SMALL BUSINESS ASSISTANCE CORPORATION ACCEPTING NOMINATIONS FOR T. MCCOY CONERSTONE AWARD

Opportunity to Recognize Administrative Professionals

Savannah, GA – October, 16 2014 – Small Business Assistance Corporation (SBAC) is accepting nominations for the T McCoy Cornerstone Award. This is award is presented to a person achieving the highest level of excellence as an Administrative Professional. The recipient will be awarded a plaque and $500.00 at SBAC’s 23rd Annual Luncheon and Awards Ceremony on Wednesday, December 3rd.

“We love to take this time to honor those who have personified values we share” said Tony O’Reilly, SBAC President.

This award is in honor of Terry McCoy, who for 16 years managed SBAC’s administrative responsibilities. Because of her excellence and faithful dedication in her work, Terry personified the very best aspects of her profession. SBAC has named her legacy award, the Cornerstone Award. The name symbolizes the strength administrative professionals impart to the many organizations they support. This award is given, in recognition, of someone who has achieved enduring professional excellence in the field of Administrative Assistance. Last year’s recipient was Gloria Pace of the Savannah College of Art and Design.

Nominations may be submitted to Cara Garland, Attn Nominating Committee, at cgarland@sbacsav.com or by fax to 912-721-6303. Nomination deadline is November 12th at 2pm. 

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Small Business Assistance Corporation (SBAC) is a community financial development institution (CDFI) as well as a certified development company (CDC). SBAC is authorized to provide business financing an assistance services by the City of Savannah, the Small Business Administration (SBA), the state of Georgia’s Department of Community Affairs, and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).   


Your Business, Your Brand – 7 Simple Brand Identity Tips

By Caron_Beesley, SBA Contributor
Published: September 29, 2014Updated: September 29, 2014

What’s your small business brand identity?

Sure, you’ve got a logo, a website, business cards, signage and perhaps even a storefront – but your brand is so much more than the “look” of your business. While all these can help you project a carefully crafted image to your customers, true branding runs a lot deeper.

Think of Apple and Zappos, for example – two brands that spring to mind as exemplary in their markets. Customers like doing business with these companies. They feel a connection with the brand. But how did they get there? Much of this is down to great products and business innovation, but it’s more than that. Customers know what they are going to get when they interact with these brands, they’re invested in them, and that this requires a brand strategy.

So how does your small business do the same? Here are seven simple steps for nurturing and maintaining your brand.

Get the Basics Right

I already mentioned logos, website, signage, etc. These are the foundations of your brand and it’s very important to establish brand guidelines that stipulate how these elements are used. For example, applying rules around brand colors, use of your logo, images and fonts. Don’t forget to register or trademark your logo too.

Brand guidelines also apply to your “voice,” i.e. the tone your business adopts. For example, a software company that sells to other businesses might want to adopt a voice of authority, expertise and trust. While a software company that markets software apps to consumers could adopt a more conversational voice in its marketing materials.

Capture Your Value

Above all, make sure your brand elements reflect your company and its value proposition. Not to be mistaken with price, value encompasses what you do, what business problem you solve, how your business is different and how you make your customer’s life different after doing business with you.

Use clear language to communicate your value. Don’t be so vague that your message is meaningless. Use simple, clean imagery that resonates with your customers, and use a tagline that succinctly sums up not who you are, but what you do for your customers.

For more help developing your marketing voice and message, read 7 Tips for Getting your Marketing Message Right or watch this on-demand webinar: Practical Marketing – A Five Step Marketing Program for Small Business from National Small Business Week.

Let Your Customers Get to Know the Face Behind the Brand

I have a favorite restaurant; the food and service are great, but something is missing – the owner. Despite being a frequent diner, I’ve never had a single interaction with the owner and, for small businesses, this is a huge mistake. Customers want to feel that their business is appreciated and they want to connect with the face behind the business, especially if the transactions are frequent or substantial or one, such as a home renovation project.

This doesn’t mean you have to be on-site for every meeting or visible 100 percent of the time, but ask yourself if you’re really getting to know your customers. Are you responsive and in-tune with their needs? What do they really think about your business?

If you know what you want your brand identity to be and have invested in building it, make sure you’re out there maintaining its integrity. Small business owners need to be just as much an advocate for their brand just as Steve Jobs was for Apple.

Use Social Media to Help Your Brand Shine

Social media has changed the way brands connect and engage with their prospects and customers, opening up new opportunities to talk directly to and with them in real-time. While your basic brand guidelines should apply to the foundation of your social media pages, there are lots of other quick and easy ways to use social media to grow your brand. Anita Campbell of SmallBizTrends suggests 12 ways to get started. Read part one of “6 Ways to Use Social Media for Branding” and part two here.

Get Involved in your Community

What better way to get exposure for your brand than giving back and getting involved in the community. Sponsor the local 5k marathon or participate in fairs, farmer’s markets or events – all of these can help build community and extend the trust you’ve earned for your brand.

Become a Trusted Advisor

Becoming a trusted advisor to existing customers and prospects is a great way to differentiate and build your brand. Think about what your business does and the challenges your customers have. Host workshops or webinars and write blogs that offer advice and tips for overcoming these challenges, without plugging your own product or services (use follow-up emails and calls to attendees to do that).

Winning new business becomes a lot easier if customers already know that you’re an expert at what you do (and that you’re excited about doing it).

Police Your Brand’s Usage

So you’ve decided to advertise your business – always make sure whoever designs the ad adheres to your brand guidelines. If not, the power of your brand starts to get slowly diluted. Make sure that partners who use your logo or company messaging stick to those guidelines too.

Likewise, be on the lookout for trademark infringement or any potential copyright theft by competitors. For instance, a competing business could lift copy from your website and use it, unchanged, to promote their business.

Don’t forget employees and if your brand extends to how they greet and interact with customers. Monitor and coach them regularly to ensure they’re upholding your brand values.

Source: www.SBA.gov

WELLS FARGO DONATES $5,000 TO SMALL BUSINESS ASSISTANCE CORPORATION

Savannah, GA, September 18, 2014– The Small Business Assistance Corporation (SBAC) received some good news in the mail recently. A letter from Wells Fargo read, “We are proud to support Small Business Assistance Corp as you work toward achieving our shared goals in the community.” Along with the note was a check for $5,000 for core operating expenses associated with SBAC’s small business lending programs.

“I am very grateful to Jenny Gentry (Savannah market president) and her Wells Fargo team for recommending SBAC for this award. Their generosity will help us accomplish our mission of supporting small businesses, so they can create jobs in our community.”

 

About the SBAC: The SBAC is a specialized, non-profit Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) licensed by the U.S. Small Business Administration and supported by the City of Savannah, the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to promote economic growth. Since 1989, the SBAC has been offering alternative business loan products in the City of Savannah, Southeast Georgia, and Low Country of South Carolina.

The Small Business Resource Center, 111 E. Liberty St. is a one-stop shop for new or existing business owners to find education, training and financing.

 

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If you would like more information about SBAC, please call 912-232-4700 or visit  www.sbacsav.com.


SMALL BUSINESS ASSISTANCE CORPORATION RECEIVES $25,000 GRANT

Savannah, GA, September 16, 2014– The Small Business Assistance Corporation (SBAC) received a $25,000 grant from the USDA, Rural Development for a Rural Business Enterprise Grant (RBEG) for facilitating private business enterprises in the rural areas of Beaufort, Charleston, Colleton, Dorchester, Hampton and Jasper Counties, SC through the purchase of equipment to be used throughout the loan process. The funds will be used to purchase software and improve SBAC’s online application.

“Over the next several years, SBAC will undertake an aggressive expansion to create economic opportunities in the low country region of South Carolina,” said  Tony O’Reilly, SBAC President. “Productivity gains resulting from this new software will result in more small business loans and better customer service without increasing core operating costs.”

The overall projected benefit of the upgrade and update of SBAC’s lending process is to make financing more available to small businesses that may be underserved by traditional banks.  As a nonprofit lender, SBAC relends every dollar the portfolio earns through client repayment. Since 2010, SBAC has funded $1.8 Million in conjunction with area lenders for project dollars totaling $4.15 Million. Total jobs created and saved from these projects was 70.

 

About the SBAC: The SBAC is a specialized, non-profit business development organization licensed by the U.S. Small Business Administration and supported by the City of Savannah, the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to promote economic growth.  Since 1989 the SBAC has been offering loan products in the City of Savannah, Southeast Georgia and Low Country of South Carolina.

The small business resource center is a one-stop shop for new or existing business owners to find education, training and financing.

 

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If you would like more information about this topic, please contact LeAndrea Mikell at 912-232-4700 or email at lmikell@sbacsav.com.


SBAC President Celebrates 25 Years

 

Tony O’Reilly celebrates 25 years as President of the Small Business Assistance Corporation (SBAC).

In this capacity, he manages and develops small business support programs for the City of Savannah and 51 counties in Southeast, Georgia and South Carolina low country. Mr. O’Reilly has held similar positions in the cities of San Diego & Long Beach, California and he was responsible for nationwide small business development initiatives during his time in Washington, D.C.

He specializes in designing innovative economic development lending programs that provide independent business owners access to a wide variety of capital markets. Since 1976, he has been structuring and implementing small business financing programs for both public and private sector lenders. He has testified before the Congressional Small Business Committee on micro business lending practices and has written articles published in national trade journals on the same subject.

 

The Southeast Region Office of the U. S. Small Business Administration has recognized him as an outstanding “Financial Services Advocate” for small businesses.

 

 

SBAC is a Certified Development Company (504/CDC) and a Microloan Intermediary of the Small Business Administration (SBA).It participates in the Intermediary Relending Program (IRP) and the Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program (RMAP) of the Department of Agriculture. SBAC is also a designated Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) of the Department of Treasury. The organization now offers thirteen (13) different financing programs as alternatives or companions to conventional commercial lending. These programs serve start up businesses and established businesses across all economic and demographic sectors. Depending on the scope of a transaction, loans can range from $2,500 to $5.5 million.

 

MBA – National University at San Diego, California; BA – California State University at Los Angeles,

Advisory Board Chairman – College of Business Administration Savannah State University

State Advisory Board Member – University of Georgia, Small Business Development Center

Past President of the Rotary Club of Savannah East


Lowcountry Business & Biscuits

SOUTH CAROLINA BUSINESS AND BISCUITS

Local Small Business Resources Collaborate For

Breakfast and Learn Program

The Small Business Assistance Corporation (SBAC) is hosting “Lowcountry Business and Biscuits”, a breakfast meeting designed to educate local commercial lenders about the resources available to them and their clients.

Many small business owners are not aware of the (mostly free) resources available to help guide and support them in their businesses. Attendees are invited to meet, greet and eat with the individuals whose collective missions are economic development and can serve as valuable resources for entrepreneurs and those that interact with them regularly.

As a Certified Development Financial Institution (CDFI), SBAC strives to promote economic development through collaboration. Attendees will be introduced to key small business resources, and will also get news and updates from SBA affecting the lending environment in the local area.

Presenters include:

  • Patricia Cameron (Business Consultant, USCB Small Business Development Center)
  • Gene Sherman (Local Chapter President, S.C.O.R.E.)
  • Hannah Horne (Director of Public Policy and Small Business, HHI- Bluffton Chamber of Commerce)
  • Wendy Jeffers (Senior Lending Officer, SBAC)
  • Stephen George (Vice President, SBAC)

 

Who – Small Business Assistance Corporation

 

What – “Lowcountry Business and Biscuits” is a program designed to educate local commercial lenders about the resources available to them and their clients.

 

Date & Time – Thursday, August 21, 2014, 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

 

Location:  Comfort Suites

23 Towne Drive

Bluffton, SC 29910

For more information or to RSVP – Contact LeAndrea Mikell at 912-721-6314 or lmikell@sbacsav.com

 

About the SBAC: The SBAC is a specialized, non-profit business development organization licensed by the U.S. Small Business Administration and supported by the City of Savannah, the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to promote economic growth.  Since 1989 the SBAC has been offering loan products in the City of Savannah, Southeast Georgia and Low Country of South Carolina.

The small business resource center is a one-stop shop for new or existing business owners to find education, training and financin


Small Business Assistance Corporation Donates to the USO on its 73rd Birthday

Tony O'Reilly (SBAC President) and LeAndrea Mikell (Communications/PR) present donation to USO Chairman and volunteer coordinator.

Tony O’Reilly (SBAC President) and LeAndrea Mikell (Communications/PR) present donation to USO Chairman and volunteer coordinator.

Savannah, GA—The SBAC celebrated with the USO at its 73rd birthday celebration by donating to the local chapter. The SBAC collected $1,243.00 in monetary donations through its Lenders’ League networking group. Supplies were dropped off by members of the local community. SBAC President, Tony O’Reilly, was on hand to meet with volunteers of the USO and others as they celebrated over seven decades in existence as a national organization. “We are pleased that the USO allowed us to help in their mission. It’s an honor to meet with the individuals that selflessly give of their time and have such an impact in our local and national community.”

The USO provides support for our area’s troops and their families. There are nearly 200 volunteers supporting the USO operations at the Savannah Airport and Hunter Army Air Field. “It’s our honor to help the USO. We couldn’t think of a better group,” stated SBAC Vice President, Stephen George. The USO was chosen as the SBAC’s charity of choice for 2013, and the organization began collecting donations in October through its Lenders’ League networking group and from the local community.

About the SBAC: The SBAC is a specialized, non-profit business development organization licensed by the U.S. Small Business Administration and supported by the City of Savannah, the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to promote economic growth.  Since 1989 the SBAC has been offering loan products in the City of Savannah, Southeast Georgia and Low Country of South Carolina.

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For additional information, contact the SBAC at 912-232-4700, or visit online at www.sbacsav.com .


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The Small Business Assistance Corporation Hosts Annual Luncheon and Awards Ceremony

Dr. H. Cribe of the Telfair Medical Center

Dr. H. Cribe of the Telfair Medical Center

SAVANNAH, GA– The Small Business Assistance Corporation hosted its Annual Luncheon and Awards ceremony at Savannah Station. Guests enjoyed food and live entertainment from the Armstrong Atlantic State University Chorus as the SBAC recognized the Small Business Lender of the Year, the Michael Bunn, Sr. Rising Star Small Business of The Year and the T McCoy Cornerstone Award to a person achieving the highest level of excellence as an Administrative Professional. “We love to take this time to honor those who have personified values we share” said Tony O’Reilly.

 

The SBAC awarded the 2013 Rising Star Award in honor of Michael Bunn, Sr. to the Telfair Medical Center owned by Doctor Habigaile Cribe. The Rising Star is SBAC’s small business of the year for highest achievement in entrepreneurial success and community service. Ryan Martin of Sea Island Bank was chosen as the SBAC’s Lender of the year for 2013 and Ms. Gloria Pace of SCAD was awarded the T McCoy Cornerstone Award. Retiring members of the board, Larry Blige, Patrece Grant and Linda Jaeger were also honored for their service. Tom Butler, who served as chairman also retired.   

 

About the SBAC

The SBAC, located at 111 E. Liberty, Suite 100 in Savannah, is a specialized, non-profit business development organization licensed by the U. S. Small Business Administration and supported by the City of Savannah and the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to promote economic growth.  Since 1989 the SBAC has been offering loan products in the City of Savannah, southeast Georgia and Low Country of South Carolina.

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If you would like more information on the Small Business Assistance Corporation, please contact us at 912-232-4700 or visit online at www.sbacsav.com. The SBAC is an equal opportunity lender, provider and employer.


The Small Business Assistance Corporation Receives Assistance from Wells Fargo

Bank donates $1000 to Local Non-Profit

 Tom Butler and SBAC President, Tony O'Reilly

Savannah, GA – October 22, 2013 – The Small Business Assistance Corporation (SBAC) was selected as one of the local charities set to receive a donation of $1,000 as part of Wells Fargo’s annual Days of Giving breakfast.

The SBAC President, Tony O’Reilly, was on hand to accept the donation as the organization was recognized for its contribution to the community. “We are very grateful to Wells Fargo”, he stated. “This contribution allows us to further implement our efforts as we continue our ongoing mission of community development.” The SBAC was one of 19 local organizations recognized for their efforts.

About the SBAC

The Small Business Assistance Corporation, located at 111 E. Liberty, Suite 100 in Savannah, is a specialized, non-profit business development organization licensed by the U. S. Small Business Administration and supported by the City of Savannah and the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to promote economic growth. Since 1989 the SBAC has been offering loan products in the City of Savannah, southeast Georgia and Low Country of South Carolina.

 

For additional information about the Small Business Assistance Corporation, please call at 912-232-4700 or visit online at www.sbacsav.com. The SBAC is an equal opportunity lender, provider and employer.