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Celebrating National Small Business Week: Unveiling Opportunities with the SBA and UPS Foundation

New Capital and Innovative Opportunities for Small Businesses

by Cynthia Nevels | April 24, 2024

Today we had an opportunity to dive into the heart of small business innovation and community spirit with our must-watch webinar, 'Celebrating National Small Business Week.' Cynthia Nevels, Founder of Start.Pivot.Grow. and President of Integrality was joined by United States Small Business Administration District Director, Herbert Austin and The UPS Foundation's Community Relations Manager, Dora Zapata as they kick off a week dedicated to the backbone of our economy - small businesses.

This engaging discussion, held on April 24, 2024, brought together over 150 diverse group of attendees.

As we kicked off the National Small Business Week celebration, an enlightening webinar took place, shedding light on the myriad opportunities awaiting small businesses through the concerted efforts of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and the UPS Foundation. The session, graced by the presence of key figures such as Herbert Austin, District Director of the SBA in Texas, and Dora Zapata, Community Relations Manager at the UPS Foundation, provided invaluable insights into the resources available for small business growth and sustainability.

The SBA's Threefold Path to Empowerment

Herbert Austin eloquently outlined the SBA's mission to support small businesses through what he described as the "three C's": Capacity Building, Capital, and Contracting Opportunities.

1. Capacity Building: The SBA fosters an environment where budding and established businesses can thrive by providing access to invaluable resources. Through partnerships with organizations like SCORE, Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs), Women's Business Centers, and Veteran's Business Outreach Centers, the SBA ensures entrepreneurs have the guidance and support needed to navigate the complexities of business ownership.

2. Capital: Recognizing the financial hurdles small businesses often face, the SBA facilitates easier access to funding. By offering government guarantees, the SBA enables entrepreneurs to secure loans that might otherwise be out of reach, ensuring that viable businesses have the capital needed to grow and succeed.

3. Contracting Opportunities: With the U.S. government as the world's largest buyer of goods and services, the SBA works diligently to ensure that small businesses get a fair share of contracting opportunities. By law, 23% of all federal purchasing is designated for small businesses, a mandate the SBA champions and enforces, providing small enterprises a platform to compete and succeed on a national scale.

The UPS Foundation's Community Commitment

Dora Zapata shared insights into the UPS Foundation's role in supporting the small business ecosystem. While specific announcements were anticipated, the overarching theme was clear: the UPS Foundation is steadfast in its commitment to nurturing community relations and supporting small businesses. Their initiatives are designed to empower entrepreneurs, fostering an environment of growth and sustainability.

UPS Foundation announces a quarter of a million dollar commitment to equitable economic development in partnership with the Dallas College Foundation and Integrality's Start.Pivot.Grow. platform

A Unified Front for Small Business Success

The webinar not only celebrated the beginning of National Small Business Week but also underscored the collaborative efforts of entities like the SBA and the UPS Foundation in supporting small business ventures. As we move forward, it's evident that the pathway to success for small businesses is paved with the support of these organizations, offering resources, funding, and opportunities essential for growth.

As we reflect on the insights shared during this kickoff event, it's clear that the journey of a small business, from inception to success, is not one to be walked alone. With the backing of the SBA and the UPS Foundation, small businesses are poised to thrive in an ever-evolving marketplace, marking the beginning of a celebratory week and, indeed, a promising future.

New Initiatives

Under our current Administration, America is in the 4th straight year of a historic Small Business Boom. A record 5.5 million new business applications were filed in 2023.

President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda includes bold investments under his American Rescue Plan, Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, CHIPS and Science Act, and Inflation Reduction Act.

Many of the programs are being delivered by other parts of the federal government which may benefit your small business.

  • The USDA is rolling out the Rural Energy for America program, which provides guaranteed loan financing and grant funding to agricultural producers and rural small businesses for renewable energy systems or to make energy efficiency improvements. Rural Development Energy Coordinators in your state can provide additional information about the program.

  • The U.S. Department of Energy will soon begin offering Home Efficiency Rebates and Home Electrification and Appliance Rebates, which will help home repair and construction businesses to start and grow their businesses. To participate, you will need a new certification that is being managed by the state. More information on this certification process can be found in the SBA Investing in America Small Business Hub. /iiahub

  • The Department of Transportation is managing funds provided by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to improve American transportation infrastructure. Small businesses can visit the SBA Investing in America Small Business Hub to learn about federal and state procurement opportunities, government certifications, surety bonding, and a guide for doing business with DOT.

  • Assistance for manufacturing is being provided through the Department of Energy. This will allow manufacturers to save on energy costs, reduce energy and water waste, and access funding to implement upgrades in their facilities. 7a or 504 or grant monies

  • High-speed internet contracting opportunities will be made available through the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) program. Connect with your state broadband office to stay up to date on funding in your area.

To find more information about all these programs and more, visit the SBA’s Investing in America Small Business Hub which can be found at

To learn more about the UPS Foundation's commitment to community visit

To learn more about Dallas College Foundation visit

The winner of the Start.Pivot.Grow. first quarter $2,500 micro grant sponsored by Integrality LLC was announced. Congratulations to Las Palmas Candles + Soaps LLC of Douglasville, GA.


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