Small Business Week Hits the Southeast!

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Region IV 2019 Small Business Week Winners Announced by Regional Administrator Ashley D. Bell

National Small Business Week Winners

As National Small Business Week approaches, we are proud to announce the Region IV Small Business Week winners!

Regional awards will be presented to outstanding small business owners this year during National Small Business Week across the Southeast Region. National Small Business Week will be celebrated nationally from May 5-11, 2019.

The following winners are being recognized as regional winners during National Small Business Week:

2019 Rural Small Business Person of the Year

Courtesy Management

Hemalata Patel

Orangeburg, South Carolina


2019 Young Entrepreneur of the Year:

Sweet Roots Hair Bar

Labriah Holt

Atlanta, Georgia


2019 Second Chance Hiring Advocate of the Year

Nancy’s Pizza-Midtown

Mike Glover

Atlanta, Georgia


2019 Women’s Business Center of Excellence Award

weVENTURE at Florida Institute of Technology

Valerian Williams, WBC Program Director

Melbourne, Florida


2019 Region IV Exporter of the Year

Rotorcorp, LLC

Sean Casey

Atlanta, Georgia


2019 Small Business Development Center Excellence and Innovation Center Award

Beaufort Area Small Business Development Center

Martin Goodman, Area Manager

Beaufort, South Carolina


2019 8(a) Graduate of the Year

Precision 2000

Guiomar Obregon

Atlanta, Georgia

Region IV of the SBA includes nine district offices located in eight states: Alabama, Florida (North & South Florida districts), Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. Last fiscal year, over $5 billion in SBA-backed lending was approved for small businesses located in the Southeastern Region.  Small businesses have exceeded the 23 percent goal in government contract awards and women-owned businesses have exceeded the 5 percent goal in government contract awards for the first time in history.  Nearly 3000,000 entrepreneurs were counseled and trained in Region IV this past fiscal year. Small business truly is the engine driving the economy of our nation.

Small Business Week Events Near You

Be sure to contact your local SBA District Office to find out how your local winners are being honored. Small Business Week events will be taking place in every corner of the United States May 5-11! Please locate your local district contact information and calendar of events here.  Also, don't forget that you may participate in National Small Business Week virtually through a Twitter Chat, a Visa sponsored Hackathon, live streaming, and more. More information may be found at

Happy National Small Business Week, May 5-11, 2019

Op-ed: Celebrating Entrepreneurs: Small Business Week Recognized Across the South

By Ashley D. Bell, Region IV Administrator, U.S. Small Business Administration

Covering: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee

The SBA was created with the mission of helping businesses start, grow, expand – and even recover in the event of a natural disaster. Today, the SBA provides a wide range of services to small business owners and entrepreneurs so they may pursue the American dream. In the coming weeks, our goal is to celebrate the great accomplishments of America’s entrepreneurs in every corner of the United States.

The SBA is proud of its role in fostering business growth across the country. If you want to start a small business or already own a business, don’t miss out on the advice and services provided by the SBA and its national resource partners like Small Business Development Centers, Women’s Business Centers, Veterans Business Outreach Centers and SCORE chapters.

During National Small Business Week, May 5-11, 2019, the SBA shines a spotlight on our nation’s 30 million small businesses. It is a time for the small business owners and entrepreneurs in our community to come together and celebrate our accomplishments. Through community events across the country, we honor entrepreneurs whose achievements over the past year stand out.

The 2019 Small Business Person of the Year from every state will be traveling to Washington, D.C. on May 6 to compete for the national Small Business Person of the Year title. We are also celebrating regional and state winners across the region in a variety of ways, including in-person events and a virtual conference. Locally, Small Business Week events will take place in each SBA district (district calendars may be found here:

Everyone can be a part of Small Business Week.  You can follow along on social media using the hashtag #SmallBusinessWeek and by following @SBASoutheast. The SBA will host a Twitter chat on May 10 using the hashtag #SmallBusinessWeek. The SBA and Visa will even host a National Small Business Week Hackathon in Washington, D.C., May 3-5 where app developers, business owners and idea generators will face the challenge of mashing up application programming interfaces (APIs) from the federal government, the Visa Developer Platform and business continuity planners to help small businesses recover from natural disasters. 

We are very excited to celebrate Small Business Week 2019 and honor America’s economic drivers – our entrepreneurs. For additional information about National Small Business Week, visit the official website at