#ShopSmall on November 30th! Let's Celebrate Small Business Saturday!

November 2019

u s small business administration
Ashley Bell


Ashley D. Bell

Region IV Administrator, U.S. Small Business Administration

White House Policy Advisor for Entrepreneurship & Innovation


Happy Thanksgiving from the SBA


Honor America’s Entrepreneurs by
Shopping Small on November 30th!

Small Business Saturday, November thirtieth. Cosponsorship Authorization #19-2050-93.

By Ashley D. Bell
Regional Administrator, U.S. Small Business Administration
White House Policy Advisor for Entrepreneurship & Innovation

Please join us in celebrating the 10th year of Small Business Saturday this November 30th! Celebrated each year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, Small Business Saturday is a way for consumers to kick off the busy holiday shopping season and make an impact in their community by supporting independently owned businesses. Each year, we encourage entrepreneurs to leverage Small Business Saturday to help drive more traffic to their businesses – whether it’s through their storefront doors or to their website during the holiday shopping season.

Last year, thousands of communities in all 50 states—as well as U.S. territories and Washington, D.C.—rallied their friends and neighbors to celebrate the day, and in 2018 an estimated 104 million U.S. consumers reported shopping or dining at local independently-owned businesses on Small Business Saturday. The total reported spending among U.S. consumers who said they shopped at independent retailers and restaurants on the day reached a record high of an estimated $17.8 billion in 2018 according to the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB). We want to continue and grow this trend, because we all know how important America’s 30 million small businesses are to our economy and to overall job creation.

We realize that you have a choice to make when shopping for the holidays and for every day of the year. I just ask that you consider your community and the entrepreneurs that support your local economy; they are your neighbors and your colleagues. You can make a difference this holiday season by choosing to shop small and dine small.

I encourage you to join me and the more than 100 million Americans in shopping and dining small on Small Business Saturday as you begin (or maybe complete!) your holiday shopping. Be sure to share your stories and where you’re shopping via social media using #ShopSmall. See you on November 30th!

Let us hear from you!

Do you have 3 minutes? Take SBA’s Customer Experience Feedback Survey to help us better serve you. Your feedback is valuable and will help us better determine how we can improve our services. This survey is intended for current and prospective small business owners who have interacted with an SBA office. All responses are anonymous. Thank you in advance for your time.

Launch the Survey

Local News From Your

SBA District Office

Thomas Todt

Alabama District Office

Thomas (Tom) Todt, District Director

On November 7, in Huntsville, AL, Barbara Carson, Deputy Associate Administrator for Government Contracting, attended and addressed an audience of over 150 women about the vast number of opportunities for Women in Federal Contracting at the annual ChallengeHer event. This annual event is held as an initiative to promote the WOSB Federal Contracting program and bring more women-owned firms into the federal government’s supply chain. At the same time, the event provides an avenue for government agencies to meet qualified women-owned small business contractors.

Barb Carson

Deputy Associate Administrator Barbara Carson addressing attendees at the ChallengeHer Event, Huntsville,

Audience at ChallengeHER

Engaged audience during the ChallengeHer Event, Huntsville, AL

Gil Colon

North Florida District Office

Gil Colon, Deputy District Director


The SBA North Florida District Office recently hosted the graduation for the 2019 Jacksonville Emerging Leaders Program. There were 10 local business owners that participated in the 7-month intensive executive development program started that started in April of this year.

Brian Goodrow

Acting District Director Brian Goodrow addressing the graduates.El NFL 2

Photo Above: Acting DD Brian Goodrow; Jimmy Van Horn, Supervisor Lender Relations/Emerging Leaders program coordinator; Suzie Lemon, Emerging Leaders Instructor; Natalie Hall, Veterans Representative/Emerging Leaders Program coordinator; and Gilbert Colón, Deputy District Director with the Emerging Leaders graduates.

Graduates seated in the front left to right:
Disney Paint and Body, Inc. – Richard Disney
NT Plastics – Kelly Wood
Zelda Greenberg Management, LLC. – Zelda Greenberg
Promotional Presence, LLC. – Tracey Phillips
My Maids – Vara Suresh
Lake Limo Transportation Services, Inc. – Laura DeCloedt
Clayton Company Consultants, LLC – Annie Clayton
Mocha Misk’I – Pilar Langthon
Swimming Safari Swim School – Joanie Maskell
I-Tech Resources, Inc. – Eric Nguyen

Congratulations, Graduates!!!

Ready to grow your business? Sign up for SBA's Emerging Leaders Initiative.

The SBA North Florida District Office conducted a Lender’s Appreciation Roundtable. Brian Goodrow, Acting District Director and James Van Horn, Supervisory Lending Relations Specialist, provided updates and gave a brief overview of the Opportunity Zone and Rural Strong initiatives. There were approximately 20 representatives from different lending institutions in attendance. They each had an opportunity to share their in-house initiatives and provide feedback on how the District can better serve them.

Briand Goodrow and Jimmy Van Horn

Photo of Acting District Director Brian Goodrow delivering remarks to the group along with James Van Horn, Supervisory Lending Relations Specialist.Lender Specialists in North Florida

Photo of Van Horn and Rosalind Bryant, Lender Relations Specialist (center back) with some of the participants

Victoria Guerrero

South Florida District Office

Victoria Guerrero, District Director

2019 SBIR Road Tour Hits Miami

Representatives from the South Florida District Office attended the Miami stop of the SBA Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Road Tour on Nov. 13 during one of the agency’s 16-tour stops for 2019. The event hosted by the University of Miami Innovation Center, gave attendees the opportunity to hear directly from several federal agency program managers, participate in one-on-one meetings, and panel discussions on how agencies make funding decisions under the SBIR/STTR programs.

The SBA SBIR Road Tour connects small businesses that are working on advanced technologies to America’s largest source of early stage funding. Each year, through the SBIR/STTR Programs, small businesses engaged in Federal Research and Development (R&D) compete for $3.7 billion in competitive grants and contracts from 11 participating federal agencies to further their research. The ultimate goal is to make those technological advances and innovations commercially available. Find out more at www.SBIR.gov.

Althea Harris

Lead Economic Development Specialist Althea Harris greets Irene Secada during the 2019 SBIR Road Tour stop on Nov. 13 at the University of Miami.

Brittany Sickler

Brittany Sickler, senior innovation policy advisor for the SBA’s Office of Investment and Innovation, moderates one of three panel discussions during the 2019 SBIR Road Tour stop on Nov. 13 at the University of Miami.

John Williams, director for the SBA’s Office of Investment and Innovation, responds to a federal cyber security question from Rachel Bush, public relations director for Cignet, Inc., during the 2019 SBIR Road Tour stop on Nov. 13 at the University of Miami.

John Williams

Terri Denison

Georgia District Office

Terri L. Denison, District Director


National Veterans Small Business Week

In conjunction with VECTR, the local VBOC, the SBA Georgia District Office held a “Veterans Day Celebration” on Friday, November 8th, 2019 at Warner Robbins, AFB. The day- long event provided active duty servicemembers, military retirees and Veterans, to take part in this unique outreach event.
The day started off with free health screenings and flu shots provided by Houston Healthcare and the Georgia Department of Health. Attendees were also treated to free haircuts; painting sessions and lunch was provided by Sonny’s BBQ.
The highlight of the day was the “This is My Story” session, which took place over four hours, based on demand. Veteran Entrepreneurs were able to tell their stories about their service, their transition to civilian life and how they started their business. Many of the Veterans who spoke were actual clients of VECTR and had utilized one more SBA programs to start, grow and expand their businesses. They talked about the obstacles and challenges they faced when first starting out and the resources they used to overcome them.
SBA lending to Veterans in FY2019 was up 33%, to over $61 million dollars. If you are interested in learning more about VECTR, the Georgia VBOC, please visit them at www.gavectr.org.

The SBA is celebrating National Veterans Small Business Week from Nov. 4-8, 2019.

Robert Coffey DDD

Kentucky District Office

Robert Coffey, Acting District Director


SBA Kentucky Honors Veterans With 4 Events

On Tuesday, November 5, the SBA Kentucky District Office celebrated National Veterans Small Business Week. The “Contracts and Capital for Veterans” event was attended almost 30 veteran-owned small businesses. Other agencies involved included the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers - Louisville District, the U.S. Census Bureau and the Veterans Administration.

Attendees learned how to do business with the VA and the Corps of Engineers. They also heard from the U.S. Census Bureau’s National Processing Center representatives on how to prepare for the 2020 census and opportunities with the Census Bureau. After those presentations, SBA financing and bonding programs for veterans were discussed.

Later in the month, the SBA and The Fayette County Public School’s Office of Economic Development & Supplier diversity hosted the Third Annual Veterans Business Summit. The half-day event featured guest speakers, panel discussions, and networking with successful veteran-owned businesses. Information on veteran business certifications and opportunities with federal, state, and local government was provided by the SBA, VA and state and local organizations. Procurement and supplier diversity managers from FCPS, Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government, Louisville Metro Government, Kentucky Utilities, the Kentucky Community and Technical College System discussed contracting opportunities.

The Kentucky District Office held an SBA Surety Bond Guarantee Program event with a focus on veteran-owned small businesses. Other presenters included the Kentucky PTAC and Fayette County Public School System.

SBA and its Kentucky resource partners also participated in the Kentucky Veteran Business Alliance Conference. Topics revolved around doing business with the federal government, with a focus on the U.S. DoD.

Janita Stewart

Mississippi District Office

Janita Stewart, District Director

SBA Mississippi Now Accepting 2020
Small Business Person of the Year & Champion Award Nominations

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.
This year’s categories are:
• Small Business Person of the Year
• Small Business Exporter
• Young Entrepreneur
• Generational Family-Owned Small Business
• Minority Small Business Champion
• Women in Business Champion
• Veteran Small Business Champion
• Rural Business Champion
• Home-Based Business Champion
• Financial Services Champion
• Entrepreneurial Success Award
• Small Business Journalist
• Second Chance Hiring Advocate
• Phoenix Awards (recognizing outstanding accomplishments during disaster recovery)

For more information on nomination and guidance please visit here.  

All nomination packages must be submitted to the SBA-Mississippi Gulfport Branch Office. Nomination packages must be hand delivered or mailed to SBA Mississippi-Gulfport Branch Office 2510 14th Street, Suite 103, Gulfport, MS 39501 no later than 4:00 p.m., Wednesday, January 7, 2020.

National Small Business Week Awards, submit your nomination.

Thomas Stith

North Carolina District Office

Thomas A. Stith, III, District Director

NCDO brings ‘Rural Strong’ to Blue Ridge CC

in Flat Rock

The NCDO and USDA held a ‘Rural Strong’ event at Blue Ridge Community College in Flat Rock, North Carolina on October 29. During the event, speakers from both agencies were on hand to deliver information and resources to more than 50 entrepreneurs and community stakeholders in attendance. A capital access discussion featured financial program experts and several technical assistance providers hosted resource tables.

NC Rural Strong

NCDO District Director Thomas A. Stith III, left, and SAM Sharon Harvey, second from right, discuss SBA’s programs and services with Rural Strong attendees in Flat Rock, N.C.

SBA North Carolina District Director attends NVSBW event

NC District Director Thomas A. Stith III delivered remarks during the Mission: Veterans Entrepreneurship event on November 5, 2019. The event was hosted by the Veterans Business Outreach Center (VBOC) at Fayetteville State University.
Stith’s remarks were given as part of National Veterans Small Business Week and in support of North Carolina’s Veteran small business owners. During his speech Stith recognized Bob Fletcher, an army veteran and the owner of Bob’s Smokin’ Southern BBQ, in Fayetteville, NC. Fletcher used the VBOC’s many resources to start, grow and expand his small business.

Stith at Veteran Event

NCDO District Director Thomas A. Stith III, right, and Bob Fletcher, owner of Bob’s Smokin’ Southern BBQ, in Fayetteville, N.C, left, shake hands during the VBOC’s Mission: Veterans Entrepreneurship event in Fayetteville, N.C.

Richard White

 South Carolina District Office

Richard "Gregg" White, District Director

As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, we want to give thanks to the 418,000 small businesses that support our local economy in South Carolina. Over 99% of the businesses in the state are small businesses, and they employ over 46% of the workforce. Small Business Saturday, the Saturday following Thanksgiving and Black Friday, is an opportunity to show your appreciation for our state’s small business owners. On November 30th, I encourage you to shop small at a local business, and dine small at a local restaurant.

If you are a small business owner, consider participating in Small Business Saturday initiative by marketing the holiday and offering special discounts on November 30th. Small Business Saturday resources for business owners can be found here.

To learn more about Small Business Saturday, visit www.shopsmall.com or www.sba.gov/saturday. Please share your small business Saturday ventures by tagging @SBA_SCarolina on Twitter. We hope to see you there!

LaTanya Channel

Tennessee District Office

LaTanya Channel, District Director

Honoring Entrepreneurial Success and Highlighting the Tennessee Small Business Person of the Year

In October of 2019, the Tennessee District Office and SBA Headquarters staff participated in the annual National Association of Development Companies (NADCO) conference, held in Nashville TN. At the conference, TN District Director LaTanya Channel co-hosted a session on “Best Practices for working with the SBA Regional Offices and District Offices”. At this same conference, NADCO honored Larry Schmittou, founder of L&S Family Entertainment, LLC (L&S), with NADCO’s “Ground Up” and Lender Diamond Awards. L&S, with the assistance of six SBA 504 loans, has grown from one location in 2000 to 14 centers in four states with more than 400 employees. Mr. Schmittou was also the 2019 Tennessee Small Business of the Year winner.

Larry Schmittou, founder of L&S Family Entertainment, LLC (L&S)


SBA Tennessee 2019 Small Business Person of the Year


 If you know a small Tennessee business success like L&S, nominate them today for a Small Business Week Award. For more information about nomination requirements and guidelines, click here.

National Small Business Week Awards, are you the next winner?