Economic Development Specialist
Levi Portrait

Location: San Diego, CA

Office: San Diego District Office

Position Summary: An Economic Development Specialist (EDS) is tasked with informing the small business community of available SBA programs and services. I learn about each small business and direct them to the appropriate resource partner to meet their needs. In addition, I inform the public about available government contracting preference programs (8(a), HUBZone, WOSB/EDWOSB, and SDVOSB) and how to submit their applications.

What excites you the most about your career with SBA? I’ve worked in commercial companies, owned and operated my own business, and now work for the United States Government, and I emphatically proclaim that working for the government is the place to be. Because of my past experiences, I can clearly contrast the aspects of these work environments. The SBA has revealed a working life I never knew existed. The most exciting part of my job is the overwhelming support from small. The economy greatly impacts the decisions of small businesses and lenders. As such, the SBA is tackling issues that have tangible results on our economy. I like being on the forefront, and am able to provide services from our many programs, including loan guarantees, government contracting, business counseling, and disaster assistance.  

How have the people at SBA influenced you? I’ve learned fundamental lessons from the many seasoned professionals at the SBA.  Many of my colleagues have advanced degrees a breadth of experience in many lines of work – many of whom have owned or operated small businesses. The wealth of knowledge is palpable, and I’m absorbing as much as I can. 

Have you had the opportunity to develop something new and innovative? I’m a self-directed worker and try to display great enthusiasm every day. My leadership has noticed this effort, and they have provided me latitude to pursue personal projects that I believe will help the small business community. To date, I’ve create developed several projects that have been considerably successful. I’m allowed to be creative and implement ideas, and this means a lot to me and is the core reason I enjoy my job as much as I do.