SBA North Florida District Office News - Small Business Week Edition

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North Florida District Office  

May 2022 

u s small business administration

Director's Corner

NFDO District Director J. Malcolm Richards

Greetings North Florida entrepreneurs.

This month we celebrated National Small Business Week. Every year since 1963, the President declares one week every year to be Small Business Week. This is a time when the SBA recognizes all the hard-work, time, energy, and resources that entrepreneurs invest into their businesses.

We have been celebrating all month. In fact, this year several of our cities and counties have also issued proclamations declaring small business week in their respective areas. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, and we have to continue to support them. The SBA and our resource partners are here and ready to assist.

Congratulations to all our winners! 

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

New Episode Next Month!

Watch/Listen to our older Small Biz Tips Series conversations

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

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: Are you a SMALL Business Owner? T.H.R.I.V.E. Emerging Leaders Reimagined may be a great fit for you.

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

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. 

Note: Applications are accepted through May 31, 2022. 

Learn More

North Florida District SBW Winners

Small Business Owners

Dennis Chan

2022 North Florida District and State of Florida Small Business Person of the Year

Mr. Dennis Chan, Owner, Blue Bamboo Canton and Bistro (Jacksonville, FL)

Viv Helwig

2022 North Florida and State of Florida Small Business Exporter of the Year

Mr. Viv Helwig, Vested Metals International LLC (Saint Augustine, Florida)

Chaitali Prajapati

2022 North Florida District Woman Business Owner of the Year

Ms. Chaitali Prajapati, Member/Owner, PI Consulting Services LLC (Longwood, Florida)

Randall Shepard

2022 North Florida District Veteran Business Owner of the Year

Mr. Randall Shepard, CEO and Founder, RSAE Labs Inc.  (Panama City, Florida)

Indy Vega

2022 North Florida District and State of Florida Minority Business Owner of the Year

Ms. Indira Vega, President and CEO, Indy Interpreting Inc. DBA CCI Group (Orlando, Florida)

Advocate and Other Awards

Jerry Ross

North Florida District and State of Florida Small Business Advocate of the Year

Mr. Jerry Ross, President, National Entrepreneur Center (Orlando, Florida)

Stephanie Royal

North Florida District Community Partner of the Year

Jim Moran Institute

Accepted by Ms. Stephanie Royal, Associate Director (Jacksonville, Florida)

Jackie Perrault

North Florida District Women’s Business Center of the Year

Jacksonville Women’s Business Center

Accepted by Ms. Jackie Perrault, Director (Jacksonville, Florida)

Regional and National Winners 

Southeast Region Prime Contractor of the Year (Award though SBA's Office of Government Contracting)

Bill Graham, President, Advon Corporation (Tallahassee, Florida)


National Phoenix Award for Outstanding Small Business Disaster Recovery (Award through SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance)

Brittany Lynn Moog, Owner/Instructor, Bitty Bubbles Swim School (Panama City, Florida)

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