DALLAS – The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has named Herbert Austin the acting regional administrator for the South Central Region which serves 3.3 million small businesses in Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. In addition to his regional administrator duties, Austin will continue to serve as the SBA’s Dallas/Fort Worth District director, a position he has held since 2008.
As the acting regional administrator, Austin will lead 10 district offices in the delivery of SBA’s financial, entrepreneurial development, government contracting and international export services. He will also oversee a network of small business counselors assigned to Small Business Development Centers, SCORE Offices, Women’s Business Centers and Veteran Business Outreach Centers throughout the South Central Region.
During the first quarter of fiscal 2017, SBA approved 1,576 loans for $874 million throughout the Region, an increase of seven percent in dollars compared to the first quarter of fiscal 2016. The Region shows the largest increase this quarter in the number loans to small businesses involved in exporting, with a 155 percent increase in the number of loans and a 234 percent increase in dollars, over the same period a year ago.
A native of Haiti, Austin’s career with SBA began 27 years ago, in 1989 when he was hired in New Jersey to strengthen assistance to export businesses. He has served as manager of the Business Information Center in Jamaica, Queens; trade finance manager at the US Export Assistance Center in New York, followed by a stint as SBA Long Island, New York branch manager. In 2003, Austin was named deputy director of the New York District and in 2007 he accepted the role of acting director prior to being named director of the South Central Region’s largest producing District in Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas.
Before joining SBA, Austin worked in the private sector as director of Exporting for companies in the United States and overseas. As export manager for a manufacturing firm in Trinidad & Tobago, Austin’s marketing skills resulted in extensive coverage of the products to countries in South, Central America, and the Caribbean Basin. In addition to his extensive background in International Trade, Austin speaks fluent French and Spanish. He earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing from New York University and an MBA from Pace University.