Top 100 at Google Washington, D.C. (Series 7)

Google Washington, D.C.

I wanted to save Google for last because their presence was felt and known throughout our three days in Washington, D.C. so welcome to Series 7. I was shocked to learn that they had a Google Washington, D.C. office and it was beautifully set up. On Day 2 we ended the day with a Google hosted Awards Program and Reception. This was such a great treat because not only were we able to get a chance to visit one of their many offices but we got a chance to celebrate the success of three businesses as they received the 2015 Small Business Award. Please join us in celebrating with Virginia McAllister, Iron Horse Architects who received the Technological Innovation Award; Chancee Lundy and Veronica Davis, Nspiregreen who received the Community Development Award and Beverly Hanstrom, Colorado Medical Waste who received the Sustainability Award. Congratulations ladies for helping to make this world a better, greener and sustainable place to live. If you want to read more about these ladies click here. Afterwards the party was on with great networking, music and excellent food. What a great way to end a business day.

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At the end of Day 3 we attended a Google Technology Training. The training “Let’s Put Our Cities On The Map” is designed to help business owners maximize their online presence with insider tips and best practices for online marketing. Here’s an overview about the training and how the program works visit On the business page you will see either “Check My Business” or see a search box with “Does Your Business Info Show Up On Google?” enter your business name and city. Your entry will determine if you already have a business presence on Google Maps. If so your information will populate quickly like Jabez Enterprise Group (JEGroup) did then you will have the ability to edit the information if needed.


If your business does not currently exist on Google Maps you will see “Your Business Isn’t On The Map” then you will have the ability to add your business name and city. Once you have taken these steps you are on your way to enhancing your online presence using Google. In some cities you may have the opportunity to attend a Google Hosted Event designed to help you leverage your business online, create a free website and much more. If you are a business owner and interested in learning how Google can help you grow your business there are a wide array of tools and/or resources available visit Google Apps for Work.


If you are one of the Business Capacity Building Partners such as SCORE, SBDC or one of the Chambers of Commerce there is a program designed for you visit As a part of this effort your organization will be considered a Google Official City Partner where you will have the ability to help businesses within your area to scale up and maximize their online presence with free resources and hosted workshops using Google tools. As business owners there are a lot of tools and resources available to help us in our businesses ask for a referral in your network or social group.

Once again thanks to John Arensmeyer, the Small Business Majority team and Google for such a great wealth of information, networking and the opportunity to be chosen as one of the Top 100 Small Pioneering Businesses Nationwide. This is our last series of the Small Business Leadership Summit and if you missed any of the Summit Series you still have time to catch up: Small Business Leadership Summit Mixer (Series 1), Access to Capital (Series 2), Technology and Minority Entrepreneurship (Series 3), Taxes and the Economy (Series 4), Chat with Maria Contreras-Sweet, Administrator of the Small Business Administration (SBA) (Series 5) and Summit at The White House (Series 6). If you have any comments and/or questions about the Small Business Leadership Summit 7-Part Series please contact us at

Connect with us @JEGroupBiz on Twitter, or Jabez Enterprise Group on LinkedIn or Facebook to see what we are doing next or to see your post. For economic development for your business’ growth pick up your copy of Get the Cheese, Avoid the Traps: An Interactive Guide to Government Contracting today in paperback or on Kindle.

If you need a consultant to help take you to the next level in your business or need some training on supplier certification programs, building supplier-buyer-prime relationships or on government contracting call us at 1-800-865-0701 or email remember these services are designed to help you with your ideal corporate or government partners.

We appreciate you taking the time to connect with us and look forward to connecting with you again soon.

VNaylor Original 1 Cheek Cup_MG_1853 3.12.14 (Dawson Imagery)

Vernita Naylor Founder/Owner Jabez Enterprise Group  (JEGroup)
Author, Get the Cheese, Avoid the Traps

All photos courtesy of Vernita Naylor, Jabez Enterprise Group (JEGroup) Unless Otherwise Noted.


Small Business Leadership Summit 2015 Access to Capital (Series 2)

Rhea Aguinaldo (Small Business Majority) and Vernita Naylor (Jabez Enterprise Group (JEGroup)) National Press Club


Day 2 morning sessions at the National Press Club. Our day started at 7.a.m and ended at 8 p.m it was power packed, let me tell you all about it. Despite the time zone differences for several of us we were happy and elated to meet so many other business owners throughout the U.S. We met in the foyer of the hotels and waited for the buses that would transport us to our first stop, the National Press Club.

Panel 1: Access to Capital

Panel 1: Access to Capital

At the National Press Club John Arensmeyer, Founder and CEO, Small Business Majority opened up the morning with a Welcome and Opening Remarks. Panel 1 Access to Capital: The Key to Entrepreneurship and Economic Development facilitated by Amy Cortese, Journalist and Founder, Locavesting Media included Connie Evans, President and CEO, Association for Enterprise Opportunity; Brayden McCarthy, Head of Policy & Advocacy, Fundera and Catarah Coleman, Co-Owner, Southern Girl Desserts. This panel addressed a concern of Hazel Hector, Founder and Executive Director, Jubilee Mobile Institute, Inc in her letter to me for the Summit, access to capital.  Here are some highlights of what was discussed in Panel 1:

  • For banks small businesses are seen as high cost risk factors
  • There are about 8,0000 businesses denied daily for funding
  • Women represent one out of every 23 loans
  • Women businesses grow slower than men
  • Women businesses do not seek loans or funding for their businesses
  • There are several non-traditional funding sources available to small business owners: Kiva and TILT Forward that do not use FICO Scores but other scoring factors; Lending Club (peer-to-peer lending based in San Francisco); RapidAdvance in partnership with SBA and Credit Unions
  • Additionally, several companies offer business credit cards to help grow your business and some of them offer low interest rates and flexible payment plans
  • It is in your best interest to seek funding before you need it, than when you need it. If you wait until then you will be susceptible to seek any type of funding presented to you.
Catarah and moderator - courtesy of H Lopez
Catarah Coleman (Southern Girl Desserts) and Panel 1 Moderator: Amy Cortese (Locavesting Media) Photo Courtesy: Hipitia Lopez (Empanada Fork)

Let’s hear from Catarah Coleman, Co-Owner, Southern Girl Desserts as she tells her story about her funding experience:

My partner, Shoneji and I began to seek a small loan in 2012 to cover expenses for our build out as we prepared to open the doors to our mall based bakery. We were denied. Then immediately we were approached by a customer who informed us that we could receive $40,000 within three days with no collateral. We tried it and it worked; it was so easy! That loan we were able to pay back within six months with no problem. Then we decided that we needed some working capital and went to our bank for the loan. We thought that since we had been using some of the small business products that they offered (i.e. payroll) and was depositing an average of $50,000 a month that it would not be a problem getting a loan from them but we found out that this was not enough. Again we were denied by them.

Ironically, we had been receiving several types of literature, emails and phone calls from other lending sources offering us quick cash. Since we had previously been able to pay off our previous loan quickly and the process was easy, we decided to accept one of the several offers that we had received. This offer was accompanied by a broker. The broker allegedly performed the research and provided us the best type of loan for our needs, so we were told. Once again we were able to quickly secure another loan, but then things changed. This loan in particular began to interfere with our cash flow. The payback rate began to defeat the purpose of acquiring working capital in the first place.

Let you tell you why this arrangement was not good for us. There were two loans with a payback rate of 30 and 90 days. Every dollar and cent from the merchant side to the daily ACH withdrawals was drowning us. Shoneji and I were so stressed because I was getting married and we still had to manage payroll. We had to do what it took to stay afloat and still pay back the loans that we had acquired for working capital; which actually did not turn out that way after all. We did not know what to do but one day we received a flyer that changed our lives from Opportunity Fund.

At first glance the flyer from Opportunity Fund seemed the same as the other funding information that we had been receiving but with one caveat upon thoroughly reading their literature I felt that maybe we should give them a call. I don’t know how but I felt that it was worth a shot. “I felt as if Jesus himself was on the other line and my faith was restored! I knew I was on the phone with someone who wanted to help and was going to do their best to do so.” It took about two years, but September 2014, our initial loan with Opportunity Fund helped to save our business, sanity and to bring things back to normal. We found out later that those two loans put us at a 56% interest rate; we would have never been able to get out of that bind at the rate this arrangement had us going.

Shoneji and I will forever to grateful to Opportunity Fund for coming when they did.   Now we only have an 8.5% interest rate after Opportunity Fund got all of this funding fiasco cleared up. And none of those other loans show up on our credit report! We knew Opportunity Fund was different because they offered low interest rates, longer terms and Eric and his team had a genuine concern about the financial health of our business, and this is why they are so special to us. We were able to experience a human side of lending.

I advise anyone to ask questions before they sign anything! Make sure that they explain everything clearly and that you truly understand what the pros and cons are of the loan. Don’t feel pressured to accept the loan terms, if they want your business they will make the necessary adjustments.   And if they don’t that lender does not have your best interest at heart.

This was one huge learning experience for us. We knew that baking cakes and pies would take us on a journey, well it has and we are better for it. “Be present in all aspects of your business, it could determine your longevity!”

Thank you Catarah and Shoneji, Owners of Southern Girl Desserts, for being candid about your lending experience. If anyone is interested in learning more about Southern Girl Desserts visit, email or Also you can connect with them on Twitter @Dessertdivas, or on Facebook or Instagram @southerngirldesserts.

Tell us a lesson that you learned in being a business owner, we would love to hear from you. Of all of the submittals we will choose a few comments to post, will it be yours?

Connect with us @JEGroupBiz on Twitter, or Jabez Enterprise Group on LinkedIn or Facebook to see what we are doing next.

VNaylor Original 1 Cheek Cup_MG_1853 3.12.14 (Dawson Imagery)

Vernita Naylor
Founder/Owner Jabez Enterprise Group  (JEGroup)

All Photo Credits: Vernita Naylor (Jabez Enterprise Group (JEGroup)) Unless Otherwise Noted.