Conversation with Tim Jeffcoat, District Director, Houston with Chamber Strategic Partner, U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)
Chamber Chat – Back to Business Blog
The Greater Houston LGBT Chamber of Commerce is proud to call the U.S Small Business Administration one of our Strategic Partners. The Chamber and SBA recently renewed the Strategic Alliance Memorandum (SAM) with a continued focus on increasing economic opportunity for LGBTQ-owned businesses in the greater Houston region.
Through the SAM, the Chamber collaborates throughout the year with the Houston District Office led by Tim Jeffcoat. Under Tim’s leadership, the relationship between the SBA and the Chamber has grown tremendously since the launch of the Chamber. Tim’s leadership, commitment and support of the LGBTQ+ community is highlighted in our recent conversation with him. The Chamber appreciates all Tim has done to support the Chamber and the LGBTQ+ & Allied Business Community.
Fun Fact! The SBA was one of the Chamber’s participating organizations for the launch of the organization in 2016 through the NGLCC & SBA LGBT Business Builder program. Thank you to the SBA for being part of the Chamber’s journey since day one. As the Chamber approaches a milestone 5-year Anniversary in 2021, we are looking forward to continuing our important work with the SBA and the local Houston District Office.
“Success should not be dependent on who we are, who we love, or how we worship. Every single American has a chance to achieve the American Dream of owning their own business. We want to help them achieve it.” – Tim Jeffcoat.
The Chamber is excited to renew our Strategic Alliance Memorandum (SAM) with the SBA. Can you share details about what this alliance means?
In practical terms it means that we partner to share resources and ideas to help LGBTQ businesses achieve the American dream of small business ownership. In symbolic terms it means we respect and admire each other enough to want to partner!
It’s super exciting for me when I sign a SAM renewal with the Greater Houston LGBT Chamber! This renewal means that what we are doing is working; it is meaningful and productive and achieving the goals of both organizations.
Why is it important that the SBA collaborate with the Greater Houston LGBT Chamber of Commerce?
Even though the Small Business Administrator is a member of the President’s Cabinet, we are still a tiny agency. We need help reaching every small business owner possible, and through this collaboration we can serve the members of Greater Houston LGBT Chamber and LGBTQ community even more effectively.
We are so proud that the SBA Houston District Office was part of our launch in 2016 as part of the NGLCC-SBA LGBTQ Biz Builder Program. The relationship we’ve created since then is in large part because of your strong leadership. Why is this personally important to you?
I distinctly remember attending a Christmas Dinner in Tulsa Oklahoma about ten years ago. It was for the Board of Directors of the Dennis R Neill Equality Center, and I was an invited guest. During the evening I was asked what I thought about the challenges faced by the LGBTQ community when pursuing bank loans. After saying I didn’t think there was a problem… I was taken to school! That night, and through several subsequently visits, the Equality Center patiently taught me about the challenges faced by the LGBTQ community.
Success should not be dependent on who we are, who we love, or how we worship. Every single American has a chance to achieve the American Dream of owning their own business. We want to help them achieve it.
What do you see in the next couple of years in terms of how the Chamber and the SBA Houston District Office can work together?
We work hard on inclusivity with our programs and events at the SBA. I see this continuing with the Chamber’s help, and even being more focused. Why not a special event to match LGBTQ businesses with resources that are understanding of the community’s needs? We work with a great number of mentors, advisors, and lenders that have this understanding, and we want to do an even better job of matching them with small businesses that need them.
What’s the best advice you ever received in your career?
Add Value Every Day. Smart, educated people are a dime a dozen, but people that can consistently ‘add value’ to their organization and the people around them are prizes. I’ve worked hard to fill my staff with people like this, and I love working with them.
Now for some fun…rapid fire! What's your favorite thing to do in HTX when you're not working?
Travel with my wife, and if that isn’t an option, write music.
Native Houstonian or got here as fast as you could and from where?
Military brat – grew up all over the world, but Houston is now home!
Barbeque or Mexican, and where do you go for it?
Vegan Mexican, at home.
First app checked in the morning?
The Notification Screen on my iPhone.
TikTok, followed by MyFitnessPal
Person you FaceTime most often?
My 89-year-old Mother and Father
Most listened-to track?
Lately I have been very chill… Boney James Butter or Brian Culbertson’s Let’s Get Started
Anything else you want to share about the SBA and specifically the Houston District Office?
We are open to any idea to help serve Americans as they start and grow their small businesses. Honest. Any ideas – just send them!
Check out the video of the Chamber’s virtual signing ceremony with the U.S. Small Business Administration Houston District Office.
Read the Chamber’s press release about the renewal of the Strategic Alliance Memorandum (SAM) with the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Learn more about the U.S. Small Business Administration: https://www.sba.gov/
Learn more about the SBA Houston District Office: https://www.sba.gov/offices/district/tx/houston
Follow the SBA on social media