News Column

SBA administrator visits Lubbock to discuss small business

July 30, 2014

By Matt Dotray, Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, Texas



July 30--The Small Business Administration'sWest Texas office has done 153 loans that have totaled about $88 million so far this year.

That's what Yolanda Olivarez, regional administrator of SBA's South Central Region, said during her visit to Lubbock on Tuesday.

Olivarez, who was appointed by the president, leads Region VI, one of 10 regions in the United States, that includes Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Arkansas.

Olivarez is on her regional tour and spent time in Lubbock talking with business and community leaders, as well as economic developers and members of the SBA district.

To put it simply, she said, her agency is doing very well.

The U.S. Small Business Administration was created as an independent agency of the federal government to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small businesses.

Olivarez described how they accomplish these initiatives by using the "three Cs."

The first is access to credit by providing loans to small businesses through a community of lenders.

The second is contracting. As the largest single purchaser of goods and services, the U.S. government awards about $500 billion in contracts each year. SBA works with federal agencies to award the mandatory 23 percent of those contract dollars to small businesses.

"When a small business gets a federal contract jobs tend to be created and strong revenue for the community and for the small businesses," Olivarez said.

Lastly, they offer counseling for small businesses, which are often done by former business leaders who are familiar with the field.

Region VI, Olivarez said, continues to accomplish these initiatives.

The West Texas region lent about $2.8 billion to small businesses in 2013, which was 15 percent more than the previous year. Olivarez said those numbers remain strong this year.

Calvin Davis, district director of the West Texas District Office, which consists of 71 different counties, said they typically divide the region into four different areas to analyze it. The areas are in and around Lubbock, Amarillo, Midland and Abilene. The Lubbock area typically receives 30 percent of the lending, Davis said.

During her tour, Olivarez said she is emphasizing the importance of SBA as she speaks with different organizations, including political leaders and the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce.

"I think what we need more here in this community is more outreach in the sense that more and more people need to take that extra step to find out more about it," she said. "We have all the resources here and all the opportunities. We just need our small businesses to take that extra step."

Davis agreed and said they also need to continue making contacts with loan providers to discuss how small businesses are beneficial in job creation and community growth.

SBA's success in Lubbock, he said, is noticeable with all the new businesses.

matt.dotray@lubbockonline.com

--766-8744

Follow Matt on Twitter

@MDotrayAJ

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(c)2014 the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal (Lubbock, Texas)

Visit the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal (Lubbock, Texas) at www.lubbockonline.com

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Source: Lubbock Avalanche-Journal (TX)


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