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Success Stories

SBA Resource Partner SCORE Provides Essential Advice


BUFFALO, NY – Housed in the once-abandoned Wurlitzer Elementary School, Niagara Climbing Center has brought new heights to Western New York climbers, firefighters, boy scouts, students and employers since purchasing the business in 1998.

“At Niagara Climbing Center, we’ve worked to build a network of climbing classes that help our members and guests reach their climbing goals,” said Rhonda McGuire, owner and director of business. “Climbing offers an exciting and challenging workout and physically, it emphasizes strength, flexibility and endurance. It’s a place that inspires people to keep pushing themselves.”

While much of the indoor climbing’s success can be attributed to the accessibility of the sport, McGuire said the trend has also grown by attracting climbers who aren’t interested in the... Read More


Over the past eight years, Jason Barrett has received 5 SBA loans, rapidly growing his business, and being named to Inc. Magazine’s Top 5,000 list in 2018.  Black Button Distilling earned the rank of number 2020 on the list, making it the fastest growing distillery in the Northeast US.

There are numerous talents that go into being a successful entrepreneur.  One of them, says head distiller Jason Barrett, is being a quick study.  Barrett’s ability to design craft whisky, detect subtle flavors and run his own small business has served him well.  He produces more than 800 barrels of bourbon whisky per year along with several other spirits such as Loganberry Gin, Citrus Forward Gin, All American Corn Vodka, and Apple Pie Moonshine to name a few.

Moving ahead to March 2020 and amid the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Barrett turned to the SBA again.  

Created in 1953, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) helps small... Read More


 International Relationships Key for Putting Buffalo Firm on Top 

 BUFFALO, NY – For Garrett Leather the U.S. Small Business Administration and Empire State Development State Trade Expansion Program, (STEP) has allowed vital access to international contacts and expanded outreach to several countries. 

The Buffalo-based firm provides high-quality leather to interior designers, upholsterers and manufacturers. Garrett Leather provides products for use on private and corporate airplanes, corporate, hospitality and residential interiors, luxury motorhomes and private yachts. Most notable clients include Gulfstream, Learjet and the White House! 

It’s always tough to come up with a business name. Cameron started Garrett in the attic of his house and instead of naming the company “Brown Leather” and pigeonholing the company into one color range he used the old English word for the attic, the ‘Garrett’. “The attic is where I started my firm... Read More

BUFFALO, NY –United States Army Ammunition Specialist, Mike Stanton risked everything buying his business almost two years ago in Clarence, New York. Taking a leave of absence from his transportation career and purchasing Royal Pizza & Italian Bistro.

“I wanted a life change and felt a hard desire to work for myself,” he said. “I started looking for a place and knew I had the recipe for success, passion and drive to dive into this business and keep the authentic Italian style the community was used to.”

While searching for a location, owner, Mike Stanton tapped SCORE Buffalo Niagara for help learning about the advantages of buying an existing business. “The counseling advice I received, helped me to determine how to evaluate my business before I purchased it. The good thing about SCORE is that they will match you with someone who can help you with a specific issue,” he said.

SCORE Buffalo Niagara is a resource partner of the U.S. Small Business... Read More