small business

SBA’s Minnesota director Libersky retires

Nancy Libersky, a 30-year veteran and the first female Minnesota district director of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), has retired.

A Colorado native, Libersky helped small-business owners as executive director of the Southern Colorado Economic Development Community Development Corp. before joining the SBA’s Denver office. She worked as a surety bond manager and later as a women’s business advocate, mentoring female business owners throughout a six-state region.

In 1994, Libersky was promoted to SBA regional manager of international programs in Minnesota and worked with hundreds of small businesses to export products and services. She was rated a “top performer” for export capital loans and led national efforts.

As Minnesota district director, the office consistently ranked in the top 10 for performance out of 68 district offices in SBA loan guarantees.

In an interview three years ago, Libersky said the SBA exists to help small businesses succeed through capital access. SBA loan guarantees help stimulate bank loans because the guaranteed portion of an SBA loan isn’t counted against lending limits.

An SBA guarantee, from 50% to 90%, depending on the loan, limits the bank’s potential loss. And many lenders will not provide a new-business loan without an SBA guarantee.

“The SBA has made great strides ensuring business capital reaches those that need it the most,” Libersky said. “Women, veterans, Hispanics, African-Americans, Native Americans, Asian-Americans and more.” The SBA guarantees more than $700 million in Minnesota loans annually, ranging from microloans of $16,000 to real estate loans that average more than $350,000.

“SBA loans perform better than conventional loans because before the bank submits the application to SBA, the bank approves it internally, just as it would a conventional loan,” Libersky said. “Our processing center reviews the application again to ensure the requirements are met, data is correct and that financial information and the business is sound. The bank then offers a longer term and lower rate through our program.”

As district director, Libersky was paid about $150,000 annually, according to the SBA.

Neal St. Anthony

hair salons

Regis trims 133 company-owned stores

Regis Corp. has sold another 133 corporate-owned salons, this time to Alline Salon Group.

The Pennsylvania salons, now being operated as a variety of Regis brands including Holiday Hair and BoRics, are being converted to Regis Cost Cutters.

“Growing with competent multiunit operators, like the Alline Salon Group, strengthens our franchise portfolio and further accelerates our strategy to convert to a capital-light, technology enabled franchise business,” said Hugh Sawyer, Regis’ chief executive, in a statement this month.

Michigan-based Alline Salon Group already owned 66 of Regis’ salons, which it converted to Supercuts in Michigan, and 190 Supercuts and Cost Cutters salons in Ohio.

With the current sale, Alline became the company’s largest franchisee, with 389 salons.

“The brand diversity offers Alline the opportunity to play in every segment of the hair industry with enough scale and size to offer competitive pay packages and career paths for stylists with different techniques and skill sets,” said Michael Sarafa, Alline’s managing partner.

Regis is in the process of selling all of its corporate-owned salons.

Catherine Roberts


LSS offers landlord seminar on tenant issues

Lutheran Social Service (LSS) of Minnesota, which partners with property owners to provide housing for once-homeless families, will offer a free workshop on addressing tenant issues on Wednesday, Jan. 8, from 8 to 9:30 a.m. at the Center for Changing Lives, 2400 Park Av.

Evan Gelles with Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid and Mike Vraa with the Home Line, experts in landlord/tenant law, will address questions about repairs, accommodation for individuals with disabilities, handling unlawful activity on the property and other issues.

“This is a great opportunity for anyone who is a property owner to learn how to handle tenant issues well and legally,” explained Lory Perryman of LSS.

Since 1984, LSS has provided specialized housing support and assistance to families experiencing homelessness in the Twin Cities. Property owners who are interested in attending the workshop can RSVP by calling Perryman at 612-879-5203.

With 2,300 employees and 8,000 volunteers, LSS supports one in 65 Minnesotans through services such as fostering supportive homes for children, financial counseling, empowering people with disabilities and assistance for the needy elderly.

Neal St. Anthony