SBA Alabama District Office May Newsletter

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Alabama District Office - Newsletter May 2022  

u s small business administration
Banner for National Small Business Week


Recap on May events

A group of people standing in front of SBA sign holding up awards

Alabama District Director, Thomas Todt (left) provided SBA awards to R. Gregory Brown (center) of Huntsville, Alabama, the 2022 Alabama Small Business Person of the Year Award, and to Alice Lessmann (right) of Madison, Alabama, the 2022 District Director Awardee for the National Small Business Week

About National Small Business Week (NSBW) - For nearly 60 years, the President of the United States has issued a proclamation announcing National Small Business Week, which recognizes the critical contributions of America’s entrepreneurs and small business owners. More than half of Americans either own or work for a small business, and they create about two out of every three new jobs in the U.S. each year. As part of National Small Business Week, the U.S. Small Business Administration takes the opportunity to highlight the impact of outstanding entrepreneurs, small business owners, and others from all 50 states and U.S. territories. Every day, they’re working to grow small businesses, create 21st century jobs, drive innovation, and increase America’s global competitiveness.

In honor of NSBW, R. Gregory Brown of Brown Precision, Inc has been named the Alabama 2022 Small Business Person of the Year. In addition to the state winner, the Alabama District Director, Thomas Todt, has announced that Alice Lessmann of Signalink, Inc is the 2022 District Director Awardee.

Additionally, the Governor of Alabama and the Mayors of Athens, Decatur, Huntsville, Lincoln, Madison, and Mobile proclaimed May 1st to 7th as their Small Business Week. 

A group of people posing for a photo and holding up a proclamation document

Brent McMahan, SBA Senior Area Manager for Mobile, Alabama (center), received and holds a proclamation for Small Business Week from the City of Mobile.

Governor Kay Ivey signs proclamation with district director standing on the right and deputy district director stand on the left watching.

Alabama Governor, Kay Ivey, signs a proclamation for Small Business Week while District Director, Tom Todt (right), and Deputy District Director, LD Ralph (left), witness.

Proclamations for Small Business Week seek to recognize and celebrate the importance of small businesses to their local economy.

Lastly, the Alabama Small Business Development Center (ASBDC) presented three events in honor of NSBW centered around the following themes: Disaster Planning and Preparedness, Digital Marketing, and SBA Lending featuring Alabama District Office Lender Relations Specialist, Roderick Perkins.

Congratulations to a very successful week!

Alabama Small Business Success Story

Head shot of a women in business suite

Signalink find success with SBA resource partners and wins a Small Business Week award.

Alice Lessmann and her spouse started their company, Signalink, in 2005 and in 2016, she became the CEO of the company. As the company continued to grow, she realized...

See full story



SBA Region IV Administrator visits Alabama

Two men sitting at table with SBA logo

Allen Thomas, SBA Region IV Administrator (left), and Thomas Todt, Alabama District Director (right), discuss the importance of partnerships.

On May 18th and 19th, Allen Thomas, SBA Region IV Administrator, visited the Alabama District Office for the first time since being appointed in December of 2021. Administrator Thomas was able to meet the Alabama staff, lenders, contracting firms, and strategic partners to share exciting upcoming SBA initiatives. 

Upcoming Events

Photo of two people sitting at a table indoors with the following text, resources for veteran  entrepreneurs. The SBA logo is at the bottom.

Alabama - Resources for Veteran Entrepreneurs

Presented by the Alabama District Office from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA): Join us for a virtual panel discussion to learn about economic development resources for veteran's living in Alabama. Listen to special guest speakers from the SBA, the Veteran's Business Outreach Center (VBOC), the U.S. Department of Veteran's Affairs -Readiness and Employment Office, and possibly others to learn about support programs for veterans and military personnel who are interested in self-employment and starting businesses.

Event details

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

12:00 pm - 1:00 pm CST


Two men shake hands

African American and Latino American Males SBA Q&A and Program Discussion

- multiple dates

A discussion of SBA Lending Programs, to include working capital and contract working capital. After this Session, business owners will be able to schedule a one-on-one session with Roderick D. Perkins to discuss their capital needs.


SCORE provides free and confidential business mentoring to start-ups and existing small businesses


Alabama SCORE chapters

Are looking for experienced business owners or retired business owners to volunteer as a mentor to support aspiring entrepreneurs and start-ups. Consider volunteering and sharing your knowledge and expertise with others!

Join today!


Webinar sponsored by SCORE

How to Find Grant Opportunities for Your Small Business - May 31

The pandemic and economic relief efforts have led to more grant opportunities than ever for the nation's small businesses. With the main federal relief programs now over, small businesses are seeking out other funding opportunities that may be available to them.

Event Details

May 31, 2022

12:00 pm - 1:00 pm CST



Veterans Business Outreach Center (VBOC)

The VBOC is located at Mississippi State University but provides services to veterans in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. Check out events like "Boots to Business" coming to Alabama in various locations and virtually!



Disaster Recovery - Alabama


Deadlines for Local Disasters are Approaching

If you are a business owner who lives in Bibb, Blount Greene, Hale, Marengo, Tuscaloosa or Perry counties AND your business was impacted by the Tornado that occurred on February 3, 2022, then you may be eligible for a disaster loan. The disaster injury disaster loan (EIDL) application deadline is December 7, 2022

Each year, the SBA provides billions of dollars in low-interest, long-term disaster loans to help small businesses, homeowners, and renters recover from declared disasters. Loans may cover: real estate, personal property, economic injury, machinery & equipment, inventory, and active duty military. Learn about to apply: watch video

See all disaster declarations