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Success Stories

1st American Systems and Services was ranked as 155th fastest growing company in the nation by Inc. CEO and President Alpa Shah credits the firm’s fast rise to its participation in U.S. Small Business Administration programs. “The SBA’s 7j program is one of the best initiatives SBA has undertaken,” says Shah.

The firm is part of SBA’s 8(a) Business Development Program, which helps small, disadvantaged businesses compete in the marketplace. Section 7(j) refers to the language in the Small Business Act that authorizes SBA to enter into grants, cooperative agreements or contracts, with public or private organizations that can deliver management or technical assistance to eligible individuals and enterprises.

From its humble beginnings in 2009 with no government past performance, 1st American today has about 50 employees and successful past performance on more than 25 government contracts. 1st American’s clients include the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), U.S.... Read More

Restaurateur Constantine Stavropoulos would be a good candidate to be the poster boy of SBA. Before starting Tryst in Adams Morgan in 1998, he did his homework at the small business development center at SBA’s old headquarters on Vermont Avenue. There he picked out materials on entrepreneurship, financing and how to write a business plan. Using a 7(a) loan he opened a coffeehouse/bar/lounge/restaurant. The business was so successfully, he launched The Diner (24/7 diner/bar) in Adams Morgan in 2001, Open City in 2005, Tryst at The Phillips in the spring of 2012 and The Coupe in the fall. For his latest venture, he made sure that his SBA loans included the air rights to the ground floor space in the building that houses his restaurant. The Coupe in Columbia Heights is open 'round the clock, every day.

“I am the No. 1 fan of the SBA 504 loan, which provides financing for major fixed assets such as equipment or real estate," he said. “I didn’t have to tie my personal... Read More

SunTrust Bank-SBA Loan Helps True Communications to Hire 180 Employees, Buy Equipment

SunTrust Bank's Deric Mims helped structure the loan for True Communications. True Comm President Stephen Libonate accepts the big check from Mims and SBA's Antonio Doss, District Director (Acting).

True Communications, a Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB), recently received a $4.288 million dollar SBA loan from SunTrust Bank. Based in Dulles, Va., the firm's customers include Verizon, AT&T, Veterans Affairs, the IRS, and the FAA.  True Comm is a certified partner with Cisco, NEC, Hewlett Packard, Sprint and T-Mobile. The company is an integrator of leading edge IP based Voice, Video and Data technologies specializing in the design and delivery of both wired and wireless technologies including Voice over Internet Protocol, Wireless Data delivery, Tele-Medicine and Energy Automation.

With a desire to hire about 180 new employees and to buy equipment, True Communications needed working capital to facilitate company growth. They considered a... Read More

Ethel Taylor didn’t own a dog before she started the Doggie Washerette. “God gave me the vision to figure this all out,” Taylor said of her first stab at small business.

In the early spring of 2011 with the fully completed vision in her mind, Taylor got help from the DC Women’s Business Center, which is funded through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. At the Center, she navigated the startup path, learned to “trim the fat” from her business plan, and prepared solidly for her opening day through projections and strategic planning. Despite being a first-time entrepreneur during a recession, Taylor finished the 7-week course in August of 2011 and opened her business that same month.

“My experience with the DC Women’s Business Center has been extraordinary,” she said. “The support has been outstanding. The information has been enlightening. The encouragement has been far beyond anything I could have imagined, especially with the presence... Read More