Regional SBA executive touts rural aid programs

Patricia Brown-Dixon wants to spread the word of a few new Small Business Administration programs, including ones that she says will help small businesses in rural communities.

Brown-Dixon, the new regional administrator for SBA's Kansas City office, was in Wichita on Tuesday as part of that effort and to learn more about the district offices under her charge.

In her fourth week on the job, Brown-Dixon said she's instructing staff at district offices in Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska and Kansas to especially emphasize SBA programs that will make it easier for small businesses in rural communities to tap into traditional SBA loans or programs that help them avoid ballooning payments on commercial mortgages.

"I just want to kind of help get the word out about new programs that are coming down... getting them information about resources to expand and grow and survive," Brown-Dixon said.

She spent her day in Wichita talking with staff at the district office "to find out what they are doing, how they are doing and how we can help them," she said.

Brown-Dixon also met with staff at the Kansas Small Business Development Center, which she said is "very valuable to us."

She said in the next two months she'll visit other district offices in the region, including Des Moines, St. Louis and Omaha as part of her "listening tour."

Brown-Dixon previously worked for the federal General Services Administration, where she was director of the Heartland office for small business utilization.

In 1995, she was named the SBA Kansas City District Office's Minority Business Advocate of the Year. In 2009, she was named Advocate of the Year by the Greater Kansas City Minority Enterprise Development Week Committee.