Knoxville Area Tennessee Small Business Development Center receives Eagle Award

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The Tennessee Small Business District Knoxville Office received an Eagle Award from the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Tennessee District Thursday, March 20. Pictured, from left to right, are Jane Shelton, Bruce Hayes and Laura Overstreet of the TSBDC, Walter Perry, district director of the SBA Tennessee District Office; Larry Rossini, executive director of the TSBDC; L. Anthony Wise Jr., president of Pellissippi State Community College; Maria Lloyd of the SBA; and Teri Brahams, executive director of Economic and Workforce Development at Pellissippi State.

The U.S. Small Business Administration’s Tennessee District has presented the Knoxville Area Tennessee Small Business Development Center, which is administered by Pellissippi State Community College, with the first Eagle Award.

The honor, given during an awards ceremony March 20, recognized the TSBDC office with the highest dollar volume of SBA loans for clients during 2013. TSBDC is a statewide network of centers that provide resources to assist small-business and potential small-business owners. The Small Business Administration is a federal agency.

Last year, Pellissippi State’s TSBDC directly assisted eight clients who obtained a cumulative total of more than $9.3 million in SBA loans.

“Pellissippi State’s Small Business Development Center has always been committed to helping businesses in our community to find the resources they need in order to be successful,” said L. Anthony Wise Jr., president of Pellissippi State. “This recognition by the Small Business Administration is an affirmation of that good work.”

“Pellissippi State’s diligence in working with small-business owners and East Tennessee lenders demonstrates that dollars are available to start or expand a small business,” said Walter Perry, district director of SBA’s Tennessee District Office.

“The Eagle Award represents superior dedication of the Pellissippi State staff collaborating with area banks and credit unions to identify working capital for their clients.”

The SBA guarantees small-business loans and, through a cooperative agreement with Pellissippi State, provides counseling and training to small-business owners. A key component of that assistance is helping small-business owners acquire capital through SBA-guaranteed loans made by area lenders.

A wide variety of small businesses in the area were provided funding in 2013—among them, a veterinary practice, winery, restaurant, retail store, transportation services firm, research and development firm, and temporary services agency. East Tennessee lenders that assisted Pellissippi State clients included United Community Bank, Jefferson Federal Bank, UT Federal Credit Union, Fifth Third Bank and Areawide Development Corporation.

A total of 21 jobs were created and 42 jobs retained as a result of the SBA loans, according to the small businesses that were funded.

The area Small Business Development Center serves the counties of Blount, Claiborne, Cocke, Jefferson, Knox, Sevier and Union. In 2013, the center provided more than 1,695 hours of small-business counseling and trained 1,263 people in small-business-related subjects.