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SBA Takes Fight for Del. Small Biz’ Federal Contracting Dollars to Dover

Advisory Date: 
Wednesday, January 21, 2015
Advisory Number: 
Jennifer Pilcher | | 302-573-6294, ext. 222
Del. Small Biz Wins Only Fraction of Federal Potential Government Contract Dollars, SBA Del.’s Federal Procurement Chief Takes Action Plan to Small Business Caucus

Wilmington, Del.– On Thursday, January 22, 2015, SBA’s Delaware Deputy Director John Banks meets with the Delaware Small Business Caucus to enlist state input and support for the SBA Delaware District’s plan to help First State small businesses win more federal government contracts.  Cornerstone elements of the SBA plan are recruiting and training Delaware small business owners, community by community, to leverage federal government contracting programs like the HUBZone and 8(a) programs to win federal contracts.

 “The federal government is the largest buyer of goods and services in the world – bar none,” said Banks.  “In FY2013, the federal government spent $83 billion on purchases from small businesses, and Congress mandates that 23% of the federal government’s domestic spending dollars go to small businesses.  But, that year, only $123 million of those dollars went to Delaware small businesses. That means that Delaware’s small business community is only operating at roughly 40% of its federal government contracting capacity.  We have to change that.  That’s why, in 2015, SBA’s Delaware office is launching a massive push to help First State businesses win federal government contracts. We are going into communities, meeting entrepreneurs where they live and work, teaching them how to effectively do business with the federal government, and holding their hands through every step of the federal procurement process.  SBA Delaware’s mission is to bring more of the billions of dollars that Uncle Sam spends with small businesses home to the First State.”


  • John Banks, SBA Delaware Deputy Director
  • Maria Roberts, President, MFR Consultants, a successful business strategy and information solutions firm winning federal government contracts through SBA’s 8(a) business development program


WHAT:   Pre-caucus session media availability, photo opportunities .

  • One-on-one interviews with SBA Delaware’s procurement chief, Delaware Deputy Director John Banks, and a local entrepreneur winning federal contracts about:
    • How Delaware small businesses can break into and succeed at federal government contracting;
    • Learn more about how upcoming federal government contracting training sessions can help Delaware’s entrepreneurs navigate the federal government contracting marketplace.  

WHEN:     January 22, 2015             11:00 a.m.

WHERE:  Delaware Legislative Hall

                   411 Legislative Ave.

                   Dover, DE 19901

 NOTE: Press will meet at steps of Legislative Hall.  Interviews are available in Legislative Hall’s foyer.

John Banks over 34-year career with SBA has spanned a variety of roles, including: Lead Business Development Specialist; 8(a) Business Development Program Leader; and Commercial Loan Officer/Lender Relations Specialist for SBA’s 7(a) Lending Program.  During his tenure with SBA, Mr. Banks has been responsible for overseeing the agency’s marketing, government contracting, and lending programs in Eastern Pennsylvania. Mr. Banks also administered the agency’s Pre-Qualification Loan Program for minorities, woman, Veterans of the Armed Forces and Disabled.  Throughout his career, Mr. Banks work has particularly focused on SBA’s 8(a) business development program, which provides contractual, financial, management and technical assistance to firms that are owned, controlled and managed by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals.


 This media alert does not constitute or imply an endorsement by SBA of any opinions, products or services of any private individual or entity.

 All of SBA’s programs and services are extended to the public on a non-discriminatory basis.

 The SBA is an independent federal agency, created in 1953, to assist small businesses start, grow, and prosper. The SBA provides financial assistance by: (1) making loans to help families and businesses recover from national disasters and (2) providing loan guarantees to commercial financial institutions for working capital (7a loans), buildings/land/equipment (504 loans through the Certified Development Corporations), and for exports. Through our resource partners, the SBA also offers a variety of business development programs and services such as training, government contracting and export assistance. SBA resource partners include Small Business Development Centers, Women’s Business Centers, and SCORE (Counselors to America's Small Businesses). For information on the SBA’s programs and services contact us at 302-573-6294

Along with guidance through the complexities of the federal government marketplace, SBA’s 8(a) Business Development Program provides socially and economically disadvantaged businesses with various forms of assistance, including management and technical assistance, financial assistance, and advocacy support.  Through those services, SBA helps enrolled businesses to develop their businesses and compete in the mainstream American economy.

The Historically Underulitized Business Zone (HUBZone) program helps small businesses located in distressed urban and rural communities gain access to federal set-aside contracts and sole source contracts, as well as a price evaluation preference in full and open contract competitions.  There is a statutory goal that HUBZone small business concerns be awarded not less than 3 percent of the total value of all prime contract and subcontract awards.  The HUBZone program also establishes preference for award of federal contracts to small businesses in these areas.  Notably, to qualify for the HUBZone program, at least 35 percent of a business’ employees must reside in a HUBZone.