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Success Stories

Scott Soesbee sitting at desk

FlameOff Ignites Success for Georgia

Small Business Person of the Year

Former golf pro turned entrepreneur Scott Soesbee took a recommendation from a friend and turned it into a business venture, FlameOff Coatings Inc.  The initial idea was to solve the problems many homeowners face each year -- a dryer that erupts in flames if the duct is filled with lint. In 2013 dryers caused 14,600 fires, 20 deaths, and $86.8 million in property damage in the United States alone.  FlameOFF offers fully tested fire retardant and fire resistance intumescent paint products designed to provide a high-level of fire protection at a reasonable cost and without harmful solvents and toxic ingredients.  The paint has undergone extensive testing and has been accredited by the International Accreditation Service (IAS) fire testing laboratories and is a member of National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and International Code Council (ICC... Read More

Ana Martin

In July, 2000 Ana Martin, under the cover of darkness, boarded a small fishing boat from Cuba and dangerously set sail for the United States to pursue her passion of being an entrepreneur.  With nothing but the clothes on her back, a small bag, and a soul full of determination she made the leap of faith seeking freedom and opportunities which were denied in her native country.  Fifteen years later, Ana Martin reflects while her computer chimes with a new e-mail and the office phone continues to ring in the very busy office of her construction company, Martin-Pinero, CPM.  She confidently smiles as she points out her name is on the door. 

 “The opportunity to own a business in Cuba is not only denied to all citizens, but if one starts a very small business venture, they are at the mercy of persecution, detention, or Castro’s apparatus could issue an eminent domain on the property where business was conducted,” said Martin.  “Knowing the consequences, we opened a business in... Read More

From their kitchen to your table, catering to eat-in, 21 ShortStop is serving up southern cooking with a spice of business acumen.  One patron says “I really like this place, southern cooking at its best!  Nice portions, good selection, flavorful and affordable...yum!”  Before the lights go on in the kitchen Mr. & Mrs. Arthur Johnson understand firsthand what it means to have a business plan that they follow just like a recipe. 

Mr. Arthur Johnson came to The University of Georgia Small Business Development Center (SBDC), Savannah for help with opening 21 ShortStop, a restaurant in Pt. Wentworth, Georgia offering “Southern Cooking with a Touch of Soul”.  Mr. Johnson already owned some land on Highway 21 between Savannah and Rincon that he believed would be an excellent location for his restaurant.  He needed help developing a business plan and acquiring funding so he could build and open the restaurant on his land.  His wife Sandra had extensive experience and would run... Read More

Success so fast TailsSpin

With the assistance of the SBA and The University of Georgia Small Business Development Center (SBDC), success came quickly for Jeffrey Manley and Jusak Bernhard, so fast it made their TailsSpin. They began with developing their business plan, acquiring funding, and opening TailsSpin, a retail pet supply business, in the Historic District of Savannah, Georgia on October 5th, 2007.

Since then, TailsSpin has built a loyal customer base, offering customers quality natural pet foods, a wide selection of pet accessories, and top-notch customer service. The business has grown rapidly, with sales through November 2012 totaling more than 5 times sales in 2008, the business’s first full year. The business now has 24 employees. TailsSpin’s growth led first to a larger location in Midtown Savannah. Then the company expanded by opening a second 3,000 square foot store in Pooler, Georgia in September of 2011. In 2012, TailsSpin was named Macon Mogul in Gateway Macon’s initiative to bring... Read More