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Success Stories

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

Heartsong -- Singing for those without a voice.

Georgia Small Business Person of the Year 2013
(2nd Runner-Up)
Loretta Emmons
Heartsong -- Singing for those without a voice.

President Obama’s 2013 Small Business Week Proclamation states that America’s progress has been driven by pioneers who think big, take risks, and work hard.  He also notes that when their businesses take off, they fuel an engine of economic growth and job creation that moves America forward.  Loretta Emmons of Heartsong Spay Neuter Clinic, Augusta GA, the Georgia Small Business Person of the Year (2nd Runner-up), epitomizes the pioneers President Obama describes. 

The culmination of the Emmons’ “thinking big” was the creation of Heartsong Spay Neuter Clinic in 2006.  Loretta has long been an animal advocate, dedicated to rescuing and caring for animals, so establishing a low cost high quality spay neuter clinic was no surprise to those who knew her.  

As a result of thinking big and until late 2011... Read More

CaraVita - Purpose Driven Organization

Georgia Small Business Person of the Year 2013
Beth Cayce
CaraVita - Purpose Driven Organization


Beth Cayce, Georgia Small Business Person of the Year 2013, is the founder and CEO of CaraVita Home Care, a private duty homecare agency serving the Metro Atlanta area since 1998. Beth has spent a lifetime in service of those most in need, dedicating her professional career to seniors in the local community, and building sustainable programs for the less fortunate a world away.

CaraVita has provided in-home personal care services to over 16,000 seniors in the Metro Atlanta area for fifteen years. Offering a unique approach to care, CaraVita utilizes a multi-disciplinary team of healthcare professionals to provide care to seniors in their homes.  Cutting edge and innovative, CaraVita also offers a one of a kind Caregiver Academy for family members to learn the necessary homecare skills. The company recently launched the Virtual... Read More