The Maryland SBDC has helped many Maryland small businesses achieve their dream of starting or expanding their business.
Rich Moulton believes he has a gem of an idea.
A government contractor who retired from the Air Force last year after two decades in uniform, Moulton wants to create a luxury jewelry brand. Moulton came up with the idea after his wife, Zahide, expressed frustration about seeing the same mass-produced jewelry virtually everywhere.
"For a woman with refined, exotic tastes, this would be jewelry from around the world and it would be unique handmade silver and gold jewelry," said Moulton, a combat veteran and father of two who lives in Odenton.
"I stayed in the military for 20 years because I didn't know what I wanted to be when I grew up. I'm happy with my current job, but I'd like more freedom to carve my own path. I want to eventually be my own boss with my own entity and resources."
Moulton and 13 other active-duty and retired service members, mostly in their 20s and 30s, attended the Operation Boots to Business workshops offered Aug. 26-27 at the Fleet and Family Support Center.
Started in 2013, Boots to Business provides education, training and resources on entrepreneurship to transitioning service members, retirees and their spouses at military installations around the world. The program is administered through the Small Business Administration, the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs as part of DoD's Transition Assistance Program.
The curriculum includes steps on assessing the viability of business concepts, the foundational knowledge required for a business plan, and information on resources for start-up capital and technical assistance.
"The people in the military are sacrificing a lot, and we owe it to them to do our best for them," said Mark Williams, veterans business development officer for the SBA's Baltimore office.
Williams is the coordinator of the Boots to Business workshops held six to seven times annually at Fort Meade. The free workshops are also presented regularly at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Fort Detrick, Naval Air Station Patuxent River and the Naval Academy.
A retired Marine and former Defense Information School instructor, Williams said transitioning service members often are unaware of all the resources available to them for starting their own businesses. Such information is crucial.
"The two main things they need to know are what it takes to start a business and how to find the resources," Williams said. "Being a veteran doesn't give you much weight when you borrow money. It has to be a good business decision or a bank won't lend you money. The lenders try to give leeway to veterans, but it can't be a bad deal."
Among the topics at the workshops were an introduction to the entrepreneurial experience; understanding how to conduct market research and competitive strategy/analysis; an overview of the legal considerations affecting veteran-owned businesses; how to finance a start-up venture; locating resources to support a successful launch and sustainable growth; the pros and cons of franchising; and creating a viable business plan.
Williams said the SBA, in conjunction with the Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University also offers a free, eight-week online business-plan development course as part of Boots to Business.
In addition to Williams, guest speakers and instructors at last week's workshops were David Buck of The Entrepreneur's Source, Bonnie Barresi of the Maryland Capital Enterprises Women's Business Center, and Gabe Omaru of the Corridor Region Small Business Development Center.
Omaru said he enjoys talking to service members and veterans about entrepreneurship.
"It's very rewarding," he said. "A lot of people take early retirement and want to run a business for the next 20 or 30 years.
Jordan Research and Development, LLC is an innovation-based company with a primary goal of creating solutions to the world’s biggest problems. These solutions are created in the form of new products, ideas and innovations.
The Airzooka is the company’s most successful product to date. The Airzooka is currently being marketed world-wide and has sold millions of units.
The company has also created a prosthetic finger called the Digitouch. This was created out of necessity, as the company president lost several digits on his left hand due to an accident.
Jessica’s first session was filled with lots of hesitation and a few tears on starting the endeavor she knew she was meant to launch. The strategic planning session gave her the clarity she needed and a process to start and grow her business. From the beginning, Jessica’s business grew rapidly with a focus on LinkedIn training with sales and marketing services.
Jessica was concerned on a life/work balance as a stay at home mom who homeschooled her younger daughter. Wynne designed a work schedule that allowed her to have the quality time she desired with family while maximizing her business hours for greatest impact. Now with the growth of her business revenue she was able to enroll her daughter in a local private school and have the flexibly she needs during the day for her business. “After 18 only months, it has been a joy to watch Jessica’s business grow and flourish. I enjoy seeing her at various business networking events and hearing of all the successes she is having knowing this is just the beginning!” says Wynne Briscoe, SBDC Consultant.
Emily has been working with Wynne Briscoe of the Small Business Development Center since April 2017 from the beginning stages of business planning to the grand opening of her own agency. We are focusing on the strategic marketing, growth and expansion of the business.
As a long time employee in the insurance field, Emily had always thought about owning her own agency one day. The opportunity came when a local agent relocated leaving the area in need of additional agency locations. Upon first discussions with SBDC Consultant Wynne Briscoe, Emily shared her desires to take the leap from employee to business ownership
Rubing connected with the SBDC from an event Wynne Briscoe created called “Small Business Love Day” in February 2017. A collaborative open house style event between the St. Mary’s County Department of Economic Development and her SBDC office to connect with the local community. There he met the other SBDC regional staff to include Bill Hitte from Charles County and Kathy MacAdams from Calvert County.
Kera has been working with Small Business Development Center since February 2016 from the beginning stages of her business to the grand opening events. We are now focusing on the strategic marketing, growth and expansion of the business.
Kera Cherrey has grown from working as an employee of an interior design store to owning her own interior design and staging business with three employees in less than 5 years. During this time, she has obtained her Maryland Home Improvement Contractors License which allows her to offer renovations and home remodeling services to her clients.
Last year during the Annual Business Showcase, Kera was honored by the St. Mary’s County Chamber of Commerce as the Winner of the 2018 Emerging Business Award. Chesapeake Staging and Interiors was awarded the Real Estate Staging Association Top Ten Rising Star Home Stagers of the year 2017.
Glenne Blocher owns a tree removal and lawn care service that has relied on the advice of the SBDC for over nine years. Seeking to determine the feasibility of continuing her business, she met with one of our consultants to analyze financials to figure out her options. "He has worked diligently with agencies to ensure my company survives and thrives.” Ms. Blocher states “Mark has been a key person” in her support network. “He is willing to think outside the box and see into the future for success. Mark Malec has been one of my key advisors.”
Chuck Fry decided to start an ice cream store using the milk from his own cattle. His store features a community atmosphere with fresh ingredients from his farm. The Rocky Point Creamery officially opened for business on November 12, 2011, creating ten local jobs.
Rejuvenation, stress/pain relief and relaxation await at Ocean Elements Salt Spa & Float Center of Delmarva.
Gerrie LHeureux has been working with Wynne Briscoe of the Small Business Development Center since April 2017 from the beginning stages of business planning to the grand opening events. We are focusing on the strategic marketing, growth and expansion of the business.
It was 2002 when Deborah Taylor attended SBDC's Start Right for Success class. One week later she met with Business Consultant, Bill Hitte. Deborah came to the meeting with industry experience, a business plan including researched startup costs, a tentative location and family support.
In their first meeting Bill Hitte learned more about Deborah's experience, plan, research, and intended location. Bill provided additional insights and considerations and gave Deborah some homework - the business plan was still in her head and they needed it in writing to . . .
"As I entered into the program . . . I thought of Mr. Hitte's advice - and how right he was! got the experience I needed to run a spa from the ground up and acquired my aesthetician's license for the State of Maryland in May 2016. In Sept 2016, I opened my business. In July 2017 I had the chance to re-connect with [Bill] . . . a consulting session in mid-August. After those discussions, I emailed [Bill] "I cannot believe I didn't reach out to you sooner."
When it came time to find a special person to be the new owner in 2008, then owners confided in their SBDC Business Consultant, Bill Hitte. They had been relying on SBDC for advice and education to grow Fran's Nu Image since 2001. It was a natural progression and a great fit for another SBDC Client . . .
Although this is a relatively new business, BEKÔZ has wasted no time in fulfilling their mission of being a business that is willing to tackle any challenge; no job is too small or too big as long as it has a cause and mission to reach others.
From the beginning, Glynis and Sheebah recognized that in order to succeed and grow they needed help along the way.
Terri St. Cloud found that she had a passion for short writings which would help women with "emotional healing" concerning challenges in their lives. She called them "Bone Sighs", so she started Bone Sigh Arts in April 2002. She also found that she had a streak of "artistic creativity" which adapted well to complement
No Thyme to Cook began as a personal chef service in 1999. Owned and operated by Gwyn Novak, it provides in-home personalized gourmet meals to clients, and has evolved to include a robust series of seasonal cooking classes and additional streams of income. Beautifully situated on the Patuxent River in the heart of Solomons Island
Here is what Mrs. Belinda had to say about her experience with the SBDC. “Mr. Del Gallo along with Al Henry were instrumental in helping me with my business plan and connecting me to a bank. They were eager to help a small business, like mine. The support and guidance I received forming the vision for Prompt Occupational Healthcare made the loan process bearable.”
Derrell Lee and John Pace are U.S. Military Veterans who graduated from Harford Community College. They are two passionate entrepreneurs with a passion for healthy living and fitness. They came up with a revolutionary idea that they knew would be a success. However, before pursuing this venture head-first, they sought advice on how to properly format their business and construct a business plan to enable them to receive the financing needed.
Wear Your Spirit Warehouse's Ali Banholzer Grows Her Business with Assistance from Small Business Development Center at College of Southern Maryland. Business Grew by More Than 60 Percent Since Move One year ago, Ali Banholzer of Huntingtown was at a turning point with her business. Banholzer owns Wear Your Spirit Warehouse, a small, local business that creates personalized, promotional gear like T-shirts, mugs, hats, banners and more, much of which is for area school teams and clubs, youth sports teams and …
SBDC Offers Free Assistance, Advice and Resources
Eighteen years ago, Valerie Deptula was considering whether to buy a small natural food store in Leonardtown. Would it be a good investment? What were her chances of success? Once Deptula received the store’s cash flow statement, her first move was to take the report to the Small Business Development Center (SBDC)
Elizabeth Mason, President/Founder, affectionately known as “BJ”, with motivation and information from attending the classes at the SBDC and coaching from Melissa Dent, Business Consultant, restarted Irish Seams as an LLC in 2013. Initially, BJ had been working the business as a hobby and a sole proprietorship, since 2009.
Richard (Rich) Jones and Timothy (Tim) Williams became a client of Al Henry and Ryan Del Gallo at the Small Business Development Center in October of 2015 when they dove into the idea of opening a government contracting based logistics company. When it comes to experience, Rich and Tim do not fall short. Rich has over 14 years of experience with top contracting companies such as Northrop Grumman, DS2, URS, and Data Monitor System. Tim is an accomplished and adaptable leader with 25 plus years of service in the United States Army, focused on transitioning managerial and organizational skills to a position guiding operations and training programs.
Randy Douglas, the founder of Douglas Security Technologies LLC, is an inventor from Aberdeen, MD who contacted the Northern Region of Maryland SBDC with the hopes of bringing his patented mobile technology to market. With the help of SBDC counselors and an SBDC event, Douglas is closer to his dream than he ever expected.
When Regina “Gina” Della’s brother, Rich, was struck head-on by a drunk driver in 2002, he was placed in a coma and deemed paralyzed. Although doctors recommended cutting off life-support, Gina refused to give up. Gina spent months researching and investigating recovery methods. Against all odds and with family support, Rich miraculously recovered due to a unique device called Quadriciser and intense one-on-one therapeutic exercises that Gina was able to utilize for her brother. After being an eye witness to her brother’s advances, Gina desired to bring the benefits of the Quadriciser and therapeutic rehabilitation to others who have been suffering from severe physical disabilities. The Quadriciser creates a cross-crawl pattern using all four limbs which results in stimulation of the brain and muscle function.
Jennifer and Dan McGrath are the owners of Galvinell Meat Company which has been a staple in the Cecil County, MD community since it was founded in 1967. When the SBDC was called into Galvinell’s in early 2015, owners Jennifer and Dan were feeling overwhelmed with the mounds of work to be done and workplace organization. Being an old school butcher shop today is more difficult than what one may think: competition, diet fads, and rising cost of goods is something that affects their business every day.
Tamera Rush became a client of Al Henry at the Small Business Development Center in
February of 2014 as she became interested in purchasing an existing technology company in
Harford County. The company was appealing to Tamera because she had a background in technology with the confidence to grow the business and make the acquisition successful. The established company had several 1099 employees and government contracts in place. With the help of Mr. Henry, she knew she could develop a business plan to grow the company.
Brenda Trice has been crocheting most of her life, and knitting for several years. A former teacher, she came to the Maryland Small Business Development & Technology Center-Eastern Region at Salisbury University (SBDTC) last August for direction in opening her own yarn shop in historic downtown Berlin, MD, a major tourist destination site just 15 minutes west of Ocean City.
Edel became a client of Al Henry at the Small Business Development Center in August of 2014 with the vision of purchasing a bridal shop. After weeks of going through the processes of investigating an established business and working closely with Mr. Henry, it was determined that the business in question was not financially stable. Thankfully, Edel was able to move on and changed her business plan to opening her own bridal boutique from the ground up.
On October 20, 2016, the Calvert County Chamber of Commerce recognized Mully’s Brewery as the 2016 “New Business of the Year”. That annual award recognizes a chamber member business which has been open less than 4 years. Mully’s Brewery opened to the public in October 2013. It is owned and operated by Jason and Cindy Mullikin. Located in Prince Frederick, MD.
So MD SBDC is proud to share that Michael Steele, Owner of Motorbriiz, is the winner of the 2nd Annual Crab Pot Pitch. Crab Pot is a joint venture of the Southern Maryland Innovation and Technology (SMIT) meetup and PaxSpace. Crab Pot 2016 is a Southern Maryland Pitch Contest that was held on
McClintock Distillery is scheduled to open Spring 2016 with the cooperative efforts of the city of Frederick and the Frederick SBDC. The new owners want to continue the legacy of McClintock Young by restoring a 5,000 square foot downtown location to produce craft gin, vodka, and rum, followed by whiskey in the next two years.
Keffa Coffee, LLC is importers of specialty-grade Ethiopian coffee, headquartered near the Port of Baltimore. We are proud to offer the most extraordinary and unique selection of Ethiopian coffees. With our strong commitment to sustainability, transparency, and the improvement of farmer livelihoods, our business focuses on the needs of our partners--specialty growers at origin and roasters in the United States who share our commitment and our passion for great coffee.
As she has stated, Devora Kimelman-Block became a businesswoman by chance. An idea for a business dropped into her lap and she decided to quit her non-profit job in the education sector and take a chance with the new business venture. KOL Foods, Devora’s company, is selling Kosher grass fed beef, and other Kosher animal products on line. She has established suppliers in the USA and in foreign markets. She established a fulfillment location in Pennsylvania. She has grown her revenues each year in business.