Assistance from Arkansas SBTDC Helps Faithful Cuts Obtain Microloan, Plan for Future

August 13, 2019

Success Story: Arkansas –

Faithful Cuts Lawn CareOne way to know spring has arrived is the familiar whir of lawn mowers. The sound is music to the ears of the Sabbs family.

Faithful Cuts Lawn Care Etc. LLC is their family-owned and operated lawn care and ground maintenance company. The business was started by Leon Sabbs of Little Rock, who has 30 years of landscaping experience.

Leon and his son, Gabriel Sabbs, worked with the Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center (ASBTDC) to organize the business and secure a FORGE microloan last fall to prepare for the 2019 season, and now they are “heading into it at full throttle,” said Gabriel.

“The 2019 season focus will be on building and maintaining our brand and truly building a client network. We want to expand our business to bigger heights and focus on job creation, while not compromising our quality of service,” he said. (more…)

Retired? This Pharmacist Is Proof You Can Start A Business Later in Life

July 30, 2019

Success Story: West Virginia –

Walter Moore, RxbyTelAfter a successful career as a pharmacist, Walter Moore should be playing a round of golf right about now. But you won’t find him on the greens, decked out in Titleist apparel and celebrating retirement with a victory cigar. Instead, he’ll go to work on Monday, put on his white coat and spend his morning filling prescriptions behind the counter at his pharmacy.

“I was retired for seven years and I would look back on my time as a pharmacist and see how much I took it for granted,” Moore, 70, said. “I’ve got a new outlook on life.”

For many, retirement is something to look forward to. After all, isn’t the American dream enjoying the fruits of your labor in your later years after a prosperous career? For Moore, retirement was pleasant, but ultimately felt hollow.

“You have to find something to do with your life. I just assume keep working and take chances,” Moore said. “I’m so grateful that I’m a pharmacist. I got tired of saying I used to be one. Now that I’m back, I really appreciate every customer who comes through the door. It’s been energizing to come back to work.” (more…)

Integrative Medical Center Opens

July 23, 2019

Success Story: Illinois –

Infinite Wellness logoInfinite Wellness Integrative Medical Center owner Dr. Ryan Cleland worked with the Illinois Small Business Development Center (SBDC) for the Metro East at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville to successfully open his newest wellness center in Glen Carbon.

Cleland has been in the medical and health industry for 13 years and has run a private chiropractic practice for 11 of those years. SBDC Director Jo Ann DiMaggio May assisted Cleland in polishing his business plan and cash flow projections to introduce Infinite Wellness to a lender.

Cleland is motivated by helping people find natural ways to live their best lives through nutrition, safe pain relief and tissue regeneration, bioidentical hormone therapies, anti-aging science, weight loss, proper joint and spinal biomechanics, and more. (more…)

Lawson’s Finest Liquids: From hobby business to thriving craft-beer company

July 9, 2019

By Amanda Kuhnert –

Sean and Karen Lawson
Sean and Karen Lawson, Lawson’s Finest Liquids

If you live in Vermont and appreciate good beer, then you’re probably familiar with Lawson’s Finest Liquids. Last fall the company celebrated the grand opening of its 80-seat taproom, retail store, and 30-barrel production facility in Waitsfield. What you might not know is that 11 years ago, this thriving Vermont-based business was simply one man’s hobby.

“I have had a passion for beer and brewing since discovering the joy of home brewing in college, as a student at the University of Vermont,” company founder Sean Lawson said. He homebrewed for about 20 years before friends and family finally persuaded him to begin selling his product to the public. In 2008, Sean and his wife Karen launched Lawson’s Finest Liquids out of a small outbuilding next to their house.

They started out as a one-barrel nanobrewery, and in 2011 ramped up to a seven-barrel microbrewery. This is when the owners reached out to the Vermont Small Business Development Center (VtSBDC) for assistance with their business plan and advice on financing their capital expansion. (more…)

Sweet success for two entrepreneurs

June 25, 2019

Success Story: Idaho –

Amazing Glaze Donuts
Dean & Katie Giesbrecht, Owners, Amazing Glaze Donuts, Pocatello, Idaho

Katie Giesbrecht was working as a barista for Double Shot Donuts when the owners of the shop asked Katie and her husband if they would be interested in buying the business. At the time, Katie and Dean were both looking for new opportunities and decided to consider the offer.

They spent seven months working side by side with the previous owners, learning the business operations and working with the Idaho SBDC before the sale of the business went through. In August, 2017, the Giesbrechts reopened the business as Amazing Glaze Donuts.

When asked what makes Amazing Glaze Donuts different than other donuts in the marketplace, Katie and Dean both agree: it’s the recipe. The proprietary recipe includes real Idaho potatoes. “It’s a big part of what we bought when we purchased the business,” said Dean. Katie and Dean both spent time tasting as many donuts as they could before purchasing the business. “We tried everything from vegan to whole wheat. Nothing tastes as good as these.” (more…)

The Mill

May 29, 2019

Success Story: Wisconsin –

Wisconsin Success - The MillNancy Helms loved the vintage aesthetic of the former feed mill in downtown Chetek so much that she decided to fill it with a new business. The Mill is now a one-of-a-kind event venue with a modern-industrial vibe.

Nancy and her husband Leonard (Buddy) purchased the abandoned feed mill in May, 2016 and opened for business in May, 2017. Renovations included repairs to the roof and floor, and removing scrap steel and more. “We found an old tank of molasses and removed 1,000 gallons by hand, in 5-gallon pails.”

Nancy, a self-described antiques fanatic, loved restoring the building to its original state, only better. “We are ADA-compliant — we worked very hard to accomplish that,” said Nancy, who mentors developmentally delayed adults. Her aesthetic is an elegant mix of old and new that sets The Mill apart from competitors. (more…)

Ohio SBDC at Youngstown State University Wins National Award

April 30, 2019

Excellence Award - Ohio SBDC at YSUThe Ohio Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Youngstown State University is the national SBDC Excellence and Innovation Award winner for 2019. The award will be presented by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) as part of the celebration of National Small Business Week, from May 5-11.

During National Small Business Week, the SBA recognizes the contributions of outstanding entrepreneurs, small business owners, and organizations that support America’s small businesses in all 50 states and U.S. territories. More than half of Americans either own or work for a small business, and small businesses create about two out of every three new jobs in the United States each year.

The Ohio SBDC at Youngstown State University is a partnership program supported by the U.S. Congress and the President, the SBA, the Ohio Development Services Agency and Youngstown State University. Through its programs and services, the SBDC at Youngstown State provides entrepreneurial development assistance, training programs and high-end business consulting to existing businesses and start-up ventures. (more…)

St. Johnsbury, Vermont Child-Care Center Expands

April 10, 2019

By Amanda Kuhnert –

ABC & LOL Child Care CenterHeather Hudson had been running a successful child-care business in St. Johnsbury, Vermont for five years when she saw an opportunity to expand. A competing child-care center became available for purchase, and she wanted to buy it.

But was it a good idea? Hudson needed to determine whether the purchase was a sound financial move.

For help assessing the viability of the venture, Heather’s bank referred her to business advisor Ross Hart at the Vermont Small Business Development Center (VtSBDC). Hart specializes in finance and business planning.

“Heather had a high degree of expertise in her industry and had been successful with her existing business,” Ross explained. “But she understood that there was a degree of complexity with purchasing another business that she didn’t fully understand. So she connected with me to help her review and assess the financials of the business she was interested in and develop some financial projections to complete her loan application package.” (more…)

From $7.25 to More than $15: Understand the Changing Dynamics of Minimum Wage Legislation

April 2, 2019

By ComplyRight –

Minimum Wage Monitor mapMinimum wage workers doing the same job are paid drastically different wages and it all depends on where they work.

States, cities, counties – and even corporations – are setting their own minimum wages for workers. This year alone, rates will go up in 20 states as well as numerous cities and counties. These are just the latest round of increases due to inaction at the federal level.

The national minimum wage of $7.25 an hour hasn’t changed in a decade – despite many lawmakers pressing for an increase. However, it just might happen. A bill to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour has recently been introduced. And the House of Representatives is expected to vote on the issue in the coming weeks. (more…)

Making a Business Vision Clear

March 25, 2019

Success Story: Idaho –

Little Wood Vision Clinic, IdahoMatt Kent became interested in optometry as a 19-year-old, while serving as a volunteer at eye camps for under-served populations in India.

In 2015, he and his wife Becky started working with the Twin Falls CSI Small Business Development Center on a business plan for his own practice, closer to home. Since many grants and loan forgiveness programs available for rural areas are not offered to optometrists, support from the Idaho SBDC was important to Dr. Kent’s efforts to provide local eye care and employment in his small community. (more…)