Article Written by: Manu Shah
Photography by : Bijay Dixit, Unique Photo Images
HOUSTON: The IACCGH Business Outreach Program held at the HCC campus in Katy on 12th February facilitated an introduction between SBA’s new District Director Tim Jeffcoat and the heads of several local economic agencies as well as business owners looking for capital.
Emphasizing that local economic empowerment is a core mission at IACCGH, Executive Director Jagdip Ahluwalia welcomed Tim Jeffcoat, IACCGH Board members and guests. He also described the Chamber as an “inclusive one” and stated that the organizations in the room must continue to share our “best practices” and help each other serve the community.
IACCGH President Ashok Garg spoke about the 15 year association that the organization shared with SBA and its recently retired District Director Manuel Gonzalez who was also present at the event. SBA had first partnered with IACCGH in 2000 to share information with its members on how they can get loans but “the message was too powerful to be restricted to its members.” Since then IACCGH has been reaching out to the community though the Business Outreach Program on the best possible way to get a loan. Expressing the hope that IACCGH would “share the same ties of friendship” with the new District Director, President Garg invited the new District Director to address the gathering.
A graduate of Auburn University, Alabama, Tim worked at Schlumberger and other companies before joining government service about 10 years ago – a transition he described as “weird for a big corporation guy” but one he “adapted” to.
In his address, Tim drew attention to the crucial role SBA has played over the years in helping startups and established businesses.
“You can’t manage what you can’t measure” is a Peter Drucker teaching Tim strongly believes in. When he moved to Houston from Oklahoma – another “oil economy,” one of his first tasks was to see how SBA measured up. And the figures were impressive. In the last financial year alone, an average of 5.3 loans were approved per day for $2.75 million and the biggest recipients were hotels/restaurants, retail and healthcare followed by manufacturing. Additionally, SBA’s resource partners – SBDC, WBC and SCORE counseled 9000 clients, aided 404 new businesses get off the ground and helped their clients receive about $120 million in needed finance for growth.
SBA plans to continue to partner with AARP for “encore entrepreneurs” and intends to get involved in and support crowdfunding. It also has two new initiatives – the SBA One which streamlines the loan application process and the SBA Linc which helps you connect with prospective SBA lenders based on your business needs.
Tim also outlined some of the future plans SBA Houston is working on such as a major matchmaking event between large corporations and small businesses, periodic lending and resource fairs, entrepreneur workshops for the Houston-based oil industry employees being laid off and a small business disaster preparation workshop
He concluded his address by emphasizing that he would work to increase SBA’s presence in the community by encouraging involvement in events that affect small businesses as well as participating in more Outreach programs.
President Garg thanked the gathering for attending the event and Wallis State Bank, which has the distinction of being the largest SBA bank in the region, for underwriting the IACCGH Business Outreach Programs.
IACCGH will hold its next Business Outreach Program at 5:00 pm on May 20th at the Wallis State Bank Building. SBA’s District Director Tim Jeffcoat will once again address the gathering on “How the US SBA Can Help Your Small Business” and its 8(a) program. For more information, visit www.iaccgh.com or email email@example.com