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Organic Recycling and Valuable Services for the City of New Haven, Connecticut

Success Story: Connecticut
New England Site And Infrastructure Management

NE Site & Infrastructure ManagementTodd D. Howell has always had construction and entrepreneurship in is DNA. He began in construction at the age of 13, and at 17 he owned his first business.

He was a seasoned small business owner when he started New England Site and Infrastructure Management in January, 2008, and since then the City of New Haven has come to rely on Todd and his organization in a number of capacities.

Year-round, he is an organic recycling and re-purposing company, making leaves, wood and brush into a marketable mulch and soil product. And in the winter months, he does municipal snow plowing, ice control and snow melting, and holds a four-year A and B contract for the streets and roads for the city of New Haven, Connecticut. To top it off, in the spring and fall months, he performs excavation, site work and paving.

In 2015, Todd was ready to access capital to expand. He needed the help of a knowledgeable person to navigate these difficult waters. New Haven City Mayor Toni Harp referred Todd to the Connecticut Small Business Development Center (CTSBDC), where he met CTSBDC Business Advisor Joe Williams.

Joe and Todd got to work reviewing Todd’s business plan and budget, and prepared the paperwork to access capital. From this work, Todd earned a Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) Express Loan and Grant, which has helped him to acquire new equipment, create five jobs and save another five. Mr. Howell is actively involved in hiring New Haven residents for positions in his business.  (more…)

Joy & Gladness Children’s Academy

Success Story: Missouri

We live in a 24-hour-a-day world.

Lakaisha McCaleb

Supermarkets, fast food restaurants, convenience stores and gas stations, pharmacies and even gyms are increasingly open every hour of every day. And that doesn’t even include all the places we expect to be staffed 24 hours a day, such as police and fire services, hospitals, factories, nursing homes and correctional centers.

That’s a lot of people in every American city and large town. And many of these people have small children with no one to watch them at night.

And that’s where Lakaisha McCaleb, co-owner and co-founder of Joy & Gladness Children’s Academy LLC in Jefferson City, Missouri, helps spreads joy and gladness with her 24-hour day care.

Originally from St. Louis, McCaleb and her mother had been operating credentialed child care centers for more than a decade. Then her mother, a preschool teacher, was abruptly laid off. Meanwhile, some of McCaleb’s friends had had babies, but still needed to work or go to school and couldn’t afford child care. So McCaleb and her mom opened a center in their home.

Things went well for a few years until McCaleb was diagnosed with several health conditions, including cancer. Fortunately, she says, the cancer was caught early. She also became homeless, and she and her young daughter were forced to move in with her parents, who had relocated to Jefferson City. Times were tough.  (more…)

The SBDC Millennial Conference M3 Goes “Back-to-Back”

M32017 Attendees

Creating a sequel to your favorite movie is always a challenge. I mean, it’s almost impossible to duplicate the success. Think about it. Was Ice Cube’s “Next Friday” as good as “Friday?” How about “The Hangover Part II” compared to “The Hangover?” Or take it back even further and compare the original “Grease” and “Grease 2.” Back-to-back success is no guarantee, but for the second annual Maximizing Millennial Minds Conference (#M32017), it did what most can’t do – surpassed the success of its inaugural year!

#M32017 was centered around its content, New Orleans’ culture, and there were cocktails!

Have you ever second-lined at a conference to the Rebirth Brass Band’s “Do what you wanna?” Probably not. Have you seen the new national study, “America’s Voice on Small Business,” by America’s SBDC and the Center for Generational Kinetics? I’ll take that as a no as well. Have you walked the streets of New Orleans discussing your SBDC and the millennial experience with other SBDC professionals from across the country? Likely not.

But guess what? We did at #M32017.


Half of Millennials Want to Start a Business: Here’s How to Get Going

By Kali Geldis

Millennial businessIf you were born between 1977 and 1995, there’s over a 50% chance that you would start your own small business if you knew where to get help to make it happen.

America’s SBDC, the face of a nationwide network of Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs), collaborated with the Center for Generational Kinetics to better understand how different generations view entrepreneurship. The findings indicated that millennials were especially eager to start businesses of their own, but there were some things standing in their way.

Millennials stated that they’d like help writing a business plan, and they rate money high on the list of things holding them back from starting a business. In fact, 45% of the study respondents said that finding capital to start a business was their biggest barrier. That’s not a huge shocker — there are more than 44 different types of business financing out there, and they come with unique interest and fee structures.

Here are five tips that can help any millennial, no matter their entrepreneurial dream, get started.  (more…)

Barton, Vermont Supermarket Keeping Up With Competition

Success Story: Vermont

VtSBDC Advising Assists Privately-Owned Grocery Store

Vermont SBDC SuccessAs large chain grocery stores continue to put pressure on small privately-owned markets, Vermont grocers are having to continually hone their business skills in order to compete against companies like Hannaford, Price Chopper and others. Raymond Sweeney, owner of C&C Supermarket in Barton, Vermont, knows that as well as anyone.

He said he got into the grocery business because “I enjoy what I do and my vision for the business,” but he admitted he could use some help projecting the future of his business. That is why he contacted Ross Hart, area advisor at the Vermont Small Business Development Center (SBDC). With a possible Wal-Mart opening up nearby, the two quickly went to work developing a reasonable cash flow model for the 71 Church Street market.

While the store was already known for great service, friendly staff, good prices, its fresh bakery and home cooked deli specials, as well as its produce department, meaty grinders and warehouse specials, Sweeney said Hart helped him create “a vision for where to take the business.”  (more…)