News and Updates from the SBA North Florida District Office

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.

North Florida District Office  

April 2022 

u s small business administration

Director's Corner

NFDO District Director J. Malcolm Richards

Greetings North Florida entrepreneurs.

April is National Financial Literacy Month! The SBA had strong messaging around financial literacy for small businesses this month through our many social media platforms.  But, as a small business owner, have you asked yourself why financial literacy is important?  The ability to understand your business’s finances not only ensures you can take advantage of opportunities; but can also ensure your business can withstand declines in the economy or disastrous events.   If you don’t afford the time to increase your financial literacy, your business may run into difficulties, such as allowing outlays to increase to a point where profits are minimal.  During this month, we want to highlight the SBA’s Learning Center.  This platform was created to allow entrepreneurs a space to take short, online video training on a multitude of topics that help you plan, launch, manage, market, and grow your small business.  Specifically in the Launch module you’ll find 18 objectives centered on financing your business.  

Additionally, late last month, SBA announced the launch of the new Small Business Digital Alliance (SBDA), a new public-private co-sponsorship between SBA and Business Forward, Inc.  It provides a comprehensive suite of free resources to help small businesses expand their customer base, manage their growth, find and retain talent, and enter new markets.  These resources are being provided by SBDA national members including: Amazon, Comcast, Google, Meta, PayPal, Principal Financial Group, Square (Block, Inc.), TriNet, Venmo, Verizon, Visa and ZenBusiness. The SBDA’s digital tools will help small businesses create competitive advantages and lower the barriers to entry to entrepreneurship for all aspiring small business owners, especially those from historically underserved and disadvantaged communities.  

Although entrepreneurship can seem like a lonely journey, you don’t have to tackle it alone. Resources like the SBA’s Learning Center or the SBDA are available on-line 24/7 so you can access them when you have time available.  Another great resource is our network of Resource Partners that provide mentoring/consulting for all phases of your business lifecycle.  For your convenience, you can find a partner located nearest to you by using our mapping tool,  Just enter your zip code and the tool will auto-populate with locations in your local vicinity.

Please let us know how we can support your efforts in 2022.  We look forward to your good success!

Visit the North Florida District Website

Below are some highlights and photos of District Director J. Malcolm Richards participating in various meetings and events in his first year at the North Florida District Office. 

Small Biz Tip Series

Hear from one of our SCORE Mentors as he talks about starting a business. 

Starting a small Business video series photo

Hear from Derrick W. Smith, Jacksonville SCORE Chapter Chair on what you can do to start a business. 

Watch Now

Older episodes of our Small Biz Tips Series

Small Biz Video Series - Lending

Hear from Rosalind Bryant, Lender Relations Specialist as she discusses tips to help your small business acquire a business loan. 

Watch Now

Pandemic Recovery Stategies

Hear from Jonel Hein, Deputy District Director as she speaks about pandemic recovery tips as part of our Small Biz Tips Series. 

Watch Now


T.H.R.I.V.E - Emerging Leaders

THRIVE Emerging Leaders photo

Attend our T.H.R.I.V.E Informational Session

Wednesday, May 4

Virtual - T.H.R.I.V.E. Emerging Leaders Reimagined

Please plan to attend and hear the North Florida District Office explain the requirements and benefits for this educational opportunity. T.H.R.I.V.E. Emerging Leaders Reimagined is an intensive executive-level training program to accelerate the growth of high potential small businesses. Developed by the U.S. Small Business Administration, T.H.R.I.V.E. helps business owners become more effective leaders, learn how to acquire financing, scale their revenue, and leverage networking with other entrepreneurs. Through the program, participants develop a three-year Strategic Growth Plan that provides a roadmap for achieving their company’s unique goals. This program will be presented in two locations this year - Orlando and Jacksonville.

Date and time

Wednesday, May 4, 2022; 1–2pm EDT


TOP SBA Lenders FY 21

SBA Announces Fiscal Year 2021 TOP Lenders for North Florida

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announces the Fiscal Year 2021 Top Lenders for the North Florida District Office.

Top 7(a) Lender by Dollar Amount

Live Oak Banking Company


Top 7(a) Lender by Number of Loans

Wells Fargo Bank, National Association


Top Certified Development Company by Dollar Amount & Number of Loans

Florida First Capital Finance Corporation, Inc.


Top 1st Mortgage Lender

121 Financial Credit Union


Top Community Lender by Dollar Amount & Number of Loans

First Federal Bank


Top Community Credit Union

McCoy Federal Credit Union

SBA in the Community

The North Florida District Office has been working with the SCORE Chapters in our district to provide up-to-date training on SBA programs and services, with a focus on SBA lending. Natalie Hall, Economic Development Specialist and Rosalind Bryant, Lender Relations Specialist have hosted trainings for the Jacksonville, Mid-Florida, Nature Coast, Orlando and Volusia SCORE Chapters.

Upcoming SBA Sponsored Events

Tuesday, May 3

8(a) Business Development Program

The SBA’s 8(a) Business Development (BD) Program is designed to help small, disadvantaged businesses that are socially and economically disadvantaged compete in the federal marketplace. The 8(a) Program offers executive level business training that helps to keep your small business competitive. 

Date and time: Tuesday, May 3, 2022; 4–5:15pm EDT


Wednesday, May 4

HUBZone Certification Webinar

HISTORICALLY UNDERUTILIZED BUSINESS ZONE (HUBZONE) CONTRACTING PROGRAM: The purpose of this program is to help small businesses in HUBZones w/federal contracting assistance so they can increase employment and have an impact on the economic development of their respective communities. The HUBZone program fuels small business growth in historically underutilized business zones with a goal of awarding at least three percent of federal contract dollars to HUBZone-certified companies each year. 

Date and time: Wednesday, May 4, 2022: 4–5:15pm EDT


Wednesday, May 4

Straight Talk on the 8(a) Business Development (8(a) BD) Program

The Office of Business Development is hosting its open hour “Straight Talk!” on the 8(a) Business Development (8(a) BD) Program. Whether you’re thinking about applying to the 8(a) BD Program or having been certified into the program or just have general questions about the 8(a) BD program, please join us.

Call in only: 202-765-1264

Phone Conference ID: 217 121 169#

Date and time: Wednesday, May 4, 2022: 2–3pm EDT

Tuesday, May 17

Hurricane Season - Preparing Your Business for Time of Disaster

Planning what to do in case of a disaster is an important part of being prepared. This is true for the safety of your family as well as that of your business. Disasters can take many forms and the financial cost of rebuilding after a disaster can be overwhelming. If you’re prepared for emergencies, you’ll be in a better position to recover and continue personal and business operations should disaster strike. With hurricane season starting on June 1st in Florida, in this workshop you will learn: • SBA’s mission at time of declared disasters • Why it’s important to be prepared • What to consider in your action plan • SBA and state disaster assistance programs • How and where to find assistance

Date and time: Tuesday, May 17, 2022: 3:30–4:30pm EDT


Thursday, May 19


RE-OPENING TO THE PUBLIC-Join the SBA’s North Florida District Office (NFDO) and Jacksonville Women’s Business Center (JWBC), in collaboration with Dun & Bradstreet for the 5th Annual Small Business Summit (SBS). Not only is this our annual collaborative signature event; we are pleased to announce our re-opening to the public through this event hosted by Dun & Bradstreet, 5335 Gate Parkway, Jacksonville, FL 32256! Join the NFDO’s District Director, NFDO team, small businesses, industry partners, prime contractors, state, local and federal government small business and procurement personnel, resource partners, participating lenders, and partner agencies for plenary sessions, panel discussions, networking and One-on-One Supplier Diversity Exchanges as we focus on the most relevant discussion topics for your business. 

Date and time: Thursday, May 19, 2022: 8:30am–3:45pm EDT


Tuesday, May 24

Virtual|Business Success-Credit Check Tuesday

If you're in business or looking to start or grow, please join SBA and our guest speakers as we provide key information and resources available, that can support your business venture. Along with SBA you will hear from one of our resource partners, as we share valuable information on the programs and services, that's available to support your small businesses. And in addition, you will also hear from our guest speaker with Wealth Watchers, as they discuss information to help you better understand how your credit will play a role in your business future or existing small business. This is a free event, but you must register to save your virtual seat!

Date and time: Tuesday, May 24, 2022: 10am–12pm EDT


Thursday, May 26

NFDO, SASP, & VBOC Surplus Property Program

8(a) and Veterans Surplus Property: Among the resources that are designed to foster the business growth and development of 8(a) BD Program Participants and Veteran-Owned firms, the Federal Surplus Property program provides a great opportunity for 8(a) and veteran-owned firms to access additional equipment and items needed to expand and grow their business. SBA has signed Memorandum of Agreements with the General Services Administration (GSA) and State Agencies for Surplus Property (SASP) to provide this resource. The Federal Surplus Property Program is available in every state. The Florida SASP Program Director, Kelly Ferrell, and Director of the Veterans Business Outreach Center, Brent Peacock, will headline this information-filled event! Don’t miss this opportunity to learn more about accessing surplus property.

Date and time: Thursday, May 26, 2022: 10:15am–12:15pm EDT


Thursday, May 26

Latin-X Veterans & Spouses Business Start-up Event

Latino-owned businesses play an important role in the U.S. economy and are among the fastest growing segment of the U.S. small business eco-system. With a 34% growth rate in the last 10 years, Latinos are starting businesses at a faster rate than the national average across almost all industries. According to the latest Census data, the City of Jacksonville is home to almost 79,000 Latin-X veterans with the potential to add more positive impact to our local economy. Are you a Latin-X active duty service member, a transitioning service member, a veteran, National Guard, Reserve, or spouse who has thought about owning your own business? Then… Join the Small Business Administration, the Jacksonville Veterans Chamber of Commerce and additional federal, state and local resource providers focused on helping veterans, their spouses and all entrepreneurs in starting and growing a business. Our resources will surely impress you! Register TODAY!

Date and time: Thursday, May 26, 2022: 2–4pm EDT


SBA Workshops in Spanish

Wednesday, May 11

Expanda su Negocio Exportando sus Productos y Servicios


Este taller es para empresas que quieran: * Aprender cómo exportar sus productos y servicios fuera de los EE.UU. * Cómo la SBA puede ayudar a las pequeñas empresas a exportar * Qué programas de financiamento están disponibles * Aprender sobre los recursos para identificar clientes internacionales * Cómo protejer sus cuentas por cobrar del exterior Agencias Participantes: * Office of International Trade, SBA * Export Import Bank * US Department of Commerce * Small Business Development Centers Con testimonio de una pequeña empresa exportadora

Date and time: Wednesday, May 11, 2022: 11am–1pm EDT

Thursday, May 19

Temporada de huracanes: preparando su negocio para tiempos de desastre

Planificar qué hacer en caso de un desastre es una parte importante de estar preparado. Esto es cierto tanto para la seguridad de su familia como para la de su negocio. Los desastres pueden tomar muchas formas y el costo financiero de la reconstrucción después de un desastre puede ser agobiante. Si estás preparado para emergencias, estará en una mejor posición para recuperarse y continuar con sus operaciones personales y comerciales en caso de que ocurra un desastre. Con la temporada de huracanes comenzando el 1 de junio en Florida, en este taller aprenderás: • Misión de la SBA en el momento de los desastres declarados • Por qué es importante estar preparado • Qué considerar en su plan de acción • Programas de asistencia por desastre – SBA y Estatal • Cómo y dónde encontrar esa ayuda

Date and time: Thursday, May 19, 2022: 3:30–4:30pm EDT


SBA Participating Event: Small Business Week

Wednesday, May 25

#NSBW 30th Annual Small Business Week Celebration

Honoring North Florida’s Small Business Leaders, Champions and Top Lenders for 30 years! Network with North Florida’s small business leaders, lenders and supporters as the U.S. Small Business Administration presents the Small Business Week Awards and Top Lender Awards! In recognition of the small business community’s contribution to the economy and society, the President of the United States designates one week each year as National Small Business Week. The U.S. SBA, in conjunction with the FSBDC at UNF, will host this special event at the local level to honor and present awards to local entrepreneurs and those who support and advocate for small businesses Keynote Presentation: “From Surviving to Thriving: A Time to Reimagine Your Small Business” Presented by Regina Phelps, founder of Emergency Management & Safety Solutions. She will be sharing her unique perspective on taking these tough lessons from the pandemic to reimagine your business and go from surviving to thriving! Sponsored by: 121 Financial Credit Union Jim Moran Institute for Global Entrepreneurship

Date and time
Wednesday, May 25, 2022: 11:30am–1:30pm EDT