Small Business Administration – Loan programs

August 23, 2014


From:Fred M.

I am very much interested in opening a computer service company in San Antonio, TX. I understand that the SBA (Small Business Administration) has a program called 8A. I am scheduled to go to a briefing next week with them. Could you give me any insight about this program? Also is there someone you may know that can assist me in filling out paperwork required. When I speak of assistance, I mean helping me understand what information, I need to provide.

#AskRecy response:

The SBA’s 8(a) BD Program, was named for a section of the Small Business Act, and was generally known as a business development initiative that helped socially and economically disadvantaged American citizens to gain access to the economic mainstream. As part of the business development program for the 8(a) firms, SBA helps small disadvantage businesses compete for Federal contracts. As required by law, the SBA must function as an intermediary for 8(a) contracts, but can delegate its authority through special agreements.

I do not believe the program currently exists. The different SBA loan programs that are now listed on their website are as follows:
7(a) Loan Programs
Businesses with special requirements (such as those in exports or those operational in rural areas) are covered under this program. This is considered to be the most flexible choice, and also the most suitable one if you have a start-up in mind. The different 7(a) loan programs are:

Special Purpose Loans: offers 7(a) loans to those businesses which have been affected by NAFTA, to assist Employee Stock Ownership plans and so on.

Export Loan Programs: fewer than 70 percent of the total export businesses in the U.S. have a maximum employee count of 20. The various export loan programs further expand their export activities.

Rural Business Loans: this program is aimed at providing a simpler and more streamlined 7(a) process to acquire loans for businesses operating in the rural areas.

Microloan Program
If you are in need of small, short-term loans, then the Microloan program is just the right deal for you. You can use Microloan funds for: Purchasing supplies, inventory,machinery or furniture. The Microloan fund cannot be used for the purchase of real estate or for the paying off of any existing debts. The maximum Microloan amount is $50,000.

CDC/504 Loan Program
Spanning long-term financial planning, the CDC/504 Programs provide a platform for the development of the community as a whole. The loan sanctioned under this program provides small businesses with fixed-rate financing. These finances are then utilized to acquire assets which are mainly aimed at modernization, such as commercial mortgages, street-improvement utilities, and so on. Your small business should be operated with a profit-seeking intention, but should not be engaged in the investment of real estate.

Loans for Women-Owned Business

Being a women entrepreneur, the world can be yours for the taking if you plan the expansion of your business correctly. It is advised that you visit the SBA Office for Women’s Business Ownership for further information related to the different types of grants and loans available to women and counseling on the same. The National Women’s Business Council is another federal advisory body which addresses various economic issues and offers advice to female business owners.

The first step in seeking certification is to contact the local SBA district office serving your area. An SBA representative can answer general questions over the telephone. Some district offices may also have orientation workshops to provide additional information regarding the eligibility requirements and to review various SBA forms.

The basic requirements for an SBA loan is the applicant firm (a) must be a small business; (b) must be unconditionally owned and controlled by one or more socially and economically disadvantaged individuals who are of good character and citizens of the United States; and (c) must demonstrate potential for success.

SBA defines a small business as one that is independently owned and operated and is not dominant in its field. Depending on the industry, size standard eligibility is based on the average number of employees for the preceding 12-months or on sales volume averaged over a three-year period. However, you should contact your local SBA office for the latest and up to date requirements.

SBA defines socially disadvantaged individuals as those who have been subjected to racial or ethnic prejudice or cultural bias because of their identities as members of groups without regard to their individual qualities. The social disadvantage must stem from circumstances beyond their control. In the absence of evidence to the contrary, the following individuals are presumed to be socially disadvantaged: Black Americans; Hispanic Americans; Native Americans (American Indians, and other minorities. Again, contact the local SBA for complete guidelines.

The SBA have a minimum length of time in business requirement and the applicant firm must have been operational for at least two full years, however, the firm may obtain a waiver of the two years in certain situations.

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#AskRecy, #HDRKW


Starting a small catering business

July 13, 2014

african female chef presenting vegetables

From: Mmagape1

Hello AskRecy, my name is Marie.  I’m writing to inquire about starting a small business in a small rural town in Kansas. My desire is to start a business catering to minorities. The area I’m referring to at one time was predominately white, therefore the market was set up to cater to whites.  In recent years, there has been a population boom of mostly Hispanics and blacks, but the marketing has not changed, and the need to supply goods for minorities is great. Currently if one (especially blacks) has travel between 150 – 220 miles to buy products needed from hair care to hip-hop, to everyday professional and Sunday wear? I recently joined the unemployed group by choice after working in avionics for more than 19 years. My desire is to run my own 1 stop shop that includes accessories from the head to the toe. I know the store would be a success but an idea with no finance’s is just an idea. I need to know from you where to start as far as applying for and receiving grants for a minority women, ant input would be greatly appreciated thanks in advance for your input.

#AskRecy response:

It does not matter where you live, you will find a market for catering services. There are tens of thousands premises and off-premises caterers in the United States, and the industry is growing by 7 to 10 percent annually.

Catersource Ambassador, Bill Pannhoff, currently president of CaterSource states anyone serious about entering the catering business, should attend the 2014 Conference & Trade Show – The Art of Catering Food, in Atlanta, Georgia, August 4 – 6, 2014.  Mr. Pannhoff states that it provides five key elements of running a successful catering business, (1) Accessibility, (2) New Trends, (3) It’s a buying show, (4) Think outside of the box and (5) R&D, not research and development but “Rob & Duplicate.” He said, “Thousand have gone before us and Catersource is a great platform to learn the ups and downs of their journeys. Whether you are a big or small caterer, you do not have to go it alone, you do not have to reinvent the wheel. Steal a great idea, duplicate it,  and add your own spin – that’s the point of Catersource!  The amount of information available to you through education is staggering.”
One thing to remember, the entrepreneurial spirit is alive in the majority of most people, retailing trends come and go, but one constant thing remains, every human being is looking for a way to leave his or her mark on the world. In today’s high-tech society and yes even yesterday, people have and had a desire to put their personal touches on business environment which has sparked a surge in crafts shops, stamp stores, paint-your-own-pottery studios and other businesses that let customers unleash their creative urges.
Have you considered home catering as one method to start and grow your business idea? It doesn’t take much startup capital. How about inquiring with some of your potential suppliers on the possibility of inventory consignment?

The SBA Women’s Prequalification Loan Program that exist in most states. These pre-qualified organizations works with Women Entrepreneurs and is dedicated to expanding economic opportunities for women by advancing entrepreneurship and providing resources to assist in successful business start-ups, maintenance of growth, and exploration of new business opportunities.

Go to
Another program is the Women’s Business Ownership Assistance and they exist to fund nonprofit economic development organizations to assist, through training and counseling, small business concerns owned and controlled by women, and to remove, in so far as possible, the discriminatory barriers that are encountered by women in accessing capital and promoting their businesses. They may be able to provide some leads and assistance in the area of your field.
Google Women’s Business Ownership Assistance
The catering business is one of the most lucrative and profitable home businesses with a high potential for expansion and growth. It is both financially rewarding and fun.  Also go to


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African-American Purchasing Power

June 20, 2014


Global Team Work

My name is Alvin S.  – The National Urban League, the NAACP, and other organizations have long said that we need to organize the $400-500 billion dollars generated by the black community per year. I’m very familiar with electronic commerce and the Internet and have been trying to share a business idea with these organizations with not much success. My background of 13 years with the military in Telecommunications has given me an inside look at the power of telecommunications and especially the Internet. This is a vast opportunity for our race and we need to take advantage of it in a big way. This is the way to organize the money generated by African-Americans in a big way but I need some help in getting us to recognize this opportunity for what it is. Corporate America right now is moving business to the Internet in a big way. I’m involved with some businessmen who are on the forefront of this move to the Internet and I much want to be able to share what knowledge that I’ve gained from them. What do I need to do to get my message across so that I can help the most people become successful with Internet businesses? I need your insight!

#AskRecy Response:

Your question is one that is asked quite frequency, especially from frustrated minorities confronted with obstacles and roadblocks and is desiring to become entrepreneurs in this fast pace business world. You have used the words e-commerce, Internet and telecommunications in describing your dilemma. Let’s define what is e-commerce for our reading audience?  We will also define telecommunications for the readers. It is important to understand these three closely intertwine often used words and how they will affect all  consumers, especially African-Americans, today and in the near future.

E-Commerce is a general concept covering any business transaction such as the trading of goods and services that is executed electronically between business-to-business, consumers to business, consumers to consumers, business to the public sector, and between consumers and the public sector. E-commerce can either be indirect such as the electronic ordering of tangible goods, (physical asset, car, television, etc.) or direct e-commerce, which involves the electronic ordering and delivery of intangible goods (software, games, video, etc.)  Before the Internet e-commerce, these types of transactions were mostly business-to-business and handled in different forms of closed networks. For the average consumer today and most importantly in the future, the importance of e-commerce offer great advantages especially when you can shop in the comfort of your home and not face the crowds in the shopping malls. A recent report showed that American shoppers are expected to spend $469 billion shopping this holiday season.

Telecommunication is the science and technology of transmitting information such as words, sounds and images over great distances. Presently, the United States is the most technologically advanced country in the area of telecommunications with over 45++ million phone lines, 327,577,529++ million cellular phone users in the U.S., less than 5+ thousand AM radio broadcast stations, 6+ thousand FM radio stations, 4+thousand noncommercial radio stations, 1800+ television broadcast stations and the list goes on with cable television systems,  radios, television sets, I-pads, computers, , and scores of satellite facilities.  The point here, if you have an idea, the means are there to get the message across.

When you use the Internet to bring awareness to African-Americans through the e-commerce transactions and telecommunication services, you have the potential of a hot potato waiting to explore. How this can be accomplished is a difficult question to answer, but many have conquered it. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, are prime examples.

African-American’s Buying Power To Be $1.1 Trillion By 2015.  To “organize” the black dollar buying power is a greater hurdle to climb. However, it’s not out of reach. Too many companies have already taken advantage of this purchasing power by targeted advertising. You indicated your lack of success with the NAACP and the National Urban League. It doesn’t surprise me if your initial contact was at the local and state level since The NAACP’s principal objective is to ensure the political, educational, social and economic equality of minority group citizens of United States and eliminate race prejudice. Another mission of the NAACP is to seek and remove all barriers of racial discrimination through democratic processes. Their mission is accomplished by seeking the enactment and enforcement of federal, state and local laws securing civil rights, and by informing the public of the adverse effects of racial discrimination.

Have you tried going straight to the source by contacting Lorraine C. Miller, the Interim President and CEO of the NAACP.  She was appointed to this position in October 2013 at the NAACP Board of Directors meeting. If that don’t work contact, Chairman Roslyn M. Brock, or Vice Chairman Leon W. Russell,  or anyone of the leaders of the NAACP to explain your concept and business idea to see if they believes that it has any merit to warrant pursing?

On the other hand, the mission of the Urban League is to enable African-Americans to secure economic self-reliance, parity, power and civil rights. They launched, “I AM EMPOWERED,” an initiative focusing on four aspirational goals for empowering communities to achieve in education, employment, housing, and healthcare, the cornerstones of our approach.

Did you contact Hugh B. Price, President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Urban League? Better yet, if that do not work, go to their website and, contact anyone of the board of trustees. Fifteen years ago, my partner and I had what we thought was a great software product to be used as a marketing concept tied to young adults and kids movies. We simply pick up the phone and start calling people at Warner Bros Studio until we reached a key person in the marketing department who will see and listen to our presentation. He like the concept and idea, but we couldn’t agree on terms.


Another suggestion is to not try to conquer the world overnight – try using the systemic approach. Start by and organizing and developing a small effective audience of African-Americans with buying power in a local market. Build upon that concept, develop a record of accomplishment and bring in others as you become more successful. Then you may have a program that works and others can buy into. Present your program to local African-American Chambers of Commerce, neighborhood community center, churches and community associations.

There are numerous programs and people with an idea on how to capitalize on the black buying power and some major companies have been quite successful in obtaining those dollars.

#Askrecy – recommendation on what you need to do to get your message across to help blacks become successful with Internet businesses idea is, If you wish to travel a direction that no one has previous considered or venture, you may have to plow that road yourself until others catch on and follow your lead.

If you have a question, email  – or twitter #Askrecy

Business Start-ups

May 21, 2014

Business Team

From: Vivian T.

Mr. Dunn,

I found you on the minority Business Page. I am going to tell you a little bit about my business and hope that you can give me some advices.

I am a manufacturer of plastic surgery garments-post liposuctions, face lift, ect.. I have top quality fabric from a well known manufacture. However, i am not sure on where to start. It seems like the big fish has gotten this place monopolized. Please advise.

Thank you,

Vivian T.

AskRecy Response

There are several things, I can recommend, however, I think the best approach is for someone with a great deal of experience in this area working with you each step of the way as you build the business. You need the help of an organization called SCORE – Service Corps Of Retired Executives, a nonprofit association providing business counseling to small business owners. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) also sponsors SCORE.

The SCORE Association is also a national, nonprofit association with 11,500 volunteer members and 389 chapters throughout the United States and its territories. The organization is composed of retired business executives with broad business experience, often in your specific business area. The SCORE business leaders have faced the same situations you do and are dedicated to helping all business owners or potential business owners-women and men- realize their entrepreneurial dream. The effective part of their program matches volunteers with small businesses that need expert advice. SCORE also offers free counseling services and workshops designed for those who want to go into business for themselves.

Their website address is

For reading material go to

This site provides service to the small-business market. There are very good articles written to help entrepreneurs.  Direct your questions to   or follow me on Twitter  – #Askrecy or #HDRKW or go to

Do ordinary “white” women would qualify as a minority for a business venture?

April 12, 2014


White businesswoman


Question: Helen B. (Chicago)

Could you tell me if just plain ordinary “white” women would qualify as a minority for a business venture? Would appreciate some information.

Hi:    Helen B. in Chicago,

There are several organizations that can help you, one is called the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council. The Certification from this organization is one of the requirements for Minority and Women Owned Business to do business with Wal-Mart. Their website address is   The other organization that should help you is the National Association of Women Business Owners. They are in your Chicago area and can be found at   The Small Business Association has a Minority and Women-Owned Database to help identified the needs of emerging business market opportunities for small business entrepreneurs, regardless of race, seeking to either start or expand their business. You can also find this information on Minority and Women-Owned Business at    #Askrecy

Back to the Basics

May 7, 2007

 Back to the Basics

Have you ever watched a really entertaining commercial, the kind that cost six figures to produce, and when the commercial ended, you forgot what the product was, only that it was a funny commercial? Some business people put such an effort into making their business promotions slick and professional that they forget who the intended audience was. In advertising, you have to consider the target market. Who is your prospective customer? What kind of magazines or papers does he/she read? The aim is not to get an immediate order but to build name recognition and a reputation for your company.

Do not waste advertising dollars, advertise smart. Remember Jim Mackingvale, owner of Gallery Furniture. People laughed at his first commercials, but he knew the message he wanted convey to his targeted market – sticking to that point made him a wealthy man.

Minorities now own nearly 15 percent of American businesses and surprising, Minorities in Business, 2001, issued by the Small Business Administration stated that women were full or part owners of 9 million businesses and the primary owners in 5.4 million.

Most entrepreneurs never expect to fail, but thousands closed their doors each year and the rate among blacks is extremely high. What can be done about this? Let’s review three contributing causes of failure.

The No. 1 factor is lack of planning and a lack of focus. Learn from the mistakes of others. Plan for success. Don’t make assumptions about what you want to sell when the customer is not prepared to buy the product or service at your price. Focus on the customer; they are your first source to potential problems. Develop and write a business plan, but update it regularly and follow it. A well-written business plan will focus your efforts and resources on the business in a smart way. It will identify potential pitfalls that stand in the way of success. Like a road map, a good plan will identify where you are, where you wish to go and the best routes to travel.The SBA has a program called The Business Plan – Road Map to Success – a tutorial and self-paced activity that can be download or viewed as a text version. Go to The No. 2 most common reason that small businesses fail is access to capital, most are under-financed. Most banks are reluctant to loan money to businesses that are under-capitalized. Determine your cash flow needs in advance. Working capital problems and borrowing after the fact is much more difficult. Don’t leave all of the financial decisions to an accountant. Lack of interest in the “accounting numbers’ is one of the single biggest causes of business failure.The No. 3 failure factor is lack of information. New business owners do not generate adequate information for good decision-making and are operating blindly to the success of their business. Keep track of revenues, expenses, receivables, inventory, and how each relates to each other. Many entrepreneurs underestimate the tasks of managing a small business.The Small Business Association (SBA) 8(a) Minority Enterprise Development Program (MED), assist in the development of traditionally disadvantaged individuals and is the federal government’s largest procurement program. It has two primary components, Business Development and Management and Technical Assistance.

If you need advice about your business, please go to


Hello world!

May 7, 2007

Welcome to my blog!  This is where you can post questions about starting up your  minority business. . . and staying in business!

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