Meet David Leonard, Assisting in the Startup and Expansion of Small Businesses in Nevada
by AshleyC, Community Moderator
- Created: March 19, 2012, 1:00 pm
- Updated: March 21, 2012, 3:48 pm
Meet David Leonard, Branch Manager, Office of Economic Development, Nevada District Office
When a friend or family member asks what you do to help small businesses,
what do you say?
My mission is to create jobs by assisting in the startup and expansion of small
businesses. I accomplish this mission with a wide variety of SBA programs and
services which are invaluable to the survival and success of small firms in Nevada
outside Clark County. I work to ensure that small businesses, financial institutions,
community organizations and local, state and federal agencies on all levels are
aware of SBA programs and services.
What’s your favorite thing about what the SBA does for small businesses?
I think the variety of programs and services we offer is our greatest strength. In my
current role, I have to be familiar with most of them, and it is satisfying to see how
SBA is able to help small businesses to survive and thrive.
Is there a particular small business “success story” that comes to mind when
you think about how the SBA helps people?
Previously, I worked for SBA Disaster Assistance. I processed and serviced the
disaster loans and submitted the nomination for the winners of the first SBA
Phoenix Disaster Recovery Award. The winner was a family-owned business and
the only grocery store in their rural Kentucky town. I processed loans to repair and
restock the grocery store and to repair their homes and their rental property, which
was leased to a hardware store and to which I also made a loan.
By the time the Small Business Week award winners were announced, I had
transferred from Disaster Assistance to the SBA PLP Review Branch. When
the award was presented to the mother and daughter I had nominated, I was at
work with my team, conducting a review of a bank in Puerto Rico, and
unaware they had won. A bank staff member came into the conference room
where we were working and let me know there was a call for me from the Office of
the President. I responded, "The president of what?" I'll never forget her
quavering reply, "the President of the United States!"
I answered the call and was asked to hold by a Presidential staffer. The mother and
daughter I nominated for the Phoenix Award soon came on the phone. When they
met with the President, they had asked him if I could be located, so they could tell
me right away about winning the award, about their adventures in Washington,
DC, and to say thanks in person.
Do you have any advice for entrepreneurs and small business owners out
Take advantage of our programs and services. We are there for the entire life cycle
of your business.
Anything else to add?
The SBA has helped thousands of small businesses to start up, grow and succeed
and our communities depend on us for assistance in good times and bad. Our
agency needs assurance that SBA will not be folded into another part of the federal
government or eliminated altogether, but will to continue to help businesses for
years to come.
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