Success Stories

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

Small Business Owner Named 2008 Small Business Person of the Year

James Edward (Jim) Marchessault, CEO and President, Business Card Service, Inc. based in Burnsville, 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. Steve Saefke of QuestGrowth Partners and Daron Van Helden of the Burnsville Chamber of Commerce nominated Jim for this award.

James Edward (Jim) Marchessault, the oldest of eight children, grew up in a middle class Twin Cities neighborhood. His father, Paul, was an entrepreneur who started printing business cards and stationery in the basement of the family home in Bloomington in 1954. The business grew and supported the Marchessault family as Jim and his siblings grew up. It is in this environment... Read More

Small Business Owner Receives Micro-loan for Expansion, Growth
Glacial Ridge Winery, Inc. in Spicer, MN Expands with Loan from the Southwest Initiative Foundation

Ronald and Kimberly Wothe recently received a loan from the Southwest Initiative Foundation’s (SWIF) Micro-Enterprise loan program for the expansion of their home winemaking center into a small farm winery, “Glacial Ridge Winery, Inc.” Their facility has been remodeled to serve as a winery, tasting room and gift shop.

The business will make and sell a variety of grape wines, apple wine and some seasonal specialty fruit wines, and home winemaking will continue to be a specialty service. An outdoor performance stage hosts live performers every Thursday night during the tourist months, making the winery an even more popular destination.

Glacial Ridge Winery, Inc. is located just north of Spicer on Highway 23, a well-known tourism area in the Willmar lakes region. It was formerly the Jimmy Appleseed Orchard Co., with a retail apple store and pie making business... Read More

Minority-Owned Business Named Minority Small Business Person of the Year

Tom A. Chacon, owner of Boring Machine Corporation, Fridley, has been named Minnesota Minority Small Business Person of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration. The award recognizes Chacon for excellence in his field, demonstrated leadership, and community involvement.

Boring Machine Corporation is a minority-owned company providing precision machine parts for medical, aerospace, general aviation, and the defense industry. They machine build customized designs of medium to complex parts made from all alloys and plastics. Their major customer is Lockheed Martin Aeronautics.

Boring Machine has the technology, systems and capabilities to be a full service supplier to industries needing custom, high quality precision machining. Boring Machine Corporation’s track record in supplying the Aircraft and Aerospace Industries demonstrate its excellence and commitment to quality. Boring Machines system can handle the documentation and traceability requirement... Read More

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