Cassius F. Butts, Regional Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration, Region IV-Southeast, delivered an inaugural State of the Region Address on Monday, Feb. 2, 2015, at the Georgia Tech Research Institute Conference Center. Butts highlighted record breaking achievements and future plans of the SBA including the launch of SBA One, a new initiative to speed up the loan-application process for small business owners.
Ed Baker, Publisher of the Atlanta Business Chronicle, one of the country’s largest business journals with over 166,000 readers each week, was the master of ceremonies. The Georgia Institute of Technology President G.T. “Bud” Peterson delivered a welcome which spotlighted the MBDA Business Center-Atlanta and other programs in Technology Square that assist small businesses. Here are five highlights from the address:
- The SBA values their partnership with the MBDA Business Center-Atlanta and other organizations that assist small business owners.
- The SBA has joined forces with the Minority Business Development Agency, the Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership, the Georgia Procurement Assistance Center, and other organizations in order to help small businesses become successful and to strengthen the economy.
- Recently the SBA celebrated the 50th anniversary of SCORE, which counseled and trained over 87 thousand new and existing business owners.
- Region IV of the SBA has backed more SBA loans than they ever have.
- Region IV has backed $4.5 billion in SBA loans (first time done in history)
- Alabama: experienced 40% increase in 7(a) loans in 2014
- North Florida: experienced 25% increase in SBA lending this year (largest increase in lending to under-served community in the southeastern region)
- South Florida: had first Emerging Leaders class in Miami
- Georgia: has set pace in counseling and training by hosting 273 training events with over 6,800 participants in 2014
- Mississippi: has created alliances with all 59 Historically Black Colleges/Universities located in the southeastern region
- Tennessee: helped citizens recover from natural disasters
- South Carolina: backed over $200 million in SBA loans
- North Carolina: backed nearly $0.5 billion in SBA loans
- The SBA has a new initiative to speed up the loan-application process for small business owners.
- The U.S. government has met their federal contracting goal for the first time in eight years and the SBA has already awarded $1 billion in competitive grants in 2014.
- SBA One is coming soon, which will automate the upload of documents and allow e-signatures for 7(a) loans, which will save banks countless hours of processing time.
- The SBA continues to assist women business owners and has a success story with a client of the MBDA Business Center-Atlanta.
- Necole Parker, CEO of the ElOCEN Group, is an 8(a) graduate and a certified women-owned business who utilized the MBDA Business Center-Atlanta certification packaging service and now has a $20 million business.
- The SBA has signed a strategic alliance with the Greater Women’s Business Council and the southeastern region has well over 6,000 women owned business certified to work in the federal government.
- The SBA continues to help veterans.
- In FY 2014 the SBA supported and provided $143 million in SBA backed loans to veterans in region IV and has assisted over 2,400 transitioning veterans.
- Veterans are able to participate in the SBA zero loan fee program for loans up to $350,000.
About the MBDA Business Center-Atlanta
The MBDA Business Center-Atlanta delivers high quality services including, but not limited to, business assessments, capital and finance management, domestic and global market assistance, and strategic business consulting. As a result, clients have secured over $1 billion in contracts and finance and have created and retained more than 4,000 jobs in the U.S. and abroad. For more information, call 404-5894-2096 or visit www.mbdabusinesscenter-atlanta.org.