About Us

About Our Office: 

Since 1953, SBA has provided access to capital; small business support; and economic development and job creation for small businesses. The Wisconsin District Office is responsible for the delivery of SBA's programs and services to the Badger State’s 72 counties.  SBA maintains 68 offices around in the U.S. with Wisconsin locations in Milwaukee and Madison.

Key contacts:

  • Milwaukee office:  414-297-3941
  • Madison office: 608-441-5263
  • District Director: Eric Ness, 414-297-1471
  • Deputy District Director/Veteran Representative:  Frank Demarest, Jr,  414- 297-1099
  • District Counsel Andrea M. Button Ott, 312-886-0704
  • Media inquiries: Shirah Apple, 414-297-1096
  • Twitter: @SBA_Wisconsin
  • Facebook
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  • Office directory

Helping Businesses Start, Grow, and Succeed

U.S. Small Business Administration-backed lending helped nearly 1,000 new Wisconsin businesses access capital in FY18, nearly doubling this figure over last year’s.  Startups received 925 7(a) and 504 loans for $389 million; another 68 startups received SBA micro-loans for $1.2 million, representing more than 60 percent of total SBA loans statewide.  In FY17, SBA guaranteed $208 million in 7(a) and 504 loans to 554 startups, 37 percent of total lending, and supported another $1 million in micro-loans to 56 startups. 

SBA guaranteed a total of 1427 7(a) and 504 loans for $626.1 million in Wisconsin in FY18, including 1277 7(a) loans for $510.1 million and 150 504 loans for $116 million, with both programs showing declines over FY17’s lending.  Seven micro-loan intermediaries made 126 loans totaling $2.4 million, a jump from $1.9 million and 100 microloans the previous year.

The SBA continued to innovate and improve processes by leveraging enhanced technologies. Lender Match is an SBA technology platform that gives entrepreneurs the ability to complete a quick online form, without registration or cost, and be connected with an approved SBA lender within 48 hours. To date, Lender Match has generated 3.6 million leads on behalf of small businesses to our lenders and over 160,000 unique borrowers have been contacted by lenders with financing options. 

  • Banks, credit unions, and community based lenders who have questions or need training on SBA lending can contact Ellie Berg, Lender Relations Specialist and District International Trade Officer,    414-297-1488; or Christena Dedrick, Lender Relations Specialist, 608-441-5560.
  • Our Veteran representative is Frank Demarest at 414-297-1099. Frank is also our Native American and Latino Rep.
  • Tammie Clendenning, Lead Economic Development Specialist is our Women’s Representative, African American Rep. and our Hmong Rep.
  • Support for small businesses, including training classes, mentoring, and counseling, occurs through a network of partner organizations.  These include SCORE’s experienced volunteer counselors, Small Business Development Centers at UW extensions, and Women’s Business Centers.   
  • Veterans can get business counseling and information on SBA loan programs for vets, transitioning services members, and their families. Contact Frank Demarest at 414-297-1099. The Veterans Business Outreach Center supports Wisconsin’s veteran entrepreneurs.
  • The government purchases about $90 billion in goods and services annually from small businesses. If you are interested in selling to the Federal government, contact Shane Mahaffy , Lead Business Opportunity Specialist at 414-297-1455; James Strube, Business Opportunity Specialist (8(a) Business Development Program) at 414-297-3951; and Cartina Austin.
  • Rural Affairs Advocate, Office of Advocacy, Joe Knilans, 608-441-5264
  • District Counsel, Andrea M. Button Ott, Wisconsin District Counsel, 312-886-0704, Cell 312-218-3330

To request a speaker from SBA, contact one of the specialists above or the offices in Madison: 608-441-5263 or Milwaukee: 414-297-3941, at least three weeks in advance.  We may not be able to meet every request. To schedule a meeting with District Director Eric Ness, contact Shirah Apple (414) 297-1096. To request a Wisconsin SBA Resource Guide, or for general questions: Wisconsin@sba.gov.