Tar Heel Newsletter -- September 2019

The Tar Heel Newsletter - North Carolina District Office - September 2019

u s small business administration

2020 National Small Business Week
ward Nominations

National Small Business Week Awards, submit your nomination.

The U.S. Small Business Administration is now accepting nominations for its 2020 National Small Business Week Awards, including the annual Small Business Person of the Year. For more than 50 years, National Small Business Week has celebrated the inspiring achievements of America’s small businesses and the countless contributions they make to their local communities, and to our nation’s economy.

“We are proud to recognize the small business owners that have made it their mission to support their communities and drive the entrepreneurial spirit forward,” SBA Acting Administrator Chris Pilkerton said. “A National Small Business Week award is one of the nation’s highest honors for small business achievement. Please take a moment to visit sba.gov/nsbw to nominate a deserving small business owner in your area. I wish all of our nation’s small businesses the best of luck and look forward to their nomination.”

SBA Awards given in celebration of National Small Business Week from May 3-9, 2020 include the following:

  • Small Business Person of the Year
    • One from each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Guam.
  • Small Business Exporter of the Year
  • Phoenix Awards for Disaster Recovery:
    • Phoenix Award for Small Business Disaster Recover
    • Phoenix Award for Outstanding Contributions to Disaster Recovery, Public Official
    • Phoenix Award for Outstanding Contributions to Disaster Recovery, Volunteer
  • Federal Procurement Awards:
    • Small Business Prime Contractor of the Year
    • Small Business Subcontractor of the Year
    • Dwight D. Eisenhower Awards for Excellence (for large prime contractors who use small businesses as suppliers and contractors)
    • 8(a) Graduate of the Year
  • Awards to SBA Resource Partners:
    • Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Excellence and Innovation Center Award
    • Women’s Business Center of Excellence Award
    • Veterans Business Outreach Center of the Year
  • Jody C. Raskind Lender of the Year
  • Small Business Investment Company of the Year
  • District Office Award

All nominations must be submitted no later than 3 p.m. EST, Jan. 7, 2020.  All nomination packages must be hand delivered or mailed to the nearest SBA Office.  Email submissions of SBA Awards forms will not be accepted as they contain personally identifiable information (PII). 

For contact information and other District Office information visit online at www.sba.gov/districtoffices.

Learn how to Prepare for Disasters
at Twitter Chat, Webinar


September is National Preparedness Month. The SBA has partnered with the      Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety to help organizations become more aware of their risks in the event of a disaster while also helping them develop business continuity plans to support rebuilding and recovery of operations. Advance preparation is key to protecting your assets and reopening your business as quickly as possible.

Get tips on how to build your own disaster preparedness plan during an upcoming Twitter chat and webinar.

  • On Wednesday, September 18 at 3 p.m. EDT, SBA and IBHS will co-host a Twitter chat “How to Prepare Your Business Before Disaster Strikes.”       Follow along with hashtag #SBAchat.
  • On Tuesday, September 24 at 2 p.m. EDT, SBA and IBHS will co-host a webinar focused on fortifying your property against natural hazards. Register for the webinar here.

The National Preparedness Month 2019 theme is “Prepared, Not Scared.” This effort, led by FEMA and sponsored by the Ready Campaign, is aimed at increasing public awareness of the importance of disaster preparedness. It’s never too early to take steps to get prepared to protect your property, your team and your community.

The SBA provides disaster recovery assistance following a declared disaster in the form of low-interest loans to homeowners, renters, private nonprofits and businesses of all sizes. To learn more, visit www.sba.gov/disaster.

Triangle based First Flight Venture Center selected for SBA grant



The U.S. Small Business Administration awarded First Flight Venture Center, and 23 other small businesses across the country, with a grant of up to $125,000 per recipient under the Federal and State Technology (FAST) Partnership Program. FAST’s objective is to improve outcomes for underrepresented entrepreneurs in SBA’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Programs and increase participation for women-owned, rural-based, and socially and economically disadvantaged firms.

“FAST partners support an important role in attempting to fill various gaps that R&D-focused small businesses may have to help them win SBIR/STTR awards,” said Acting Administrator Christopher Pilkerton.  “They focus on the needs of next-generation high-tech firms and support them through the entire cycle from ideation to commercialization. SBIR funding is one way to do that. Additionally, a number of these awards are going to partners that are located in Opportunity Zones where job creation and investments are moving forward to revitalize communities.”

FAST provides specialized training, outreach, mentoring, and technical assistance for R&D focused small businesses. The program provides one-year funding to organizations to execute state/regional programs that support potential SBIR applicants and awardees. The FAST award project and budget periods are for a base period of 12 months, beginning September 30, 2019.

“First Flight is thrilled to again partner with the U.S Small Business Administration to represent North Carolina to deliver the FAST program,” said Andrew Schwab, President of First Flight Venture Center. “Receiving this FAST award for the second year enables First Flight to expand in-depth support to early stage companies to create competitive SBIR/STTR proposals.”

First Flight was selected and endorsed by the state of North Carolina as only one proposal can be recommended per state or territory. Proposals were evaluated by panels of reviewers from SBA, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Missile Defense Agency, U.S. Navy Office of Naval Research, and the National Institutes of Health. Varying levels of matching funds were required, based on the number of SBIR Phase I awards in each state.


About FAST

In FY 2019, $3,000,000 was appropriated as grants for entities to carry out targeted activities from September 30, 2019 through September 29, 2020. Entities from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, and American Samoa are eligible to receive funding to provide outreach, technical, and financial assistance in support of the SBIR/STTR programs. Additional information can be found at www.sbir.gov/about-fast.


SBA coordinates the SBIR/STTR programs, also known as America’s Seed Fund, which each year provides more than $3.7 billion in early stage seed capital totaling over 5,000 awards to small businesses. Eleven participating federal government agencies announce funding opportunities as either grants or contracts to address their research and development needs. Companies supported by the SBIR/STTR programs often generate some of the most important breakthroughs each year in the U.S. Additional information about the programs, as well as past and current topics can be found at www.sbir.gov.

About First Flight Venture Center First Flight Venture Center is a high-science, high-impact science, and technology incubator located in the heart of Research Triangle Park. Established in 1991, with a mission to support the development and growth of high-science, high-impact entrepreneurial companies by providing the tailored resources, guidance, connections, and support required for their commercial success.

Federal Contracting System Updates:(BETA.SAM.GOV & DUNS)

FBO Transition to Beta.SAM.gov - October 11, 2019

  • FBO will transition to Contract Opportunities in beta.SAM.gov


FPDS Transition to Beta.SAM.gov - October 25, 2019

  • The FPDS reports have been developed, the admin reports are in progress. Data is being verified to ensure the report results are the same as the corresponding reports in the FPDS system. 
  • Users can:
    • Execute 34 Contract Data report
    • Select or enter report criteria to refine the report data
    • Have 12-year report time span instead of 5-year in FPDS. The data ceiling is raised from 30,000 rows to 150,000 rows.
  • As an example, the FY2018 Small Business Report that is now available on the FPDS site be moved to beta.SAM.gov
  • The report can be accessed under the Reports tab: FPDS Reports


Upcoming Changes to DUNS – December 2020

  • The U.S. Government is moving to a new Government-owned Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) which will ultimately become the primary key to identify entities throughout SAM, other IAE systems, and downstream Government systems. The DUNS will be phased out as the primary key to identify entity records within SAM
  • In accordance with procurement and Federal assistance regulations, the Government requires a public-facing, unique entity identifier (UEI) for both domestic and international entities to be available for use in Government-wide systems. 
  • SAM registration involves the creation or assignment of that UEI which is necessary to identify newly registering entities, entities updating their registration, all existing active entity registrations, and active entity exclusions.
  • Starting in December 2020, the DUNS number will no longer be the official identifier for doing business with the U.S. Government.
  • The SAM Managed Unique Entity Identifier will map to existing codes such as CAGE, TIN/EIN, and previously-assigned DUNS. 
  • During the transition to the new Entity Validation Services provider, the Government will receive continued service from Dun & Bradstreet to maintain award reporting, and the DUNS will continue to be issued alongside the SAM Managed Unique Entity Identifier.  Agencies cannot overwrite the DUNS field with the SAM Managed Unique Entity Identifier. For historical purposes, DUNS will continue to be available for awards made prior to the transition to the SAM Managed Unique Entity Identifier.
  • An announcement has been posted in the Federal Register to give notice about the new UEI which includes the final technical specification for the identifier standard.

Small Business Cybersecurity Workshop


Learn the basics of a cyber resilience strategy, understand quick wins to put into action now, and know what resources are available to the small business community. 

Join the NCDO Lead Economic Development Specialist Eileen Joyce in this free small business cybersecurity hands-on half-day workshop to help organizations:

  1. Identify which business assets others want
  2. Protect those assets
  3. Detect when something has gone wrong
  4. Respond quickly and appropriately with an action plan
  5. Recover after a breach

Small-sized organizations have valuable data which makes them prime targets for cybercriminals.  However, these organizations are often under-resourced when it comes to protecting their sensitive assets. 

This workshop is designed for individuals with little to no cybersecurity expertise, but everyone is welcome to attend.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019
1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Gorelick Hall at Shalom Park
5007 Providence Road
Charlotte, NC 28226



Disaster Preparedness

By Ashely Bell
SBA Region IV Administrator



September is National Preparedness Month. I view this as not a celebration, but as a critical reminder for entrepreneurs across the Southeast of how important it is to be prepared in case of any natural disaster, whether it is a hurricane, tornado, wild fire, algae bloom – the list goes on. In order for a small business to survive a natural disaster, it must be prepared.

Here are a few tips for entrepreneurs to keep in mind, especially as we reach the peak of hurricane season across the Southeast:

  • Review your hazard and flood coverage to ensure your insurance policy is in effect before a storm hits.
  • Keep your insurance policy information as well as phone numbers for your insurance agent and the claims department handy.
  • Know whom you can call to help you clean/rebuild your business, and have a restoration plan in place so you can focus on the task of quickly reopening your business.
  • Maintain an updated list of all your employees’ contact numbers and email addresses to ensure safety, as well as keeping everyone in the loop about the recovery progress.
  • Obtain a line of credit or have enough cash to run your business for at least three months.
  • Move your important business records, personal memorabilia and anything that’s irreplaceable to an offsite location. Save as much as you possibly can to the cloud.

Currently, there are 11 disasters declared by the President or the SBA across the Southeast Region that are eligible for loan assistance. These declared disasters range from Hurricane Michael to gas leaks and flooding incidents. A complete listing of open disaster declarations may be found here with pertinent information such as disaster assistance deadlines.

Please keep in mind that the SBA provides low-interest loans and assistance to allow affected businesses, homeowners and renters to rebuild and recover.

Specifically, the SBA:

  • Provides loan assistance up to $200,000 to help homeowners repair or replace their damaged or destroyed primary residence.
  • Provides up to $40,000 in loan assistance to help homeowners and renters replace damaged or destroyed personal property such as furniture, clothing, appliances and vehicles.
  • Provides up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged real estate, leasehold improvements, furniture and fixtures, inventory, and machinery and equipment for businesses of all sizes and private non-profit organizations.
  • Offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) to small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, and most private non-profit organizations that have suffered economic injury caused by a disaster. These loans provide working capital to a business or organization until normal operations can resume.

Please stay prepared, and you are always welcome to reach out to the SBA for assistance at www.sba.gov/disaster. Our job is to help you build a lasting business for many generations, no matter what nature has in store for us.

Please follow us on Twitter @SBASoutheast for the most updated information.

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SBA North Carolina Lending Activity

SBA North Carolina Lending Activity