Success Stories

Quik-Solv Cleaning Service, Inc. of Bismarck, North Dakota is a janitorial firm that was started in 1995 by Troy Ybarra's mother. In 1998, Troy joined the company as a partner and then purchased his mother's share in 2007.

Quik-Solv held the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) janitorial contract at the Bismarck Airport for many years. When Ybarra learned that the FAA was planning on moving the janitorial contract to the SBA 8(a) Business Development Program, he knew that it was time to apply for 8(a) certification.

The federal government must set aside 23 percent of its prime contracts for small businesses; this includes 5 percent for small disadvantaged businesses. The SBA's 8(a) Business Development Program, for socially and economically disadvantaged entrepreneurs, limits competition for certain contracts to businesses that participate in the 8(a) program.

Ybarra contacted Dave Kleppe with the North Dakota Procurement Technical Assistance Center (ND PTAC... Read More

Founded in 2010 by Angela Skogen, Cooks on Main is a specialty kitchen store located on Main Street in Williston, North Dakota. It markets itself as the culinary destination for the region, offering something for everybody from the seasoned chef to the novice beginner.

Originally, Cooks on Main had 2,450 squre footage of main floor retail space which included a kitchen for the cooking classes. The business was soon overflowing with product crammed into the limited space, forcing Skogen to turn away people who wanted to take cooking classes.

With an SBA 504 loan from Lewis & Clark Development Group, Skogen was able to purchase the building next door, renovate both buildings, purchase equipment, and refinance a portion of existing debt on the project. The SBA 504 loan also allowed Cooks on Main to expand its full- and part-time staff and add a full culinary center.

SBA’s 2018 North Dakota Small Business Person of the Year Kari Weigel believes she can change lives – and she is, one student at a time.  And she is changing students’ lives in big towns, rural areas, and reservations across North Dakota and the United States.

She learned she could make a difference when in high school she worked in her mother’s Bismarck, N.D., business, Sylvan Learning Center. It is a franchise business that offers personalized tutoring on a number of subjects, as well as study skills and ACT prep courses, primarily to students in grades K-12.

Kari went to college, graduated, and spent five years working as a certified public accountant. She soon realized that she missed helping students. She missed helping a student reach his/her full academic potential. In 2004, Kari returned to Bismarck to operate the business with her mother. Her long-term goal: Own the business.

In 2008, her dream came true when she purchased the business. Since then Kari... Read More

Jonathan Holth and Shawn Clapp spent a number of years working in the restaurant industry prior to opening the Toasted Frog in downtown Grand Forks in 2006. They sought assistance from SCORE and SBA to put together their business plan and obtain an SBA 7(a) loan. “Any resources you can tap into you should explore,” advises Holth. “When we finished with our counseling session with SCORE, our business plan was ten times stronger than it was when we went in there.” Having a strong business plan not only gives you a road map for moving forward in your business, it will also make it easier to get bank financing. SCORE helped Holth and Clapp understand what a bank would look for in a business plan and also explained the financial options that were available to them. Holth and Clapp have since opened two more locations – downtown Bismarck in 2010 and downtown Fargo in 2014. They have also been named SCORE Mentor’s 2018 American Small Business Champion.

See more of their story on... Read More