The Summer to Recover with SBA

SBA Southeast Regional Update 


July 2021

u s small business administration

Breaking News! Just announced:

The SBA is launching a streamlined application portal to allow borrowers with Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans under $150,000 through participating lenders to apply for forgiveness directly through the SBA. “With the new simplified application portal, thousands of Southeastern businesses, and even sole proprietorships that borrowed PPP funds will have these funds forgiven said Janita R. Stewart, Acting Regional Administrator for the Southeastern Region. Most entrepreneurs waiting for forgiveness have loans under $150,000. It was time we made the process more efficient so businesses can get back to sustaining our communities."

This new change will help rush relief to the Southeast’s smallest of small businesses, which has been the Administrator’s priority since day one. The new forgiveness platform will begin accepting applications from borrowers on August 4, 2021. Lenders are required to opt-in to this program through In addition to the technology platform, the SBA is standing up a PPP customer service team to answer questions and directly assist borrowers with their forgiveness applications.  Borrowers that need assistance or have questions should call (877) 552-2692, Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. - 8 p.m. EDT. 

The Summer to Recover with SBA

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

We all recognize a feeling of comfort and familiarity as the nation opens back up for business. Recovery from the pandemic is underway; but there are many small business owners that are still struggling. During these very hot Summer months, it is a great time to take advantage of recovery programs. If you are already in a good place and you are up and running, this is an ideal time to prepare for any disaster that may come our way. The global pandemic has taught us all that anything is possible, and it is wise to be prepared as best as you can. 

The American Rescue Plan was made into law with the intent of helping all Americans. For a simplified breakdown of how the Plan may assist you, the White House has created a website that simply defines it for you (The White House American Rescue Plan). The focus of the SBA is to provide access to the portions of the Plan that directly assist America’s entrepreneurs.

Many changes have occurred in the various COVID relief programs over the past year and some programs have expired. Please read below to see what is currently available:

COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL)applications accepted through Dec. 31, 2021 (or until funds are exhausted, whichever occurs first). This SBA direct loan program provides funding to small businesses and non-profit organizations currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue related to COVID-19. Unlike the PPP, EIDLs cannot be forgiven and are to be fully repaid.  Also, EIDLs are intended to be used for general working capital purposes in order to pay expenses that you would have ordinarily been able to pay had the pandemic not occurred. Borrowers get a long term of 30 years to repay the loan with a fixed low interest rate of 2.75% for non-profits and 3.75% for small businesses. Maximum threshold has been increased to $500,000 and SBA is working on increasing this to $2 million.

SBA leadership has dedicated additional management capacity and resources to COVID EIDL. As a result, the SBA is excited to announce process improvements yielding more streamlined applicant experiences. Public data on the positive impact of these improvements and the corresponding application trends will be made available on the SBA website.  Many questions may be answered by viewing the EIDL Frequently Asked Questions

Targeted EIDL Advance and Supplemental Targeted Advance

Applicants for the EIDL may be eligible to receive funding from SBA that does not need to be repaid.  These "advances" are like grants, but without the typical requirements that come with a U.S. government grant. Last year, Congress appropriated $20 billion in funding for the EIDL Advance program and all of those funds were disbursed at up to $10,000 per business/non-profit organization to applicants for the EIDL program. You did not have to be approved for nor accept an EIDL loan offer in order to receive the Advance.  Since that program expired, Congress funded the Targeted EIDL Advance program wherein SBA is ‘targeting’ potential eligible entities who did not receive the full $10,000. last year thus offering them the opportunity to apply for this round of funding. The targeted EIDL advance is for amounts up to $10,000, the business/non-profit must substantiate at least a 30% loss of revenue in 2020 in comparison to 2019, and it must be located in a low-income community. If qualified under Targeted EIDL Advance, an applicant may apply for and receive an additional $5,000 under the Supplemental Targeted EIDL Advance program, if eligible.

Shuttered Venue Operators Grant – still accepting applications

The Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) program was established by the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Venues Act, and amended by the American Rescue Plan Act.  The program includes over $16 billion in grants to shuttered venues, to be administered by SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance.  Eligible applicants include live music venues, entertainment venues, movie theatres, and others, subject to restrictions.

Eligible applicants may qualify for grants equal to 45% of their gross earned revenue, with the maximum amount available for a single grant award of $10 million.  A $2 billion component is reserved for eligible applications with up to 50 full-time employees.

PPP Forgiveness

A Paycheck Protection Program borrower may apply for forgiveness once all loan proceeds for which the borrower is requesting forgiveness have been used for authorized purposes within the allowable timeframe. Borrowers can apply for forgiveness directly with their lender any time up to the maturity date of the loan. If borrowers do not apply for forgiveness within 10 months after the last day of the covered period, then PPP loan payments are no longer deferred, and borrowers will begin making loan payments to their PPP lender.

Community Navigators

Outreach to businesses in underserved communities:

The Biden-Harris Administration and Congressional leaders support this $100 million investment as part of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 and is committed to ensuring that the nation’s small businesses receive the support they need to access federal relief programs that can help them weather the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This technical assistance is critical, as small businesses have been hit hard over the course of the last year, impacting at least 400,000 businesses. Previous rounds of economic relief last year helped millions of small businesses stay afloat and keep employees on the payroll, yet too many minority-owned businesses and mom and pops found themselves at the end of the line, while larger, well-connected businesses accessed programs right away. To better reach these small businesses, including individuals with disabilities and/or in minority, immigrant, rural, and other underserved communities across the country, SBA is launching the Community Navigator Pilot Program that will strengthen outreach to underserved businesses by partnering with organizations with deep roots in their communities.

In SBA’s implementation of this initiative of building upon its extensive network of resource partners across the country, ensuring the Community Navigator Pilot Program reaches targeted communities, SBA issued a grant funding opportunity and accepted proposals open to SBA resource partners, states, tribes, units of local governments, and other nonprofit organizations. SBA is currently in the process of reviewing proposals submitted. Competitive grant awards will range from $1 million to $5 million for a two-year performance period and awards are projected to commence in September 2021.

Please look into these programs with the links above and if you have any questions or need assistance navigating these programs, please enter your zip code on the SBA Local Assistance Finder and contact your nearest SBA district office.

Vaccine support

Hear from YOUR Local

SBA District Office

Tom Todt

Alabama District Office

Thomas (Tom) Todt, District Director

The Alabama District Office is excited about their newly formed collaboration with local microlenders, Sabre Finance and LiftFund, to provide outreach to the increasing number of small business owners and entrepreneurs seeking microloans. The newly appointed Outreach and Marketing Specialist, Megyn Rodriguez will be hosting virtual discussions about the SBA’s Microloan Program and microlending in Alabama called “Microlender Mondays” with an AM and PM session. The event is free and open to all small business owners who are interested in accessing capital for their small business needs. As we anticipate our next Microlender Monday session, we invite you to REGISTER and tell a friend!

Alabama Webinar Photo

Pictured L to R: Samuel Kellett with Sabre Finance, Reginald Smith with Sabre Finance and Megyn Rodriguez, SBA, Outreach & Marketing Specialist

Malcolm Richards

North Florida District Office

Jon Malcolm Richards, District Director

Join the SBA’s North Florida District Office (NFDO) and Internal Revenue Service for our virtual Tax Advantages for Business Owners Webinar Series-“Protecting Your Bottom Line.” This two-part series will be held in English and Spanish.

Don't miss out on these information-packed webinars about the Employee Retention Credit. The series will be hosted by the SBA's North Florida District Office (NFDO) and presented by the Internal Revenue Service. In this webinar, business owners and tax-exempt entities will learn that the employee retention credit was amended by sections 206 and 207 of the Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2020 (Relief Act) and the American Rescue Plan of 2021 (ARP). The credit is available to eligible employers regardless of size, including tax-exempt organizations, that pay qualified wages to some or all employees after March 12, 2020, and before January 1, 2022, with differing requirements depending on the tax quarter in which the wages were paid. Join us to learn more!

Event Details

Location: Two Virtual Events

Date: English: Wednesday, August 11th and Tuesday, September 14th

Time: 3:30 PM-5:30 PM

Cost: Free, but registration is required

Register Here 


For event questions, please call Thaddeus Hammond at (904) 443-1965 or email 

Gregory Hall

South Florida District Office

Gregory Hall, Acting District Director

This month, the SBA South Florida District hosted a Drive 8(a) Federal Contracting Certification Webinar to help entrepreneurs understand how to sell their goods and services to the federal government.

Drive 8(a) Recruitment events are used to educate potential applicants on the SBA’s 8(a) Business Development Program. 

Each year the federal government's goal is to award at least five percent of all federal contracting dollars to small, disadvantaged businesses through the SBA 8(a) Business Development Program. If accepted into the SBA's 8(a) program, these social and economically disadvantaged businesses will receive nine years of business development assistance and will also be able to compete for federal contracting dollars by selling their goods and services to the federal government. 

Also, in an effort to help educate small business owners on tax benefits made available by the Biden Administration, our team is offering Employee Retention Tax Credit workshops on an ongoing basis. 

ERTC is a refundable tax credit against certain employment taxes equal to 50% of the qualified wages an eligible employer pays to employees after March 12, 2020, and before January 1, 2021.

Eligible employers can get immediate access to the credit by reducing employment tax deposits they are otherwise required to make. Also, if the employer's employment tax deposits are not sufficient to cover the credit, the employer may get an advance payment from the IRS. To view a recorded session of this workshop, visit Small Business Tax Training: Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) Workshop on our YouTube page.

Follow us on Twitter or review our  District Calendar for upcoming Drive 8(a) and ERTC events. 

Terri Denison

Georgia District Office

Terri L. Denison, District Director

Sandra Font, Director of Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs (ACE) Women’s Business Center in Metro Atlanta, is leading the way to help women business owners during the COVID-19 recovery phase. Thanks to the support of SBA Georgia District Director Terri Denison and her staff, the Women’s Business Center delivered over 70 webinars and helped ACE support over 1,000 entrepreneurs with business advisory support, including resources for Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) and the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) throughout the pandemic, including Spanish language presentations. In 2021, ACE has already provided over $10 million in lending capital, including the Paycheck Protection Program, to small businesses in need. Ninety-two percent of PPP loans were under $50,000, 56% were female recipients, and 88% went to businesses with 5 or less employees.

GA ACE Roundtable

On Tuesday, June 29th, ACE hosted a group of Women’s Business Center clients who met with Natalie Madeira Cofield, Assistant Administrator, of the Office of Women’s Business Ownership of the SBA. ACE WBC clients were honored to spend time with Ms. Cofield on her visit from DC. During the round table meeting, the attendees, diverse women-owned businesses, shared with her how they navigated the toughest moments of the pandemic. Many noted that ACE’s capital, responsiveness and financial coaching on pivoting strategies helped their business to reset. As they wade through this extended COVID-19 recovery phase, they shared candid feedback about what is working and where they see opportunities to support pipeline and scale. Ms. Cofield, shared with the participants the myriad programs and initiatives that the SBA is focusing on, and discussed the economic policy priorities of the Biden Administration, particularly their strong commitment to equity and small business growth.

Robert Coffey

Kentucky District Office

Robert Coffey, District Director


Pamela Pearson is the new Kentucky Business Development Specialist. She has experience in marketing, leadership, project management, training, process improvements, and operations. ​Pam has a B.A. in Business Administration with a minor in Human Resource Management from Spalding University and a Master of Arts in Management and Leadership from Webster University. She is a member of the Federally Employed Women (FEW) and has participated in numerous community events. Besides work, Pam loves traveling and spending time with family and friends. Welcome to the SBA team, Pamela!

Kentucky Teams Presentation

Deputy District Director Joshua Stutzman (top row, blue shirt) administers oath to new Business Development Specialist Pamela Pearson (top center) while District Director Robert Coffey (bottom row) and the Kentucky District Office staff

Janita Stewart

Mississippi District Office

Janita Stewart, District Director


Mississippi Deputy District Director Ashlei Donerson participated in a virtual webinar Resources for Small Business Success sponsored by the Warren County Economic Development Partnership held June 23rd.

Ashlei Donerson, SBA Mississippi Deputy District Director, participated in the webinar along with MS Small Business Development Center, Engineer Research & Development Center, Mississippi Development Authority, and MS Procurement Technical Assistance Program and provided information on SBA programs and services and SBA’s COVID-EIDL relief program.


Ashlei Donarson

Join the SBA Mississippi District to learn about SBA’s lending role

  • Find sources of capital to start or grow your business.
  • Learn loan interest rates, terms, amounts, collateral requirements, and where to get the forms.
  • Learn how to find banks that are interested in your loan needs.

Registration is required. 

Register Here

Link to Live Event


Email: Rosetta Harris, Lender Relations Specialist, or Rhonda Fisher, Supervisory Lender Relations Specialist,

7(j) Management & Technical Assistance Training

Join the SBA's Mississippi District Office on Friday, August 6, 2021 at 11:00 a.m. CT for a webinar on the "Federal Contracting Readiness Program".  The training is offered through the SBA's 7(j) Management & Technical Assistance Program to assist eligible firms interested in obtaining 8(a) Certification. The focus of the webinar will be the process of becoming "Federal Contract Ready". 

Participants will learn:

  • 8(a) Eligibility Requirements
  • Federal Contracting Environment
  • Potential for Success
  • Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) / DCAA Compliance

Registration is required.  

Register Here


Michael Arriola

North Carolina District Office

Michael Arriola, District Director



North Carolina Knows Tech!

NC Tech Photo

This week marks National Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Week, and North Carolina knows tech!  Our state is home to thriving tech ecosystems in the Research Triangle as well as the fintech community in Charlotte.  But North Carolina is also home to the very first SBA-supported Small Business Development Center network in the country to earn a technology commercialization designation, which is the “T” in SBTDC.

The SBTDC has been an integral part of propelling tech companies forward in North Carolina, particularly through SBIR grant funding and the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program.  SBIR/STTR represent the nation’s largest source of early-stage research and development funding for small businesses. SBA coordinates the programs, collaborating with 11 federal agencies, who collectively supported more than $4 billion a year in federal research and development funding.

Our SBTDC has a dedicated Technology Development and Commercialization services team to help.  With representatives throughout the state, the Technology team provides one-on-one business counseling and advice to small business owners, university researchers, and entrepreneurs looking to advance their innovations to the marketplace. These innovations typically involve intellectual property that contributes to a strong competitive advantage in the marketplace and serves as a foundation for the business.  For more information visit Technology Development & Commercialization | NC SBTDC.

Richard White

South Carolina District Office

Richard "Gregg" White, District Director


The South Carolina District Office is excited to announce a new Strategic Alliance with the South Carolina Commission for Minority Affairs (SCCMA). Through a Strategic Alliance Memorandum (SAM), both agencies will share information about programs and services that are designed to help individuals start, maintain and expand small, minority businesses in the state. Join us on July 29th  at 10 a.m. as we make this alliance official and discuss how we will work to together to ensure minority entrepreneurs in South Carolina are successful. The event will be live streamed on the SCCMA Facebook Page.

To learn more about SCCMA, visit

LaTanya Channel

Tennessee District Office

LaTanya Channel, District Director

New Resources for Tennessee Businesses

On August 23 2021, come (virtually) meet the 2021 graduates of the 1st  SBA Tennessee Business Development Academy (BDA) statewide cohort and the 1st US Department of Transportation (US DOT) Nashville cohort.  In both cohorts, small businesses virtually attended sessions over several months with bonding agents; small business lenders; SBA, SBDC, and US DOT staff and consultants.  We invite small businesses in TN to join us on August 23, 2021 to find out what’s coming up next year for the 2022 cohorts and to hear about finding subcontracting opportunities before you take the big leap as a prime contractor– be it with federal, state, or local government. Sign up to attend here: ­­­­­­­ TN District Office Eventbrite page.

If you are a TN business, TN lender, or TN partner with SBA providing hands-on assistance to small business, did you know that through the American Jobs Plan the US Department of Treasury has allocated more than $65 million to help Tennessee small businesses?  To learn more, please visit State of Tennessee Small Business Credit Initiative and, if you can,  provide your feedback by August 2 2021.

Finally, SBA has expanded the number of centers where you can get help for your small business. The Grand Opening for the new Women's Business Center in Memphis, TN is set for August 23 2021 and we hope to see you there!

Please follow us on Twitter at @SBA_Tennessee and on Eventbrite to see the new workshops we’ve added.