SBA May Newsletter l Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

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Massachusetts District Office  

u s small business administration

SBA Massachusetts May Newsletter

Photo of four people with the following text, Asian American Native Hawaiian & Pacific Islander Heritage Month Webinar on May 26 at 1 pm EDT

SBA celebrates and supports
AANHPI-owned small businesses

JOIN US! Thursday, May 26th 1-2PM


As we reflect on the year of leadership under Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman supporting the 32.5 million small business owners and spawning entrepreneurs, we observe the value that our Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders deliver to our recovering economy. During the month of May, we will host events and share success stories highlighting the accomplishments in these diverse American small business communities.

Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have played a great role in the U.S. economy. According to its 2019 Policy Agenda, the  Asian and Pacific American Chamber of Commerce and Entrepreneurship (ACE) reported that 6.2% of all small businesses in the U.S are owned by Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders employing more than 3.5 million people.

COVID-19 has greatly affected U.S. small businesses, including the AAPI sector. The ACE conducted a survey for AAPI to estimate the effects of the pandemic on the businesses in the USA. The survey showed that 85% of AAPI participants were negatively affected by the pandemic. Under the leadership of Administrator Guzman, we stand ready to assist AAPI small businesses in not only persisting but strengthening.

Join the U.S. Small Business Administration on Thursday, May 26, 2022, at 1p.m. EDT to celebrate Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Heritage Month!

The event will feature an armchair discussion with Jennifer Kim, SBA Associate Administrator for the Office of Field Operations, Michael Fong, SBA Regional Administrator for Region 10, Chiling Tong, President and CEO of the National Asian/Pacific Islander American Chamber of Commerce & Entrepreneurship, and. Dr. Guofang Wang, Co-Owner of Everest Medical Group in Upper Darby, PA.

The discussion will focus on the importance of financial wellness, creating generational wealth through business ownership, and increasing equity and access to opportunities to help uplift and support Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander-owned small businesses. The panel will also discuss SBA initiatives and resources that support small business recovery, new AANHPI startups seeking to launch, and existing AANHPI-owned small businesses as they pivot and grow in a post-COVID world.

Upcoming Events

Wednesday 5/18/22 / 10:00am - 11:00am
SWOT Analysis - A Powerful Management Tool

Wednesday 5/18/22 / 12:00pm - 1:00pm
How SBA Helps Small Businesses Gain Access to Capital

Thursday 5/19/22 / 9:00am - 10:30am
SBA 8(a) Business Development Program

Monday 5/23/22 / 2:00pm - 3:00pm
The Effective Elevator Pitch

Tuesday 5/24/22 / 11:00am - 12:00pm
Soup to Nuts: Ingredients of a Business Plan

Tuesday 5/24/22 / 1:00pm - 12:00pm
How to Launch Your Dream Business In 90 Days Without Letting Overthinking Hold You Back

Wednesday 5/25/22 / 10:00am - 11:00am
Health Connector for Business

Wednesday 5/25/22 / 10:00am - 11:00am
NAICS, PSC, FSC and Forecasts

Thursday 5/26/22 / 10:00am - 11:00am
Supply Chain Management for Your Business

Thursday 5/28/22 / 9:00am - 12:00pm
Basics of Starting Your Business

Thursday 5/26/22 / 9:00am - 10:30am
Be Profitable Module 2: Better Financial Management

Tuesday 5/31/22 / 1:00pm - 2:30pm
How to Find Grant Opportunities for Your Small Business

Tuesday 5/31/22 / 10:00am - 11:30am
How to Open a Business in Massachusetts Legally

5/19 SBA's New THRIVE Program NOW RECRUITING: Small Business Owners from Springfield to Boston

T.H.R.I.V.E. Emerging Leaders Reimagined Grow a More Profitable, Efficient and Competitive Business  Woman looking at a laptop


JOIN US!  Thursday, May 19th at 12PM for a virtual info session to learn more about the newly reimagined SBA (Emerging Leaders) T.H.R.I.V.E. program


We are currently recruiting two cohorts, one in Western Massachusetts and one in Eastern Massachusetts. Apply today and find out if you qualify for this FREE program. 


  • Welcoming Remarks - Oreste Varela, Springfield Branch Manager
  • Program Overview - Taylor Mills - ISOM Global
  • Tentative Schedule - Dates and Locations
  • Alumni Testimonials - 2021 Graduates: Angela Ackerman & Randy Ames
  • Q&A

T.H.R.I.V.E. Emerging Leaders Reimagined program assists small business owners in growing their business, creating jobs, and strengthening their communities. This innovative program is an intense 6-month course that includes in-person, self-paced, instruction, mentoring, and class room time. Providing small businesses the opportunity to work with experienced professionals at no financial cost.

Target your business for expansion T.H.R.I.V.E. Emerging Leaders Reimagined training is specifically designed to accelerate growth and support the expansion of your business. The program provides participants with the opportunity to work with a network of experienced subject matter experts in core business topics and other micro-sessions customized for the small business’s unique needs. The reimagined format removes the one size fits all model in exchange for engagement, problem-solving, and peer-to-peer interaction within the cohorts. Additionally, the new format promotes an eco-system of business connections among business peers, government leaders, and the financial community.


The Emerging Leaders Initiative is open to small business owners and executives that:

  • Have been in business for at least 3 years.
  • Have annual revenues of at least $250,000.



Wednesday, May 25th 11AM


Outreach and Marketing Specialist Caroline Williams from the Massachusetts District Office of the SBA will lead a conversation with guests about entrepreneurship as it pertains to National Inventors Month. Guests from SCORE and the Berthiaume Center for Entrepreneurship at Babson College will share tips about making your idea a reality.

COVID-19 EIDL Update


As of January 1, 2022, SBA stopped accepting applications for new COVID-19 EIDL loans or advances. As of May 6, 2022, the COVID-19 EIDL funds are exhausted. SBA is no longer accepting COVID-19 EIDL loan increase requests or requests for reconsideration. Approved borrowers that have not signed their loan closing documents must do so by May 16, 2022, or will face delayed disbursement or possible loss of funding.

The COVID-19 EIDL portal (, also known as the "RAPID portal") will close on May 16, 2022. Borrowers should download their loan documents from the portal prior to this date.  Learn more


5/24 Mental Health Parity Compliance Assistance

Tuesday, May 24th, 2022 / 2:00pm - 3:00pm EST


Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration

If you are an employer with a group health plan or a plan service provider with questions about the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA), the U.S.
Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration is holding a free
webcast to help you understand the law.

The webcast will cover the changes to the law made by the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, the Department’s 2022 MHPAEA Report to Congress, and FAQs and other guidance and tools available to help you. Take advantage of this opportunity - join us for this webcast to hear from the Department and ask your questions.

Please REGISTER HERE for the webcast and the link for the event will be emailed to you. Individuals with disabilities who need special accommodations please email

The list of attendees will be available upon request. Please email if you do not want your name shared

5/18 & 5/28 Export Workshop Series


If you aspire to sell your products and services internationally, this event will help you turn your ambition into action.

Please come and join us every Wednesday from 3:00 pm-4:30 pm EST on May 11, May 18, May 25, June 1, June 8 and June 15, 2022, hosted by New Haven Free Public Library and co-presented by SBA Connecticut District Office and New Haven SCORE Chapter for a series of six export training webinars.

You will meet online with the instructors, the government officials and the representatives from SBA, SCORE, ExIm Bank, SBA delegated lenders, export credit insurance agents, and ELAN attorneys to discuss with you your specific financial needs and technical assistance.

The registration link is:

(Link will work for all 6 sessions)

From the Connecticut District Office

John Xu, CGBP Lender Relations Specialist District International Trade Officer
Connecticut District Office
U.S. Small Business Administration
Tel:  (860) 240-4672 
Cell: (202) 868-1302 Fax: (202) 481-0307

National Small Business Week

The national runner-up for the Small Business Person of the Year is Gregory Acerra of Fireking Baking Company.

As part of the 2022 National Small Business Week virtual events, Administrator Guzman awarded state and territorial winners and industry leaders for excellence in entrepreneurship, exporting, federal contracting, lending, and disaster recovery. 

For the first time ever, the SBA announced a national runner-up for National Small Business Person of the Year. 

“I am so pleased that Massachusetts-based Greg Acerra is being recognized by the SBA and Administrator Guzman on a national level,” said Mike Vlacich, SBA New England Regional Administrator.  “Greg is dedicated to his craft, to his employees and to growing his business.  In the face of unimaginable challenges, Greg ahs shown his determination and perseverance and is well positioned for future business success.”

Greg was honored at the annual SBA Massachusetts Small Business Week Awards Breakfast event on Thursday, May 5, 2022, at the Newton Marriott.

Greg Acerra

National Runner-Up:

Gregory Acerra, Fireking Baking Company, Braintree, MA

Greg Acerra, a restaurateur, started Fireking Baking Company in 1995 to provide freshly-baked European-style bread to his restaurants, clubs, and catering company. 

Fireking Baking Company is an innovator in the baking industry, delivering fresh and frozen baked goods through a national distribution network.  Although Fireking rustic loaves are still formed by hand and baked in hearth ovens by artisan bakers, most of the bread is produced using a stress-free semi-automated artisan process.  

Acerra loves growing his business and seeing his people share in the success of the company.  He continues to reinvest in new state-of-the-art equipment with the cash flow flexibility achieved through SBA 504 financing.  As a result, Fireking Baking Company’s return on investment is efficiencies in production and effectiveness in its 137 full-time and 152 temporary employees.   

The Fireking line has grown to include over 300 types of bread baked for food service, retail, and private labeling.  


Community Navigator Spotlight

Community Navigator

The SBA Office of Entrepreneurial Development would like to highlight the work of our Community Navigator Tier 1 Grantee, the U.S. Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce (USPAACC). USPAACC is taking a multi-pronged approach toward serving AAPI small business owners and entrepreneurs across the country.

USPAACC and their Spokes work to provide technical assistance with a particular focus on California, Georgia, Illinois, New York, New Jersey, and Texas. For example, one Spoke worked with a mom-and-pop printing shop in San Francisco to negotiate the shop's rent and helped the owners secure a $35k loan. The shop was able to rehire 3 of their staff, who had been laid off during the pandemic.

In addition to direct assistance, USPAACC has partnerships with digital media services, which are working to translate information on SBA resources into several languages, including Mandarin, Cantonese, Vietnamese, and Korean. These translated materials will help with outreach to the Asian American community and enable more entrepreneurs and business owners learn about how the SBA can support them.

OED is thankful for the hard work of USPAACC and all our 51 Hub grantees and can't wait to share with you additional examples of their impacts on the ground.

Learn more about Community Navigators or connect with participating organizations here.

Government Contracting and Business Development

Government contracting


Thursday 5/19/22 / 9:00am - 10:30am
SBA 8(a) Business Development Program

Wednesday 5/25/22 / 10:00am - 11:00am
NAICS, PSC, FSC and Forecasts


Welcome Shawn Yoon, Owner of Oversee Alliance, Inc. to the SBA's 8A Business Development Program! 

Oversee Alliance provides various IT management and development services. We primarily focus on web-based javascript, SOA, continuous integration, malware protection, and virtual reality. We always stay ahead with the most modern & stable infrastructures and solutions. 

Gov Contracting

Get weekly information on eligibility assistance for HUBZone certification

Members of the HUBZone team answer questions on a weekly basis to help firms navigate the certification process.


Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2-3 p.m. E.T.


Find a local number, or call 208-391-5817 and enter Skype conference ID #278449067

For PDF versions of information about the HUBZone Program and related improvements, select the HUBZone Fact SheetProgram Improvements, and  SBA’s latest FAQs.

Learn How to Apply to Get Certified as an 8(a)BD Small Business

Microsoft Teams 8(a)BD “Straight Talk” meeting Public Access

Members of the 8(a) team answer questions on a monthly basis to help firms navigate the certification process, including program benefits and eligibility requirements for 8(a) certification.


Third Wednesday of each month - 2:00p.m. to 3:00p.m. (ET)


Call 202-765-1264 (Washington, DC) and enter phone conference ID#: 217 121 169



7(j) training, provided to eligible firms and their employees, includes very specialized training in the areas of federal contracting. The training will be provided in an online format with live instructors and the ability for students to participate and ask questions. Up to 40 participants per workshop will receive training on how to make "real world" business decisions that will facilitate their firm's success.

Please check out the 7J training schedules for Stover & Associates, The Catalyst and Bidspeed below. 

Stover & Associates Workshops



Click the “Register for Training” button on the left side navigation pane and check out a complete list of topics offered this month. 


Gabriel Enterprises 7J Training

We wanted to remind you of the free and comprehensive live webcast sessions specifically developed to help educate 8(a) certified small businesses on pursuing and winning contracts with the Federal Government. 

Virtual Learning Environment URL:

The following flyer describes SBA's virtual environment and live training brought to you by SBA’s Office of Business Development through the 7(j) Management and Technical Assistance Program:

NOTE: If the links in this email do not work, you may need to copy and paste the URL into your web browser 

Course descriptions are included in the flyer, and the schedule of upcoming courses is provided below.  

Date | Time (ET)


Target Cohort*

5/11/2022 | 10am - 11am

How to do Business with the Federal Government and Win Contracts as an 8(a) Certified Firm

New 8(a) Participant

5/12/2022 | 2pm - 3pm

FAR and Other Regulations

New 8(a) Participant

5/17/2022 | 2pm - 3pm

Market Research in Federal Procurement

New 8(a) Participant

5/18/2022 | 12pm - 1pm

How to do Business with the Federal Government (Refresher)

Program Years 3-4

5/19/2022 | 11am - 12pm

Marketing & E-Tools: Identifying Opportunities

Program Years 3-4

5/24/2022 | 3pm - 4pm

How to Market to the Federal Government as a "Small Business Concern"

Program Years 8-9

6/7/2022 | 1pm - 2pm

Networking, Capturing & Leveraging

Program Years 5-7

6/8/2022 | 3pm - 4pm

Bids and Proposals

New 8(a) Participant

6/14/2022 | 10am - 11am

FAR and Other Regulations

New 8(a) Participant

6/15/2022 | 11am - 12pm

How to Market to the Federal Government as a "Small Business Concern"

Program Years 8-9

6/16/2022 | 1pm - 2pm

Teaming and Mentor Protege Programs

Program Years 8-9

6/21/2022 | 11am - 12pm

Capabilities Statements and Briefings

New 8(a) Participant

6/22/2022 | 4pm - 5pm

How to do Business with the Federal Government and Win Contracts as an 8(a) Certified Firm

New 8(a) Participant

We hope you will join us in our workshops this month!  For more information:  or call 256-509-1580

To register for events:

*Participants in Years 0-2 of the 8(a) program must attend all Year 0-2 New 8(a) Participant courses live before they have access to courses in other cohorts.

Participants Login/Registration Link:  


You may need to copy and paste the above URL into your web browser.

Training topics vary based on number of years in the 8(a) BD Program, enabling participants to fully grasp core competencies necessary to succeed at various stages of company maturity.  The training courses will be mandatory for 8(a) firms in the first year of program participation and optional in later years (the optional courses are encouraged for firms that have not been awarded a federal contract).

For questions regarding registrations, training certificates, or anything else pertaining to this training, please email the Gabriel Enterprises team at



Apply now to CWE’s Spanish-Language Programs!

Are you looking to grow an existing business? Do you have a business idea and want to know how to develop it?

, in collaboration with Surfside Capital Advisors, as its technical assistance provider, have the pleasure to announce the launch of Spanish-language programming



These programs are for all who want to have a successful business, regardless of the stage you are in formation, start-up, growth, development, or expansion

Program- 10 Weeks to Create Your Business Plan

Aimed at potential business owners who are defining or beginning to formalize their business and need the support of expert consultants to develop their strategic business plan.

What benefits do the programs offer?

→     Develop a business plan supported by CWE Surfside Capital Advisors consultants.

→     CWE-sponsored subscription to LivePlan, an online, interactive tool to help you write your business plan.

→     Option to continue with personalized consulting to address a specific area of your project or access capital (the business plan must be completed)

Program - One to One Strategic Business Consulting

This program is aimed at all business owners who want to: increase sales, stabilize cash flow, improve their finances, digitalize processes, develop digital marketing strategies, or prepare to obtain access to capital, among other needs.

What benefits does the program offer?

→     Personalized consulting focused on solving or developing a critical element of your business.

→     Immediate execution of the strategies with the resources that your business has today: people, equipment, system, and capital

→     Flexible hours adapted to your own schedule.

To learn more about the programs visit and register at CWE  

The program is free for all participants. Applications are open now!




¡Inscríbase en los programas de CWE en español!

¿Tienes un negocio y necesitas estrategias para crecer tu empresa? ¿Tienes una idea de negocio y quieres saber cómo desarrollarla?


CWE, en colaboración con Surfside Capital Advisors, tiene el placer de anunciar el lanzamiento de los programas en español:



Ambos programas, completamente gratuitos, están dirigidos a las todas las mujeres que tienen como meta un negocio exitoso, sin importar la etapa en la que se encuentre.

Programa- 10 Semanas para crear su Plan de Negocios

Dirigido a potenciales dueñas de negocio que están definiendo o comenzando a formalizar su empresa y necesitan el apoyo de consultores expertos para desarrollar su plan estratégico de negocios.

¿Qué beneficios ofrecen los programas?

  • Desarrollo de un plan de negocios con el apoyo de los consultores expertos.
  • Suscripción a LivePlan, una herramienta interactiva que lo ayudará a crear su plan.
  • Opción de continuar con asesorías personalizadas para atender un área de su plan.

Programa - Uno a Uno Asesorías Estratégicas de Negocio

Dirigido a las dueñas de negocio que quieren ejecutar acciones para: aumentar las ventas, estabilizar el flujo de efectivo, mejorar sus finanzas, estrategias de marketing digital, tener acceso a capital, entre otros.

¿Qué beneficios ofrece el programa?

  • Consultorías personalizadas enfocadas en resolver solventar o desarrollar elementos críticos de su negocio.
  • Ejecución inmediata con los recursos que hoy tiene disponible: personas, equipos, sistemas y capital.
  • Horario flexible y adaptado a su tiempo.

Para conocer más acerca de los programas y aplicar visite


Please direct all other inquiries and questions to our District Office email at:

FREE and confidential counseling services are available across the Commonwealth. 


Virtual education, training and networking sessions are happening daily.


Please schedule a virtual session with any of our Resource Partners below...

Resource Partner Network



Staff are working remotely and can be reached via email or telephone. MSBDC is committed to supporting entrepreneurs during these very challenging times.

MSBDC advisors can assist businesses with disaster loan applications.

If you are not currently a client and would like to speak with a counselor, please find your region and reach out to the REGIONAL OFFICE SERVING YOU.

Berkshire Regional Office
33 Dunham Mall, Suite 103
Pittsfield, MA 01201
413-499-0933 | Fax: 413-499-3005

Central Regional Office
Clark University
The Carriage House, 125 Woodland Street
Worcester, MA 01610
508-793-7615 | Fax: 508-793-8890

Northeast Regional Office  (SPANISH-SPEAKING COUNSELOR)
Salem State University
121 Loring Avenue, Suite 310
Salem, MA 01970
978-542-6343 | Fax: 978-542-6345

Procurement Technical Assistance Center
Scibelli Enterprise Center
1 Federal Street, Building 1
Springfield, MA 01105
413-545-6303 | Fax: 413-737-2312

Southeast Regional Office
200 Pocasset Street
Fall River, MA 02721
508-673-9783 | Fax: 508-674-1929

Western Regional Office
Scibelli Enterprise Center
One Federal Street, Building 101
Springfield, MA 01105-1160
413-577-1768 | Fax: 413-737-2312



Reach out to other SCORE CHAPTERS throughout the state below.

SCORE Boston Chapter

SCORE Worcester Chapter

SCORE Northeastern Massachusetts Chapter

SCORE Southeastern Massachusetts Chapter

SCORE Western Massachusetts Chapter

SCORE Cape Cod Chapter

SCORE Rhode Island (Serving Fall River, New Bedford)



Eastern Massachusetts Center - Boston
44 School St., Suite 200
Boston, MA 02108

Central Massachusetts Center - Westborough
69 Milk St., Ste. 217
Westborough, MA 01581

Veterans Business Outreach Center of New England (VBOC of NE)
132 George M. Cohan Blvd.
Providence, RI 02903
Veterans Business Outreach Center (VBOC) (

Disclaimer: The SBA does not endorse the organizations sponsoring linked websites, and does not endorse the views they express or the products/services they offer.  All programs and services are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis.