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Success Stories

Restaurant Owner Becomes a Caterer - Success Story of Custom Catering by Short Stop

Byron Bjorklund, owner of Custom Catering by Short Stop based in St.Cloud, Minn., has been named the Minnesota Small Business Person of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration.

The Small Business Person of the year is selected annually based on growth in sales or unit volume, increase in the number of employees, financial strength, innovativeness of product or service and evidence of contributions to community-oriented projects. Gail Ivers, Vice President of the St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce, and Barry Kirchoff, Executive Director for the Small Business Development Center – St. Cloud State University, nominated Bjorklund for this award.

If you ask Byron Bjorklund what sets Custom Catering by Short Stop apart from the competition, he’ll discuss customer service, creativity, and food presentation. If you talk with him for 15 minutes, you’ll realize that Custom Catering by Short Stop actually has a secret weapon…and his name is Byron Bjorklund.... Read More

Minority-owned HUBZone Business Owner Named Minnesota Minority Small Business Person of the Year

Elise Hernandez McGuire, owner of Ideal System Solutions, Inc., Pine River, has been named Minnesota Minority Small Business Person of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration. The award recognizes Hernandez for excellence in her field, demonstrated leadership, and community involvement.

Ideal System Solutions, Inc. is a woman-owned, Hispanic-owned company providing information technology solutions and services to the government, system integrators and commercial customers. Ideal is headquartered in Pine River with its main sales office and technical facility located in Maple Grove. Ideal also has offices located in New Mexico, California, South Carolina, and Virginia and a services organization that expands nationwide. Major customers include the Department of Energy, General Dynamics, and the Department of Defense including the Minnesota Air National Guard.

Ideal is a value-added reseller for leading-edge technology manufacturers including SUN, HP... Read More

Small Business Owner Receives Help from SBDC, Receives Micro-loan for Start-up Capital

Jorge and Maria Euceda recently received a loan through the Southwest Initiative Foundation’s (SWIF) Micro-Enterprise Loan Program to start “Tortilleria Si Señor,” a local shop that makes fresh, authentic corn flour tortillas, chips, and tostadas from scratch. The Eucedas will sell other Mexican convenience goods and services as well.

Jorge Euceda and his family have lived in the Worthington area for over 13 years, and all will be helping in the business. Tortilleria Si Señor is located in downtown Worthington at 924 Fifth Avenue, and it is expected to open by the second week in August.

Funding from SWIF will be used to purchase equipment and fixtures for the business. Other funding partners in the project were First State Bank Southwest, of Worthington, and the Southwest Regional Development Commission, located in Slayton, Minn. The Eucedas also received business planning assistance from the Southwest Region Small Business Development Center (SBDC) in... Read More

Small Business Owner Consults with SCORE, Achieves High Growth
Inventor Makes a Splash

Minneapolis graphic designer and life-long musician Sid Tincher found herself in a familiar predicament in 2001. While playing her guitar, she reached for a drink. She recalls, “What should have been a simple task turned into a chaotic domino effect – my headstock hit my microphone stand, knocking it into my music stand – they both fell over sending equipment and paper tumbling down onto the very drink I was trying to retrieve.”

Sid started looking for a safe home for her future beverages. Not finding a holder to her liking, she went down to her basement and started tinkering. Sid came up with a slick, fun design. “Musicians began clamoring for one of their own when they saw my SwirlyGig on stage. I made a few more in my basement, but realized quickly that I had a viable and needed product.”

Now, SwirlyGig is the premier cup and beverage holder for musicians and stage artists. “I think that what people responded to the most was the... Read More