Tennessee Edition 2020–2021—U.S. Small Business Admin…

Small Business resource guide TENNESSEE EDITION 2020–2021


Small Business Resource Guide 1

2 U.S. Small Business Administration

CONTENTS Tennessee Edition 2020–2021

Local Business Assistance

Funding Programs


30 National Success Story Jennifer and Jeff Herbert’s meadery has expanded into a multimillion dollar enterprise thanks to SBA assistance. 33 SBA Lenders 51 Need Financing? 52 Go Global with International Trade 54 R&D Opportunities for High Growth Startups 56 COVID-19 Economic Recovery 58 Surety Bonds Contracting 60 National Success Story Jennifer Rahn steers the course for Admiral Engineering, succeeding as a small business subcontractor. 64 SBA Certification Programs 65 Woman-Owned Small Business Certification

Local Success Story With the help of business guidance, Pilar Gonzalez’s entrepreneurial dream became reality.

11 Local SBA

Resource Partners


13 Your Advocates 14 How to Start a Business 18 Entrepreneurial Resources 21 Emerging Leaders 22 Opportunities for Veterans 24 10 Tips to Help Build and Grow Your Brand 26 Write Your Business Plan 28 Building Your Business Support Network During COVID Recovery







ON THE COVER Roberto Ortiz, courtesy of AVMAC INC.; Pilar Gonzalez, courtesy of Dip It; Exquadrum Inc. President Eric Schmidt, left, and CEO Kevin Mahaffy, courtesy of Exquadrum Inc.; Vera Hall, Innovative Performance Construction Co.; Sridhara Gutt, courtesy of Essnova Solutions

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U.S. SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION A MESSAGE FROM THE ADMINISTRATOR I t is my honor to serve as Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration, leading a team of dedicated professionals—in

underserved markets, and continuing to prioritize disaster relief. Within this resource guide, you will learn more about the tremendous tools the SBA provides small businesses through our 68 District Offices and numerous Resource Partners, such as our Small Business Development Centers, our SCORE mentoring network, Women’s Business Centers, and Veterans Business Outreach Centers. Featured in this guide are some of the remarkable success stories of entrepreneurs who partnered with the SBA to take their businesses to the next level. The SBA encourages you to also utilize these resources to help strengthen and meet your business goals.

Washington, and in communities across America—that is laser-focused on helping entrepreneurs recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The SBA is here to support our nation’s small businesses by providing timely economic relief and access to invaluable resources for planning, launching, and expanding small businesses. America’s entrepreneurs are innovators and risk- takers. They are the catalyst for employment opportunities within their communities. During these unprecedented times, I am confident the small business sector will once again propel our economy to prosperity, just as it has over the last three years. As a member of the President’s cabinet, I am honored to be the voice for America’s 30 million small businesses, advocating on behalf of every entrepreneur. Whether it’s seeking assistance with economic disaster recovery, access to capital, government contracting opportunities, or business mentoring, the SBA is ready and determined to help our customers succeed. The SBA remains committed to continuing our support of America’s entrepreneurs and making an even bigger impact in communities across the country. In particular, the SBA is focused on elevating female entrepreneurs and our military veterans, expanding access to SBA resources among entrepreneurs in


Jovita Carranza SBA Administrator


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Copyright: New South Media, Inc. Reproduction in part or whole is strictly prohib- ited without the express written permission of the publisher. © 2020 NEW SOUTH MEDIA, INC., ALL RIGHTS RESERVED The U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Marketing & Customer Service directs the publication of the Small Business Resource Guide under SBA Contract #SBAHQ-17-C-0018. SBA publication summer 2020 national edition #mcs-0135

WRITER/EDITOR Becky Bosshart (202) 205-6677 rebecca.bosshart@sba.gov DIRECTOR OF MARKETING Paula Panissidi Tavares paula.tavares@sba.gov

The SBA’s participation in this publication is not an endorsement of the views, opinions, products or services of the contractor or any advertiser or other participant appearing here. All SBA programs and services are extended to the public on a non- discriminatory basis. Directory listings do not constitute or imply an endorsement by the SBA of any opinions, products, or services of any private individual or entity.

Printed in the United States of America.

While every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that the information con- tained here is accurate as of the date of publication, the information is subject to change without notice. The contractor that publishes this guide, the federal govern- ment, or agents thereof shall not be held liable for any damages arising from the use of or reliance on the information contained in this publication.

6 U.S. Small Business Administration

SBATennesseeDistrictOffice 2 International Plaza Drive, suite 500 Nashville, TN 37217 (615) 736-5881 Fax (615) 736-7232 sba.gov/tn @SBA_Tennessee

W elcome to the 2021 edition of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Protection Program, the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan, and the Community Advantage Recovery Loan. As our community continues its recovery from the health, social, emotional and economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic, you can continue to count on the SBA for small business assistance. Weʼre in this together. We launched the Road to Recovery: Connecting Tennessee Small Businesses to Resources, a series of statewide webinars showcasing the variety of programs that the SBA provides for small business success during difficult times. Options for free counseling and technical assistance, funding assistance, and government contracting information can also be found in this resource guide. Tennessee Small Business Resource Guide. We’re helping our small businesses in Tennessee access the emergency relief provided by the SBA Paycheck Our road to recovery started in 2020, but it will continue into 2021. We will be right there with you for the long haul, along with an extensive network of business advisers and lenders assisting Tennessee’s 590,000 small businesses at every stage of development. Stay up to date on SBA events near you and get valuable Tennessee business information by following us on Eventbrite and Twitter @SBA_Tennessee. Register for email updates at sba.gov/updates . Use this Small Business Resource Guide to power your dream of starting, growing, or expanding your small business here in Tennessee.

District Director LaTanya Channel (615) 736-5881

latanya.channel@sba.gov Deputy District Director Christopher McKeehan (615) 736-2499 christopher.mckeehan@sba.gov Senior Area Manager Eric Terrell (901) 352-5857 eric.terrell@sba.gov Business Opportunity Specialist Kena Dixon (615) 736-7426 kena.dixon@sba.gov Lender Relations Specialists A. Maria Lloyd (615) 736-7427 anna.lloyd@sba.gov Lisa Denson (615) 736-2991 lisa.denson@sba.gov Economic Development Specialists Jacqueline Merritt (615) 736-7465 jacqueline.merritt@sba.gov

Sincerely, LaTanya Channel District Director

Lindsay Gilmore (615) 736-5887

lindsay.gilmore@sba.gov Administrative Officer David Walley (615) 736-7766 david.walley@sba.gov District Support Assistant James M. Jenkins (615) 736-5091 james.jenkins@sba.gov

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Recipe for Success BA resources provided Pilar Gonzalez with the key ingredients for small business success in Mission, TX. written by becky bosshart How I Did It

8 U.S. Small Business Administration


5 Tips for Success Find a great business mentor. To find your local SBA office and resource partners in your area, visit sba.gov/localassistance . Surround yourself with people who are smarter than you; they will complement your weaknesses and bring out your strengths. You will share your passion and drive with them.

Join up with other entrepreneurs for virtual networking, see pages 28–29 for ideas.

W ith the help of entrepreneurial dream became reality. Dip It can now be found in grocery stores in Texas and Mexico. An Emmy Award nominee from her radio/TV career, Pilar started Dip It 10 years ago out of her home kitchen. Pilar took a family recipe and crafted it into a line of natural yogurt dips including business guidance, Pilar Gonzalez’s cilantro, chipotle, jalapeño, piquin, and green olive. Despite her early struggles with production, design, and marketing, Dip It volume continued to grow. With the business guidance of an SBA Resource Partner, Pilar was able to take her concept to the next level, qualifying for financing and becoming a job creator in Texas. Challenge Pilar needed the help of a business adviser in drafting her business plan, eventually taking her to the place where she could qualify for business financing. It can be difficult for small businesses, especially those in the food industry, to secure capital to expand. She wasn’t able to find the financing she needed

As a small business owner, We don’t cut corners. Sometimes you have to lose money to do quality work—it’s rough, but nothing is more important. Are you a woman-owned small business? The SBA offers free WOSB certification at beta.certify.sba.gov . short or long-term costs necessary to sell goods or services abroad. Pilar used her loan proceeds as working capital to finance foreign sales, helping her better compete globally. Benefit Dip It sales have increased over 200% since 2016; her product can be found in over 250 HEB stores with 300 total distribution locations. She employs eight in her Mission, Texas facility. Pilar recently added cream cheese dips into her line, expanding to include zesty avocado, bacon and spinach, and water chestnuts. Recently her product was awarded a HEB belt buckle for reaching the $1 million sale mark.

with the right terms, even though her revenue was steady and she was creditworthy. Pilar was ready to expand but couldn’t find a lender to back her venture. Solution Pilar worked closely with advisers at her local Small Business Development Center, seeking counseling as her business grew. She attended several trainings that helped with running the financial side of the business. Pilar’s product ranked high in many local and regional food competitions, which increased her marketability and investor appeal. Providing funding to boost production and sales, Pilar’s confidence grew as she continued to gather accolades. She won the second-place grand prize in HEB’s Primo Picks Quest for Texas Best, which placed her product in over 100 stores. The SBA also guarantees loans made by lending institutions to small businesses that cannot find conventional financing elsewhere. Pilar was also able to enter the international marketplace using a State Trade Expansion Program grant and training. SBA international trade programs cover

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SBA Resource Partners No matter your industry, location or experience, if you have a dream, the SBA is here to help you achieve it. Our SBA Resource Partners offer mentoring, counseling, and training to help you start up and thrive at all stages of the business life cycle. These independent organizations operating across the United States and U.S. territories are funded through SBA cooperative agreements or grants.

950 + 100 300 + +


Achieve your dream of business ownership and remain competitive in an ever-changing global economy with assistance from your local SBDC. Access free counseling and free or low- cost training on topics like regulatory compliance, technology development, and international trade. Find an SBDC adviser at sba.gov/sbdc .


Join the ranks of other business owners who have experienced higher revenues and increased growth thanks to SCORE, the nation’s largest network of volunteer business mentors. Experienced executives share real-world knowledge to fit your busy schedule. SCOREmentors are available for free as often as you need, in person, via email or over video chat. Find amentor at sba.gov/score .


Women entrepreneurs receive business counseling and training from this national network of community-based centers. Each center tailors its services to help you navigate the challenges women often face when starting or growing a business. To learn about SBA resources for women visit sba.gov/women .


20 +

Veteran and military entrepreneurs receive business training, counseling, and referrals to other SBA Resource Partners at a Veterans Business Outreach Center, sba.gov/vboc . Receive procurement guidance to better compete for government contracts. VBOCs also serve active duty service members, National Guard or Reserve members, veterans of any era, and military spouses.

10 U.S. Small Business Administration

SBA’s Resource Partners are independent organizations funded through SBA cooperative agreements or grants. Our Local SBA Resource Partners LOCAL BUSINESS ASSISTANCE

Cookeville 242 E. 10th St., suite 314 (931) 372-3648

Fax (931) 372-6534 Director Tyler Asher tasher@tsbdc.org Business Development Specialist Maegan Smith msmith@tsbdc.org Dyersburg Dyersburg State Community College

1510 Lake Road (731) 286-3201

Fax (731) 286-3271 Director Van Wylie vwylie@tsbdc.org Gallatin Volunteer State Community College 1480 Nashville Pike, 300 building, room 103C (615) 230-4780 Fax (615) 230-3362 Director Charles Alexander calexander@tsbc.org Jackson Jackson State Community College 197 Auditorium St. (731) 424-5389 Fax (731) 427-3942 Director Monique Merriweather mmerriweather@tsbdc.org Senior Small Business Specialist Joel Newman jnewman@tsbdc.org Johnson City

Arthur and Sandra Johnson, owners of 21 Short Stop in Georgia, received assistance from their local Small Business Development Center and SCORE chapter.

Small Business Development Centers Lead Center Staff State Executive Director Patrick Geho pgeho@tsbdc.org Associate State Director Mary Stanford mstanford@tsbdc.org (615) 849-9999 or toll free (877) 898-3900 Chattanooga Chattanooga State Technical Community College 100 Cherokee Blvd., suite 202

Clarksville Austin Peay State University 601 College St. McReynolds Building, room 111 (931) 221-1370 Fax (931) 221-7748 Director Lorneth Peters lpeters@tsbdc.org Small Business Specialist Len Stolz lstolz@tsbdc.org Cleveland Cleveland State Community College 3535 Adkisson Drive (423) 478-6247 Fax (423) 478-6251 Director Jennie DeCook jdecook@tsbdc.org Small Business Specialist Ann Zack azack@tsbdc.org

East Tennessee State University College of Business & Technology 2109 W. Market St. (423) 439-8505

(423) 756-8668 x102 Fax (423) 756-6195 Managing Director Lynn Chesnutt lchesnutt@tsbdc.org Small Business Specialist Josh Brown jbrown@tsbdc.org Small Business Specialist Sarah Mattson smattson@tsbdc.org

Fax (423) 439-8506 Director Mark Bays mbays@tsbdc.org

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Kingsport Kingsport Area Chamber of Commerce, affiliate of East Tennessee State University 400 Clinchfield St., suite 100 (423) 392-8825 Fax (423) 392-8834 Senior Business Counselor Aundrea Wilcox awilcox@tsbdc.org Knoxville Pellissippi State Community College 17 Market Square, suite 201 (865) 246-2663 Fax (865) 971-4439 Director Laura Overstreet loverstreet@tsbdc.org Small Business Specialist Teresa Sylvia tsylvia@tsbdc.org Martin UT-Martin/REED Center 406 S. Lindell St. (731) 587-7333 Fax (731) 587-7334 Director Landy Fuqua lfuqua@tsbdc.org Memphis Southwest TN Community College Maxine A. Smith Center, suite 112 8800 E. Shelby Drive (901) 333-5085 Fax (901) 333-5698 Executive Director Rory Thomas rthomas@tsbdc.org Associate Director William H. Richardson wrichardson@tsbdc.org Small Business Specialist NaShawn Branch nbranch@tsbdc.org City of Memphis Entrepreneur Network Center, satellite office of SWTCC 480 Dr. MLK Jr. Ave. (901) 526-9300

Nashville Tennessee State University, Avon Williams Campus 330 10th Ave. N., suite G-400 (615) 963-7158 Fax (615) 963-7160 Director John Ordung jordung@tsbdc.org Executive Director Leslee Alexander lalexander@tsbdc.org Small Business Specialist Greg Jones gjones@tsbdc.org Small Business Specialist Thomas Tate ttate@tsbdc.org Oak Ridge Roane State Community College 1400 Oak Ridge Turnpike (865) 483-2668 Fax (865) 483-1728 SCORE Call for an appointment or visit chattanooga.score.org Greater Knoxville 412 N. Cedar Bluff Road, suite 450 Knoxville By appointment only (865) 692-0716 Fax (865) 692-0718 greaterknoxville.score.org Memphis 5100 Poplar Ave., suite 410 (901) 544-3588 Monday-Friday 9 a.m.–noon Fax (901) 544-0557 help@score.org memphis.score.org Nashville 2 International Plaza, suite 500 (615) 736-7621 info@scorenashville.org nashville.score.org Monday-Friday 9 a.m.–noon sba.gov/score . Chattanooga Franklin Building 5726 Marlin Road, suite 515 (423) 553-1722 Monday-Thursday 9 a.m.–1 p.m. Fax (423) 553-1724

Women’s Business Center Pathway Women’s Business Center 201 Venture Circle Nashville (615) 425-7171 Director Jarlecia Jones info@pathwaywbc.org pathwaywbc.org Veterans Business Outreach Center

Fax (901) 525-2357 Murfreesboro Middle Tennessee State University

Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce 3050 Medical Center Parkway, suite 200 (615) 898-2745 Fax (615) 893-7089 Director Christopher Swoner cswoner@tsbdc.org Operations Manager Stacey Tadlock stadlock@tsbdc.org Associate Director Kayla Miller kmiller@tsbdc.org

Serving Tennessee and Kentucky with the SBA Boots to Business program at Fort Campbell, Fort Knox, McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base, and Naval Support Activity Mid-South at Millington 201 Venture Circle Nashville (615) 425-7171 Director Reggie Ordonez reggie.ordonez@pathwaylending.org pathwaylending.org

12 U.S. Small Business Administration


Your Advocates The SBA offices of advocacy and ombudsman are independent voices for small business within the federal government.

To report how a proposed federal regulation could unfairly affect you, contact advocacy.sba.gov . To submit a comment about how your business has been hurt by an existing regulation, visit sba.gov/ombudsman/ comments .

Advocacy When you need a voice within the federal government for your interests as a small business owner, SBA advocates can assist. They analyze effects of proposed regulations and consider alternatives that minimize the economic burden on small businesses, governmental jurisdictions, and nonprofits. SBA advocates, advocacy.sba.gov , help with these small business issues: » if your business could be negatively affected by regulations proposed by the government » when you need economic and small business statistics The office of advocacy also independently represents small business and advances its concerns before Congress, the White House, and federal agencies.

Ombudsman Entrepreneurs who have an issue with an existing federal regulation or policy receive assistance from the SBA national ombudsman. The ombudsman’s office helps you: » resolve regulatory disputes with federal agencies » reduce unfair penalties and fines » seek remedies when rules are inconsistently applied » recover payment for services done by government contractors Make your voice heard by participating in a Regional Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Roundtable or a public hearing hosted by the SBA national ombudsman. These events are posted periodically at sba.gov/ombudsman .

To submit a comment or complaint through the online form, visit sba.gov/ ombudsman/comments . Your concerns will be directed to the appropriate federal agency for review. The SBA will collaborate with you and the agency to help resolve the issue.

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Adriana Medina, owner of Fuerte Fitness, in Seattle, WA, received counseling from a SCORE mentor and a Women's Business Center adviser. How to Start a Business in Tennessee Thinking of starting a business? Here are the nuts & bolts.

to expensive penalties, and jeopardize your business. Market Research Need to do research on your clients and location? View consumer and business data for your area using the Census Business Builder: Small Business Edition, cbb.census.gov . Filter your search by business type and location to view data on your potential customers, including consumer spending, and a summary of existing businesses, available as a map and a report.

The Startup Logistics Even if you’re running a home-based business, you will have to comply with many local, state, and federal regulations. Do not ignore regulatory details. You may avoid some red tape in the beginning, but your lack of compliance could become an obstacle as your business grows. Taking the time to research the applicable regulations is as important as knowing your market. Carefully investigate the laws affecting your industry. Being out of compliance could leave you unprotected legally, lead

Business License & Zoning Licenses are typically administered by a variety of state and local departments. It is important to consider zoning regulations when choosing a site for your business. Contact the local business license office where you plan to locate your business. You may not be permitted to conduct business out of your home or engage in industrial activity in a retail district. » Tennessee Smart Start tnsmartstart.com

14 U.S. Small Business Administration


Name Registration Register your business namewith the county clerkwhere your business is located. If you’re a corporation, also register with the state. » Tennessee Secretary of State 312 Eighth Ave. N., sixth floor Nashville (615) 741-2286 sos.tn.gov tnbear.tn.gov/ecommerce/ nameavailability.aspx Taxes As a business owner, you should know your federal tax responsibilities andmakebusiness decisions to comply with tax requirements. The IRS Small Business and Self-Employed Tax Center, irs.gov/businesses/small- businesses-self-employed , includes informationonpayingandfiling income tax and obtaining an Employer ID Number. As the IRS continues to implement some of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act provisions, your tax obligations may change. For the latest tax reform updates that affect your bottom line visit irs.gov/tax-reform . » IRS Tax Assistance Centers Chattanooga 5740 Uptain Road (423) 855-6098 Jackson

Social Security If you have any employees, including officers of a corporation but not the sole proprietor or partners, youmust make periodic payments, and/or file quarterly reports about payroll taxes and other mandatory deductions. You can contact the IRS or the Social Security Administration for information, assistance, and forms at (800) 772-1213 or visit socialsecurity.gov/ employer . You can fileW-2s online or verify job seekers through the Social Security Number Verification Service. Employment Eligibility Verification The Federal Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 requires employers to verify employment eligibility of new employees. The law obligates an employer to process Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service offers information and assistance through uscis.gov/i-9-central . For forms, call (800) 870-3676, for the employer hotline, call (888) 464-4218 or e-mail I-9central@dhs.gov. E-Verify is the quickest way for employers to determine the employment eligibility of new hires by verifying the Social Security number and employment eligibility information reported on Form I-9. Visit e-verify.gov , call (888) 464-4218 or email e-verify@dhs.gov. Health & Safety All businesses with employees are required to comply with state and federal regulations regarding the protection of employees, visit dol.gov for information. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration provides information on the specific health and safety standards used by the U.S. Department of Labor, (800) 321-6742, or visit osha.gov . » OSHA Nashville area 51 Century Blvd., suite 250 Nashville (615) 232-3803; fax (615) 232-3827

Environmental Regulations

State assistance is available for small businesses that must comply with environmental regulations under the Clean Air Act. State Small Business Environmental Assistance programs provide free, confidential assistance to help small business owners understand and comply with complex environmental regulations and permitting requirements. These state programs can help businesses reduce emissions at the source, often reducing regulatory burden and saving you money. To learn more about these free services, visit nationalsbeap.org/states/list . » Environmental Protection Agency Small Business Division epa.gov/resources-small-businesses » Small Business Environmental Assistance 312 Rosa L. Parks Ave., second floor Nashville (800) 734-3619 bgsbeap@tn.gov tn.gov/environment

Environmental Field Offices: Chattanooga (423) 634-5745 Columbia (931) 380-3371 Cookeville (931) 520-6688 Jackson (731) 512-1300 Johnson City (423) 854-5400 Knoxville (865) 594-6035 Memphis (901) 371-3000 Nashville (615) 687-7000 » Tennessee Department of

109 S. Highland (731) 423-2441 Johnson City 2513 Wesley St. (423) 610-7050 Knoxville 710 Locust St. (865) 329-4600 Memphis 22 N. Front St. (901) 215-9680 Nashville 801 Broadway (615) 250-5656

Environment & Conservation 312 Rosa L. Parks Ave., Nashville Division of Air Pollution Control (615) 532-0554 or (888) 891-8332 Division of Solid & Hazardous Waste (615) 532-0780 Division of Water Pollution Control (615) 532-0554 or (888) 891-8332 tn.gov/environment Accessibility & ADA Compliance For assistance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, call the ADA center at (800) 949-4232 or the Department of Justice at (800) 514-0301. Direct questions about accessible design and the ADA standards to the U.S. Access Board at (800) 872-2253, TTY (800)

» State Taxes County Court Clerk or Miscellaneous Tax Division Tennessee Department of Revenue (800) 342-1003 In Davidson County and out-of-state (615) 862-6254 tn.gov/revenue

Employee Insurance For health insurance options, visit

healthcare.gov . If a business employs a certain number of people, workers’ compensation insurance must be carried. If you hire employees you may be required to provide unemployment insurance.

nashvilleclerk.com apps.tn.gov/bizreg

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993-2822, ta@access-board.gov or visit access-board.gov . Child Support Employers are essential to the success of the child support program and are responsible for collecting 75 percent of support nationwide through payroll deductions. The office of Child Support Enforcement at Health and Human Services offers employers step-by-step instructions for processing income withholding orders for child support. “A Guide to an Employer’s Role in the Child Support Program” is available at the office of Child Support Enforcement’s website at acf.hhs.gov/programs/css/resource/a- guide-to-an-employers-role-in-the- child-support-program . You can also find information about other employer responsibilities and tools that can make meeting those responsibilities easier, such as electronic income withholding orders and the Child Support Portal, at acf.hhs. gov/css/employers . Send questions to employerservices@acf.hhs.gov. Intellectual Property Patents, trademarks, and copyrights are types of intellectual property that serve to protect creations and innovations. For information and resources about U.S. patents and federally registered trademarks consult uspto.gov , call (800) 786-9199 or visit U.S. Patent and Trademark headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia. A patent for an invention is the grant of a property right to an inventor, issued by the U.S. patent office. The right conferred by the patent grant is the right to exclude others frommaking, using, offering for sale, or selling the invention in the United States or importing the invention into the country. For information visit uspto.gov/inventors . There are three types of patents: • Utility patents may be granted to anyone who invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine,

and new variety of plant, other than a tuber propagated plant or a plant found in an uncultivated state. A trademark or service mark includes any word, name, symbol, device, or any combination, used to identify and distinguish the goods/services of one provider from others. Trademarks and service marks can be registered at both the state and federal level. Copyrights protect original works of authorship including literary, dramatic, musical and artistic, and certain other intellectual works, such as computer software. Copyrights do not protect facts, ideas, and systems, although they may protect the way they are expressed. Visit uspto. gov/trademarks . Copyrights protect original works of authorship including literary, dramatic, musical and artistic, and certain other intellectual works, such as computer software. Copyrights do not protect facts, ideas, and systems, although they may protect the way they are expressed. For general information on copyrights, contact: » U.S. Copyright Office U.S. Library of Congress James Madison Memorial Building 101 Independence Ave. SE Washington, DC (202) 707-3000 or toll free (877) 476-0778 copyright.gov

Memphis BioWorks memphisbioworks.org

Seed Hatchery neverstop.co Sky High neverstop.co/skyhigh UM Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation memphis.edu/crews Upstart neverstop.co/upstart ZeroTo510 zeroto510.com Middle TN CET Life Sciences Center

cet-fund.com/life-sciences-center Cumberland University Culinary Center cumberland.edu/culinary-center GrowthX growthx.com Nashville Business Incubation Center nbiconline.com Tennessee Central Economic Authority tennesseecentral.org East TN Cleveland-Bradley Business Incubator incubatortn.com Cumberland Business Incubator cbimakerspace.com/cbi ETSU Innovation Laboratory etsu.edu/ilab Fairview Technology Center knoxdevelopment.org/ businessincubator/fairviewclients.aspx GIGTANK 365 colab.co/accelerator/gigtank Holston Business Development Center holstonbusiness.hbdc.org/home.html The INCubator chattanoogachamber.com/incubator UTRF Technology Incubator utrf.tennessee.edu/business-incubator

Chamber of Commerce Tennessee Chamber of Commerce & Industry 414 Union St., suite 107 Nashville (615) 256-5141 tnchamber.org Economic Development Incubators & Accelerators West TN Advance Memphis advancememphis.org CEED memphis.edu/ceed Emerge Memphis emergememphis.org

manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement.

• Design patents may be granted to anyone who invents a new, original, and ornamental design for a manufactured article. • Plant patents may be granted to anyone who invents or discovers and asexually reproduces any distinct

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An O’Fallon Casting Inc. employee at work in O’Fallon, MO. General Manager Vince Gimeno grew his business thanks to the Small Business Innovation Research Program.

Launch Tennessee statewide resource network launchtn.org/networkpartners Chattanooga CO LAB Cookeville the Biz Foundry Jackson theCo Knoxville Entrepreneur Center Life Science Tennessee Memphis EPI Center Nashville Entrepreneur Center Nashville Bunker Labs Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council Tri-Cities Sync Space Minority Business Center (901) 528-1432 mbda.gov Tennessee Department of Economic & Community Development tn.gov/ecd Commissioner Bob Rolfe (615) 741-1888 or (800) 872-7201 Business Enterprise Resource Office State Director Wisty Pender (615) 741-8914 wisty.pender@tn.gov

Southwest Tennessee Tracey Exum (731) 414-4463

Regional Directors East Tennessee Gary Human (865) 210-1333 gary.human@tn.gov Greater Memphis

tracey.exum@tn.gov Upper Cumberland Cody Huddleston (931) 265-2080 cody.huddleston@tn.gov Tristate Minority Supplier Development Council (615) 259-4699 info@tsmsdc.net tsmsdc.com Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (504) 830-0149 wbenc.org Export Assistance U.S. Export Assistance Center Regional Export Finance Manager David Leonard (404) 730-2706 david.leonard@sba.gov

Gwyn R. Fisher (901) 208-9920

gwyn.fisher@tn.gov Northeast Tennessee Lynn Tully (423) 431-9650 lynn.tully@tn.gov Northern Middle Tennessee

Lyndi Berrones (615) 981-3255

lyndi.berrones@tn.gov Northwest Tennessee

Blake Swaggart (731) 437-9443 blake.swaggart@tn.gov Southeast Tennessee SamWills (423) 254-4275 sam.wills@tn.gov Southern Middle Tennessee

John Hatfield (615) 290-2227 john.hatfield@tn.gov

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Entrepreneurial Resources

Online Learning Find free short courses and learning tools to start and grow your small business at sba.gov/learning . The SBA’s free Online Learning Center is a great resource for every entrepreneur,

Native American Workshops Native American, Alaska native, and native Hawaiian entrepreneurs are eligible to receive free training on how to start and grow their business from experienced industry leaders in the field of Native American business development. The SBA Office of Native American Affairs, sba.gov/ naa , works with Sister Sky Inc. and RedWind to reach as many locations as possible. Network with native peers and get connected to business assistance in your area. To register for a workshop near you, visit nativesba.sisterskyinc.com or nativesmallbusiness.org .

especially rural business owners looking for easy access to vital business training. Courses include: • writing your business plan • understanding your customer • buying a business • marketing to win customers

• legal requirements • financing options • disaster recovery

18 U.S. Small Business Administration


What business structure is right for you?





Company not taxable Owner subject to self employment tax Owner provides capital

Owner has full control

Personally liable for all debts/obligations


Separate and independent from its owners General partners have unlimited liability Limited partners’ liability is limited to what they agree to contribute

Profits are taxed as income based on ownership percentage or other criteria in the partnership agreement General partners have no limits on profit dividends Partners pay self-employment taxes

Limited partnerships can only have 1 general partner, general partners have greater control


Members set up LLC agreement

Members are not typically held liable for debts/obligations

Income passes through to members Members may sell interests, but subject to agreement and securities laws may apply


Based off percentage of shares Shareholders elect directors who manage business

Shareholders are not typically held liable for debts/obligations

C corps are taxed at corporate rate and then again if distributed to shareholders in dividends S corps allow profits and some losses to be passed to shareholders’personal income, avoiding corporate tax rate; but not shareholder distributions. Shares of stock are sold to raise capital, securities laws apply

Contact your local SBA office or resource partner at sba.gov/localassistance for more information on business structures and incorporating. Consult with your tax and/or legal adviser to choose the structure that works best for your business. Visit irs.gov for the latest tax updates and forms.

Small Business Resource Guide 19

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Emerging Leaders

Learn the skills to grow your small business in this seven-month course.

Accelerate Growth Small business executives looking to grow their business, create jobs, and strengthen their communities will find their next challenge

in the SBA Emerging Leaders program. This seven-month course offers about 100 hours of training and provides the opportunity for high-potential small business owners to work with experienced coaches and mentors while developing connections with peers, local leaders, and the financial community. How it Benefits You Since the start of the program in 2008, Emerging Leaders graduates have reported creating over 6,500 jobs, gaining more than $300 million in new financing, and securing over $3.16 billion in government contracts. Participants produce a three-year strategic growth plan that connects them with the necessary tools and resources to reach major performance targets. What You Learn The curriculum is research-based and nationally scalable, enabling you to engage in focused development and expansion strategies, including options for accessing new capital and securing government contracts. Who’s Eligible Small businesses having annual revenues of at least $250,000, in business for at least three years, and with at least one employee.

HOW THE SBA HELPED ME SUCCEED When April Broderick wanted to expand into government contracting, she turned to the SBA. A&A Fire and Safety Co. in Cabot, AR serves the fire protection and service needs of businesses, schools, and fire departments across Arkansas. She took over from her father, Alan, in 2014, becoming one of the few women executives in her industry. With the help of the SBA Emerging Leaders program, April received business training and networking opportunities to help her better compete in the public marketplace. April committed to the program because she wanted to develop a three- year growth plan with business experts. Since graduating from Emerging Leaders, she has grown her business to six full-time employees, seven part time, with a projected 2019 revenue of $1.7 million.

Get Involved To register online, visit sba.gov/ emergingleaders .

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HOW THE SBA HELPED ME SUCCEED U.S. Navy veteran Roberto Ortiz puts his 40 years of aviation management experience to use as a small business owner in Chesapeake, VA. Bert expanded AVMAC Inc. into the government sector fulfilling aviation and maritime logistical services with the help of his local SBA Veterans Business Outreach Center. VBOCs are the first stop for military community entrepreneurs looking to start, grow, or expand a small business. The Old Dominion University VBOC helped Bert obtain government contracting business certifications. With its support, Bert strategically positioned AVMAC to better compete for large-scale government contracts. From AVMAC’s first contract in 2010, this veteran-led company has nearly doubled in revenue and grown to over 400 employees.

AVMAC President/CEO Bert Ortiz, left, and fellow U.S. Navy veteran and electrician Ken Morey manufacturing a power panel bracket.

Opportunities for Veterans

Military community members become more successful entrepreneurs with the help of the SBA.

Who’s Eligible Service members transitioning out of active duty and military spouses. Boots to Business: Reboot, for veterans, National Guard or Reserve members and military spouses, teaches this entrepreneurship curriculum off base in communities. Register for either B2B program at https://sbavets.force.com . For Women Veterans Receive entrepreneurial training geared toward women veterans, service

members, and spouses through these SBA- funded programs: » ONABEN in Tulsa, Oklahoma » Veteran Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship in Syracuse, New York » LiftFund in San Antonio, Texas For Service-disabled Veterans Learn how to start and grow a small business using these SBA-funded programs:

Entrepreneurship Training In Boots to Business, explore business ownership and other self-employment opportunities while learning key business concepts. Walk away with an overview of entrepreneurship and applicable business ownership fundamentals, including how to access startup capital using SBA resources. Boots to Business is conducted on all military installations as part of the Department of Defense’s Transition Assistance Program.

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» Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities at the Institute for Veteran and Military Families at Syracuse University in Syracuse, New York » Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania » Veterans Entrepreneurship Program at the Riata Center for Entrepreneurship, Spears School of Business, Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Oklahoma » Dog Tag Inc., affiliated with Georgetown University in Washington, DC

Financing Employee called to active duty?

You can receive funds that enable your business to meet ordinary and necessary operating expenses when an essential employee is called up to active duty in the military reserve. Ask your local SBA specialist or lender about the Military Reservist Economic Injury Disaster Loan. Government Contracting Veteran-owned and service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses that want to better compete in the public market receive training from the Veteran Institute for Procurement, nationalvip.org . VIP Start Enter the federal market and become ready for procurement. VIP Grow Strategize to expand and operate within the federal marketplace. VIP International Enter or expand your federal and commercial contracting opportunities overseas. Get Certified Learn about the service-disabled veteran- owned small business certification program on page 66. Need assistance? Veteran and military entrepreneurs receive business training, counseling, and referrals to other SBA Resource Partners at a Veterans Business Outreach Center, sba.gov/vboc . For veterans business information visit sba.gov/veterans .

Small Business Resource Guide 23


10 Tips to Help You Build and Grow a Stand-Out Small Business Brand Build a better business with these time-tested tips.

Elliot Henry, who received SBA- backed 7(a) and 504 loans, runs UnlimitedWater Processing in St. Louis, MO.

The United States loves small businesses. That’s according to a survey by the Pew Foundation reported by Small Business Trends, smallbiztrends.com , which found that 71% of Americans view small business more favorably than any other institutions. Why is this? Well, small businesses are seen as a positive influence. But it’s more than that. Small businesses are in a unique position to create valuable customer experiences. Their products and services are often niche, the target customer is very defined. Business operations

are agile and unconstrained by corporate rules and processes. Small businesses are also trusted for their integrity, community engagement, and customer service. When was the last time you called a small business and got put through to an automated call center? These things come together to create a hugely competitive value proposition, the linchpin of your brand. But what can you do to leverage these experiences and grow the appeal of your brand without breaking the bank?

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1 What is your brand? It’s important to understand that your brand is much more than your logo, merchandising or products. It is all the experiences customers have with your business, including the visual elements of your business. It also includes what you do, how you do it, customer interactions, and your marketing. All of these elements help establish the trust and credibility of your business. 2 Stand Out If your brand is going to be strong, you need to be able to pinpoint what makes you different from competitors. A SCORE mentor, sba.gov/score , can help you use competitive differentiators to build your business brand. Don’t forget to weave your differentiators into your company’s messaging and marketing. 3 Have Great Products and Services Word of mouth is often a small business’s greatest lead generator, so having great products and services that people talk about is a critical part of your brand. Even the most outgoing and charming small business owner is not going to succeed in bringing customers back unless the product or service they provide delivers and exceeds expectations. Don’t lose sight of your product, keep refining it, testing new offerings, and making sure you always put product first. 4 Make Sure Your Customers Know the Face Behind the Product One of the biggest reasons that small businesses fail is because of the persistent absence of the business owner. You only need to look at a few episodes of business makeover TV shows to witness what can go wrong when a business is left to run itself. Without an actively engaged owner, employees lose motivation and structure, which can quickly lead to sloppy service, a poor product, and customer churn. Yes, your business needs to be able to function without your constant presence, but it’s important to strike a balance. Find ways to make sure your customers know you and connect with the face behind the business. Businesses thrive when the energy of the owner is present. 5 Get Your Name and Logo Right It’s important to get this right the first time because changing your name and logo later can be costly. Your logo and name should be easily recognizable and reflect the nature and tone of your business as well as appeal to your target market. I’m a dog owner, and two of my absolute favorite small businesses cater to pet owners: my local provider of dog walking services and a healthful pet food store. When I see their logos, it makes me feel good; I feel an affinity with them. That’s what you need to shoot for.

6 Have a Distinct Voice

A great way to ensure your distinct brand message is delivered consistently across your business is to focus on how you and your employees interact and

communicate with customers in person, on the phone, and on social media. Not sure what your “voice” should be? Look to other brands. What do they do that you’d like to emulate? How do they greet and interact with you? What is it they do that makes you feel good about doing business with them? 7 Build Community Around What you Do A successful brand is one trusted and respected by customers. Building a strong community online and off can help you achieve this. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to do this. In fact, many successful brands concentrate almost exclusively in online and offline community building. Offline participation in community activities, such as local events, fundraisers, and charities, as well as hosting your own events, such as workshops or loyal customer events, can all help you build community and extend the trust your brand has earned. 8 Be an Advocate for Your Business— Not Just a Salesman You don't have to be the greatest salesman to succeed in business. Selling takes many forms, and being a brand advocate gels them. For example, many small business owners strive to be the number one salesman, the number one cheerleader, and the number one fan of their own business. If you are passionate about your business, be an advocate for it. Invite people in! 9 Be Reliable Letting your customers down by failing to live up to your own promises and brand standards can be particularly harmful for small businesses that depend heavily on referrals. The foundation of brand loyalty lies in great service; a happy customer is a loyal customer. Make sure you aren’t making promises that you can’t keep, whether you run a pizza business and pledge to deliver within 30 minutes, or you’re a painting contractor who promises to start a job on a Monday at 9 a.m. sharp. Stand by your promises. 10 Have a Value Proposition Value, not to be mistaken with price, can help define your brand and differentiate you from the competition. This goes back to my second point about standing out. What niche do you serve? What do you do well in that niche that makes you different from everyone else? What are the emotional benefits of what you do? The answers to these questions will help define what your value is to your customers. It could be your great customer service, product quality, innovation, or a combination of these.

written by Caron Beesley , contributor

Small Business Resource Guide 25

LOCAL BUSINESS ASSISTANCE Write your Business Plan Lay the foundation for success with a concise business plan.

TRADITIONAL BUSINESS PLAN FORMAT When you write your business plan, you don’t have to stick to the exact business plan template. Instead, use the sections that make the most sense for your business and your needs. Executive Summary Briefly summarize your company and why it will be successful. Include your mission statement, your product or service, and basic information about your company’s leadership team, employees, and location. You should also include financial information and high-level growth plans if you plan to ask for financing. Company Description Go into detail about the problems your business solves. Be specific as to audience and location. List out the consumers, organizations, or businesses your company plans to serve. Explain the competitive advantages you have that will make your business successful. Are there experts on your team? Have you found the perfect location? Your company description is the place to boast about your strengths. Market Analysis Demonstrate a solid understanding of your industry outlook and tar- get market. This is where it pays to partner with an experienced busi- ness counselor fromyour local Small Business Development Center, SCORE, Women's Business Center, or Veterans Business Outreach Center—all these SBA Resource Partners provide free or low-cost business assistance. Competitive research will showwhat other busi- nesses are doing and their strengths. In your market research, look for trends and themes. What do successful competitors do? Why does it work? Can you do it better? Now's the time to answer these questions. Organization and Management

Business plans help you run your business. A good business plan guides you throughmanaging your business. You’ll use your business plan as a roadmap for how to structure, run, and grow your new business. Business plans can help you get funding or bring on new business partners. Investors want to see a return on their investment. Your business plan is the tool you’ll use to convince people that working with you—or investing in your company—is a smart investment. Brain storm with a business counselor (visit one of our SBA Resource Partners detailed on page 10) and write a traditional business plan , which uses a standard structure and detailed sections. Once you've got it all down, you can then condense it to a lean startup business plan, which typically contains key points on only one page.

Explain how your com- pany will be structured and who will run it. Describe the legal structure of your busi- ness. Statewhether you have or intend to incor- porate your business as a C or an S corporation, forma general or limited partnership, or if you're a sole proprietor or limited liability company.

Want to see an example of a business plan? View examples of business plans at sba.gov/business-guide/plan/ write-your-business- plan-template

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