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Omaha Business to be Featured on SBA’s National Small Business Week Virtual Summit

Owner of Omaha's Play It Again Sports Shares His Story of Resilience and Renewal
Release Date: 
Monday, August 30, 2021
Release Number: 
21-08
Advisory Date: 
Monday, August 30, 2021
Advisory Number: 
21-08
Contact: 
Elizabeth Yearwood

OMAHA – The U.S. Small Business Administration will present its annual National Small Business Week (NSBW) Summit virtually this year on September 13-15. This free event will spotlight the resilience of America’s entrepreneurs and the renewal of the small business economy as they build back better from the economic crisis brought on by a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic. Richard Messina, owner of Omaha’s Play It Again Sports, is one such entrepreneur who will be nationally highlighted.

Messina, a retired U.S. Air Force Veteran, started his business after attending the Boots To Business (B2B) training program on Offutt Air Force Base that is offered by the SBA and the Department of Defense’s Transition Assistance Program to retiring and separating military members. Messina also took advantage of free mentoring from SCORE, a resource partner of the SBA that provides business counseling and training to entrepreneurs.

“In the last 8 years I’ve enjoyed some great benefits working with the SBA. I first learned about the services the SBA and SCORE offer while preparing to retire from the military after 22 years of service. I was attending the Boots To Business program during the day while also participating in SCORE’s Entrepreneur Workshop in the evening. Both programs helped set the state for me to purchase a franchise, establish my business entity, develop a business plan, get an SBA backed loan, secure a lease and open my retail store. I also received some sage advice from a SCORE mentor during a couple of free counseling sessions. Additionally, in the last year and half I’ve applied for and received Paycheck Protection Program funds and another 7(a) SBA guaranteed loan for a recent expansion of our store. I’m grateful for the relationship with the SBA and appreciate being highlighted at this year’s National Small Business Week,” Messina states.

Even though he has been busy running a very successful franchise, Messina has still found time to give back to SCORE and the SBA. He volunteered as a SCORE counselor for a number of years, and has been a recurring presenter for Boots To Business sessions to talk about his experiences.

"Rich Messina is a prime example of an entrepreneur who researched early on, as he started this path of small business ownership, tapping into the available resources in Nebraska to help guide him along the way. From starting with the Boots to Business program to mentoring from SCORE to finally securing an SBA 7(a) loan, these resources helped him start and then grow. The Nebraska District Office is proud of Messina's success and encourages other small businesses to take advantage of all the resources available to them in Nebraska," says Lisa Tedesco, acting District Director for the SBA Nebraska District Office.

Those interested in watching Mr. Messina and participating in SBA’s National Small Business Week Virtual Summit, September 13-15, can register here: https://www.sba.gov/national-small-business-week.

 

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About the U.S. Small Business Administration

The U.S. Small Business Administration helps power the American dream of business ownership. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow, or expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit www.sba.gov