WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today applauded the news that Hinckley small business owner Victoria Tifft is being recognized by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) as the “National Small Business Person of the Year.”
According to the SBA, Victoria learned about the devastating living conditions endured by people living in Third World nations when she contracted malaria while serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in the West African nation of Togo. After her recovery, she returned home to the U.S. determined to spend her life working to provide medical solutions for the global community. In 1992 Victoria established ClinicalRM, a Contract Research Organization (CRO) that supports development of FDA-regulated vaccines, pharmaceuticals, and medical devices for government and commercial customers. ClinicalRM helped create—and today manages—the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research’s Clinical Trials Center. The Center develops vaccines for infectious diseases such as malaria, and E. coli. Employing three people in 1994, the company maintains domestic and international operations today with a staff of 331. Annual revenues have increased from $17 million in 2007 to $40 million in 2010.
“Small businesses are the engines helping to jumpstart our economy, adding up to two-thirds of new jobs in the United States. Victoria Tifft’s work is worthy of recognition not only because ClinicalRM helps develop potentially life-saving treatments for infectious diseases, but because it has served as an exemplary model of small business growth and job creation,” Brown said. “Our state’s entrepreneurial heritage is so strong, so it is fitting that the ‘Small Business Person of the Year’ is located right here in Ohio. I am proud to congratulate Ms. Tifft on this honor, and I look forward to hearing of ClinicalRM’s future successes.”
In Fiscal Year 2011, the SBA approved nearly $760 million in loans for Ohio small businesses, for a total of 3,228 loans. From Fiscal Years 2009 through 2011, the Northern District of the SBA saw more than a 65 percent increase in the volume of SBA loans to area small businesses.
Small businesses create two out of every three new jobs, making small business lending critical to our economic recovery. But small business owners faced disproportionate challenges in the aftermath of the recession and credit crisis, including difficulty accessing capital. To address this challenge, Brown was instrumental in passing the Small Business Jobs and Credit Act. This law expanded on Recovery Act’s SBA provisions that helped small business owners access more private capital to finance an expansion and hire new workers. Brown fought for increased loan limits in SBA’s most popular loan programs. Endorsed by the Chamber of Commerce and National Federal of Independent Businesses (NFIB), the Small Business Jobs and Credit Act also provided $55 million to the Ohio Department of Development under the State Small Business Credit Initiative. Click here for a summary of the Small Business Jobs and Credit Act.
Since 2009, Senator Brown’s office has conducted more than 30 small business workshops throughout Ohio. These workshops have provided important information on loan programs and incentives through the SBA, resources to help small businesses increase export sales, important tax incentives to help businesses invest and hire more workers and federal procurement resources for small businesses.