Regional Administrator to Recognize Local Small Businesses that Support the “Made in America” Mission

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Release Date: July 1, 2022


Release Number: R22-06




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Regional Administrator to Recognize Local Small Businesses that Support the “Made in America” Mission

ATLANTA – U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Region IV Administrator, Allen Thomas in his commitment to support small businesses manufacturing goods and products Made in America, recently surveyed the 9 SBA districts in the Southeast United States, to determine and recognize firms creating impact through manufacturing efforts in their local communities.


“Manufacturing businesses create great jobs for skilled laborers in communities across America and they should be recognized for their efforts. Many of these firms also export their goods and products to a global market. The Biden-Harris Administration has placed emphasis on building back the economy through many initiatives including strong support for American manufacturing. I am pleased to recognize the following small businesses for their outstanding ongoing contribution to their community through job creation and other economic impacts,” stated Allen Thomas, SBA Region IV Administrator.


The following businesses will be formally recognized by Regional Administrator Thomas on July 7, 2022 via a virtual call with the agency.



Zone Protects (Decatur, Alabama)

Brian Baer, Owner/CEO

Manufactures DEET-free insect repellents, animal repellents, and car detailing chemicals.



Rafferty Machine & Tool (Gainesville, Florida)

Conway Tomlinson, President

Manufactures general machining for local businesses to fulfilling medical, government, and military projects worldwide.

*8(a) Certified Small Business


North Carolina

French Broad Chocolate Factory & Café (Asheville, North Carolina)

Dan and Jael Rattigan, Owners

Manufactures ethically sourced (from South America) chocolate confections.



Multicraft International (Pelahatchie, Mississippi)

Andrew Mallinson, CEO

Manufactures motor vehicle electrical and electronic equipment.


South Carolina

Oliver Pluff & Company (Charleston, South Carolina)

Daren Hartford, Owner

Manufactures blended teas, coffees, and other products.


This recognition by the RA Thomas is part of the charge under President Biden’s Build America, Buy America initiative – to buy American products –and raise the domestic content threshold. This initiative in conjunction with the recently signed the Bipartisan Infrastructure and Investment Jobs Act will provide unprecedented once-a-generation level of investment in United States infrastructure and global competitiveness.


“Small manufacturing businesses have a vast opportunity for substantial local contracts, under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal. The SBA, along with the Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTACs) are here to get local businesses set up and ready to compete for these contracts. Aside from the bill, the U.S. government is the largest buyer of goods and services in the world. Small businesses are entitled to 23% of the government’s annual spending budget. The government purchases billions of dollars annually from small businesses across the country,” stated Thomas. 


The SBA seeks to maximize opportunities for small businesses and disadvantaged firms. There are a host of resources and free website information to help contractors complete the registration process and navigate the federal marketplace. Businesses interested in learning about opportunities to sell the federal government should to get started. To learn about the PTAC local resources, and get ready for contracting opportunities visit the Association of Procurement Technical Assistance Centers website at


About the U.S. Small Business Administration

The U.S. Small Business Administration helps power the American dream of business ownership. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow or expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit