Build America, Buy America

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Utah District Office - July 7, 2022

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President and the SBA targets small manufactures during Build American, Buy American month of action

By Aikta Marcoulier, SBA’s Region Eight Administrator

During July, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) will kick off its Build America, Buy American month of action to highlight the administration’s commitments to America’s small businesses, entrepreneurs, and startups and highlight the benefits of the president’s bipartisan infrastructure law that will create opportunities for small manufacturers and contractors.


Regional Administrator


As Utah and the nation recovers from the pandemic, and supply chain issues, the federal government must begin to level the playing field for small manufacturing firms wanting to scale up, expand, and compete globally.  As I visit local communities throughout the Rocky Mountain region, I am seeing more jobs, more hope, and something else more important: the rebirth of pride that comes from buying American.

Utah has become a hub for small manufacturers. In Price, UT,  Merit3D, an innovative 3D printing process, was created to produce made in America industrial parts for several business sectors. The company's roots are in the old coal mining communities of Carbon County, Utah.  Merit3D's mission is to bring new technologies to the county which will provide jobs as the coal sector shuts down.

The SBA’s mission is to assure there is an equitable federal procurement strategy that prioritizes small, disadvantaged businesses which will increase competition and rebuild our economy from the bottom up and the middle out. The SBA is collaborating with an array of federal agencies to take “shopping small” to a whole new level by transforming how the U.S. government—the world’s largest buyer—spends more than $560 billion of America’s tax dollars on goods and services each year.

To assist businesses with planning, strategy, and contracting, the SBA has various partners including local Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTACS) to assist small businesses. President Biden laid out his vision to open more doors to federal contracting with an ambitious goal: Increase the share going to small, disadvantaged businesses by 50 percent by 2025. Buying from small, disadvantaged businesses will leverage the federal government’s purchasing power to reestablish domestic supply chains and American made products – using market growth opportunities to strengthen our nation’s industrial base.

Included in these reforms is an effort to make certain that “category management,” a government-wide initiative to strategically source commonly purchased goods and services, does not shut out small businesses. We want to make it easier for more small businesses owned by people of color, women, and veterans, to do business with the federal government. The administration has directed over 40,000 federal contracting officers across government to spend tens of billions of dollars more with small, disadvantaged businesses. 

The  Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act’s $1.2 trillion created an enormous opportunity for small construction and service firms.  The SBA stands ready to support these businesses with bonding capacity, access to capital, and the ability to subcontract with large businesses to get their fair share of the contracting pie. We must ensure all taxpayer dollars are being used to fortify entrepreneurship, innovation, and domestic supply chains, and in the process strengthen our democracy by creating equitable pathways to the American dream.

Today, we are more committed than ever to ensuring the federal government shops small to help our nation build back better following the pandemic.  For more information on SBA’s programs and services please visit and remember to follow us on @SBArockymtn.



Success Story

Buy American, Build Rural America

Generational Business Providing Jobs by Building in America


Dustless Technology

Merit 3D

Price, Utah

From quiet beginnings in a small 1980s coal mining community in Carbon County, Utah, Mike Loveless followed his dream to build his own business. After working for years as a mechanic in coal power plants in Emery County, he built a vacuum to suck ash out of his wood-burning stove. The vacuum worked so well that his mom, followed by his neighbors, all wanted one. It didn’t take long until his garage was fully transformed into a manufacturing facility making these vacuums to sell at county fairs. Mike had to work to find $750,000 to buy the equipment to produce a wet-dry vacuum and get his business officially started.

Dustless Technology is now run by Mike’s son, Spencer Loveless. The company still sells vacuums to construction supply stores, but Spencer decided to look for ways to innovate and grow his parent's legacy. Each time he tried to think of ways he could expand the business, he ran into the same hurdle—having to spend thousands of dollars to create a type of mold for new equipment.  The molding process was difficult as most manufacturers were overseas and the development time was lengthy. Not only did it take months to get a mold created, but if it was not done incorrectly, or the design was improved and changes needed to be made, you had to start the process all over. This would cost the business thousands of dollars and several months of delay in development.  There was no easy change or quick alteration process for any mold. Spencer didn’t have the money or the risk appetite to invest $750,000 into the business as his father did, so he decided to bring the injection molding manufacturing process in-house. However, after researching it, and even offering to purchase an injection molding company, he decided that it would not be the best option for his company.

Spencer started to wonder if he could skip the entire injection molding process and 3D print his vacuum parts. After careful investigation of everyone in the 3D-printing industry, Spencer’s team decided the solution to his problem did not exist today. Machines were slow, costs were high, and volume could not be achieved - but the industry was changing. They were told that the technology was not advanced enough yet and would need approximately 15 years to evolve into something better. That did not sit well with Spencer as he wanted to push this forward now. The team began working with a few choice vendors that were willing to try to make it work. After nearly two years of working on a solution, the team had something they could work with and started producing their own vacuum parts.  Word got out about what Dustless was doing and companies started contacting them to see if they could manufacture parts for them. Spencer incorporated Merit3D in 2020. They started out making phone cases by the thousands. That quickly turned into promotional pens, binocular components, sprinkler parts, outdoor products, 3D arm casts, and medical boxes. 

As Spencer looked at the opportunity ahead of him, he asked his team how many jobs they wanted to create. They decided 200 was a good goal. However, after they created the goal, Spencer began looking at the coal industry in the area, knowing it was the biggest supplier of jobs in Carbon and Emery Counties and that many plants were scheduled to shut down due to current and potential environmental policy changes. Spencer reached out to the counties and the Department of Workforce Services and learned that once those plants shut down, there will be a deficit of 1700 jobs. Spencer decided that 1700 jobs had to be their new goal. 

“As we continue to grow in rural Utah, one thing we LOVE seeing are other manufacturers being able to use our 3D printing capabilities to grow their businesses," said Owner, Spencer Loveless. "We are helping them develop and launch products that would normally be done overseas and this is freaking amazing. It’s so exciting to see how technology on manufacturing is allowing reshoring to become a better option than using suppliers overseas. One exciting program in the works here in carbon county is “Coal to CAD” where we are teaching 3D design to people previously employed in the coal industry so they can join our manufacturing team.” 

Merit3D is on a trajectory to change the way manufacturing is done in the world. The relationships and business development are just getting started but their goals are clear. Because of new technologies, companies can design a product, and produce the product with very little risk. It is leveling the manufacturing playing field where only the big companies with deep pockets, could afford to buy injection molds. Today they are printing 10s of thousands and 100s of thousands of parts for other companies that have the same goals. Skip overseas inventory, skip injection molding, and buy American.


Utah District Office Now Hiring Business Opportunity Specialist

Position is to be filled in Salt Lake City or St. George

The Small Business Administration is seeking the right individual to fill a Business Opportunity Specialist position and join the Utah District Office team. The incumbent is responsible for guiding a portfolio of 8(a) firms in the development and maintenance of business plans; maintains portfolio performance monitoring and reporting to assure compliance with 8(a) Business Development program.

Paygrade for the position is a GS12.

Non Federal Employees Apply Here


Current Federal employees-Competitive Service, I/CTAP/RPL, Family of Overseas Employees, Land & Base Management, Military Spouses, Individuals with Disabilities, Peace Corps, or Veterans:

Apply Here


Small Business Grants


The COVID-19 pandemic hit Asian American and Pacific Islander American (AAPI) business owners across the country hard. Now, as signs of recovery emerge, the long tail of COVID's economic impact on small businesses continues.

AAPISTRONG: Small Business Grants is providing 100 cash grants to Asian American or Pacific Islander American (AAPI-) owned small businesses. By providing cash grants and other valuable resources, we can fuel the aspirations and boost the trajectory of AAPI entrepreneurs across the United States.

Learn More


New Drought EIDL Loans Available in Utah

Find a list of current EIDL Loans that are available in Utah.

Search Utah EIDL Loan Declarations Here


2022 Utah Small Business Award Winners

List of Award Winners


Top Utah SBA Lenders Recognized for their Hard Work During the Pandemic. 

Lender Awards Ceremony Highlights



 Free Training Program for Women-owned Small Businesses Located in Rural Utah


The Ascent Pilot is the first of its kind NO COST program that will be a combination of online,self-guided learning using the Ascent platform and group virtual sessions using the Teams platform. The program is for Women-Owned Small Businesses that are just starting or have been in business less than five years. If selected, you will join other entrepreneurs from rural areas across the U.S. in a twelve-week virtual program. 

Ascent’s group virtual sessions will provide a forum where program participants will meet with other women who have been selected for the Ascent cohort with representation from across the nation. During the Ascent Pilot Program, the virtual sessions will be presented in an interactive workshop format where subject matter experts in business, finance and contracting will discuss the Ascent modules, as well as, share information that small business owners need to know to start, grow and succeed. 

Daily Webinars July 18-22, 2022 at 3:30 pm (EST)


Hurry and register today! Space is limited.


Register Here


SBA Personnel to present on SBA Lending Programs at the Upcoming America West Roadshow

September 13-14, 2022




Click for Detailed Event Information


Free Local Business Counseling through SBA's Resource Partners



Serving Utah with 13 locations across the state. Visit the Utah SBDC's website  to schedule an appointment with an experienced business counselor. 





The WBC of Utah has locations in Salt Lake City and Cedar City, they also provide virtual mentoring making it easy to access a counselor regardless of what county you live in.  Visit the WBC of Utah's website to schedule an appointment. 





SCORE provides free business mentoring through volunteered retired executives. They are focused on creating a vibrant small business community through mentoring and education. Visit their website for more info. 



Find an SBA Lender

Lender Match

Find a Lender Near You 


Online Business Education 

SBA Learning Center. Free online business courses

Visit the SBA Learning Center for free online courses that will help you start, pivot, or grow your small business. 

Visit the SBA's Learning Platform



Small Business Digital Alliance logo


The Small Business Digital Alliance is a public-private co-sponsorship between the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and Business Forward, Inc. who have partnered to provide free online business education taught by some of America’s most respected leaders in business, government, and economic development.

View the Small Business Digital Alliance's Education Library



SBDC academy


The Utah SBDC provides a the Entrepreneurial Academy, a free online training platform to help empower and educate small businesses.  

Learn with Utah SBDC's Entrepreneurial Academy



Are you a Women-Owned Business?


Get Listed on the Utah Women-Owned Business Directory


Women Business Directory

Search the Directory or Sign Up


District Offce



Marla Trollan, District Director, (o) 801-524-3209 (c) 385-218-1995

John Gygi, Deputy District Director, (o) 801-524-3209 (c) 801-889-6170

Karl Wernick, Lender Relations Specialist, (o) 801-524-3209 (c) 385-355-5815

Don MacMillan, Lender Relations Specialist, (o) 801-524-3209 (c) 385-429-8627

Jackie Hobson, Outreach, and Marketing Specialist    , (0) 801-524-3209 (c)  (435)-632-0355

Cheryl Richens, Administrative Officer, (o) 801-524-3209

Business Opportunity Specialist