SBA Provides Links to Recovery

SBA Southeast Regional Update for Entrepreneurs


June 2021

u s small business administration
International Small Business Day, June 27, 2021

Celebrate ALL small businesses with the SBA Team on June 27th- visit your favorite local small business and share with them how much they are appreciated.

Don't Miss Out on Potential Tax Credits!

Federal resources for small businesses. Get COVID-19 federal resources on tax relief at

SBA Recovery Website Finder

SBA is currently offering the following funding options:

SBA is contacting eligible businesses regarding:

Pride Month

SBA Supports & Celebrates LGBTQ+ Entrepreneurs During This Time of Recovery

Janita Stewart

By Janita R. Stewart
U.S. Small Business Administration’s Southeast Acting Regional Administrator, serving Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee

During Pride Month this June, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and its field offices celebrate the contributions and perseverance through the COVID-19 pandemic that LGBTQ+ small business owners continue to demonstrate. We celebrate the resilience of the nation’s LGBTQ+ business community and their positive impact on our communities, refocusing our efforts on inclusion.

Throughout the Southeast Region and our nation, the collective economic power of LGBTQ+ Americans is undeniable; LGBTQ+-owned businesses contribute nearly $2 trillion to our economy annually and create many jobs along the way. This Pride Month, it’s clear that embracing the vibrant diversity of the LGBTQ+ community isn’t just the right thing to do—it’s also good for business.

SBA’s network for LGBTQ+ businesses expands year after year and has come a long way and will continue to grow.  The SBA wants to ensure that more LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs have equal access to the tools and resources they need to not only start and grow successful small businesses and create jobs, but also recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. SBA Recovery programs may be found here.

The SBA has several programs that facilitate in helping Americans position themselves to achieve economic equality and inclusion. The Agency provides access to a diverse menu of SBA's programs and services and SBA field offices assist these efforts by conducting ongoing training and outreach activities throughout the community to expand access to small business programs and free technical assistance.

The SBA encourages LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs to consider participating in federal contracting. LGBTQ+ small firms may qualify as small, disadvantaged businesses (SDB) and may be eligible for certification in our Agency’s 8(a) Business Development program. There is a 5% statutory annual goal assigned to 24 major federal buying agencies to award prime contracts to SDBs, many of which are 8(a) firms. Regionally, the 8(a) firms located in the Southeast are awarded over $3.2 billion in contracts.

The SBA maintains an active LGBT Outreach Page, proudly supporting LGBTQ+ businesses with inclusion and outreach to economically empower the entrepreneurs in this community. If you are interested in certifying your LGBT-owned business, the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce offers a certification for LGBTQ-owned small businesses for small firms to create supplier diversity opportunities among a national network of inclusive companies.

By supporting small businesses, the SBA encourages entrepreneurs to build back better and grow, leading to more people being hired in the communities where they operate. As the Biden-Harris Administration focuses on unlocking access to capital and strengthening opportunities for America’s diverse small businesses, our Agency will make its vast essential resources available to ensure long-term success and staying power for entrepreneurs.

Hear from YOUR Local

SBA District Office

Tom Todt

Alabama District Office

Thomas (Tom) Todt, District Director

On June 8, 2021, the Alabama District Office began the first class of the 2021 Birmingham Emerging Leaders Initiative. Initially, there were challenges to launching the program during these difficult times, however, thanks to the efforts of the entire Alabama District Office staff, the SBA partner Interise, and well-integrated instructor, Lisa McGinty, they managed to quickly recruit a cohort of 18 amazing business owners in just two weeks and began their first class virtually.

Over the course of the years this program has resulted in exponential growth and strategies in marketing that have produced endless results. We are excited about this opportunity and we invite all interested small business owners to reach out to our newly appointed Outreach and Marketing Specialist for participation in next year’s Birmingham’s Class of 2022 Emerging Leaders.

AL Emerging Leaders Class of 2021

Alabama Emerging Leaders Class of 2021

Malcolm Richards

North Florida District Office

Jon Malcolm Richards, District Director

The North Florida District Office hosted its 4th consecutive Hispanic Round Table session with members and organizations that represent and serve Hispanic businesses in its 43-county market.  The Roundtable is comprised of 12 Hispanic organizations that serve or represent Hispanic Businesses and interest.  Currently, the collaboration has resulted in one new SAM agreement with the First Coast Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.  As topics are surfacing during the sessions, specific training request from a variety of the organizations are being fielded to deliver training on Capital Access, Government Contracting, and other COVID Relief programs.  Although the exact number is not definitive, each of the organizations represented in the Round Table represents close to 900+ Hispanic owned businesses in the north Florida market.  Two thirds of the members representation the Orlando metro market and a third from the Jacksonville, FL market. During the most recent meeting, presentations on the Community Navigator Program and disaster preparedness were offered to the group.  A joint project that multiple organizations within the group will collaborate on is the upcoming 2021 Hispanic Heritage Month Event. 

4th consecutive Hispanic Round Table session

SBA North Florida's 4th consecutive Hispanic Round Table session

Gregory Hall

South Florida District Office

Gregory Hall, Acting District Director

The South Florida District Office recently held a virtual training titled, Small Business Tax Training: Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) Workshop. If you are interested in learning more about the new tax credits for your small business, please visit this link to watch a recording of the training. SBA staff may be reached by visiting the SBA South Florida website. To listen to the tax credits workshop, please click below.

 Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) Workshop

Terri Denison

Georgia District Office

Terri L. Denison, District Director

The SBA Georgia District would like to introduce the newly appointed Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs (ACE) Women’s Business Center Savannah Region Director, Nita Penn. Nita has over 10 years of experience strategizing creative and innovative organizational development experiences for clients as small as a one-person team to a 600-soldier battalion of the United States Army National Guard. As a Savannah native, she envisions more intentional, inclusive, and relatable programming geared toward low-to-moderate income women-led minority businesses. The mission for the ACE Women’s Business Center is to empower women, minorities, and low-to-moderate income entrepreneurs through financial education and training. The Savannah center will focus on “Coaching & Connecting” that will lead to referrals to local community development financial institution partners to attain capital. The office is conveniently located in the Coastal Georgia Center in downtown Savannah. To contact Nita or learn more about services, visit or follow her business profile on Facebook at Click here to read more about Nita’s approach to helping level Savannah’s economic arena.

Robert Coffey

Kentucky District Office

Robert Coffey, District Director


Kentucky’s Cherie Guilford Retires After an Impactful and Successful Career

Cherie Guilford, former Business Opportunity Specialist (BOS) for the SBA Kentucky District Office, is retiring on June 30.

Cherie has over 26 years of experience working for the Federal Government. She has worked as a Contract Specialist with various agencies prior to joining SBA in 2015, including the Air National Guard, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the Departments of Interior (National Park Service), Energy and Commerce.

Cherie earned a BBA and MA in Organizational Management, which she found invaluable throughout her career. Early in her career, Cherie discovered she was gifted with the ability to encourage others. This, coupled with her work experiences and love for training and coaching, has made her an ideal fit as a BOS.

About two years ago, Cherie moved into new roles for the Kentucky District Office, as Economic Development Specialist and Administrative Officer. She has excelled in those roles, just like every other position in her career.

In addition to her federal government career, Cherie owned and operated a small business for more than 10 years. During that time, she maintained a contract with the Kentucky Procurement Technical Assistance Center (KY PTAC). As part of the SBA team, Cherie leveraged the years of knowledge and relationships, assisted many small businesses trying to navigate the federal contracting maze.

Although Cherie has lived many places across this great nation, she always considered Kentucky “home.” She and husband are the proud parents of two rescue dogs – Drake, a puppy mill survivor, and Buddy, taken from a hoarding situation. Cherie will now be able to spend much more time with her husband and furry family.

Enjoy your retirement, Cherie.     

Janita Stewart

Mississippi District Office

Janita Stewart, District Director


Mississippi District Director and Acting Southeast Regional Administrator Janita R. Stewart participated in the Mississippi Economic Council (MEC) – State Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting held June 16th. Due to COVID-19, this annual meeting was setup for and generated about one-third of the normal meeting crowd with 500+ in attendance with standing room only. 

Ms. Stewart participated virtually on the morning Panel Session along with the Executive Directors of the Mississippi Development Authority and the Mississippi Office of Workforce Development and provided information and fielded questions about SBA’s COVID relief programs, statistics, and SBA’s regular programs and services as businesses process and pivot to get back on track.

Janita Stewart Speaking on large screen at MEC Conference

Michael Arriola

North Carolina District Office

Michael Arriola, District Director


New Women's Business Center in Winston-Salem to be housed at an HBCU

Earlier this year, SBA’s Office of Women Business Ownership selected  S.G. Atkins Community Development Corporation of Winston-Salem and Winston-Salem State University as a recipient of an SBA Women’s Business Center Grant. S.G. Atkins CDC has recently opened the Women’s Business Center of Winston-Salem. 

S.G. Atkins CDC has recently opened the Women’s Business Center of Winston-Salem. 

Winston Salem WBC Logo

This Center joins four other NC women’s business centers which provide counseling and training to both existing and future women business owners.    North Carolina has Women’s Business Centers in Asheville, Charlotte, Durham, Fayetteville and now Winston-Salem.  This new WBC represents the very first WBC in North Carolina to be housed at an HBCU.

Dr. Joy Lough

Dr. Joy Lough has been named the WBC Program Director. With over 20 years of experience in business, management, and human resources, Dr. Lough is an entrepreneur, publisher, and a business startup strategist.  She has a strong background teaching a variety of business courses including Entrepreneurship, Small Business Management, Strategic Management, and Business Plan Preparation. The Winston-Salem WBC is located 1922 S. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, and can be reached at (336) 554-7349.

Richard White

South Carolina District Office

Richard "Gregg" White, District Director


As our state’s small businesses transition to recovering from COVID-19, the South Carolina District Office, in collaboration with the Francis Marion Kelley Center for Economic Development, will be hosting a series of six workshops focused on SBA loan, contracting, and counseling programs. SBA has a variety of resources beyond disaster assistance that can help you start, grow and expand your small business. I highly recommend you tap into these beneficial resources that are available to you as a current or aspiring entrepreneur.

Listed below are the workshops being presented in the series. Each workshop must be registered for separately to receive access information.

JUL 6th - SBA Programs: Loan Guarantees, Minority, & Small Business

JUL 13th - How to Register to Do Business with the Federal Government

JUL 20th - How to Search for Contracts with the Federal Government

JUL 27th - Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contracting Program: Becoming Certified

AUG 3rd - SBA's 8(a) Business Development Program Eligibility

AUG 10th - SBA Programs: HUBZone & Veteran Assistance

For more information and to register, click here

LaTanya Channel

Tennessee District Office

LaTanya Channel, District Director

SBA Tennessee District Office (TNDO) Continues to Offer Recovery Webinars

The TNDO and our resource partners continue to provide virtual trainings to small businesses to aid them in recovery and reopening. During July, the following trainings are being offered:

  • On July 20, 2021, FDIC Money Smart for Small Businesses: Record Keeping will be offered to provide training on the importance of best practices of record keeping. For more information and to register, go here.
  • On July 27, 2021, SBA Financing Options will be offered which provides information on all SBA financial assistance programs and business plans as well as an opportunity interact with two SBA participant lenders. For more information and to register, go here.
  • Additionally, each month, we offer an SBA 101: SBA Resources for Existing and Start-Up Businesses webinar which will soon be scheduled. This session provides information on all SBA financing, counseling, and contracting assistance programs. To learn about future events, please sign up to receive the Tennessee District Office newsletter and follow us on Twitter at @SBA_Tennessee and Eventbrite.