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Region IV | Resources

How is the Small Business Climate in the Southeast Region?

By: Cassius F. Butts, SBA Region IV Administrator

 

I recently presented the 2015 Inaugural SBA State of the Region Address live from Atlanta, GA. The message was clear; the State of this Region is STRONG. Below is a list of the topics I covered.

Resource Partners

Our SCORE Chapters counseled and trained over 87,000 small business owners this past year. With the help of our Small Business Development Centers and Women's Business Centers , 182,000 aspiring entrepreneurs were counseled last year.

Lending

We are putting money right into the hands of our communities. In Region IV, $1.8 billion in SBA-backed lending was delivered to our underserved communities. We were able to support increased lending by eliminating fees attached to loans under $150,000. We backed $4.5 billion SBA loans in Region IV last fiscal year.

Government Contracting

In Region IV, we carry a multitude of successes regarding government contracting. We have over 6,000 Women-Owned Small Businesses certified to do business with the federal government. We carry a portfolio of 753 firms in our 8(a) Business Development Program, which were awarded over $2.3 billion in contracts from federal agencies.

Innovation and Technology

We are riding the innovation and technology wave and we are taking small businesses along with us. Businesses across the Southeast have received SBA Accelerator funds; $50,000 grants to help bridge gaps in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. SBA supports 56 cluster programs across the nation and nearly half of them are located in the southeast. $526 million in Small Business Innovation Research grants have been awarded in Region IV over the past 4 years.

Exporting

We are opening doors to the global marketplace in innovative ways such as the State Trade and Export Promotion Program; an export initiative that has infused over $1.8 million in our region to help our small business community compete in the international market.

Veterans

Region IV is transitioning our veterans from their boots into their own businesses. We have supported $143 million in SBA-backed loans to our veterans in fiscal year 2014. Our nation’s veterans are benefitting from the loan fee relief, eliminating fees for SBA loans up to $350,000.

Our Boots to Business Program provides entrepreneurial assistance to transitioning service members on 29 different military installations assisting over 2,400 transitioning veterans.

We are strong, foreword thinking and we’re fueling the American economy. So, “how is the small business climate in the Southeast Region?” I'd say bring your sunglasses because it’s looking bright and sunny.

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