April 19, 2012

State of Alabama
Press Release: Alabama Department of Commerce

SBA Administrator Karen Mills Tours Huntsville-Based Tec-Masters

April 18, 2012


SBA Administrator Karen Mills tours with John Broyles at the Tec-Masters facility Wednesday, April 18, 2012 in Huntsville, Ala. (Eric Schultz/The Huntsville Times)

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama -- Karen Mills, the administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration, on Wednesday toured Tec-Masters, one of the Huntsville companies that's benefited from the federal agency's programs.

Though Mills arrived in town a bit later than originally scheduled, she said she didn't want to miss visiting a "tremendous small business community" that the SBA has helped in its growth. Last year alone, SBA-backed lending to small businesses reached a record $30 billion, Mills said, and about $20 million went to businesses in Huntsville.

She called the SBA's 8(a) program the agency's "signature" program for helping small firms secure government contracts. The program provides business development support including mentoring, business counseling, training and financial assistance. The SBA also offers support through a network of 900 small business development centers, she said.

The federal government awarded nearly $100 billion in contracts to small businesses in fiscal year 2010, according to the SBA.

And those contracts not only provide more revenue for small firms to grow and create jobs, Mills said, they allow the Army, Navy and other agencies to take advantage of those businesses' technology and innovation.

Tec-Masters now has $117 million in active government contracts, said John Broyles, the company's vice president, operations.

Mills is the 23rd administrator of the 3,000-employee SBA and serves as a member of President Obama's Cabinet.

During her Huntsville visit, Mills toured Tec-Master's Sparkman Drive lab and its creative multimedia facility, which performs video production, script writing, animation and training for customers including the Corps of Engineers, Army, Navy and Marine Corps.

Tec-Masters was founded in 1988 by Dr. Marvin Carroll, its president and CEO. It has grown from a one-man operation to a company of nearly 200 employees that provides engineering, information systems technology, logistics support, multimedia and management services.

It is ranked No. 53 on the Black Enterprise magazine's 2011 BE 100s list of the nation's largest black businesses, in the industrial/service companies category.

The company received its 8(a) certification in 1990, said Broyles, and graduated from the SBA program in 1999.

Since graduating from the 8(a) program, the company has participated in the Department of Defense Mentor-Protégé Program as a mentor to small businesses, including startups.

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