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1 2015 Resource Guide for Small Business U.S. Small Business Administration Pittsburgh SBA Resource Partners: Making the Network Work for You page 8 PAGE 10 Counseling PAGE 20 Capital PAGE 38 Contracting

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3 content SMALL BUSINESS 2015 PITTSBURGH FEATURES 4 Introduction 4 Administrator s Message 5 Regional Administrator s Message 6 District Director s Message 31 Small Business Innovation Research Program 32 Small Business Technology Transfer Program 34 SBA Loan Program Chart 36 SBA Lenders Program Chart Reni Publishing Publishers of Small Business Resource Advertising Phone: Fax: Staff President/CEO Joe Jensen English/Spanish Small Business Resource Advertising Nicky Roberts Martha Theriault Kenna Rogers Production Diane Traylor 8 Feature Article Making the Most of SBA s Resource Partner Network 10 Counseling Getting Help to Start Up, Market and Manage Your Business 10 SBA Resource Partners 14 SBA s Learning Center 16 Reaching Underserved Communities 18 Are You Right for Small Business Ownership? 19 Writing a Business Plan 20 Capital Financing Options to Start or Grow Your Business 20 SBA Business Loans 22 What to Take to the Lender 30 Surety Bond Guarantee Program 31 Small Business Investment Company Program On the Cover: Early SBA-Backed investment and business advice sets Brandywine Valley Fashionistas, Amy Trelenberg and Megan Healty, up to take the fashion world by storm. See story on the inside back cover. 38 Contracting Applying for Government Contracts 38 How Government Contracting Works 39 SBA Contracting Programs 42 Getting Started in Contracting 43 Disaster Assistance Knowing the Types of Assistance Available for Recovery 45 Advocacy and Ombudsman Watching Out for Small Business Interests 46 Additional Resources Taking Care of Start Up Logistics 49 Business Organization: Choosing your Structure 50 Other Assistance 56 Lender Listing SBA s Marketing Office: The Small Business Resource Guide is published under the direction of SBA s Office of Marketing and Customer Service. Director of Marketing Paula Panissidi Graphic Design Gary Shellehamer SBA s participation in this publication is not an endorsement of the views, opinions, products or services of the contractor or any advertiser or other participant appearing herein. All SBA programs and services are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis. Printed in the United States of America While every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that the information contained herein is accurate as of the date of publication, the information is subject to change without notice. The contractor that publishes this guide, the federal government, or agents thereof shall not be held liable for any damages arising from the use of or reliance on the information contained in this publication. SBA Publication # MCS-0018 This publication is provided under SBA Contract # SBAHQ05C0014. Visit us online: Pittsburgh Small Business Resource 3

4 The U.S. Small Business Administration FROM THE ADMINISTRATOR Let s Work Together When I took my oath as the new SBA Administrator I was energized to work on behalf of entrepreneurs like you. I know you ve risked so much to start and grow your small business, because I ve stood in your shoes. I ve started three small businesses of my own, including a community business bank that provided capital to other small businesses. This not only strengthened my knowledge of the challenges you face, it also strengthened my resolve to help you overcome those hurdles and succeed. When I started my first business almost 20 years ago, I experienced similar changes to the ones you face today. On any given day, I could be called upon to be my company s human resources director, CFO, COO, or chief sales officer all while competing against larger firms in highly competitive markets. I know you multitask your way through similar days to grow your business and provide good jobs for your employees. My message to you is a simple one: The SBA is here for you, to help you access capital, counseling, contracts, or assistance after a natural disaster. We have dedicated resource partners in every community in America whose job is to make your job easier. They will work with you one-on-one to answer your questions, and they will help you open new doors to new business opportunities. One of our resource partners is SCORE For the Life of Your Business-, who marks its 50th anniversary this year. SCORE s 11,000+ volunteer mentors are both working and retired business professionals who are dedicated to providing you with game-changing advice and support. You can learn more about SCORE and our other resource partners, Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) and Womens Business Centers (WBC) in the Counseling section of this guide. Our feature article also provides information about leveraging our resource partner network at different points in your small business journey and shares success stories of small businesses like you who have benefitted from SBA resource partner support. To find the location of your nearest SBA District Office or resource partner, visit At the SBA, taking care of business has been our business for 61 years. This agency has been an important force in America s economic recovery, but we re only getting started. We look forward to helping you become the next great American success story. Sincerely, Maria Contreras-Sweet Administrator U.S. Small Business Administration 4 Pittsburgh Small Business Resource Visit us online:

5 The U.S. Small Business Administration FROM THE REGIONAL ADMINISTRATOR This Resource Guide is one of many tools we offer entrepreneurs to help start or grow businesses. The U.S. Small Business Administration is here to help these entrepreneurs navigate business opportunities and continue to be the backbone of our nation by creating jobs, and fueling our continuing economic recovery. To accomplish this goal, we must continue our work to modernize the SBA, so that we re accessible and relevant to the business community in the 21st century. Some of what you re seeing in 2015 includes LINC, SBA One, and a more intensive push to get small businesses reaching into international markets. LINC (Leveraging Information & Networks to access Capital) is a new online referral tool connecting small business borrowers with nonprofit lenders from the Microloan, Community Advantage (CA), & 504 Programs Prospective borrowers complete an online questionnaire, which is then forwarded to all LINC lenders operating within a particular county. Those lenders decide then to either opt in, or opt out of further loan discussions with the applicant. Answers come within 48 hours, rather than weeks of pounding on pavement and knocking on doors. SBA One takes everything online and presents businesses to financial institutions through the Internet. It automates the uploading of documents and generation of forms and allows for electronic signatures. On each 7A loan it will save banks hours of processing time and, of course, money. The combination of the recently instituted predictive credit scoring and SBA One will incent more banks to partner with us to promote underserved lending, generate more loans in general, and ignite economic activity. President Obama s decision to reestablish diplomatic relations with Cuba and ease some commercial and travel restrictions is a step toward increased freedom and economic opportunity. American businesses, small and large, stand to gain access to an important new market for goods and services just miles from our shores. SBA will be there to help with capital access and trade opportunities. Last year, the SBA shattered its record for export finance, supporting $2.8 billion in export sales. It is clear we can do even more to help our smaller firms reach the 95 percent of global consumers who live outside of our borders. For starters, we guarantee 90 percent of export loans (working capital, line of credit, or fixedasset financing) on amounts up to $5 million. We also have an expedited approval process on export loans under a half-million dollars. The Administration recognizes entrepreneurs and small business owners as the true engines of our economy. Their adaptability and innovativeness, while creating jobs and civic stability, are what makes this country great. The SBA is your resource to make your business dream a reality. Visit our website, call, or visit our local district offices to get started! Best Wishes, Natalia Olson-Urtecho Regional Administrator U.S. Small Business Administration, Mid-Atlantic (Region III) Visit us online: Pittsburgh Small Business Resource 5

6 Message From The District Director If you re Interested in Pursuing the American Dream of Small Business Ownership, call us; We re Smart, Bold, Accessible and Ready to Help You Today. Welcome to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Pittsburgh District Office annual resource guide. I m assuming you picked up this magazine because you re interested in pursuing the American dream owning your own business. That s why I m elated to work for the SBA, a federal agency tasked with the mission of helping people follow their business dreams. I may be the SBA Pittsburgh district director, but, at heart, I m an entrepreneur. My father owned a small business since I was a teenager and my husband and I have owned a few businesses over the years. My father had no assistance when he set up his auto and truck repair shop. I wish he had known about the SBA and the programs available to small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs. And, that s why this guide is printed, to point out assistance to individuals wishing to turn their ideas from blueprint to fruition or for current business owners to looking diversify their entities via exporting or contracting. At some time, all business owners will need capital to either start or grow their business. At the SBA; we ve got loans that range from a few thousand to a few million dollars. Our guaranteed loan programs are supported by most financial institutions, who will work with you to process the necessary paperwork to support your cash flow needs. Last year in the Pittsburgh district, 594 loans were awarded with more than $127 million pumped into the economy. For descriptions of our loan programs, please turn to the Capital tab; our local SBA participating lenders are listed on the last pages of this guide. And lastly, if you ve owned your business for more than two years, you might want to consider our contracting programs, as the federal government is the largest purchaser of goods and services in the world. We have Women-Owned Small Business and Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business contracting programs coupled with our 8(a) and HUBZone Programs. The 8(a) and HUBZone Programs are designed to help grow businesses by assisting socially and economically disadvantaged individuals and those located in historically underutilized business zones. This guide is divided into the agency s three C s: counseling, capital access and contracting. Did you know that you can receive free and confidential counseling form the SBA s network of resource partners? In Pittsburgh, we re home to eight Small Business Development Centers (SBDC), one Women s Business Center (WBC) and six SCORE (Counselors to America s Small Business) chapters, which span 27 counties. To find out which of our resource partners service your area, look under the Counseling tab. Now, that I ve explained the basics, I welcome you to contact my staff of specialists who are here to help you to start, grow and succeed in small business ownership. We re smart, bold and accessible and we re ready to help you today. All the Best, Kelly Hunt District Director of SBA s Pittsburgh District Office 6 Pittsburgh Small Business Resource Visit us online:

7 Doing Business in Pittsburgh PITTSBURGH SBA Staff Listing THE PITTSBURGH DISTRICT OFFICE The Pittsburgh District Office is responsible for the delivery of SBA s many programs and services in Western Pennsylvania under the leadership of District Director Kelly Hunt. The District Office is located at 411 Seventh Avenue, Suite 1450, Pittsburgh, PA. Office hours are from 8:00 AM until 4:30 PM, Monday through Friday. CONTACTING THE PITTSBURGH DISTRICT OFFICE For program, service or finance information, please dial SERVICES AVAILABLE Financial assistance for new or existing businesses through guaranteed loans made by area bank and non-bank lenders. Free counseling advice and information on starting, better operating or expanding a small business through the Counselors to America s Small Business (SCORE), Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) and Women s Business Centers (WBC). They also conduct training events throughout the district - some require a nominal registration fee. Assistance to businesses owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals is provided through the Business Development Program. A women s business ownership representative is available for assistance, please contact Karan Waigand at ext. 127 or Special loan programs are available for businesses involved in international trade, for information on these initiatives, please contact Mark Protch at ext. 111 or A veterans representative is available for assistance, please contact Jonathan Bennett at ext. 101 or District Director Kelly Hunt Ext. 106 Deputy District Director Terri L. Billups Ext. 113 Lead Economic Development Specialist Regina Abel Ext. 119 Economic Development Specialist Karan L. Waigand Ext. 127 Economic Development Specialist Public Affairs Specialist Janet M. Heyl Ext. 103 Lender Relations Specialist/ District International Trade Officer Mark Protch Ext. 111 Business Opportunity Specialist Judith Kirby Ext. 123 We Welcome Your Questions Business Opportunity Specialist Marisa L. Fentzel Ext. 109 Administrative Division Ronald Collett Ext. 107 District Support Assistant Jonathan Bennett Ext. 101 SCORE-Pittsburgh Chapter- Counselors to America s Small Business Ext. 130 For extra copies of this publication or questions please contact: Pittsburgh District Office 411 Seventh Avenue, Suite 1450 Pittsburgh, PA Tel: Fax: Website: Visit us online: Pittsburgh Small Business Resource 7

8 Making the Most of SBA s Resource Partner Network by Paula Panissidi, SBA s Director of Marketing FEATURE As you ve likely read the Counseling Section of this resource guide, you already know that SBA couldn t serve every aspiring entrepreneur and small business owner without the assistance of our resource partners. With approximately 86 SBA District and Branch Offices throughout the country and its territories, our vast network of resource partners expands our outreach capacity twentyfold. In fiscal year 2013, those efforts helped small businesses get more than $4.5 billion in capital infusion, start over 15,000 new companies, and create and/or save more than 68,000 jobs. SBA s resource partner network is comprised of SCORE, Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) and Women Business Centers (WBC). In addition, 16 organizations serve as Veterans Business Outreach Centers through cooperative agreements with SBA s Office of Veterans Business Development. Although each resource partner operates differently, they are all available to assist you with your small business and entrepreneurship needs. Some resource partners have specific areas of expertise or cater to certain audiences, but all provide outstanding individual consulting, training, counseling and entrepreneurial education. We all need different things at different points in our lives, and so, too, it is with a small business. This is why many of the small business success stories we profile are repeat customers of SBA and our resource partner network. They may work with an SBDC for a business plan during their start up, attend a training course or educational series at a WBC, and seek mentorship assistance from a retired business owner at SCORE many years later. At any point in between, they may have worked with their local SBA district office or resource partner to apply for an SBA-guaranteed loan or a small business government contracting program. Each small business owner has his or her small business journey, and SBA and its resource partners are available to help along the way. Take the story of Janell s Gluten-Free Market in Everett, Washington, for example. Instead of jumping head first into the business without any prior experience, business owner Janell Farnsworth reached out to the Washington WBC and the Veterans Business Outreach Center (VBOC) in Seattle. These two SBA resource partners are co-located, which made it easy for Farnsworth to go back and forth between the two, depending on her immediate need. After receiving free counseling and low-cost classes to help her target her efforts in getting the market up and running, the 1,200 square-foot shop opened its doors in Earning top-line revenue and profits each successive year, Farnsworth considered opening a second location and reached out again to the WBC, who helped her develop a business expansion plan. She then attended classes at both the WBC and VBOC to learn about such issues as managing employees, pricing to drive revenue, the benefits of trademarking, and changing a business structure from sole proprietorship to LLC/Corp. Her second location opened in December, Janell s Gluten-Free Market serves a community of shoppers who otherwise would have little or no available alternatives. When Farnsworth encourages other entrepreneurs to take advantage of SBA s resources, the Army captain with 20 years of service emphasizes the value of the classes offered by the SBA and its resource partners, which guided her business decisions and helped her to develop a well-grounded business plan. In closing, we would like to take a moment to recognize a major milestone for one of our resource partners. This year, SCORE celebrates its 50th anniversary. Since 1964, SCORE volunteers have provided mentoring and training support to more than 10 million entrepreneurs and small business owners. That s a number to be proud of, and SBA salutes SCORE and it mentors for their significant support and contributions to the success of this nation s entrepreneurs. To find the location of your nearest SBA District Office, SCORE, SBDC, or WBC, visit 8 Pittsburgh Small Business Resource Visit us online:

9 SUCCESS S T O R Y Former Banker s Flair for Fashion Casts her as the Mon Valley s It Girl of Vogue CHARLEROI, PA Daneen Troup has a thing for bling that flashy, ostentatious jewelry. Apparently, so do many other shoppers in Western Pennsylvania s Mon Valley. Troup credits her flair for finding shiny and stylish pieces coupled with the support of Charleroi residents and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) with transforming her from unemployed to a savvy, successful small business owner. When I lost my bank job as a market sales coordinator, I cried. Then I went to work part-time at our local chamber, which was promoting the vacant downtown store fronts, Troup explained. I guess losing my job gave me the chance to do what I wanted to do, which was to open a retail shop. Troup utilized the University of Pittsburgh Small Business Development Center (SBDC) to formulate a business plan for a clothing store, which she dubbed Prima Diva Boutique. The SBDCs and Women s Business Centers (WBC) are made up of a unique collaboration of the SBA, state and local governments and private sector Prima Diva Boutique owner goes from unemployed to successful small business owner resources and provide a vast array of technical assistance to small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs. The SBDC program remains one of the nation s largest small business assistance programs backed by the SBA. Locally, we have eight SBDCs and one WBC, said SBA Pittsburgh District Director Kelly Hunt. And the best part is the majority of services are either low-cost or free and counseling is confidential. Prima Diva Boutique is so successful that within four years, Troup went from selling consignment items on a part-time basis to showcasing her fashion finds from buying trips in a large, corner storefront more than doubling her retail space and customers. In fact, sales are up a whopping 80 percent from last year. But, like many small business owners, Troup s success today, as proprietress of the trendy accessory and clothing shop belies her humble beginnings. I opened my doors during the awful snowstorm of 2010, splitting my time between the store and the chamber, she explained. The chamber really helped me get the consignment clothes and customers; we sent out postcards and utilized social media allowing me to pay my bills that first month. Troup scoured thrift stores for furniture and fixtures painting them a sleek black. She ventured into purchasing with a collection of large and decorative purses and jewelry which her customers seemed to love. That s when I realized my niche, she said. Today, Troup routinely travels to Atlanta where she strives to find unique fashion and jewelry at affordable prices. It s so exciting to buy merchandise and see first-hand the reactions to my collection, because the more excited my customers get, the more excited I get, she said. After I lost my job, I never thought I would be in this position. She stressed that her rise to the town s most formidable fashionista took years. I made a profit the first year, but, it was nothing to squeal about, she stated. As a business owner, you have to be prepared to work long hours for very little money. Troup added, aspiring entrepreneurs need to take advantage of the many free and available resources, such as SBDC counseling and entrepreneurial workshops offered throughout the SBA Pittsburgh District Office footprint. According to Hunt, Troup s story may sound quite amazing, but many successful small business owners have shared her ups and downs. It s not uncommon for entrepreneurs to work two jobs and take no salary for many years, Hunt added. But the fruits of their efforts often are the cornerstone of community pride and future development creating a vibrant Main Street with shops offering unique products and unparalleled customer service. Today, Prima Diva is placing customers on a waiting list for its hip sweaters and the signature sequined scarves have sold out. The town is my greatest asset. I don t pay for advertising because everyone tells their friends you ve got to shop at Prima Diva. Visit us online: Pittsburgh Small Business Resource 9

10 COUNSELING Getting Help to Start, Market and Manage Your Business COUNSELING Every year, the U.S. Small Business Administration and its nationwide network of resource partners help millions of potential and existing small business owners start, grow and succeed. Whether your target market is global or just your neighborhood, the SBA and its resource partners can help at every stage of turning your entrepreneurial dream into a thriving business. If you re just starting out, the SBA and its resources can help you with business and financing plans. If you re already in business, you can use the SBA s resources to help manage and expand your business, obtain government contracts, recover from disaster, find foreign markets, and make your voice heard in the federal government. You can access SBA information at or visit one of our local offices for assistance. SBA S RESOURCE PARTNERS In addition to our district offices, which serve every state and territory, the SBA works with a variety of local resource partners to meet your small business needs: SCORE chapters, Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs), and Women s Business Centers (WBCs). This partner network reaches into communities across America: More than 13,000 business counselors, mentors and trainers available through over 900 Small Business Development Centers, 110 Womens Business Centers and 350 SCORE chapters. These professionals can help with writing a formal business plan, locating sources of financial assistance, managing and expanding your business, finding opportunities to sell your goods or services to the government, and recovering from disaster. To find your local district office or SBA resource partner, visit SCORE SCORE is a national network of more than 11,000 entrepreneurs, business leaders and executives who volunteer as mentors to America s small businesses. SCORE volunteers donated more than 1.1 million hours providing services to small business clients. SCORE leverages decades of experience from seasoned business professionals to help entrepreneurs to start and grow companies and to create jobs in local communities. SCORE does this by harnessing the passion and knowledge of individuals who have owned and managed their own businesses and want to share this real world expertise with you. ON THE UPSIDE It s true, there are a lot of reasons not to start your own business. But for the right person, the advantages of business ownership far outweigh the risks. Found in more than 350 chapters and 800 locations throughout the country, SCORE provides key services both face-to-face and online to busy entrepreneurs who are just getting started or are in need of a seasoned business professional as a sounding board for their existing business. As members of your community, SCORE mentors understand local business licensing rules, economic conditions and important business networks. SCORE can help you as they have done for many entreprenurs through the years by: Matching your specific needs with a business mentor Traveling to your place of business for an on-site evaluation Teaming with several SCORE mentors to provide you with tailored assistance in a number of business areas Across the country, SCORE offers more than 10,000 local business educational workshops and seminars ranging in topic and scope depending on the needs of the local business community. SCORE workshops cover all manner of business topics, including: an introduction to the fundamentals of a business plan, managing cash flow and marketing your business. For established businesses, SCORE offers more in-depth training in areas like customer service, hiring practices and home-based businesses. For around-the-clock business advice and information on the latest business news and trends visit local-assistance/score or call for the SCORE office nearest you. More than 1,200 online mentors with over 150 business skill sets answer your questions about starting and running a business. For more information on SCORE and to get your own business mentor, visit You get to be your own boss. Hard work and long hours directly benefit you, rather than increasing profits for someone else. Earnings and growth potential are unlimited. Running a business will provide endless variety, challenge and opportunities to learn. 10 Pittsburgh Small Business Resource Visit us online:

11 1. Clarion University SBDC 2. Duquesne University SBDC 3. Gannon University SBDC 4. Indiana University of PA SBDC 5. Penn State University SBDC 6. Saint Francis University SBDC 7. Saint Vincent College SBDC 8. University of Pittsburgh SBDC 9. Alleghenies SCORE Chapter 10. Central Pennsylvania SCORE Chapter 11. Erie SCORE Chapter 12. Pittsburgh SCORE Chapter 13. Southwestern Pennsylvania SCORE Chapter 14. Westmoreland County SCORE Chapter 15. Seton Hill University s E-Magnify Women s Business Center COUNSELING Alleghenies SCORE Chapter 575 Devorris Center for Business Development 3900 Industrial Park Dr., Ste. 6 Altoona, PA Fax Central Pennsylvania SCORE Chapter 618 Industry and Technology Center 2820 E. College Ave., Ste. E State College, PA or Toll Free Erie SCORE Chapter W. Ninth St. Erie, PA Fax Pittsburgh SCORE Chapter Seventh Ave., Ste Pittsburgh, PA ext.130/ Fax Southwestern Pennsylvania SCORE 104 N. Beeson Ave. Uniontown, PA Fax Westmoreland SCORE Chapter 555 Saint Vincent College, Aurelius Hall 300 Fraser Purchase Rd. Latrobe, PA Fax SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT CENTERS The U.S. Small Business Administration s Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) mission is to build, sustain, and grow small businesses; as well as to promote small business development and enhance local economies by creating businesses and fulfilling its mission of creating jobs. The Small Business Development Centers, vital to SBA s entrepreneurial outreach, have been providing service to small businesses for almost 35 years. It is one of the largest professional small business management and technical assistance networks in the nation. With over 900 locations across the country, SBDCs offer existing and future entrepreneurs free one-on-one expert business counseling and low-cost training by qualified small business professionals. In addition to its core services, the SBDCs offer special focus areas such as green business technology, disaster recovery and preparedness, export assistance, international trade assistance, veteran s assistance, technology transfer and regulatory compliance. The program combines a unique combination of federal, state and private sector resources to provide, in every state and territory, the foundation for the economic growth of small businesses. The return on investment is demonstrated by the program s success during FY2013. Assisted more than 14,200 entrepreneurs to start new businesses equating to nearly 39 new business starts per day. Provided counseling services to more than 104,000 emerging entrepreneurs and over 96,000 existing businesses. Provided training services to approximately 330,000 clients. The efficacy of the SBDC program has been validated by a nationwide impact study. Of the clients surveyed, more than 80 percent reported that the business assistance they received from the SBDC counselor was worthwhile. The top five impacts of counseling cited by SBDC clients were revising marketing strategy, increasing sales, expanding products and services, improving cash flow and increasing profit margin. More than 40 percent of long-term clients receiving five hours or more of counseling reported an increase in sales and profit margins. For information on the SBDC program, visit Western PA SBDC centers are listed below: Clarion University SBDC 330 N. Point Dr., Ste. 100 Clarion, PA Dr. Kevin J. Roth, Director Fax Counties: McKean, Cameron, Elk, Forest, Clarion, Armstrong, Jefferson, Clearfield, Venango and Potter. Visit us online: Pittsburgh Small Business Resource 11

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