D. Bell In the News to find out his latest briefs! Including a 43% increase in microloans to African American-owned businesses across the Southeast!

Black Enterprise 

The Gainesville Times

The Atlanta Small Business Show

black history

Local Assistance For Entrepreneurs



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


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


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


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

Local News From Your

SBA District Office

Thomas Todt

Alabama District Office

Thomas (Tom) Todt, District Director

On Sunday, February 17, 2019, SBA Regional Administrator, Ashley Bell had the distinct privilege of serving as the Key Note Speaker in Perry County, AL for the 54th Jimmie Lee Jackson Day. Jimmie Lee Jackson was a Civil Rights Activist whose unfortunate and untimely murder helped to spark the passing on the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

This event, yielding approximately 150 attendees, honored Perry County Teachers with Bachelor of Science Degrees in Early Childhood Education and Elementary Education.

Ashley Bell Marion AL

Pictured above, Regional Administrator Bell with Family and Dignitaries from the event

Wilfredo Gonzalez 2

North Florida District Office

Wilfredo J. Gonzalez, District Director

North Florida District Director Wilfredo Gonzalez and James Van Horn, Supervisory Lending Relations Specialist, recently attended a rural business and economic development conference in Central Florida. Van Horn delivered information on a federal government rural lending panel. Also included on the panel where representatives from EDA and USDA. Attendees included local rural city officials and 6 nonprofit organization that provides economic development support throughout the Florida central region. Partnerships among private and public sector leaders have been fostered to leverage regional assets that provide maximum benefits to the business communities. The regional collaboration links and unites leadership networks, transportation networks and technology networks throughout the State.


Wilfredo J. Gonzalez, SBA North Florida District Director

NFL Panel

James Van Horn, SBA North Florida Supervisory Lending Relations Specialist preparing to deliver remarks on the panel.


Victoria Guerrero

South Florida District Office

Victoria Guerrero, District Director

This month, we joined the nation to recognize the many accomplishments African Americans have contributed throughout the world. While doing so, we were fortunate to host the Regional Administrator to the Palm Beach area for his keynote address during the 2019 “I Have a Dream” Black History Month event, sponsored by the School District of Palm Beach County.

Ashley Bell & Dicky Sykes

Regional Administrator Bell and Dicky Sykes, event host and Director of the Office of Diversity in Business Practices for the School District of Palm Beach County

Ken Burroughs

Photo: Regional Administrator Ashley D. Bell (middle) meets with Ken Burrough, Founder and CEO of South Florida’s Black Professionals Network

FUN FACT: Since FY 17 to FY 18, the South Florida District has increased African American Lending in both 7a and 504 by 11 percent, respectively, with a more notable increase of 61 percent in microlending to African Americans.

Also in the news, the South Florida District and State of Florida 2017 NSBW Veteran-Owned Business winner was recognized as “Senate Small Business of the Week” by the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship.  Read more here.

Ed Haynes, President of Haynes Security

Senate Small Business of the Week

haynes Security

Emerging Leaders Initiative Returning to South Florida Local area recruitment for the 2019 SBA Emerging Leaders training cycle is currently ongoing as the South Florida District has been once again selected to host two locations this year; Miami and Tampa.

Classes are scheduled to begin this spring with specific dates differing by location.  Interested small business owners can learn more regarding eligibility, how to apply, and class schedules at the SBA’s Emerging Leaders website.

Terri Denison

Georgia District Office

Terri L. Denison, District Director


Welcome to the Team!

The Georgia District Office welcomes its newest all-star to the team. Jeffrey Patterson is the new supervisory lender relations and economic development specialist for the Peach State. Patterson comes to the talent-rich office with a wealth of experience in banking, entrepreneurship, and business development. He most recently served as an area director of the Georgia State University Small Business Development Center located in downtown Atlanta. “We are excited to have Jeff bring his entrepreneurial expertise and passion for small business success to our team,” said Terri Denison, director of the Georgia District Office. Please help us welcome Jeff to the SBA family; feel free to send him a welcoming email or drop him a line.

jeff patterson

Ralph Ross

Kentucky District Office

Ralph Ross, District Director


Kentucky Involved in 2019 HUBZone Pilot Program

 The Federal Government's goal is to award at least three percent of all federal contracting dollars to HUBZone-certified small businesses each year. The SBA recently designated Kentucky as one of 10 pilot programs in the U.S. to assist qualified small businesses in an expedited application process for the Federal HUBZone certification.

Cherie Guilford, BOS and HUBZone Liaison with the SBA Kentucky District Office, participated in the 2019 Kentucky HUBZone Roadshow with the PTAC. These free events, held all across the state, discussed the HUBZone program and the advantages to being HUBZone certified.

The SBA and PTAC presenters explain how small businesses may be eligible for preferential treatment in contract competitions and the potential for enhanced subcontracting opportunities. The 2-hour events are held at least once a month through August, mostly in rural areas of the state. Details are available at under the calendar of events.

Janita Stewart

Mississippi District Office

Janita Stewart, District Director

Drive 8a- Mississippi

Take Your Business to The Next Level with SBA's 8(a) Business Development

Do not miss out on this unique opportunity to access and network with a variety of national and local public and private sector organizations that could facilitate in growing your small business! This summit, hosted by the SBA Mississippi District Office of the will include powerful discussions about how to get into the 8(a) Program, access to prime contractors, federal and state buying agencies, and insight into current and future contracting opportunities. In addition, small businesses will have the opportunity to meet one-on-one with potential buyers. Seating is limited so register ASAP! Please see registration information below. We hope to see you and your company there!


Thursday, March 28, 2019

: 8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.

Event Time: 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.


Mississippi e-Center@JSU

Convention Hall

1230 Raymond Road

Jackson, MS  39204

Register Here

For More information contact: Joyce Conner - phone: (601) 965-4299 or email: or Jeremy Sanford - phone: (601) 965-4378 or email:

SBA Rural StrongCentral Mississippi


18th April, 2019 l 9:00 AM – 12:30 PM

Smith County Multi-Purpose Bldg.

SC Rd 77, Raleigh MS  39153

The U. S. Small Business Administration, U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency invite you to this Rural Strong Outreach event.

Targeting small businesses and entrepreneurs to attend this event to learn about SBA and USDA programs and services available to start, grow and expand.  Also, take advantage of on-site business counseling, meet with representatives of banks, lending institutions, and contracting officials.  Do not miss out on this unique opportunity!!!

Questions?  Email Rosetta Harris at or Deborah Dean


Lynn Douthett

North Carolina District Office

Lynn Douthett, District Director



Administrator McMahon Visits Raleigh and Chapel Hill for Investment / Export Tour

LEM at Export RT

Above: Administrator Linda McMahon visited Raleigh to participate in a small business export roundtable featuring several award-winning exporters.  Above, seated, first row:  North Carolina Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, Administrator McMahon, and Economic Development Partnership of NC VP John Loyack, who moderated the discussion.  Small business owners used the opportunity to provide their feedback with respect to current exporting opportunities, discuss how they would like to grow their business internationally, as well as to voice their appreciation for the broad array of SBA resources that have enabled them to tap into foreign markets.

LEM Speaking

Administrator McMahon delivers the keynote address during the North Carolina Investment Forum at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Dr. Tee Bordelon, Administrator McMahon, and Dr. Ann Black share a lively discussion during Mrs. McMahon’s tour of ImmunoReagents in Raleigh, an SBA Exporter of the Year.

LEM and Dr. Anne

Administrator McMahon chats with Lonerider Brewing Company owner Sumit Vohra about the company’s export challenges and successes.

SBA North Carolina District Office  Hosts Small Business

Federal Certifications Workshop

Participants learned about the various federal certifications, including: Woman-Owned Small Business, Small Disadvantaged Business, Service Disabled Veteran Program, 8(a) Business Development Program, HUBZone Empowerment Contracting Program.

NC Workshop

Standing from left: Aregnaz Mooradian, Lead BOS; and Mark Mills, NC State Director, PTAC

NBA All-Star 2019 Diversity Supplier Workshop

SBA attended the NBA All-Star 2019 Diversity Supplier Workshop, an interactive workshop filled with solid tips and practical strategies to help diverse companies and small business owners get in the game to access potential business opportunities. The workshop also assisted small businesses navigate the certification processes with the NBA, federal, regional, and local certifying agencies.

Supplier Diversity

Standing from left: Greg Michel, Associate VP of Supplier Diversity, NBA; and Joe Ann Shaeffers, BOS.

Richard White

 South Carolina District Office

Gregg White, District Director


The South Carolina District Office hosted many different workshops and webinars this month, including seminars on federal contracting, small business lending, the 8(a) Business Development Program and other small business certifications.

SC Boots 2 Biz

On February 12th,  we held a Boots to Business training at Fort Jackson. This was the second of 12 Boots to Business trainings that are scheduled for the year. The class consisted of 25 transitioning service members and veterans. Our Boots to Business trainings are held at Fort Jackson, Charleston Air Force Base, and Shaw Air Force Base. If you are a veteran, transitioning service member, reservist, or military spouse and are interested in participating in a future Boots to Business training, please contact Frank Anderson at

SC Rural Lenders

On February 13th, the South Carolina District Office hosted a rural lenders roundtable in Williamsburg County. Lenders from both Williamsburg and Clarendon County heard from SBA and other federal organizations that can assist in increasing the small business loans in rural areas. The event was in partnership with the Williamsburg County Economic Development Board and there were 19 participants at the event. It is an agency-wide goal to increase lending in rural areas by 5%, and it starts with educating both lenders and small business owners on the loan programs that are available through SBA and participating lenders.

We have a full calendar for March as well! Visit our website at to find events happening near you. We are here to help you start, grow, expand and recover!


LaTanya Channel

Tennessee District Office

LaTanya Channel, District Director


Contracting Opportunities!

On February 11-13, 2019 in Nashville TN, the National 8(a) Association held its annual conference along with the U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) annual “Getting Back to Business” event. The event attracted over 1,000 participants, 100 federal agencies and provided multiple opportunities - in one location - for small business contractors to meet one-on-one with decision- makers and buyers at federal agencies and with prime contractors. 

Senior leaders from both SBA’s Washington  DC headquarters and the SBA Southeast Regional Office were in attendance, including Christopher Pilkerton, the SBA General Counsel; Rob Wong, SBA Associate Administrator for Government Contracting and 8(a) Business Development; John Klein, SBA Associate Counsel for Procurement Law and currently the Acting Associate Administrator for 8(a) Business Development;  and Ashley Bell, SBA Southeast Regional Administrator.

For more information on the next HHS event, around the country, visit here: HHS Small Business Program Events

SBA Region IV Administrator Ashley D. Bell addresses the HHS Getting Back to Business Event in Nashville, TN

AB speaking
Ashley and TN Tribune

Regional Administrator Ashley D. Bell and Cillea Houghton, Author at The Tennessee Tribune Discuss the Drive 8(a) Initiative in Nashville, TN

Will we see you on March 6?

On March 6, 2019, in partnership with the SBA Tennessee District Office , the Tennessee State University SBDC, and the Tennessee PTAC, the US Army Corps of Engineering - Nashville District will host its annual Small Business Industry Day. This year’s focus is on the Women Owned Small Business Programall firms are welcome at this regional event! In addition to the many federal agencies and prime contractors that will be in attendance for networking, trainings and workshops on government contracting will be held on site for this all-day FREE event – along with face to face time with Army Corps buyers and prime contractors.

For more information, go here to register and here to view a video of last year’s event.

At this same event on March 6 2019, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is in search of businesses to SIGN UP HERE for this afternoon breakout session on the HUD Section 3 program. Under HUD’s Section 3 program the following are available: job training and employment for public housing residents; and government contracts for firms that hire public housing residents.

Register here for the HUD Section 3 afternoon breakout session starting at 1:30 pm CST, March 6 2019 in Nashville TN.

tn pic

More information on the program: HUD - VIDEO on Section 3  and HUD Section 3 Info Portal