Success Stories

Retired veteran takes “special operations” approach to real world experience

BUFFALO, NY – For Christopher Durkin it was 23 years of experience in the U.S. military that enabled him to open Blackhawk Emergency Management Group LLC. As a former special operations Black Hawk helicopter pilot, who served in the U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Army, Durkin recognized the need for emergency management and disaster preparedness assistance. Upon retiring, he developed a “special operations” approach to developing, implementing and managing comprehensive programs and services to assist organizations with any type of disaster or emergency.

“When you are out in the real world, you realize there are opportunities to improve and greatly enhance safety, security and emergency management; helping others from your own knowledge base,” says Durkin.

When Durkin, a Certified Emergency Manager (CEM®), ran into start-up issues, he sought guidance from SBA resource partner, Greater... Read More

Service-disabled veteran; co-owner use SBA resources as playbook for start-up

BUFFALO, NY – Summer, architecture, dining, concerts, lake views. Imagine a ride on a mechanized three-wheeled taxi….what could be better?

Queen City Tuk Tuk, with its name, this Buffalo business seeks to introduce a new way to see the city.

Tuk Tuk co-owners; Joseph Dietzel and Joshua Bornheft decided to take a retreat; a sort of support trip after Joseph was hit by a rode-side bomb while serving in the United States Marine Corps. The two traveled to Thailand. After a stint of three plus months, the two discovered that in Thailand, a Tuk Tuk is a main way of travel, transporting you to the city’s many exotic and thrilling delights.

“We traveled on the Tuk Tuk and found it to be exhilarating, a wild experience,” Joshua Bornhoeft said. “We felt it would be a perfect fit in Buffalo.”

The owners coupled in their cash and sought assistance from the U.S. Small Business... Read More

Minority-owned business secures contracts after attending Small Business Matchmaker

BUFFALO, NY – For MinoriTech Inc. owners, John, Richard and Patricia Marcaida, entrepreneurship taught them a number of things in life, though a satisfying journey, it took the company a lot of patience and perseverance before finding success at the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Buffalo District office annual Small Business Matchmaker.

Emma Briones migrated from the Philippines as a young woman. While raising a family and working with engineers at Kodak, she was encouraged to start her own business.  And in 1988, MinoriTech Inc. was founded.  The name derived from her minority and technology background.

From its humble beginnings, the company has expanded to the point where it now provides sourcing, manufacturing and assembly services for customers in defense-aerospace, business, higher education and government agencies. “MinoriTech is one of few companies in the... Read More

SBA resource partners credited for start-up assistance and guidance

BUFFALO, NY – “My business is all about empowering women, “ she says. “Our spa services help women to feel relaxed and rejuvenated. Spa time improves the quality of life for women. I like to say, it makes them feel – Fierce and Fabulous!”

That was the thinking when Kirsten DiCarlo opened FabUBus Mobile Spa in 2016. After attending a vision board workshop, Kirsten was able to visualize her dream of helping women while reflecting on her individual goals. She envisioned her concept of converting a motorhome into a traveling spa and the perfect career.

“I had a mission in life to help other women,” said Kirsten. “I wanted to help them realize that taking time for themselves is not only ok, it is necessary to recharge!”

At the same time, Kirsten reached out to the U.S. Small Business Administration’s resource partner SCORE Buffalo Niagara.

As a resource partner of the U.S. SBA, SCORE... Read More

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