Success Stories

Situation

In 2007, Paul Freedman began beekeeping on 35 acres of land in the rural Athens area of Ohio, using the honey to produce baked goods, ice cream and honey wine for friends. As his hobby grew over the years, he thought there was potential take it to the next level and make it a full-fledged business with a self-sustaining farm.

Solution (How the SBA/SBA partner helped)

Freedman turned to the Small Business Development Center at Ohio University, which is powered by the SBA, to help with the transition from hobbyist to business owner of Dutch Creek Winery. SBDC business advisor Lissa Jollick helped him with planning, giving him what he says was a “gut check” on the initial stages and asking the “hard questions, like whether the business would work in a rural area and exit strategies once my wife and I retire.” With the SBDC’s guidance, in 2014, Freedman officially produced his first batch of honey wine and established partnerships with local breweries and... Read More

When Rebecca Denney started her Cincinnati-based catering company, Paleolicious Cincy in 2014, she wanted to make a big change. Stressed and overworked from her human resource job, she decided to take the leap into small business ownership, focusing on creating a healthy lifestyle not only for herself, but for the city of Cincinnati. With help from an SBA partner, SCORE, and its counselor Jim Stahly and Cincinnati small business accelerator MORTAR, Denney was able to grow her business from catering to a brick and mortar shop in Cincinnati’s Scripps Center.

“Our focus is to provide healthy food in a delicious way,” Denney said. “MORTAR was a huge stepping stone to getting my business off the ground and I met with SCORE’s Jim Stahly weekly to utilize his knowledge and experience to stand out from my competition.”

One of the ways that Paleolicious Cincy stands out is through its emphasis on being gluten free. When initially opening her brick and mortar location, Denney... Read More

Since 1989, Columbus-based small business TNT Services has developed from a local cleaning service into a fleet and commercial property power washing company with multiple Midwest locations. In 2004, the current president, Seth Bromberg, took over the company. Although initially challenged by the financial crisis in 2011, which hurt his business valuations, Bromberg utilized funding programs guaranteed by the U.S. Small Business Administration to expand from Columbus to Cincinnati and Indianapolis.

 “As a growing small business, cash flow is always an issue,” Bromberg said. “The SBA loan program has helped us purchase needed equipment without a large capital investment at very good interest rates.”

Under Bromberg, the company added services including semi-truck detailing, body shops and drive-thru wash bays to its repertoire. By the end of 2017, TNT Services revenue was estimated at $14 million. The company currently employs 176 workers as opposed to the less than 10... Read More

Robotic arms swivel with precision, picking up pieces and parts moving down a factory assembly line. Equipped with grippers, suction cups and vacuum plates, these robotic arms are able to deftly handle items ranging from car bumpers to cupcakes. Xenia-based small business SAS Automation specializes in creating these handling pieces, known as robotic End-of-Arm Tooling. With the help of SBA’s State Trade Expansion Program, the small business is able to distribute its products overseas, exporting to countries including Mexico, Germany, Canada and Columbia.

The STEP program is designed to help small businesses unlock trade opportunities in global markets and tap into the nearly 96 percent of consumers that live outside of the U.S. SAS Automation uses the program to advertise, attend foreign trade shows and solicit new businesses in areas which would not have been economically feasible otherwise.

“Most small companies think that they are too small to export, but the SBA... Read More

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