Success Stories

How PTAC helped Broco Oil land a multi-million dollar contract with the Department of Defense by challenging the SBA’s non-manufacturer rule 

By Norman Eng, Public Affairs Specialist


Robert Brown is a U.S. Navy Seabee veteran who settled back to civilian life working as an oil delivery truck driver.   Shortly after his release from active duty in 2005 – he started working for a local company, then took his Seabee “Can-Do” attitude and launched Broco Oil.

Banks were hesitant to approve him since he was just starting out as a young entrepreneur and he had no collateral to secure a loan.  In 2007 however, Brown was approved for an unsecured $25,000 SBA loan – which he used to purchase an old fuel truck for $7,000 and rented a parking space for $100 a month. 


Procurement Technical Assistance Center & Certification
Brown started building his residential oil delivery portfolio, but kept growing steadily into the commercial and public... Read More

How Renee King Diaz started The Queen’s Cups from her parent’s kitchen

by Norman Eng, Public Affairs Specialist


Millennials in America aren’t as entrepreneurial as one may think.  Young people often have the energy and ideas, but lack the technical experience and financial resources to get new ventures off the ground.  According to a report by the SBA Office of Advocacy – less than 2 percent of Millennials reported self-employment, compared with 7.6 percent for Generation X and 8.3 percent for Baby Boomers[1]. These variances reflect the youth of Millennials and the positive relationship between age and entrepreneurship.

One time-tested blueprint for success has been to start out of your parent’s place – and that’s where Renee King Diaz launched The Queen’s Cups.  After graduating from Worcester State University with a degree in psychology, Diaz was unsure of her next step after school.  Instagram had just become popular and Diaz had been creating all... Read More

How a battle with cancer propelled Suzanne Merritt to transforming Lenox Fit

by Norman Eng, Public Affairs Specialist

Life has become MORE meaningful to Suzanne Merritt ever since overcoming her battle with an aggressive form of stage-3 genetic breast cancer.  

For over a year, she dealt with several medical procedures and received chemotherapy treatment at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston – all while maintaining her job as a certified personal trainer.  

It was a challenging period for Merritt, but she found that coaching others through her resilience – helped provide an outlet away from her battle with cancer.  During her recovery process working at the fitness center, her longtime boss who had run the club for many years suggested that she look into purchasing the business from the owner.

Making it happen with the SBA 504
Merritt always dreamed about becoming her own boss while making an impact on others – she... Read More

By Norman Eng, Public Affairs Specialist

Small businesses are leaving sales on the table without a strategy to compete in the world market. 

Exports are a significant part of America’s economic success. Companies that are involved in exporting are 8.5% less likely to go out of business and tend to grow faster than non-exporting companies[1].  According to the International Trade Administration, there were 9,193 small and medium-sized exporters in Massachusetts representing 89% of all statewide exporters in 2015[2].

Sturbridge-based Optim LLC is one of those small businesses – growing international sales exponentially over the past several years by utilizing the programs and services of the SBA’s resource partner network and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. 


A Visualization Company
Optim makes security devices to detect contraband and medical devices that enhance visualization of the ear, nose and throat for doctors.  Founded in 1970, the... Read More