Honoring Our Veterans, COVID EIDL Funds Still Available, & More!

SBA Southeast Regional Update 


October 2021

u s small business administration

National Veterans Small Business Week 2021

Janita Stewart

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

In honor of National Veteran's Small Business Week, the SBA Southeast Region team will be hosting a webinar open to the public and I encourage all to attend. Please find details below as well as details further along in this bulletin regarding a region-wide COVID EIDL training day on November 2nd. This training includes a session that will be conducted in Spanish. You are free to attend any session that fits your schedule.

You are Invited! SBA Southeast Region National Veterans Small Business Week Event


“Celebrating #Vetbiz Strength and Resilience”

Please join the U. S. Small Business Administration Southeast Region District Offices, as we celebrate 2021 National Veterans Small Business Week (NVSBW).  This year’s virtual event will be packed with information which will take the guess work out of launching or growing a Veteran Owned Small Business.  SBA will share information on the latest programs and services, plus hear a message from each of SBA’s Resource Partners.  The event will also include a panel of Vetrepreneurs, that will share details on how their business has survived using strength and resilience.

Thursday, November 4, 2021

1:00 P.M. – 3:00 P.M. EST

This event is free and is being presented by SBA’s Region IV District Offices, located in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina & South Carolina.  If you’re located in or around this region and want to attend, you must register to save your virtual spot!  Again, this virtual event is open to Veterans, Service Members, National Guard, Reserves, and Military Spouses!

Register Here

If you have any questions or concerns, please email natalie.hall@sba.gov.

EIDL Deadline Dec. 31, 2020

COVID-19 EIDL Training

Apply by December 31, 2021!

Don’t Know When You are Available on Tuesday, November 2 for a Virtual Training on COVID-19 EIDL? Join virtually any Time that Works Best for You!

Each SBA District Office located across the Southeast Region will host a presentation and Q & A on the SBA enhanced COVID Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program.  Small businesses, including agricultural businesses and non-profit organizations, may apply for a COVID-19 EIDL to assist in recovery from the pandemic. 

We will provide information on how to apply and where you can get additional help with preparing for an SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan so that it may be approved before the upcoming deadline. You are invited to select any timeframe that works best for your schedule. 

The links below will be your access to the event. All are open to the public, closed press.

Links will go LIVE at the time of the event- Please click on the link next to the time you wish to attend on November 2nd at the time the event starts- no registration required.

TUESDAY, November 2, 2021

Join any Microsoft Teams event below at the time allotted:

8:30 am ET/7:30 CT     North Carolina District:  Click here to join the event

9:30 am ET/8:30 CT    South Carolina District:  Click here to join the event

10:30am ET/9:30 CT           Tennessee District: Click here to join the event

11:30am ET/10:30 CT             Alabama District: Click here to join the event

12:30pm ET/11:30 CT              Georgia District: Click here to join the event

1:30pm ET/12:30 CT      North Florida District:  Click here to join the event

2:30pm ET/1:30CT            Mississippi District:  Click here to join the event

3:30pm ET/2:30 CT               Kentucky District: Click here to join the event

4:30 pm ET/3:30 CT IN SPANISH South Florida: Click here to join the event

For any questions regarding this training, please contact lola.kress@sba.gov.

Hear from YOUR Local

SBA District Office

Tom Todt

Alabama District Office

Thomas (Tom) Todt, District Director


Attention Alabama Small Business Owners! Do you have a pending COVID19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan (COVID19 EIDL)? Struggling to understand the process, the denials, the documents necessary, or how to overcome a denial? We can help provide clarity on the process and recommend ways to possibly overcome denials during our COVID EIDL Office hours. Starting September 10, 2021, office hours will be held Fridays at 10:00 am CST. Register at least 2 hours before each event to receive log in information.

Register here

8a tile

Did you know the Federal government is the largest purchaser of goods and services? If you are ready to become a federal government contractor and take your business to another level, you don't want to miss this online experience! 

Tuesday, November 2 at 1:00 pm ET.

Register Here

Malcolm Richards

North Florida District Office

Jon Malcolm Richards, District Director

The North Florida District Office recently participated in the 1st annual LendingCon Hospitality and Commercial Lending Conference in Orlando, Florida. Jonel Hein, SBA North Florida Deputy District Director provided information on the SBA loan programs and had a session on the COVID EIDL enhancements.  The conference was very well attended with over 150 attendees and was also supported by the Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA).

The NFDO is hosting a series of webinars aimed at helping businesses grow through government contracting. The upcoming webinars include:

If you need National Veterans Small Business Week information here are the events:

Thursday, November 4, 2021 - 1:00pm ET

SBA Sponsored

Registration Required

Tuesday, November 2, 2021 - 10:00am ET

SBA Participating

Registration Required

Veteran's Business Outreach Center

Friday, November 5, 2021 - 12:00pm ET

Resource Partner

Registration Required

Veteran's Business Outreach Center

Thursday, November 4, 2021 - 12:00pm ET

Resource Partner

Registration Required

Gregory Hall

South Florida District Office

Gregory Hall, Acting District Director


Join our office as we explore exporting for your Small Business!

International Trade Webinar

Terri Denison

Georgia District Office

Terri L. Denison, District Director

Timothy Craig, Director of the Veterans Business Outreach Center (VBOC) for Georgia and South Carolina joined Veterans Today Radio on Oct. 8 to share information about SBA programs and VBOC services. Mr. Craig talked about how the VBOC connects veterans to resources to help them start, grow, expand or purchase a business.

Watch the interview here


Robert Coffey

Kentucky District Office

Robert Coffey, District Director


Resources & Relief Highlighted for National Women’s Small Business Month

Did you know that women own or co-own over 45% of businesses in the U.S.? That’s one reason that SBA celebrates National Women’s Small Business Month in October. And SBA has dedicated many resources for women-owned businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs.

SBA has an Office of Women’s Business Ownership (OWBO), which assists “women entrepreneurs through programs coordinated by SBA District Offices across the country.” This includes small business counseling; webinars and seminars; federal contracting opportunities and exporting programs; and access to capital, including funding programs to help small businesses recover from the pandemic.

Many services can be found at SBA Women’s Business Centers. The WBCs provide no-fee, high quality counseling and low to no-cost educational programs for women who aspire to start, grow, expand or recover their small business. Click here to find a nearby WBC.  

Other resources available to women-owned small businesses include: the SBA 8(a) business development program for socially and economically disadvantaged small businesses; and additional no-fee counseling services from other SBA resource partners, including SCORE, the Small Business Development Centers and Veterans Business Outreach Centers. SBA also launched a free online learning platform for women entrepreneurs called Ascent.

Bottom line: SBA wants your woman-owned small business to thrive. Here are some inspiring woman-owned small businesses in Kentucky:

Nancy Bailey                                              Bailey Safety, Inc.

Christy Clark                                              Mammy’s Kitchen

Debra Dudley                                             Oscarware, Inc.

Rhonda Hatfield                                         Blue Halo Med Spa

Ricka O’Bannon                                         C&R Beauty Bar

Angie Yu                                                    Two Rivers Fisheries, Inc.

More information on women-owned small business programs and services is available at this SBA link.

Janita Stewart

Mississippi District Office

Janita Stewart, District Director


October is SBA Mississippi Resource Partners Month

The Mississippi District Office has chosen October to highlight our Resource Partners. Each of these organizations provides free and confidential counseling, training, management and technical assistance to individual, entrepreneurs, and small businesses throughout Mississippi.

Mississippi SBDC

Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) - The Mississippi SBDC is the gateway to and premier provider of small business assistance and resources that lead to success and entrepreneurial growth. The SBDC mission is to foster Mississippi’s entrepreneurial ecosystem; providing businesses expertise and resources that drive success. For more information, please visit https://mississippisbdc.org/

Mississippi VBOC

Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) - The Mississippi SBDC is the gateway to and premier provider of small business assistance and resources that lead to success and entrepreneurial growth. The SBDC mission is to foster Mississippi’s entrepreneurial ecosystem; providing businesses expertise and resources that drive success. For more information, please visit https://mississippisbdc.org/.

Women’s Business Centers - The Women's Business Center of Mississippi (WBC) provide individual business counseling assistance, workshops, seminars, training services, and access to SBA’s programs and services to help entrepreneurs operate a new or existing business.

Alcorn State WBC


Alcorn State University Women’s Business Center - The Women's Business Center at Alcorn State University (WBC) serves entrepreneurs and small business owners in every phase of development. Our mission is to empower and inspire women by providing business training, individual counseling sessions, and access to capital to foster the achievement of your goals. Through education, counseling, and networking resources, the Women’s Business Center strives to position your business for growth and success. For more information on the Alcorn State WBC, please visit https://www.alcorn.edu/discover-alcorn/womens-business-center.

Jackson State University WBC

Jackson State University Women’s Business Center – The Women’s Business Center at Jackson State University is serving and helping women in the local community by being the voice and resource for increasing the economic power of women entrepreneurs. We help women-owned businesses succeed by providing one-on-one counseling, training seminars, business development, access to financing opportunities, and finding commercial and government contracting opportunities.

For more information on the Jackson State WBC. Please visit https://www.jsums.edu/wbc/



SCORE- America’s Counselors - SCORE has the largest network of free volunteer small business mentors in the nation. No matter what stage your business is at SCORE has a mentor for you. Easily request a mentor to help you start, grow, or transition your business today! For more information, please visit https://www.score.org/.

Michael Arriola

North Carolina District Office

Michael Arriola, District Director


The North Carolina District Office is pleased to honor National Women’s Small Business Month by showcasing one of our North Carolina successes – Mrs. Laura Schoppe of Fuentek, LLC

Fuentek LLC

In 2001, Laura Schoppe opened the virtual doors of Fuentek, a technology transfer consultancy firm, from her home office in Apex, North Carolina. Today, the Hispanic woman business owner starts each workday from the same home office, the only difference being that Fuentek is now a multimillion-dollar company with a remote staff of 20 employees.

“When I started Fuentek I knew I wanted to start a telework company,” said Schoppe. “I wanted to avoid the overhead of a brick and mortar.”

Telework was not the only unique decision Schoppe made in her early days as a business owner.  With a long-standing career as a mechanical and aerospace engineer, Schoppe had worked in government contracting for several years. Thus, when it came time to identify her business niche, she knew exactly what to focus on and how to do business with the government.

“I recognized a gap between those who created new innovations and those who made them into products, and they did not speak the same language,” said Shoppe.  

Fuentek was thus born to create bridges in the technology transfer space.  The company assists with evaluating inventions and patenting, technology marketing, due diligence of license applicants, caseload assistance, skill development for tech transfer professionals, and other aspects of the tech transfer arena.

“When I first started my firm, I immediately reached out to the SBA about the 8(a) program. From there I went on to earn the women owned small-business (WOSB) and economically disadvantaged women owned small-business (EDWOSB) certifications.”

The SBA’s 8(a) program is designed to help provide a level playing field for small businesses owned by socially and economically disadvantaged people or entities. In turn, the government limits competition for certain contracts to businesses that participate in the 8(a) Business Development program. Disadvantaged businesses in the 8(a) program can:

  • Compete for set-aside and sole-source contracts in the program;
  • Get a Business Opportunity Specialist to help navigate federal contracting;
  • Form joint ventures with established businesses through the SBA's Mentor-Protégé Program;
  • Receive management and technical assistance, including business training, counseling, marketing assistance, and high-level executive development; and
  • Compete for contract awards under multiple socio-economic programs, as they apply.

Schoppe graduated from the 8(a) program in 2011.  However, her WOSB and EDWOSB certifications have enabled her to continue to compete in the procurement arena successfully.

“The SBA programs provided me with an even playing field,” said Schoppe.  “I did not need to compete against the big guys. I was given opportunities to acquire and complete contracts while providing a high quality of service only a small business could deliver.”

Now established as a credible and trustworthy business, Fuentek has served university, government, corporate and nonprofit research organizations throughout the United States as well as in the European Union, the Middle East and Asia. 

A testament to her expertise and reputation, Schoppe serves on the boards of the AUTM Foundation (which supports academic research that drives innovation) and NC First Robotics. Yet, when asked what was most vital to her continued success, Schoppe was quick to proclaim the well-being of her staff.

“Establishing and maintaining long term relationships are a priority,” said Schoppe. “However, I also want to make sure that my staff maintains a good work/life balance and that they enjoy the work they are doing.”

Richard White

South Carolina District Office

Richard "Gregg" White, District Director

The SCDO is celebrating National Women’s Business Month with a webinar on October 27th that will focus on South Carolina resources from women entrepreneurs!

Are you a women-owned small business and want to learn about available free services, levels of certification, and who can assist with proposal writing and review proposals before submission?

Join SBA, SC Department of Transportation, Small Business Minority Contracting and Certification, City of Columbia Office of Business Opportunities, Richland County Office of Small Business Opportunities and the University of South Carolina Procurement Technical Assistance Center as we give an overview of services provided. Also, hear from our three Women's Business Centers across the state.


Click here to register!

LaTanya Channel

Tennessee District Office

LaTanya Channel, District Director


The SBA Tennessee District is honored to have hosted SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman in Nashville for her inaugural trip to Tennessee as a member of President Biden's Cabinet. She visited with local community stakeholders and visited several Nashville small business owners to discuss their successes and challenges of utilizing recovery funds during the pandemic.

Administrator Guzman and SBA Tennessee District Director LaTanya Channel visited with the owners of Rudy's Jazz Room and discussed their experience with obtaining the Shuttered Venue Operator's Grant (SVOG).

Music Venue
Guzman Tattoo

Administrator Guzman was able to experience getting a fake tattoo at One Drop Ink located on Jefferson Street. She had conversations with the owner, Elisheba Israel Mrozik, regarding her experiences and successes with the PPP loan as well as a COVI EIDL recovery loan.

The Tennessee  District hopes to see you at our next webinar. You can register here: Small Business Administration-TN District Office Events | Eventbrite

webinar logos for Tennessee