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Richmond District Office

Success Stories

Success Stories

On January 1st, 2005, Computer & Hi-tech Management, Inc. (CHM) announced that it had been acquired by FCBS, Inc., a former SBA 8(a) firm based in Northern Virginia. CHM had been in business since 1994 and has seen ten years of success in the government contracting marketplace. James S. Cheng, Founder and Principal stockholder of CHM, attributes a great deal of CHM’s success to the support and efforts of the US Small Business Administration, especially the Administration’s 8(a) program.

The 8(a) Business Development Program is an essential instrument for helping socially and economically disadvantaged entrepreneurs gain access to the economic mainstream of American society. SBA has helped thousands of aspiring entrepreneurs over the years to gain a foothold in government contracting. Participation is divided into two phases over nine years: a four-year developmental stage and a five-year transition stage. Participants can receive sole-source contracts, up to a... Read More

Ellie Nazemoff emigrated from Iran to the United States in 1977 seeking opportunities not available to women in her native country. She began her career 24 years ago as a college student studying computers at Southeastern University in Washington working as a programmer for one of her professors. After earning a master’s degree from Strayer University, she started her own consulting business, marketing an office management software program for doctors that she designed and developed. Marketing brought the realization that many doctors did not yet have computers in their offices, so she bundled hardware and software together and began to sell packages.

Four years later in 1989 she started seeking out federal contracts for her business. She was forced to subcontract instead since she had no track record with the federal government. It was not easy for a woman business owner in the information technology field. Nazemoff learned the pitfalls of subcontracting when DataTech... Read More

Elizabeth Kent’s interest in interior design and crafts began with sewing projects she was assigned as a child by her mother. She developed her abilities into a serious hobby over the next 35 years. With the assistance of the Richmond Career Advancement Center Elizabeth earned an Interior Design Career Studies Certificate from J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College in 2001.

In 1993 she obtained a business license and began Decorative Walls and Creative Arts. Through this business she combined her love of craft and home design and specialized in faux finishes. Elizabeth’s Classic Designs (ECD) began providing interior design services to the public in 1994 through her business, Decorative Walls and Creative Arts. Although business was steady and the work interesting to the proprietor, Elizabeth Kent, she began to move toward specialty furniture design, particularly focusing on custom made upholstered ottomans.

In March 2001, Ms. Kent obtained a patent for her... Read More

Gourmet Gang, Inc. is a multi-location bistro style deli restaurant and catering business that has grown since 1991 to become one of the largest and most successful local food service operators in the Tidewater area. Through the leadership of its owner, Michella Guinan, Gourmet Gang has grown from a small door-to-door sandwich vendor to a four location restaurant and large catering business. Gourmet Gang also serves various airline operations flying out of Norfolk International Airport. Employment has grown from one employee in 1991 to fifty employees today.

Mia Guinan’s early interest in the restaurant industry led her to a Bachelor of Arts degree in Hospitality and Restaurant Administration from Florida State University. Following graduation, her first entrepreneurial enterprise venture began in 1986 when she conceptualized and co-founded Lettuce Souprise You, Inc. in Atlanta, GA. As Executive Vice President, she secured corporate financing and coordinated all... Read More