SBA Tennessee District Office Newsletter January 31, 2013

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January 31, 2013

SBA Tennessee District Office Newsletter

Brought to you by the U.S. Small Business Administration

Inside the SBA Loan

SBA TN District Director, Walter Perry, presents a quick guide

If you could receive a loan approval decision within two weeks, would that help your working capital needs as a small business owner?  Or what if you had 7-10 years to pay-off a $25,000 working capital loan versus putting that amount on your company credit card due in 30 days?   If we are speaking your language – timely approval decisions and good loan terms-- then 2013 is your year to seek a SBA guaranteed loan.  We back business loans made by bankers and credit unions across Tennessee with the SBA guarantee available to lenders available to do deals right in your community. 

The results are real in Tennessee – over $65 million in just the first three months of Fiscal Year 2013 through over 100 SBA loans.  Everything from car washes, dentists, bakeries, auto repair, funeral homes and day care – businesses that create jobs all across the 95 counties in our state.   Before you go to the bank, get ready to go to the  bank as a credible borrower and that’s where SCORE, Counselors to America’s Small Business, along with the Tennessee Small Business Development Centers come into the picture.  They offer free counseling services that enable you to be aware of what a lender is looking for when you apply for a business loan.  These pros have the know-how to get you prepared so you have a complete application that will receive an approval decision within two weeks after being sent to SBA.  And offering a more appealing rate and payment terms than found in a business credit card. 

SBA loans range from $5,000 to $5 million – how can we help you in this new year? 

Walter Perry

District Director  


Tennessee District Office Announces Brightbridge as FY 2012 Leading Lender in Dollar and Volume--Cornerstone Community Bank Sees Prosperous 2013

The Tennessee District Office recently announced Brightbridge Inc. a Chattanooga-based Certified Development Company lender in Tennessee, as the FY 2012 leader in both dollar and volume lending. Mike Ohlman, Lending Director at Brightbridge, recalls one particular lending success in 2012.  “One of our most important projects was the Center For Integrative Medicine; this is new construction in a redevelopment area of town on Main Street, South of Market St, here in Chattanooga," he said.

The SBA 504 project consists of just over $4,000,000, with Cornerstone Community Bank providing the interim construction loan and the permanent 1st mortgage piece. 

"The practice had outgrown their current location, and in order to make this new location viable, the previous owner had to get an EPA grant to clean up the site-- then the SBA 504 loan is providing the funding for the building itself.  This is creating 6 jobs, --3 new  primary care providers, two clinical counselors, and a nurse educator, and the new facility is going to be over 19,000 sq. ft”, noted Ohlman.

Cornerstone Community Bank's Vice-President, Charles Millirons, has a positve outlook for 2013, coming off of such successful deals in 2012 as The Center for Integrative Medicine.  “Driven by anticipated greater small business financing needs and fueled by a continued modest upswing in the local economy, we are expecting greater loan volume in general this year,”  

Millirons sees the SBA loan program as a tremendously valuable asset to the small business community.  “With our niche in small business lending, Cornerstone will again be emphasizing SBA financing opportunities to local businesses in our market,” he said.  “We expect to continue leveraging our in-depth knowledge, experience and resources, in conjunction with the SBA 504, 7a and Express loan programs, for the benefit of our small business customers," he added.


How the SBA Serves Underserved Communities

 Cassius Butts, Regional Administrator, U.S. Small Business Administration

Each January we honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King.  Each February we celebrate the important milestones highlighted by Black History Month—reaffirming our commitment to helping individuals across this nation achieve the promise of the American dream 

At the U.S. Small Business Administration, we recognize that many Americans today continue to struggle to fulfill this American dream, especially in underserved communities—where times are tough, jobs are few, and many small businesses struggle. That is why we remain committed to lifting–up these small businesses, especially in Tennessee, so they can grow and create jobs in our community.  

Although many underserved communities—which can include inner cities and rural areas and may include populations such as women, minorities, veterans, tribal groups and others—were disproportionately affected by this recession, the fact remains that Minority-owned businesses and women-owned businesses are some of the fastest growing segments of the economy.  

Together with our resource partners, SBA is engaged at every level to help to all small businesses reach their full potential.  

Loan Programs. Across the country, and particularly in underserved communities, small business owners are often faced with the challenge of accessing the capital they need to start and grow their business. Through a variety of loan programs, SBA can help you take this important step by facilitating a loan with a third party lender, guaranteeing a bond, or helping businesses find venture capital.  

One option may be SBA’s Small Loan Advantage (SLA) Program, “SLA 2.0,” which offers lenders the opportunity to invest in neighborhoods hit hardest by the recession; streamlining the process to get more loans into the hands of small businesses and entrepreneurs. SLA 2.0 also makes it easier to process low dollar 7(a) loans by expanding the pool of lenders to include entities outside the SBA Preferred Lender Program. The loan limit for the program is $350,000 and banks may use their own documentation and underwriting process.  For more information and a complete listing of SBA’s loan products, visit 

Free Counseling. Starting a business can be daunting, but SBA is uniquely positioned to help you find ways to start and grow your business, and to connect you with the local assistance you need to do just that. The SBA and our resource partners (which include Small Business Development Centers, Women Business Centers, SCORE, and Procurement Technical Assistance Centers) are committed to assisting small business owners with the diverse challenges they face at every stage of development. Don’t know where to start? Visit www.sba/direct or contact your Tennessee SBA District Office 615-736-5881 to learn what programs might be right for you. 

Government Contracting.  Small businesses have access to nearly $100 billion worth of government contracts a year.  In addition to connecting small businesses with capital, SBA can help you compete for set-aside contracts in the federal marketplace through programs such as the Women Owned Business Certification Program, HUBZone Certification Program, and the 8(a) Business Development Program.

In particular, the 8(a) Program offers a broad scope of assistance to socially and economically disadvantaged entrepreneurs gain a foothold in government contracting.  The program does not obtain contracts for small businesses, but instead helps a business position itself to compete successfully in the federal marketplace.  Participation in the program is divided into two phases over nine years: a four-year developmental stage and a five-year transition stage.

Interested in learning more about how SBA can help your business?  Staying connected is a key to success.  Follow us on Twitter @SBASoutheast or Facebook SBA Southeast, and explore what SBA has to offer at


SBA's Operation Boots to Business: From Service to Startup

Creating the “New” Transition Assistance Program (TAP)  SBA's Boots to Business Kicks off in TN June 2013

The Obama Administration recognizes the contributions of veteran entrepreneurs, and has identified the need to create a nationwide entrepreneurship training program to unleash the potential of the 250,000 service members that transition each year. To meet this goal, SBA is partnering with DOD and VA to include an entrepreneurship training component as a part of the overall changes to the existing Transition Assistance Program (TAP).

The goal of TAP is to strengthen service members’ transition from military to civilian life and to prepare them for success in the next phase of their life. There are now three optional tracks a transitioning service member can choose to explore more deeply as a part of the new TAP: 1) Education; 2) Technical Training; and 3) Entrepreneurship. SBA and its Resource Partner network will deliver the Entrepreneurship track to transitioning service members who opt-in to receive such training.

On Wednesday June 26th, the SBA will begin a series of Boots to Business programs in Tennessee, the first one is scheduled to be at Millington, TN, site of the  Naval Support Activity Mid-South (NAVSUPPACT) naval station, one of the largest single employers in the area with over 6,000 civilian, miliary and contractor employees.


Tennessee SBA Participates in 3rd Annual TVBA Veterans Event in Knoxville

The Third Annual Tennessee Veterans Business Association Veterans Business (TVBA) and Education Showcase  was held at the Knoxville Convention Center, hosted by the TVBA, a large number of volunteers and many local business sponsors. The annual event  has consistently drawn a very large amount of veterans and non-veterans, small busiensses, government agencies, and large entities such as the Tennessee Valley Authority and Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

 Presented on January 28th & 29th  the TVBA event also featured breakout sessions including SBA financing and SBA government contracting assistance for Veterans, as well as sessions on Veterans benefits, including eduacation and housing.  Event coordinators report that upwards of 1,000 attendees participated in the third annual event.



February 7th

"How to Start and Finance Your Small Business"

6pm-8pm CST

Memphis Public Library, 3030 Poplar

Memphis, TN 38111

(901) 526-9300 

February 14th

"How To Do Business With the Federal Government" 

9am-Noon CST

Renaissance Center

555 Beale Street

Memphis, TN  38103

(901) 526-9300

February 27th

"How To Do Business With the Federal Government and the Nashville International Airport"

11am-1PM CST

Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce

3050 Medical Center Parkway, Murfreesboro, TN 37129

(615) 898-2745

February 28th

"Construction Opportunities Conference"

7:30am-3pm ET

$35 Adm. feee

New Hope Center  602 Scarboro Rd, Oak Ridge, TN 37830

(865) 483-2668

February 28th

"SBA and Nashville Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Small Business Outreach"

6pm-8pm CST

Location to be announced

Nashville, TN

(615) 736-7176

(615) 216-5737