SBA Southeast Regional Update 


February 2022

u s small business administration

SBA Team on the Ground in Kentucky with FEMA

Allen Thomas HS

Allen M. Thomas
U.S. Small Business Administration’s Southeast Regional Administrator, serving Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee

SBA Disaster Loans  Check disaster declarations  Apply for a disaster loan   Check your status

This week I witnessed the widest-spread devastation that I have ever experienced- even as a past 3-term Mayor. I have visited many devastated sites in the aftermath of hurricanes and tornadoes, and I can honestly say that the devastation that the tornadoes brought to Kentucky on December 10th covers such a vast area, that it is absolutely devastating.

The SBA team has been on the ground in several areas across Kentucky to remind those affected by the tornadoes that the deadline to apply for SBA assistance for physical damage for homeowners, renters and small business owners has been extended to March 14th.

Anyone in the declared Kentucky counties with physical property damage due to the severe storms, straight-line winds, flooding and tornadoes on Dec. 10-11, 2021, should apply for an SBA low-interest disaster loan.

Please visit a disaster recovery center for assistance in applying: 

Marshall County | Joe Creason Community Center | The Joe Creason Room | 1600 Park Ave. | Benton, KY 42025

Hopkins County | Hopkins County Regional Chamber of Commerce | 15 E Center Street | Madisonville, KY 42431

Warren County | Western Kentucky University Center for Research Development  | WKU Business Accelerator Center | 2413 Nashville Rd | Bowling Green, KY 42101

Or visit, and apply under SBA declaration # 17286.

The SBA team stands ready to assist in the recovery for Kentucky. Our SBA Kentucky team may be contacted at 


L to R: Kem Fleming, Director, SBA Field operations East, SBA Region IV Administrator Allen Thomas, Robert Coffey, SBA Kentucky District Director, Warren Miller, SBA Senior Advisor

Hear from YOUR Local

SBA District Office

Tom Todt

Alabama District Office

Thomas (Tom) Todt, District Director

Birmingham, Alabama: The Alabama District Office congratulates Deputy District Director Mr. L. D. Ralph on completing 30 years of federal service. Mr. Ralph began his federal service in January 1991 with the IRS, and has been with the Alabama District Office since 1998.

LD Ralph

L.D. Ralph, SBA Alabama Deputy District Director

SBA Loans 101

Looking to start, expand, or grow your small business? Learn the basics on what an SBA small business loan could possibly do for you! Every first and third Thursday of the month at 10am.

Register Here


SBA 101 Loans

SBA Loans 201

Looking to start, expand, or grow your small business? Learn the details about SBA small business loan products! Every second and fourth Thursday of the month at 10am.

Register Here

SBA Loans 201

SBA Program Discussion

SBA Lending Programs Overview


A discussion of SBA Lending Programs, to include Working Capital and Contract Working Capital. After this Session, Business Owners will be able to schedule a one-on-one Session with Roderick D. Perkins to discuss and/or resolve any EIDL issues they are facing. Business Owners will also be able to schedule a one-on-one Session with Mr. Perkins to discuss their Capital Needs. 

Wednesday, March 2, 2022

10:00 am CST

Register Here

Malcolm Richards

North & South Florida District Offices

Jon Malcolm Richards, District Director


Malcolm Richards is currently the District Director for the SBA North Florida District Office and the Acting District Director for the SBA South Florida District Office.


SBA North Florida Event:

The SBA North Florida District Office has been actively working with our resource and community partners to actively recruit firms for the 8(a) Business Development Program. The office recently hosted a virtual recruitment event with the Florida Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) to encourage participation in the Orlando, Florida area. The 8(a) Business Development Program is designed to help small, disadvantaged businesses that are socially and economically disadvantaged compete in the federal marketplace. The 8(a) Program offers executive level business training that helps to keep your small business competitive. There are many benefits, requirements, and an online application process.

Want to learn more about government contracting and our 8(a) Program? Here are some upcoming webinars:

8(a) Business Development Program

Tuesday, March 1, 2022 – 4:00pm EST

Register Here


HUBZone Certification Webinar

Wednesday, March 2, 2022 – 4:00pm EST

Register Here


Surety Bond Guarantee Program

Tuesday, March 15, 2022 – 4:00pm EDT

Register Here

SBA South Florida Event & News:

In celebration of Women History Month, the SBA South Florida District Office is hosting a Virtual Business Briefing for the Women-Owned Community. The SBA will share information about the Agency’s record-breaking achievements in small business lending, pandemic recovery programs, and in government contracting with small businesses throughout South Florida. Join us and Allen Thomas, SBA’s Regional Administrator for the Southeastern Region! 

Register Here


Terri Denison

Georgia District Office

Terri L. Denison, District Director


Georgia SBA Honors Black History Month

Byron Davis

NetSoft of Snellville, GA

At the age of five, Byron Davis told his mother he wanted to be a businessman.  While he is uncertain as to what the driving force was behind this desire at such a such age, he knew he wanted to make a positive impact in his community by employing others, giving time, and providing resources to causes that inspire him.

Byron is the co-founder and owner of NetSoft Inc., a provider of software services to the anatomic pathology laboratory community. IntelliPath is NetSoft’s flagship software product, which can be found in local, regional, national, and in-house laboratories as well as community and university teaching hospitals and medical centers.

Prior to becoming incorporated in 1998, NetSoft, Inc. was a small start-up created in the basement. During this “Y2K” era, there was uncertainty given the nature of the computer systems business at that time. Nevertheless, the company was able to develop and launch its core software product, IntelliPath, by 2000. Today, the software has been used to process over 4 million specimens per year. Byron learned about the U.S. Small Business Administration through his accountant and said the SBA has been instrumental in the advancement of NetSoft through counseling services and access to capital.

Byron participated in the University of Georgia Small Business Development Center’s GrowSMART leadership course, which gives entrepreneurs tools and strategies for their growing business. He used an SBA loan program in 2019 to buy out his business partner and become majority owner at 90 percent. In 2020, the SBA helped him secure additional financing to update IntelliPath, to a cloud version.  This total re-write was a grand task under Byron’s leadership and has already proven to take users and NetSoft to new heights with its launch in August 2021.

When asked what advice he would give up-and-coming businesses looking for SBA assistance he said, “I would reiterate it is an invaluable and rewarding experience that can propel your business.”

Robert Coffey

Kentucky District Office

Robert Coffey, District Director


SBA Kentucky District Office Collaborates with PTAC to Offer 17 Webinars in 2022

The SBA Kentucky District Office and Kentucky Procurement Technical Assistance Center (KY PTAC) will be offering a series of 17 webinars in 2022.

While the SBA and PTAC have a great relationship and have collaborated in the past, the topics offered are more extensive than ever before.

Subjects include SBA programs that address contracting opportunities and programs, such as the 8(a) Business Development Program and the HUBZone Certification process. Also, related challenges small businesses face in federal contracting will be highlighted. This includes funding options and bonding, as well as overlapping issues, like cybersecurity and disaster preparedness.

For each topic, a subject matter expert will discuss program features, guidelines and benefits. The presenter will also discuss SBA resource partners and their service offerings, as well as other agencies and tools available to small businesses in the contracting arena.  

Janita Stewart

Mississippi District Office

Janita Stewart, District Director


Honoring Black History Month in Mississippi


Nick Wallace

Nick Wallace Culinary

Nick Wallace, owner of Nick Wallace Culinary passion is cooking and helping his community. The Jackson, Mississippi Chef was able to stabilize and expand his business during the COVID-19 pandemic. “From the start of the pandemic, many life objectives became blurry, and then it got even more blurred,” said Nick.  Nick wasn’t sure what would happen to his business that he built from a grassroots effort.

Nick started heavily promoting his catering business, and it got busy. He decided to change his focus but stay on the path of cooking. Nick heard about the SBA COVID-19 relief options that offered help to small businesses affected by COVID-19. Nick applied for EIDL, and said, “Just applying gave me so much hope that this world as we know it isn’t over. Most importantly, I get to look my team in the eye and give them hope.”

Nick received a reply back from SBA and was granted the EIDL loan. “I then started putting a different concept for my business in my place, and that’s when, from my hands to your kitchen was created. My team and I were bringing the restaurant to your doorsteps. It was such a respected concept while being equipped to supply my team with the correct protection guidelines for the staff and the guests, and it worked so well; we all stayed safe and never contracted COVID-19.” Nick was able to purchase a catering van to deliver to his clients.

Business rebounded for Nick due to the help of SBA COVID-19 programs. Nick also received funding under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and the Restaurant Revitalization Funding (RRF). Nick Wallace Culinary has expanded during the pandemic. Chef Nick Wallace has opened The Nissan Café by Nick Wallace Culinary at the two Mississippi museums in Downtown Jackson.

“Coming out of a very challenging year, it was time to apply pressure to my team’s future. We got an opportunity a little over 3 years ago to cater the opening event for the new two Museums located in Jackson, MS, and since that day, I’ve always wanted a restaurant inside. The Mississippi Civil Rights Museum has two museums inside ‘under one roof,’ History and Civil Rights!  I received the opportunity to open a restaurant concept that speaks to the museum’s history and embark on the true richness of the new generations’ vision for their lovely state of Mississippi. I opened up Nissan Cafe by Nick Wallace, and all this happened because of the SBA assistance programs,” said Nick.

Nick works closely with local farmers. With the ability to produce healthier fresh foods, Wallace has moved his culinary talent and innovative ways into Jackson Public Schools through his non-profit organization, Creativity Kitchen. Through Creativity Kitchen, Nick works closely with the Jackson Public Schools’ chefs to provide better tasting and healthier food for scholars. Just recently, Creativity Kitchen partnered with Whole Foods 5% Community Giving Program and put the money back into the community by donating a percentage to one of the local elementary schools. Nick visits the homeless and connects with them at Billy Brumfield House.

Nick continues to reach out to the community by partnering with organizations such as Dole, Novo Nordisk, American Cancer Society, Co-Chair of Share the Gulf, and Partnership for a Healthy Mississippi. Nick will continue to use his gifts, abilities, and talents to touch lives through innovation, palate-pleasing cuisine, and humbleness. “My soul has been enriched with giving back, that’s how I was taught, and that’s how I want it to be. “It makes me feel great, and I sleep better at night knowing that I tried in my world to make a difference in someone else’s life,” said Nick. Nick’s vision for culinary innovation, understanding of flavor, and technique have formed an exquisite innovative growing cuisine.

Michael Arriola

North Carolina District Office

Michael Arriola, District Director


SBA Administrator Holds Roundtable for Diverse NC Small Businesses

On Thursday, February 17, 2022, SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman held a virtual roundtable for small business owners from around the state of North Carolina.  SBA Southeast Regional Administrator Allen Thomas joined in the roundtable which counted small business owners of various geographic, demographic, and industry sectors.  Throughout the event, attendees discussed how the SBA’s programs and resources helped benefit their small business to start, grow, and expand.  In addition to cybersecurity and their customer experience, Administrator Guzman also queried the participants on the outlook for their businesses in the coming year.

Administrator Guzman Roundtable in NC

Top row, L-R: SBA NC District Director Mike Arriola, SBA Southeast Regional Administrator Allen Thomas, Fuentek President Laura Schoppe. Middle row, L-R: Wehrloom Honey owner Aron Wehr, Leslie’s Laundry Care owner Domonique Boone, Achuti LLC President Dan Patrick. Bottom row, L-R: SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman, Green Clean Auto Spa owner John Hunter, and Bennett Aerospace President Julia Bennett.

Richard White

South Carolina District Office

Richard “Gregg” White, District Director


Join SBA’s South Carolina District Office for 46 Counties in 46 Days— an initiative to increase awareness of resources available to small businesses across the state. At least one outreach event will be held in each county between February and March, including information on:

  • Business start-up
  • Lending
  • Contracting
  • Disaster Preparedness

To register for an event in your county, visit

Use the calendar feature to search 46 Counties in 46 Days and click the registration link.

46 counties 46 days

LaTanya Channel

Tennessee District Office

LaTanya Channel, District Director


SBA Regional Administrator Allen Thomas and LaTanya Channel, SBA Tennessee District Director, participated in the Urban League of Middle Tennessee’s 54th Equal Opportunity Day event on February 24th in Nashville, TN.

Allen Thomas and LaTanya Channel

Regional Administrator Allen Thomas & SBA TN Director LaTanya Channel

TN State Rep Mayor and AT

Tennessee State Representative Brenda Gilmore, Nashville Mayor John Cooper and SBA Regional Administrator Allen Thomas connect during the Urban League of Middle Tennessee’s Equal Opportunity Day in Nashville, TN.

VIRTUAL Contracting Expo focused on LOCAL Government contracting opportunities in EAST TENNESSEE

On Thursday, March 3rd, SBA Tennessee will be taking part in the 4th Annual Knoxville Diversity Business Expo. This year’s expo will be VIRTUAL and provides businesses the opportunity to meet procurement staff to discuss opportunities in both Knox County and the City of Knoxville.  Local agency decision makers with purchase authority will be present; and general contractors will also be on hand to provide an opportunity for networking (which could lead to teaming, joint ventures, etc.). 

In addition, The Knoxville Area Urban League ( will provide an update on the construction project for the Multi-use Stadium. Sessions will include the timeline for construction drawings and bid package information, along with capacity building training dates and times. There will also be break out rooms for the 30 Contractors who have been awarded bid packages and are looking to connect with subcontractors.

Information about this project is available