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SBA, NAVSSES Veterans Day Celebration at Philadelphia Navy Yard Recognizes Veterans' Small Business Success

Release Date: 
Friday, November 9, 2012
Release Number: 
Advisory Number: 
Jennifer Pilcher | 620-382-3084

Navy Yard Firm’s Growth and SBA-Backed Rescue of 180 Jobs Illustrates Opportunities for Entrepreneurs through Upcoming January 2013 Navy Yard Procurement Conference

PHILADELPHIA – U.S. Small Business Administration and City of Philadelphia officials gathered with military and small business leaders at the former Philadelphia Navy Yard’s Pier 2 to celebrate Veterans Day today. The event highlighted the impact on the economy and U.S. Naval readiness that veteran-led Rhoads Industries, a Philadelphia maritime contracting and sheet metal fabrication business, has had through its federal government contracting work for the U.S. Navy.

“At SBA we honor veterans for their service and sacrifice and we support the entrepreneurship of veteran small business owners and veteran-led small businesses, because they are vitally important to America’s economic future.  Just as veterans helped reshape the American economy following World War II, we know they can do it again given the right tools and the right opportunities,” said SBA Regional Administrator Natalia Olson-Urtecho.

“Rhoads’ is the kind of only-in-America success story that proves what small businesses across the U.S. can accomplish with the right mix of ingenuity and opportunity,” Olson-Urtecho said during the ceremony at the base of the former U.S.S. Ticonderoga and U.S.N.S. Puerto Rico, which are docked at the Navy Yard’s Pier 2 through Rhoads’ contracts with NAVSESS.

By tapping into capital from Philadelphia’s PIDC (Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation) and then into SBA-backed financing through M&T Bank and DelVal Business Finance Corp., Rhoads re-located to the Navy Yard to develop an entirely new maritime contracting business that allowed it to save 180 jobs.

“SBA’s financing, business counseling and federal government contracting support actively assist small businesses like Rhoads to develop their businesses,” said SBA’s Philadelphia District Director Dave Dickson, “and veteran-led businesses are certainly no exception to that rule.” In 2011 and 2012, eastern Pennsylvania’s small veteran-owned businesses won 1,108 federal contracts, totaling $966.2 million. On the lending side, eastern Pennsylvania’s small veteran-owned businesses secured 148 SBA-backed loans, totaling $68.5 million.

“These are proven, tested military and business leaders who have stepped up to the challenge of making the Navy Yard home to 120 companies with 10,000 employees, utilizing this exceptional location to develop not just Philadelphia’s economy but the American economy,” Olson said. “I can’t think of a better way to kick off the Veterans Day weekend than to be at the Navy Yard as an example of the contributions veterans make to the small businesses that drive America’s economy and national defense.”

“On January 30, 2013, SBA, together with NAVSEA, will continue that small business development work with a procurement conference to be held at the Navy Yard. At that event, entrepreneurs can connect with a variety of federal government agencies and take the first step toward growing their businesses through federal government contracting work,” Dickson announced.

Joining SBA officials at today’s Veterans Day celebration were: Curtis J. Gregory, Director of the Office of Business Cervices, City of Philadelphia; Kurt Imhoff, Special Assistant to Senator Robert Casey; George Perez, Special Assistant to U.S. Representative Robert Brady; E. Allan Karpovich, P.E. Propulsion Program Manager, NAVSSES, Naval Surface Ships Engineering Station, Naval Surface Warfare Center Caredrock Division; Dan Rhoads, President and CEO, Rhoads Industries; Joseph C. Hare, Vice President, Shipyard Operations, Rhoads Industries Michael Schwartz, President, DelVal Finance Corporation; and William Musselman, Vice President, Senior Commercial Relationship Manager, M & T Bank.

Rhoads Industries was founded in Philadelphia in 1890. Rhoads built its reputation as a mechanical contracting and fabrication firm. Over the last decade, Rhoads has reinvented itself as a maritime contractor, supplementing its traditional customer base with shipbuilding and repair work. Breathing new life into the local maritime industry and historic Philadelphia Navy Yard site, Rhoads’ maritime work includes extensive contract work for the U.S. Navy.

  SBA Regional Administrator Natalia Olson-Urtecho speaks at the SBA Veterans Event at the Philadelphia Navy Yard

(Photo: SBA Regional Administrator Natalia Olson-Urtecho speaks at the SBA Veterans Event at the Philadelphia Navy Yard.)






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

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 610-382-3062 or http://www.sba.gov/. SBA’s Philadelphia District consists of Pennsylvania’s 40 eastern counties.







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