Kansas City District Office Updates

Kansas City District Office  - July 2022

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SBA Success Story

Lois Rodriguez, President

Better By Design, LLC

In 2009, Lois Rodriguez founded Better By Design, LLC by blending a team of professionals with diverse construction expertise into one company. However, her introduction to business entrepreneurship came with both challenges and obstacles.  In 2006, Rodriguez’s family planted a tree farm in Brookfield, Missouri.  Their primary market was providing the “street trees” for new developments in Kansas City, Missouri.  However, the recession in 2008, halted sales and resulted in a huge debt for their farm.

Rodriguez's background in tree farming provided invaluable experience in seeding, fertilizing, and mulching. Determined to succeed, Rodriguez reached out to her brother, the owner of a landscape company, to increase her knowledge of construction-based responsibilities. It was at this time, when she was looking for opportunities to sell the tree supply from 2008, that she landed her first fencing contract. 

Rodriguez worked with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Kansas City District Office and the Missouri Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) to start her business and increase her federal contracting opportunities.  They also helped her navigate the process of applying for 8(a), HUBZone, Economically Disadvantaged Woman Owned, and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) certifications.

Currently, after 10 years in operation, Rodriguez is reaping the rewards of starting a heavy civil construction, vertical construction, and landscaping company.  Better By Design, LLC was recently awarded the 2022 SBA’s Great Plains Region Small Business Prime Contractor of the Year.  Better By Design, LLC was nominated by Mark Games, Senior Construction Manager, with the United States Army Corps of Engineers, St. Louis, MO, for their performance on two federal contracts as SBA 8(a) sole-source direct awards in 2020 and 2021.

Rodriguez has developed lasting relationships with the SBA Kansas City District Office and Missouri PTAC who help businesses better compete for federal contracts. “The staff at the SBA and PTAC provided us so much help and guidance along the way, Rodriguez said. “Without them, we would not be where we are today!"


Better by Design

Pictured far right:  Michael Barrera, District Director, SBA Kansas City District Office presents Lois Rodriguez, President, of Better By Design, Brookfield, Missouri, the 2022 SBA’s Great Plains Region Small Business Prime Contractor of the Year.  

Better By Design

Pictured left to right:  KCDO District Director, Michael Barrera; Procurement Center Representative, Office of Government Contracting, Shelton L. Watson pose with Lois Rodriguez, President, (second from right) of Better By Design, LLC along with her mother, and KCDO Business Opportunity Specialist, Carolina Vargas.

Free Webinar! Resources to Start and Grow Your Business

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Do You Want to Start Your Own Business or Grow an Existing One?

Do You Know What Retirement Plans are Available for Small Business Owners?

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), Kansas City District Office is hosting a FREE small business assistance webinar.  Join us to learn about free resources available through the SBA and its resource partners to help you plan, launch, manage, and grow your business. We will also talk about Entrepreneurial Development, Access to Small Business Funding, Government Contracting, Surety Bonding, Small Business Certifications, and Disaster Recovery.

Hear from experts with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) who will cover tax advantages of retirement plans, what types of plans are available to small businesses (under 100 employees), incentives for setting up a retirement plan, and things to consider when selecting which type of plan for a small business.

Also, the KU Small Business Development Center (SBDC) will share the valuable resources available to small businesses through their FREE one-to-one advising services. Their center is one of 13 Kansas Small Business Development Centers in Kansas and one of more than 1,000 SBDCs in the United States.

Date: Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Time: 12:00 pm to 1:15 pm CST

Webinar Registration: Click Here to Register!

Disclaimer: SBA’s participation or support is not an endorsement of any products, service, or entity.