Success Stories

Jacquelyn Chapman, owner of JC's Sweet Ice Tea

Ice tea may not be as prevalent in Ohio as it is in South Carolina, but thanks to Jacquelyn Chapman and the resources she utilized through the U.S. Small Business Administration, Ohioans can now enjoy her Southern-style sweet ice tea. Originally from Greenville, South Carolina, Chapman’s family would often enjoy a sweet ice tea with a homemade twist. The family’s unique recipe became a local success and when Chapman relocated to Ohio, she decided to bring her recipe with her.

“We knew that our sweet tea would stand out,” she said. “It has a unique flavor and people are always looking for something new and different.”

Chapman utilized a number of SBA resources to help her business succeed and expand. She secured access to capital by working through the Economic & Community Development Center, an SBA micro lender, to obtain a $25,000 loan.

Chapman also received counseling through the Women’s Business Center, taking advantage of trainings and networking... Read More

Small Business Owner Consulted by Protégé Guidance Program

Diversified Systems Inc. was founded in 1990 by Archie Williamson Jr. DSI provides a diverse range of computer services including project administration, systems integration, application development, web development and administration, mainframe support, network design and administration, and staff augmentation. DSI currently employs 24 people.

Williamson said he decided to start this business because he had learned early on that entrepreneurs controlled their own time and destiny.

He added that the SBA was invaluable in assisting him in posturing DSI for future growth. The company was especially helped by SBA's mentor protégé guidance program, he said.

To those who are considering starting a business, Williamson advises, "Never accept no or can't, listen to your customer and be passionate in your discipline to succeed".

When asked how the business had affected his personal life, he said it has provided him the opportunity to spend more... Read More

C & W Swiss, Inc. Success Story

Tammy and Greg Crabtree always wanted to own their own business. They wanted to use their knowledge and skills to make money for themselves and not someone else, be in control of their own retirement plan and have the ability to pass something along to their children. When the opportunity presented itself in 1998, the Crabtree's purchased a specialized machine shop in New Carlisle, Ohio.

The ISO 9002 certified company manufactures complex machined parts for the aero space, automotive and medical industries. With the help of an SBA loan through KeyBank, the Crabtree's were able to purchase the state-of- art Swiss style machines that can transform a bar of stock into a precision finished product in one operation. Through some proprietary technology, their machines can perform milling, drilling and tapping, turning, broaching and some 3D operations in a single operation.

The company has grown from 3 to 6 employees and is selling their orthopedic products... Read More

A+ Childcare and Learning Center, a New Home for Early Childhood Education

Annette Doughty started her day care center six years ago with the help of an SBA loan. She has a bachelor's degree in education, and said she had long wanted to open a quality daycare/learning center.

Doughty's business provides not only daycare but after-school care. Her business is educational based and is a certified Head Start facility. It also is certified for the ChildCare Assistant Program for Union County.

Doughty works in partnership with Columbus State Community College and uses its student teachers as interns. She currently has 80 students and 13 staff members.

Her advice for someone going into business: "Take your time, do research, and find a good lawyer, accountant and banker who are familiar with your line of business."

She said being a business owner affects all aspects of her life. Her husband also works full-time in the business, and while the work has financially improved their lifestyles, it requires a lot of... Read More

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