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SBA New England Regional Office – December 29 2022

u s small business administration

Making the Dream of Business Ownership a Reality

image of RA Valcich

Mike Vlacich

Regional Administrator

New England Regional Office

U.S. Small Business Administration

As we wind down the holiday season and 2022, I’d like to take a moment to reflect on a new report released by the United States Small Business Administration (SBA) and our Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman. As the Regional Administrator for New England, it was my honor to be appointed to this role by the President a year ago to work closely with businesses, local, state, and federal officials to lead our way out of the pandemic.

I want to thank our amazing SBA workforce and resource partner teams for the extra hours and devotion they invested in helping the backbone of our economy, small business. Over 90 percent of businesses in New England are small and those companies employ upwards of half of our region’s workers. In addition to their role in producing jobs, small businesses support our communities and tie our region and nation together.

Through great effort and innovation, the SBA reached nearly $43 billion nationally in funding to small businesses, providing more than 62,000 traditional loans through its 7(a), 504, and Microloan lending programs and over 1,200 investments through SBA licensed Small Business Investment Companies (SBICs) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2022. This news is significant.  As Administrator Guzman said, “While still managing billions in COVID relief, the SBA also delivered record lending in FY22, helping tens of thousands of entrepreneurs across our nation get the needed funding to start, grow, and build resilient businesses”. 

We have seen record numbers of businesses started, stronger than expected economic growth, near historic low unemployment rates, and recovery of all the jobs lost during the pandemic and more. In New England, $2 billion in funding through our core lending programs were invested to help drive our regional economy. The foundation built by SBA and this Administration through core services, the American Rescue Plan, Bipartisan Infrastructure law, CHIPS ACT, Inflation Reduction Act and so much more will serve our economy well as we enter 2023.

In 2023 the SBA is focused on closing the capital access gap by ensuring small businesses have what they need to be successful. The SBA’s existing traditional loan programs serve an important role in credit markets for small businesses, particularly entrepreneurs with collateral and demonstrated revenue who are denied a commercial loan or market terms or those who lack established relationships with traditional lenders. These products also remain extremely attractive to those small businesses still navigating various economic challenges along their entrepreneurial journey.

With the help of so many, the SBA has committed to expanding access to its core lending programs and better meeting the needs of entrepreneurs to achieve more successful outcomes in job creation, U.S. exports and GDP. You can read all about this topic and our plans to address these issues here: SBA Announces End-of-Year Capital Benchmarks Showing Historic Support for Small Businesses Under Administrator Guzman.

Here at the SBA we strive to make the American dream of business ownership a reality. The partnership and work of 2022 serves us well as launch into the ambitious 2023 agenda. Our small businesses are the lifeblood of our communities and it is our job to support them. Our small businesses are our job creators, they boost our local economies and enrich our neighborhoods every day.  

2022 SBA New England Highlights

image from vet roundtable

SBA New England Veteran-Owned Small Business Roundtable

On November 2, 2022, I was joined by Associate Administrator for SBA’s Office of Veterans Business Development Larry Stubblefield for SBA New England’s First Veteran-Owned Small Business Roundtable.  Jennie Murphy, Director of the Veterans Business Outreach Center of New England also participated in this roundtable. All of the SBA New England District Offices had representation at this event. I had the chance to facilitate discussion and AA Stubblefield and Director Murphy both had the opportunity to give remarks and participate in the dialogue with the panelists.

The Veteran-Owned Small Business panel consisted of the 2022 State Veteran Owned Small Businesses of the year including: Bill Pastyrnak of Counterweight Brewing Company in Cheshire Connecticut; AJ Jarnagin of Expansia in Nashua, New Hampshire—the SBA New Hampshire and New England winner; Mark Torok of Anchor Physical Therapy in Wakefield, Rhode Island and Brian Kippen of KAD Models & Prototypes in Randolph, Vermont.  I posed several questions to the panelists, and they had the opportunity to share about how their military background helped them in their small business journey, the resources that made a difference for their businesses and advice they would offer to other veterans interested in starting a business.

This was the first event of this kind that the SBA New England Regional Office hosted, but we look forward to planning more events like this one in 2023.

You can view a video of this event here→ SBA New England Veteran-Owned Business Roundtable – YouTube.

Additional Highlights from the Regional Office


image of MA staff with Ed Markey

There was that time that Senator Ed Markey stopped by the Massachusetts SBA offices to show appreciation for the collaborative partnership in the last few years — working together to help small business constituents in the region with accessing Covid-relief programs and technical assistance to receive recovery aid.

image with jeanne shaheen in laconia

Here in my home state of New Hampshire, I had the opportunity to join U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a senior member of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, for a small business walking tour in Laconia. We started our tour with a visit to Wayfarer Coffee Roasters. This business used SBA funding to grow and for pandemic recovery.

image with peter welch and molly gray

And back in October I had the opportunity to join Congressman Peter Welch and Lieutenant Governor Molly Gray in downtown Montpellier, Vermont. We got to meet with several businesses that were able to stay open and pay employees during the pandemic due to SBA assistance.   

2022 SBA Highlights from the New England District Offices


images from resource fair

In April, Connecticut District Director Catherine Marx joined House Appropriations Committee Chair Rosa DeLauro (CT-03) and Regional Administrator Mike Vlacich to showcase forthcoming forthcoming projects in the Infrastructure and Investment Jobs Act and encourage businesses to leverage government contracting. As part of this event, Connecticut small businesses were able to network with federal and state agencies.


Farmers market photo

In August, RA Vlacich had the opportunity to join Diane Sturgeon, SBA Maine District Director for a visit to the Brunswick Farmer’s Market. Congresswoman Chellie Pingree, who sits on the Congressional Subcommittee on Agriculture, and State Senator Matthea Daughtry, who represents Brunswick in the Maine State Senate, also joined and the group had the chance to hear directly from farmers and local food producers about how the state and federal delegations and agencies can support these vital small businesses.


image at the worcester capital matchmaker

Recently RA Vlacich had the opportunity to join Bob Nelson, SBA Massachusetts District Director in Worcester for a capital matchmaker. Events like this are a great way for the business owners in our communities to get in front of our local lending partners and make connections that can lead to financing for their businesses. This was a great experience and the region will do more capital matchmakers in 2023.

New Hampshire

image from conway visit

Last year, New Hampshire SBA District office staff conducted a series of ‘Rural Road Tours’ bringing resources, educational workshops, and networking to small businesses, town officials, and lenders in 7 of the 10 counties.  During this road tour office staff traveled to 21 towns to expand SBA’s reach. RA Vlacich had the opportunity to join for several of these visits.  The team toured inns, breweries, manufacturers, retailers, trade schools and other types of businesses meeting with more than 250 business owners and 200 SBA lenders along the way. One of these visits was to Carroll County where RA Vlacich and Amy Bassett, New Hampshire SBA District Director had the opportunity to visit the Conway Scenic Railroad and North Conway Music Center. These visits were great experiences and we look forward to continuing this outreach in 2023.

Rhode Island

image from RI small business week event

On Tuesday, May 3, New England Regional Administrator Mike Vlacich joined SBA Rhode Island District Director Mark S. Hayward and the Rhode Island District Office for 2022 Small Business Week awards celebration.  There were over 250 attendees at the event at Quidnessett Country Club in North Kingstown. The 2022 winners are 14 small business owners, advocates, and champions across 11 different categories.


image of agreement signing

WILLISTON, Vt. – Darcy Carter (right), SBA Vermont District Director, watches Colin Branon, New England Federal Credit Union Vice President of Business Lending, sign an SBA Loan Guaranty Agreement making NEFCU Vermont’s newest SBA lender. With its more than 95,000 members, NEFCU is the largest financial institution in the state. (photo by Danny Monahan)

Photo of the numbers 2023 and the following text: Happy New Year. The SBA logo is at the bottom.

The SBA Is Excited to Help New Businesses in the New Year

If your New Year’s resolution for 2023 is to start your own business, the SBA can help. We are committed to being there with you as you start your business journey, from the minute you have your idea to the moment you’re turning your sign from “coming soon” to “open.” Here are some tasks you’ll have to complete to get started. 

  1. Conduct market research and write a business plan
  2. Research funding opportunities
  3. Choose your business location, structure and name
  4. Register your business and acquire state and federal tax IDs
  5. Apply for licenses and permits and open a business bank account

You can read SBA’s complete blog here: The SBA Is Excited to Help New Businesses in the New Year

Happy New Year From the SBA New England Team!

image of SBA new england staff