Press Release (May 21, 2012)

WASHINGTON, DC – The Small Business Investor Alliance (SBIA) today announced that two of its member private equity investment funds were honored with the “2012 Small Business Investment Company of the Year” award from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) during National Small Business Week (May 20-26). The funds honored were Cephas Capital of Pittsford, NY and Petra Capital Partners LLC of Nashville, TN.

“Cephas Capital and Petra Capital Partners are two of our top investment funds that have worked hand in hand with SBA to ensure small businesses have access to the capital they need to expand,” said Brett Palmer, President of SBIA. “They are exceptional examples of how private equity works with American entrepreneurs who want to grow their small business and create new jobs. Small business has always been the true engine of growth in the U.S. economy, and SBIA members are proud to help fuel that growth with capital investment in businesses that couldn’t otherwise obtain financing.”

Cephas Capital ( was founded in 1997 and received its SBIC license from SBA in 1998. Since 1997, the fund has invested more than $70 million in 47 small businesses located primarily in upstate New York. The businesses funded by Cephas Capital employ more than 5,000 people and contribute more than $700 million annually to the economic output of the region.

“We are honored to be recognized for our investments in the small business community,” said Cephas founders Clint Campbell and Jeffery Holmes. “Small business owners need and deserve access to capital, and our support of their entrepreneurial spirit plays an important role in how our local and national economy progresses.”

Petra Capital Partners ( was founded in 1998 and has raised two SBIC funds. Collectively, both funds have invested $157 million in 30 high-growth private companies located across the country. Throughout the duration of Petra’s investment period, the businesses funded have added more than 7,500 employees.

“The team at Petra is proud to receive this honor from the Small Business Administration,” said Michael Blackburn, founding partner of Petra Capital Partners. “Petra was established upon the principal that providing capital to small businesses with potential to grow and prosper is a sound investment for us, the entrepreneur, and the economy. A successful small business that is expanding and hiring benefits everyone and we are pleased to be a part of that equation.”

The SBA presents only four awards in the Lender category during its National Small Business Week, and recognition as Small Business Investment Company of the Year award is based upon a fund’s overall performance; demonstrated commitment to supporting the growth and expansion of small businesses; commitment to not just financial return on investment but to public focus and well-being; and a positive working relationship with SBA and clean compliance record. More information about the award can be found at

About the Small Business Investor Alliance:

The Small Business Investor Alliance (SBIA) is the premier organization of lower middle market private equity funds and investors. Our members provide vital capital to small and medium sized businesses nationwide, resulting in economic growth and job creation. The SBIA’s mission is to provide member funds and LPs real advocacy power with regulators and on Capital Hill, access to exceptional networking opportunities and continuing education with an emphasis on best practices for the industry.

SBIA has been playing a pivotal role in promoting the growth and vitality of the industry for more than 50 years. SBIA works on behalf of its membership as a tireless advocate for appropriate regulation and smart tax policy that promotes domestic investment and growth of small businesses who fuel the American economy. For more information, visit: or call 202-628-5055.