COVID-19 relief options and additional resources

Success Stories


In 2013, Alejandro “Alex” Ramirez retired from the U.S. Army after 22 years of service. Before retiring, Alex participated in the SBA Boots to Business entrepreneurial training program on the Ft. Knox Army Base. He learned how best to start a small business and sought guidance from an SBDC counselor and SBA Veterans Business Development Officer. With that guidance, Alex completed his business plan and started Universal Spartan, LLC. The company is a one-stop federal government product sourcing solution for tactical, IT, electrical and medical equipment. It is also certified as a Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB).

Solution: How the SBA helped

The connections enabled Alex to also obtain SBA State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) export grants and receive federal contract assistance from the Kentucky Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC). With help from the SBA and its resource... Read More


Since 1986, Grōt, Incorporated has provided electrical and IT work for building construction, industrial and commercial projects. In 2002, the company became SBA HUBZone certified. Realizing that there could be many other opportunities to grow, owner Jerry Grot contacted the SBA Kentucky District Office to see how he could leverage the various business development programs and services. 

How SBA Helped

SBA provided Jerry with guidance on how to obtain 8(a) Business Development Program Certification. The company successfully received the 8(a) certification and diversified into the federal market space, offering general contractor work, including roofing, carpentry, demolition, etc., design-build construction, structured cabling, CCTV and Fire Alarm systems. Grōt is a recent SBA 8(a) graduate and still HUBZone certified firm.

Then COVID-19 struck. The pandemic shut down construction, like most other industries, almost overnight. However,  Grōt... Read More


Oscarware, Inc. is a family-owned manufacturing business, founded in 1989 by the wife and husband team of Debra and Reg Dudley. Sensing the anything-can-be-grilled trend, they invented a new product they called “grill topper,” making it possible to cook a variety of meals on an outdoor grill. The original grill topper product transformed the traditional backyard barbeque menu from hamburgers and hotdogs to fish, vegetables, pizza and more as grillers became more creative. In 2001, three major national accounts filed for bankruptcy, creating a severe cash crunch. Two years later, Debra’s husband of twenty-four years had two strokes. In 2005, Reg passed away suddenly from a heart attack. Reg had manufacturing technical knowledge as well as how the equipment and machines worked. Now Debra had to quickly learn the manufacturing side of the business. Insufficient cash flow made alternative sources of financing a premium cost, resulting in... Read More


Estimates show that developing a single prescription drug that gains market approval cost $2.6 billion. The further a drug goes into this process, from R&D to clinical trials to manufacturing, the more costly this financial roadblock becomes.  Kentucky-based Bexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc., is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company that focuses on the development and commercialization of innovative cures for cancer. Although it has been a challenge, the Bexion team will not give up on what is perhaps life-changing and sought-after cancer treatments.


Bexion received a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the National Institutes of Health in 2009. The U.S. Small Business Administration, which helps Americans start, grow, expand and recover their businesses, administers the SBIR and its  sister program, Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR). Through these competitive award programs, SBA ensures that the nation’s high-tech,... Read More