SBA Region 4 News To Share

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July 2012

SBA Region 4 Monthly Newsletter

Brought to you by the U.S. Small Business Administration Region IV Office
Cassius Butts

Cassius Butts

SBA Regional Administrator

The Fastest Way To Learn What SBA Has to Offer-  Find SBASoutheast on

Facebook & Twitter

Are you connected?  In this day and age, the fastest way to find out the latest in what the SBA has to offer entrepreneurs in your area is to like us on facebook (SBASoutheast) and follow us on Twitter (@SBASoutheast).  We are proud to bring you live reports and we send out daily reminders of what is happening across the Southeast for small business owners.  These social media outlets even offer a way for you to connect with other entrepreneurs.  It is important to keep networking active at all times- stay on top of the social media curve.  "Follow" us or "Like" us today!  SBASoutheast.


Employers need a legal workforce. E-Verify, the free Web-based service from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Social Security Administration (SSA), makes it easy for employers to quickly confirm the employment eligibility of new hires.  Enrolled employers are now using E-Verify at more than one million worksites across the nation. 

SBA Region 4 Employee of the Month to Highlight

Debbie Brown

Deborah Brown

SBA North Florida District Office


The SBA North Florida District Office welcomes back Debbie Brown as the Deputy District Director. Ms. Brown was previously in Jacksonville from 1998-2003 in the same capacity and from 2003-2005 as the founding Director for the Disney/SBA Entrepreneur Center in Orlando.  She replaces Ralph Ross, who is now the District Director in Kentucky.
Ms. Brown most recently worked at the U.S. Department of Education, Washington, D.C. in the Federal Student Aid Department as a Senior Analyst. Prior to that she was President of Q Mortgage, a Ponte Vedra Beach based mortgage brokerage business.

What's Happening in Your State?

Tom Todt

Alabama District Office

Thomas Todt, District Director

The SBA Alabama District Office has received funding from SBA’s Office of Veteran’s Business Development for special outreach efforts to veterans and/or spouses. The funding will provide “scholarship” opportunities for participation in entrepreneurial programs offered through SBA Resource Partners. Contact the District Office at 205.290.7101 for more information on locations and availability.

Wilfredo Gonzalez

Florida- North Florida District Office

Wilfredo J. Gonzalez, District Director

The disaster declaration related to Tropical Storm Debby covers the counties of Baker, Bradford, Clay, Columbia, Duval, Franklin, Hernando, Highlands, Hillsborough, Manatee, Nassau, Pasco, Pinellas, Suwannee, Taylor, Union and Wakulla in Florida, which are eligible for both Physical and Economic Injury Disaster Loans from the SBA.  Small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private non-profit organizations in the following adjacent counties are eligible to apply. Economic Injury Disaster Loans are available in the following counties: Alachua, Charlotte, Citrus, Desoto, Dixie, Gilchrist, Glades, Gulf,  Hamilton, Hardee, Jefferson, Lafayette, Leon, Liberty, Madison, Okeechobee, Osceola, Polk, Putnam, Saint Johns, Sarasota and Sumter in Florida.
Those affected by Tropical Storm Debby may seek more information or assistance through:
1.       Register with FEMA by calling 1-800-621-3362. Businesses are not required to register with FEMA; however it is encouraged.
2.       Access or through smartphone/tablet at
3.       Or call 1-800-659-2955 (1-800-877-8339 for the deaf or hard of hearing) or by sending an e-mail to
The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is Sept 4, 2012. The deadline to return economic injury applications is April 3, 2013.

Panch Marrero

Florida- South Florida District Office

Francisco "Pancho" Marrero, District Director

Jonel Hein, SBA Deputy District Director, signed a Strategic Alliance Memorandum with the Lauderhill Regional Chamber of Commerce on July 13th at the Chamber’s monthly breakfast in Plantation, FL.  In front of over 100 small business owners, commercial service providers, and locally elected officials, Mrs. Hein talked about the significance and importance of partnerships in helping the SBA’s South Florida District Office accomplish its mission to help the over 1.2 million small business owners in South Florida start, grow and succeed in business. She also said that helping entrepreneurs explore exporting and enter the global marketplace will be a focus of the partnership with the chamber.

Terri Denison

Georgia District Office

Terri Denison, District Director

SBA Georgia District Office Hosts 8(a) Annual Meeting
The Georgia District Office held its annual 8(a) conference on June 27 at the Georgia State University Student Center.  The event was co-sponsored by the Georgia Small Business Development Center.  The full-day conference included a welcome by SBA Regional Administrator Cassius Butts and was keynoted by GSA Regional Administrator Shyam Reddy.  Breakout sessions were held on topics such as marketing to federal agencies, using social media and getting the most from the Federal Procurement Data System. Attendees also participated in several rounds of speed counseling and "meet the buyer" sessions.  Stay tuned for the next annual conference:

Ralph Ross

Kentucky District Office

Ralph Ross, District Director

The Community Advantage Loan Program is a pilot initiative aimed at increasing the number of SBA 7(a) lenders who reach underserved communities, targeting community-based, mission-focused financial institutions which were previously not able to offer SBA 7(a) loans.  The maximum loan amount is $250,000.  Community Advantage Lenders must target 60% of their loan portfolio to: low-to-moderate income communities(LMI) , Empowerment Zones and Enterprise Communities, HUBZones,  new businesses (in business 2 years or less), business eligible for Patriot Express including Veteran-owned businesses, firms with more than 50% of its full time workforce is low-income or resides in LMI census tracts. Community Advantage approved lenders in Kentucky include Southeast Kentucky Economic Development in Somerset, KY and Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation in London, KY.  More lenders should be approved shortly.  For more information, go to SBA Community Advantage Program. 

Janita Stewart

Mississippi District Office

Janita Stewart, District Director

Working with SBA Deputy Administrator Marie Johns' office, along with the Delta Regional Authority and the Appalachian Regional Commission, the SBA Mississippi District Office participated in the White House Rural Economic Forum held in Oxford at the University of Mississippi where 200 businesses participated in a series of events including a resource expo, speed mentoring, a forum moderated by high level officials focusing on the importance of rural entrepreneurship, as well as a series of afternoon workshops focusing on business start-ups; access to capital, exporting, contracting, subcontracting, and minority, women and veteran-owned business.
On July 26-27, the SBA Mississippi District and Gulfport Branch offices will hold the bi-annual Statewide Lenders Conference in Biloxi at the Beau Rivage.  For more information please call 601-965-4378 ext 10. 

Lynn Douthett

North Carolina District Office

Lynn Douthett, District Director

Cherry Point Named Pilot Site for SBA Operation BOOTS TO BUSINESS
The Marine Corps Air Station at Cherry Point, NC has been named one of the four pilot sites for SBA's Operation Boots to Business Program.  SBA has joined with the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense to launch a training program for transitioning service members and veterans to help them become entrepreneurs and create jobs.  Entrepreneurship and small business ownership are valuable opportunities for transitioning service members and veterans.  Each year, more than 250,000 service members transition out of the military.  Transitioning veterans are natural entrepreneurs who possess the skills, experience and leadership to start businesses and create jobs. For more information visit:

Elliott Cooper

South Carolina District Office

Elliott Cooper, District Director

Gail Newton, Lender Relations Specialist with the South Carolina District Office, has developed a partnership with the new Spartanburg Small Business Development Center to regularly present a free seminar on the SBA’s programs and services. Called the Small Business Resource Day, the seminar covers the SBA’s financing and contracting programs, as well as the SBDC’s counseling services. The next Spartanburg Small Business Resource Day will be held Thursday, August 2, from 9:15 am to noon at the Spartanburg County Public Library main branch. For more information or to register, visit

Walter Perry

Tennessee District Office

Walter Perry, District Director

Regional Small Business Summit in Knoxville Keynoted by SBA Ombudsman, Esther Vassar
Knoxville, Tenn.---The SBA Tennessee District Office joined forces with the U.S. Department of Energy and several other federal agencies for the Regional Small Business Summit in Knoxville, July 9-11.  More than 700 persons attended the two and a one half day event. Keynote speaker on July 10th was Esther Vassar, SBA’s National Ombudsman, whose topic, “Empowering Small Businesses for the Future” received very close attention from a standing room only crowd, according to SBA District Director Walter Perry, who introduced Ombudsman Vassar. One of the many training sessions, “Getting a Grip on Project Management” included TN SBA and National Small Business Subcontractor of the Year, Misty Mayes of Management Solutions, LLC in Knoxville.  Another session “Meet the Veteran Business Owner” also included an overflow crowd of attendees and was moderated by Milton Tookes, Government Advocacy Director of the Tennessee Veterans Business Association, whose co-founder, Jonathan Williams was the TN SBA Small Business Veterans Champion for 2012. 

Regional Calendar of EVENTS

Find out what the SBA is doing in your area!

Click here to access the calendar

SLA 2.0 Learn More!

This may be the SBA loan product for You!

SBA rolled out a new program called Small Loan Advantage (SLA). The program simplified the application process for 7(a) loans up to $250,000. SLA offered lenders the opportunity to invest in neighborhoods hardest hit by the recession- putting more loans into the hands of small businesses and entrepreneurs through a faster, streamlined process.

SBA Office of Advocacy:

Mark Berson, SBA Regional Advocate, will be attending the International Business Conference For Women & Minorities in Gulfport, MS July 26-27. Go Global! For more info and to register, please visit