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SBA Great Lakes host roundtable event to celebrate Black history month

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To celebrate the conclusion of Black History Month, SBA Great Lakes hosted an event on Feb. 21, celebrating small Black business owners and leaders in the community. SBA Great Lakes Regional Administrator Geri Aglipay and U.S. Rep. Andre Carson were featured guests at the event.

During the discussion, business owners told stories about the challenges and successes of starting their companies and the impact SBA had on them.

One of those stories came from the President of International Global Solutions, Clarence Lyles. The IUPUI graduate established IGS in 2007, to provide telecommunications and support staff augmentation, administrative support and network engineering services to clients. A few of his company partners include Honeywell, Cisco and Hitachi.

One of the SBA resources Lyles uses is the 8(a) program. This nine-year program aids, counsels, protects and supports job creation and development within small businesses across America. The program is of no cost to participants and during the program business owners are able to network, learn about business operations and understand how to access and manage funds so they can “bid on federal contracting,” Aglipay said.

“There are a lot of business owners who come from under served and disadvantaged communities, that may start further back with the resources, the knowledge capital, the financial capital they have to actually start a business,” Aglipay told the Recorder.

Lyles, is currently in year 7 of the 8(a) program and says it has “tremendously” helped his business.

Other businesses that were present at the event include Circulus Digital Media, Circle City Broadcasting, International Global Solutions, Indianapolis Recorder and Mitchel and Sons HVAC.

SBA is an organization that helps assist people with starting and growing their businesses through a variety of resources. The SBA provides small business owners with funding and business programs, entrepreneurial development and advocacy to help them reach their goals.

Contact staff writer Timoria Cunningham at 317-762-7854 or timoriac@indyrecorder.com. Follow her on Twitter @_timoriac.  

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