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Since she founded Client-Server Software Solutions (CSSS.NET) in 1997, Lisa Wolford had a vision of becoming a successful federal contractor. But when Wolford started her company out of her home so she could also look after her small children, she had to build her business around commercial customers.
In August 2001, CSSS.NET turned to the SBA for help after the dot-com crash. The company secured a $50,000 7(a) loan, and since receiving the loan, has hired 141 employees.
In May 2003, with help from the Nebraska District Office, CSSS.NET entered the 8(a) program as a Small Disadvantaged Business (SDB), Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB), and a Woman-owned Business Enterprise (WBE).
“I call the Nebraska SBA office ‘my secret weapon,” says Wolford. From Fiscal Year 2006 to 2009, the company’s sales grew from $7 million to $15 million. CSSS.NET has expanded beyond its Nebraska headquarters to include an office in Washington, D.C., and contract employees in Illinois, Florida, West Virginia, Maryland, Texas, and Colorado. Today, CSSS.NET is working in 18 states.
CSSS.NET’s largest contract is a $21 million contract from the Department of Veterans Affairs, overseeing the fifth largest deployment of Microsoft Exchange ever implemented and providing network and computer support to veterans’ health locations nationwide. Wolford herself is a disabled veteran, a former Marine Corps corporal who was tasked with carrying heavy radio packs.