SBA elevates Blackstock to lead agency’s N.J. office as district director

John Blackstock has been elevated by the U.S. Small Business Administration to serve as the New Jersey district director, succeeding former District Director Al Titone, who retired from the agency after more than a decade of service, according to a Wednesday announcement.

As the top career official for the federal agency in the Garden State, Blackstock will oversee the implementation and delivery of SBA programs and services across the 21 counties of the Garden State. He will be responsible for the oversight of approximately $1.3 billion of annual traditional lending and more than $2.6 billion in federal contracting dollars awarded to eligible small and small disadvantaged firms in the state.

Al Titone is retiring from the SBA. (File photo)

Additionally, Blackstock will provide support to the district’s counseling partners, including the Small Business Development Centers; SCORE chapters; Women’s Business Center; U.S. Export Assistance Centers; Veteran Business Outreach Center; and Procurement Technical Assistance Center.

Blackstock has served as the deputy district director, or chief operating officer, of the SBA New Jersey District for the past six years, directly supervising the office’s employees and overseeing the creation and adhering to the office’s strategic plan.

His experience includes previous management and customer service-facing roles at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Internal Revenue Service and U.S. Department of Commerce, in addition to almost three decades of uniformed military service.

“John Blackstock’s expertise in SBA’s federal lending and economic aid programs will be instrumental in helping the smallest of small New Jersey entrepreneurs obtain access to our federal agency’s programs,” stated SBA Atlantic Regional Administrator Marlene Cintron. “I have an outstanding relationship with John and know that he will continue to ensure that the New Jersey District continues to provide stellar customer service, access, outreach and support to small business owners.

“We are delighted to have John lead the New Jersey District Office to new heights as we further our mission to assist our small business community and work with lenders. He is eager to create additional, long-lasting partnerships with our lending community and key stakeholders and has already hit the ground running.”

Blackstock added: “I look forward to working with New Jersey’s small business owners and entrepreneurs from every corner of the state, in addition to our resource and community partners, as the SBA pivots from pandemic recovery to small business resurgence. Our 940,000 small businesses employing 1.9 million people are the backbone of our economy. I’m proud that SBA delivered over 661,000 loans, grants and payments of economic aid valued at almost $41.7 billion that will help these giants of the economy recover from the pandemic and thrive. Along with the New Jersey team I’m privileged to lead, we will be here to help our entrepreneurs start, grow and expand their businesses into tomorrow.”