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Pittsburgh District Office

Success Stories

Success Stories

SBA Assistance Helps her Decorate Region with One-of-a Kind Murals

Beverly Niccolai always strives to make a lasting impression.

As owner of Beyond the Garden Gate, Perry Floral and Gift Ship II, she does just that -- creating live and silk floral arrangements. Her flower power not only beautifies homes, but, her postcard-pretty displays also serve as the backdrop for all-important family celebrations and memorials

While the posies are pretty, it’s Niccolai’s works of art commanding both top dollar and top billing in houses, libraries and churches throughout Western Pennsylvania with a roster of clients including Wynonna Judd and the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort.

“I’ve been drawing since I was four years old,” she said. “I paint about six days a week creating portraits or landscapes from photographs people give me.”

Niccolai has stood on scaffolding painting cherubs and the Virgin Mary on church ceilings and walls. She’s... Read More

Pittsburgh CFO Pours on Assistance for Area Entrepreneur

The sharks were biting, but Adrienne Brown didn’t seem to mind.

After all, it’s not often that class presentations resemble Shark Tank, the popular network television show where industry leaders elect whether or not to invest with entrepreneurs. Brown, owner of Adrienne’s Sassy Gourmet found herself swimming with a shark during a recent U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Emerging Leaders Class.

Brown’s assignment was to prepare a strategic growth plan for her line of gourmet sauces and present her data to a guest CFO with a business based in the United Kingdom. “He was impressed not only that I was able to answer all of his questions but also with my passion and enthusiasm,” Brown added. “We then had a day-long meeting and he’s helping me get my sauces into the U.K.”

Brown, 54, is one of 18 small business owners attending the SBA Pittsburgh’s inaugural Emerging Leaders class hosted by the... Read More


Dr. Jash Sharma’s Philanthropic Vision Aids Individuals

Around the World While Growing Local Economy

They arrive by camel cart or rickshaw; eyes so riddled with cataracts they’re now opaque. Facing a life of restricted activity they’re dependent on family members to care for them.

Ganga Devi Pandey Eye Hospital in Mahendergarh, India provides free Intraocular lens (IOL) cataract operations for the needy. The hospital is the joint effort of Dr. Jash Sharma and his father. The elder Sharma, blinded from glaucoma and eye infections, spent his life savings to construct the hospital. The son, a Pittsburgh-based doctor and social entrepreneur, utilized the SBA’s guaranteed loan program to build a facility and produce the lenses used to combat blindness.

The treatment plan includes an overnight stay and free meals, made from vegetables grown on the 50-bed hospital campus. Last year, 4,200 patients left the... Read More


Local Printer is SBA Pittsburgh District Young Entrepreneur of the Year

PITTSBURGH – For Sidney Jake Huffmyer, it never was all about the bass… or the treble; it was all about making an imprint. And he has.

Today, thousands of Pittsburgher’s rock t-shirts created and printed by the musician who sits at the helm of 3E Studios and is the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Pittsburgh District Young Entrepreneur of the Year. Huffmyer was nominated by the University of Pittsburgh Small Business Development Center (SBDC), which lauded his diligence to learn business tactics all while working and pursuing a degree.

“It’s still just sinking in,” said Huffmyer. “I was nominated and didn’t think anything of it, but, winning truly is a humbling experience.”

Huffmyer will be doing more than just accepting his award; he’s inviting other young entrepreneurs to his celebration, allowing his peers and mentors to share in his success and... Read More