Success Stories

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Kevin’s Plumbing and Heating Gets Boost with SBDC Assistance


Kevin Yaw’s story of going from a U.S. Air Force Veteran to founding Kevin’s Plumbing and Heating started in the late 2000’s.

Yaw, fresh out of the military and welcomed by several plumbing contractors in the Buffalo area, left his military career as a plumber and began working in the same field almost immediately. 

“It hasn’t been easy,” says Yaw.  “There are the long hours and the sharp learning curve.”  “My transition from employee to business owner was gradual; I consulted with my bank manager, Kathy Eisenmenger several times before being introduced to Dhannayia Johnson, business advisor at the Buffalo State College’s Small Business Development Center.”

Small Business Development Centers are funded through the U.S. Small Business Administration.  Offering free education and consulting to small businesses for marketing plans, business plans and technical... Read More

Harper Thermal Processing Equipment

Thermal Processing Company finds Success in Paris Exhibition

The U.S. Small Business Administration’s State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) Grant program has enabled Buffalo-based Company, Harper International access to vital opportunities in Paris, France.

The STEP program, authorized under the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, has two objectives: 1) increase the number of small businesses that begin to export and 2) increase the value of exports for small businesses that currently export. 

Harper International partnered with New York State’s ESD and was the recipient of a $5,000 STEP Grant in 2016.  STEP grant funds allowed the company to enter and expand their presence in the international marketplace. 

“Paris, France is host to the primary exhibition in the world for carbon fiber, “said Diana Robbins, Harper International Vice President of Marketing.  “This particular trade exhibition is a key step to building relationships for our company.  It... Read More

Rheumatology Wellness Care of WNY Logo

Alternative Medicine, Passion Key Component to Business Success


For nearly 17 years, Rheumatology Wellness Care of WNY, owner and veteran, Dr. Mary Margaret O’Neil worked for a group practice treating rheumatic conditions.  It was there she decided to explore other options, and her passion to do more.  That passion inspired her to start her own practice specializing in both traditional and whole-person treatment methods for rheumatologic conditions. 

“Throughout my experiences working in all areas Rheumatology, what stuck in my mind most was the lack of alternative medicines for patients suffering from chronic conditions affecting muscles and joint pain, said Dr. O’Neil.  “There was an obvious need for alternative options.”

In response to this unmet need, RWC of WNY was born.  With the help of Evans Bank and the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Express Loan program, RWC of WNY received two SBA Express loans allowing her to... Read More

Welding Sparks

Small Business Matchmaker Opens Doors for Industrial Support Inc.

Not long after attending SBA’s Annual Business Matchmaker, David Sullivan, President, Industrial Support Inc. began receiving contracting opportunities and numerous quotes from a variety of small and large national businesses.

Founded in 1995, ISI is a diverse contract manufacturing and metal fabricating, machining and stamping company located in Buffalo, New York.  ISI is a Tier 1 supplier to the automotive industry and supplies products and services to a variety of other industries to include electronics, retail fixtures and furniture, medical, dental, educational, aeronautic/aerospace, power generation and building products.

“We aggressively sought out these contracts and won,” said Sullivan. “We have attended the SBA’s annual event since inception.  The event has opened doors for ISI.  “ Because of this event, we have obtained new customers through agencies we have worked with, quoting... Read More