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17 Local businesses successfully complete SBA’s nine year program

Release Date: 
Tuesday, January 26, 2016
Release Number: 
16-02 SADO
Nina Ramon

SAN ANTONIO – The U.S. Small Business Administration, San Antonio District Office congratulated 17 small businesses for successfully completing the agency’s 8(a) Business Development Program in a graduation ceremony held at the Hipolito Federal Courthouse January 21.

The SBA created this nine year program offers a broad scope of assistance to firms that are owned and controlled at least 51% by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals compete in the marketplace. Participation in the program is divided into two phases over nine years: a four-year developmental stage and a five-year transition stage. The program specifically helps thousands of aspiring entrepreneurs to gain a foothold in the government contracting arena.

Anthony Ruiz addresses the crowd

“Graduation ceremonies are a way to say goodbye, good luck, and good fortune; however we are not going to say goodbye,” said Anthony Ruiz, SBA San Antonio District Director. “We are not the 8(a) Administration, we are the Small Business Administration and our business continues to be small business.”

Ruiz emphasizes to the graduating firms that although they were no longer in the program, the SBA and its resource partners such as SCORE would always be there to assist with their small business needs. “Don’t work alone,” Ruiz stressed as he pointed out guest agencies attending the event. “There are a lot of agencies in the U.S. Government here to help you.”

Some of the agency guests included representatives from the University of Texas at San Antonio Procurement Technical Assistance Center, Multi-Region Health Contracting Office, U.S. Army MEDCOM, Minority Business Development Agency Business Center, and the Cryptologic and Cyber Systems Division.

Participants can receive sole-source contracts, up to a ceiling of $4 million for goods and services and $6.5 million for manufacturing. While the SBA helps 8(a) firms build their competitive and institutional know-how, as well as encourage them to participate in competitive acquisitions

“On average 200 firms withdraw or are terminated for the program each year,” said Jackie Robinson-Burnette, Associate Administrator for the SBA Office of Business Development, in a special video message to the graduates. “About 50% never receive a federal contract and thus many don’t make it to graduation. So this is a huge accomplishment of which you should be very proud.”

The U.S. Government is the world’s largest customer, buying all types of products and services in both large and small quantities. The SBA recognizes that small businesses are critical to our economic recovery. Program participates who have successfully maximized this unique opportunity to grow their business, create jobs and impact the lives of their family members, their community and beyond.

“Continue growing, protect your integrity and take calculated risks to learn things,” Robinson-Burnette said. “Build a reputation of excellent customer service, flexibility and innovated solutions.”

The Associate Administrator expressed her pleasure with the caliber of graduates in this class and wishes nothing but the best. “The economy may fluctuate, new crisis may appear,” said Robinson-Burnette. “But success comes from a sense of purpose, a focused mission and the ability to adapt to times we live in. You have what it takes to build a legacy that will last for generation to come.”

The graduation concluded with remarks from a local 8(a) graduate.

“It seems like just yesterday that I started P3S Corporation from my home,” said 8(a) graduate Mary Ellen Londrie, P3S Corporation Chief Executive Officer. “We started out with one employee and grew almost 5900% in our first three years of business.”

P3S Corporation, which stands for Performance. Productivity. Powerful Solutions., is an information technology/ information management, financial management, and healthcare solutions to both defense and civil agencies as well as commercial clients.

As Londrie addressed the group, specifically some of the newest 8(a) businesses attending the graduation, she stressed that they should take advantage of all the resources available to them.

How did we do this, she asked the crowd. “We started out by leveraging all the resources the SBA had to offer and open doors.”

She echoed Robinson-Burnette sentiments, stating the intent of the 8(a) program is the lay to foundation and the frame work so that small businesses can flourish.

“I’m here to tell you that it really does work,” said Londrie. “Don’t expect a handout and be prepared to fight for what you know you can do.”


This year’s graduates are:       

Baer Engineering & Environmental Consulting, Inc.

BTL Technologies, Inc.

CAS Consulting and Services, Inc.

Darlene Casias Interiors, L.P.

DHS Security, LLC

Flaherty Technical Services, Inc.

Frank B. Hinojosa, dba Hinojosa Contracting

Great America Custom Builders


Jamco Ventures, LLC

JSR, Inc.

Med-National, Inc.

Medwheels, Inc.

MRSW Management, LLC

P3S Corporation

Partners Realty

San Antonio Design Group, Inc.

Valforce, Inc.


Contact your local SBA district office to find out how your small business can benefit from the SBA’s 8(a) Business Development Program.