National Small Business Week – #SBDC Winners – #SmallBusinessWeek

Small Business Week

America’s SBDC is excited to announce that the Ohio SBDC at The Hamilton Mill in Hamilton, Ohio and three SBDC clients from around the country will be acknowledged and awarded during this year’s National Small Business Week. National Small Business Week honors America’s 28 million small businesses and their entrepreneurial, innovative and resilient spirit that serves as the backbone of the American economy.

In making the announcement, SBA Administrator Linda McMahon said: “More than half of all Americans either own or work for a small business, and they create about two out of three net new jobs in the U.S. each year. I couldn’t be prouder of all the awardees this year – they are working to grow small businesses, create 21st century jobs, drive innovation, and increase America’s global competitiveness. It is an honor during National Small Business Week to honor and celebrate their hard work and success.”

“It’s a pleasure to recognize the achievements of small business and the diversity and strength they bring to our economy. It’s too bad we can’t make every week Small Business week. It’s a particular pleasure to recognize all the SBDC clients who are being recognized for their success. America’s SBDCs are proud to be a part of their story and help them make their dreams a reality. But don’t forget that SBDCs are there for every small business, every week!” said Charles “Tee” Rowe, America’s SBDC President & CEO.


2017 Small Business Development Center Excellence & Innovation Award Winner
Ohio SBDC at The Hamilton Mill
Hamilton, Ohio
Mr. David Riggs, Director

2017 Exporter of the Year
Safety Sleeper
Rose Morris, Owner
(a client of the Pennsylvania SBDC)

Small Business Person of the Year – National Finalists
Hometown Trolley
Kristina Pence-Dunow, Owner & CEO
(a client of the Wisconsin SBDC)

Monster Auto Corporation dba as Guam AutoSpot
Derrick Muna Quinata, President/CEO
(a client of the Guam SBDC)

For more information about SBDC state, regional and district National Small Business Week Winners, visit our website at

Stay tuned to our blogs this week as we feature the national winners and finalists. Learn more about what they do and how their local SBDCs helped them reach NATIONAL success!

Find your local SBDC today!


Windows Open New Doors

Success Story: Connecticut

Cooper WindowsFrom an early age, Brian Cooper of Pawcatuck, Connecticut, was drawn to woodworking. In high school, he took the maximum number of trade classes possible, and during that time he built a Grandfather’s Clock. “Woodworking is in my DNA,” Brian says. Unbeknownst to him, he became the same type of craftsman his grandfather was, a family member he never had the opportunity to meet.

Brian started professionally as a boat builder and cabinet maker, and years later found out that his grandfather was also a boat builder and cabinet maker. He eventually inherited all of his grandfather’s tools, which had his name stamped into them. It is serendipitous that Brian is in the profession he is in. While working in the boating industry, the construction of wooden boats started to become obsolete. Brian wanted to continue to pursue his craft of working with wood and checked out a 18th century home. He dismantled it, preserving the 300-year-old wood, and started on the next phase of his career of restoring early New England homes and buildings to museum quality — making his own nails and windows.

Then a trend started where builders did not possess the preservation mentality and historic buildings were getting burned or bulldozed and not preserved. His business then turned to dismantling the entire building and storing it in trailers so it could be reconstructed in another location. Then a recession hit, and It was a painful time for Brian and The Cooper Group. He had to lay off 40 employees.  (more…)

Mapping Their Way to Business Success

Success Story: Colorado

North Line GISNorth Line GIS was founded by Mike George and Trip McLaughlin, after seeing a need for a GIS business to service the needs of the local community as well as the western slope of Colorado. Both Mike and Trip were employed full-time by others at the time of the start-up, so they were able to start the company with personal funds while building the business.

Although both founders have extensive experience as geographers, they needed assistance with ideas for managing and growing the business. After researching available resources, they contacted the SBDC to help them strategize about growing the company.

The SBDC director helped them to modify their business plan, including identifying metrics crucial to measuring their business success as they worked toward their goals. In less than six months since the initial contact with the SBDC, Trip is now working full-time with North Line GIS, and the company hired three more part-time employees to assist with the work being generated by Trip and Mike.

“We look forward to the opportunities ahead of us and the resources available from the SBDC to help us move forward.” — Trip McLaughlin


The Colorado Small Business Development Center Network (CSBDC) is dedicated to helping existing and new businesses grow and prosper in Colorado by providing free and confidential consulting and no- or low-cost training programs.

The CSBDC has 14 full-time centers and over 60 satellite offices with a team of business experts ready to help create and retain jobs, secure loans, increase sales, win government contracts, obtain certifications and more. Read more Colorado SBDC success stories here!

Veteran Turns to Entrepreneurship as Retirement Approaches

Success Story: Vermont

Veteran turns to entrepreneurshipAs our nation’s military fighting men and women finish their tours overseas or approach retirement from a career defending our country, many are now turning to entrepreneurship as a way to bridge the gap to full-fledged retirement. Kristine and Chad Jenkins, owners of Georgia Self Storage LLC in Georgia, Vermont are a fine example.

Chad recently began approaching his retirement from the military after many years in uniform, and knew he was ready for a new challenge. The recently opened rental storage facility located not far from Interstate 89 Exit 18 at 198 Morse Drive was the answer.

“We are veteran-owned, and family-run,” Chad said. We provide safe and secure storage options. We have 24-hour gated access and many different sized units,” he said.

But before he could get the storage facility up and running, Chad knew he needed some assistance and began researching online for what resources are available to Vermont entrepreneurs. He soon came across Vermont Small Business Development Center (VtSBDC) Area Advisor Steve Densham.  (more…)

SBDCs Recognized in the United State Senate on SBDC Day

Statement in the Congressional Record
By Senators Jim Risch and Jeanne Shaheen
Chairman and Ranking Member
U.S. Senate Committe on Small Business & Entrepreneurship

Mr. RISCH. Mr. President, on behalf of myself and my colleague Senator Shaheen, I would like to recognize the contributions made to our nation and its small businesses by the good work of America’s Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs). As Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Ranking Member Shaheen and I understand the impact that boosting small businesses makes, with 99.7 percent of all firms across America being small businesses and their employees making up 48 percent of the total workforce.

America’s SBDCs provide small businesses across the country with high-quality, low- or no-cost consulting, and a variety of educational programs. These centers operate in all 50 States to support an established network of small businesses while encouraging new entrepreneurs to develop and execute their unique vision, helping innovators get their own small businesses up and running.

SBDCs are successful because they provide the services of a large consulting firm on a locally scaled level in areas that may go unnoticed by other programs. They provide tailored, individualized attention to over 450,000 entrepreneurs a year, which resulted in $6.9 billion in new sales in 2015. That same year, America’s Small Business Development Centers aided in the creation of over 100,000 jobs, and the small businesses they serve averaged a growth rate of 15.5 percent, which is nearly eight times the national average.

One of many success stories that can be told is that of Velma, a marketing software firm in Nampa, ID. Founded in 2006, the firm focused on empowering loan officers to create stronger relationships through a customized direct email program. The recession of 2008 hit Velma hard, and in 2010, the company entered into the SBDC business accelerator program. The structure of the program provided organizational discipline, and the firm pivoted to providing email marketing for mortgage companies. Since the firm began participating in the accelerator program, Velma has quadrupled its employees and created a sustained positive cash flow.

It is a privilege for my colleague and I to recognize SBDC Day today, March 22, 2017, and we wish them continued success as they work to support the next generation of America’s small business owners and entrepreneurs.

Mrs. SHAHEEN. Mr. President, as Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, it is a privilege to join Chairman Risch as we celebrate the first ever Small Business Development Center Day, which will unite the more than 1,000 Small Business Development Centers, SBDCs, across the country with the hundreds of thousands of entrepreneurs they have assisted in their 37-year history.  (more…)