Two Tarrant SBDC Clients Win Texas SBA Awards

FORT WORTH, Texas – A Fort Worth defense contractor and an Arlington business owner have received commendations from the U.S. Small Business Administration after being nominated by Tarrant SBDC at Tarrant County College. Winners were announced at the recent 2024 SBA Small Business Awards Luncheon hosted by SCORE, the nation’s largest network of volunteer expert mentors.

Annually, the SBA highlights exceptional performers in four categories — Minority Small Business Champion, Veteran Small Business Champion, Family-Owned Business of the Year, and Small Business Person of the Year. Both local winners are clients of SBDC adviser Kemmiko Grant, a 35-year veteran in the banking and corporate finance industries.

Texas Small Business Person of the Year

Bailey’s Premier Services, LLC in Fort Worth is a multistate defense contractor that provides aircraft maintenance and other support to federal, state and local agencies, and it began in the president/CEO’s garage. Tamiko Bailey, a U.S. Air Force service-disabled veteran with more than 30 years of military and industry experience, established her business as an LLC in 2010.

Advice from the Tarrant Small Business Development Center led her to use SBA loans to refinance existing debt and raise working capital. Today the business has 167 employees working at military bases across 11 states, and it recently expanded overseas.

Young Entrepreneur of the Year

TCC alumnus Jovany Chavira used his savings to buy a struggling Arlington auto repair business, including an empty building, tools and equipment. He was only 20.

Two years later, he contacted the Tarrant Small Business Development Center, at the urging of his mentor, a former TCC professor. There he was paired with Grant, who helped him secure an SBA loan to boost cash flow and add equipment to grow the business. Chivara also received a grant from the Everyday Entrepreneur Venture Fund at TCC that enabled him to lease additional space and increase staffing.

“At the Dallas/Fort Worth District level, Jovany’s accomplishments shine brightly, showcasing the region’s vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem,” Grant said. “While the Young Entrepreneur of the Year is a district-level recognition, it signifies a significant milestone.”

Tarrant SBDC at TCC is a business consulting and training outreach of the North Texas SBDC. It  provides comprehensive information services and access to experts in a variety of fields. Each SBDC nationwide encourages unique local efforts to meet small business needs in its area.

SBDCs maintain partnerships among community organizations and agencies — local, state and federal — and have contributed significantly to economic growth throughout the country.

Tarrant County College is one of the nation’s largest higher education institutions and boasts the second lowest tuition of Texas’ Top 10 community colleges. A comprehensive two-year college with six campuses in Tarrant County and online classes, TCC offers a range of opportunities for learners of all ages and backgrounds, including Associate of Arts and Associate of Applied Science degrees; workforce and economic development programs; technical and skilled trades programs; and customized training for area businesses and corporations.