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Kansas City District Office

Success Stories

Success Stories

Express Yourself at TallulahBelle’s

As an avid art collector and world traveler, Melanie Coleman dedicated many of her travels to finding unique, artisan-made creations.  While visiting Alaska with her daughter, Melanie decided to act on her lifelong dream of creating a gallery space in the Kansas City area which showcases the talent of artists who are committed to the purity of their craft. In 2011, Melanie opened TallulahBelle’s LLC, a gallery of wearable art and other fine crafts which feature approximately 75 artists.


With more than 25 years of corporate finance experience, Melanie understood the importance of preparation. She wrote a detailed business plan for TallulahBelle’s, and she engaged the services of the Kansas Small Business Development Center (KSBDC) at the Johnson County Community College to evaluate the feasibility of her gallery concept.  


“The KSBDC offers real-world, practical business advice. Their knowledge and expertise helped me reach informed decisions. The... Read More

The King of Green


In 1983, at the age of 17, Gary Walker enlisted into the United States Air Force (USAF).  During his time in the Air Force he held a number of duty positions in the areas of security and law enforcement to include work on a multi-national drug taskforce.   He was a superior Airman, earning distinction and recognition with such awards as “Security Police NCO of the Quarter,” “Wing NCO of the Quarter,” 17th Air Force Leadership School Distinguished Honor Graduate,” and “Security Policeman of the Year.”  His service commendations include the Air Force Commendation Medal, the Air Force Achievement Medal, and the Air Force Good Conduct Medal, along with numerous training ribbons and Letters of Appreciation and Commendation.  He was well on his way to being a “King of Blue” in the Air Force.  Unfortunately he was injured in the line of duty and was medically retired from the Air Force in 1990.


In 1992 Gary and his wife Trish opened their business and named it... Read More

A Job Shop with Heart

Michael Hudson, the owner of Heartland Fabrication & Machine, Inc., refers to his business as a “job shop” specializing in machining, fabrication and the distribution of production supplies.  His Native American-owned firm has clients from coast to coast, building everything from components for manufacturers to precision metal parts to finished products.  Located in a 26,000 square foot facility in the Kansas City suburb of Raytown, Missouri, he now employs 17 people, but this level of success was not always the case.

When Mr. Hudson purchased Heartland in 1997, he acquired a two-person business operating in a 1,200 square foot facility with only two customers. Along the way he encountered many obstacles and hardships; in 2003, when the price of steel spiked and many manufacturers had to absorb the full impact, Heartland came very close to going out of business.

“We were able to get a SBA loan, which helped us to remain open,” said Hudson. ”SBA’s guarantee allowed... Read More

SBA Salutes Black History Month

It is of no coincidence that this company is in the business of providing energy and electrical services.  Alpha Energy and Electric, Inc. is fully charged. Alpha Energy is an energy and electrical company that offers a broad range of energy and electrical services for commercial, retail, office, condominium and industrial construction. Their services and products include, but are not limited to, the following: design build, installation of  energy and electrical systems, thermograph, inspections, energy assessments and modifications, troubleshooting services, energy audit and retrofitting services, power plant design and installation, solar energy, audio visual systems, fire alarm and security systems, consulting and inspection services, service calls and renewable energy.

Incorporated in April of 2005, the company had a humble beginning starting in a two room office space with two employees, both being the founders and company principals. The expertise of the founders, Ike... Read More