Success Stories

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

Determination and a strong work ethic are built into Rachel Upton’s nature, especially when it comes to her Columbus-based small business, Cream & Sugar. When a building became available in Hilltop in 2014, she didn’t hesitate to buy, eager to transform the former Dairy Queen into her small business dream.

Stocked with products from other small businesses, like Chocolate Shoppe ice cream, Stauf’s coffee, Nickle’s Bakery and Falters hotdogs, Upton was able to keep her business running thanks to technical assistance and counseling provided by SBA’s Program for Investment in Micro-Entrepreneurs (PRIME).

The PRIME Grant helps low-income entrepreneurs gain access to capital and counseling to establish and expand their small businesses. This year, the SBA awarded Ohio’s Finance Fund Capital Corporation a $150,000 grant to support and strengthen cooperative forms of businesses. Counselors have helped advise Upton while she transforms the Hilltop business little by little... Read More

Owner Robert Ramsey

When Robert Ramsey started his Cincinnati-based cleaning service company, Decently and In Order in 2013, he found a confusing assortment of supposed small business resources. Not knowing which certifications would help, he signed up for a “Gold Certified” program that promised to help bring in customers and promote awareness for his small business.

“All it did was put a gold seal on my website,” Ramsey said. “I wasted a lot of money in my first year as a small business getting useless certifications. Luckily, I found the Small Business Development Center at the Urban League of Greater Southwestern Ohio. They were a great and legitimate resource.”

Thanks to the resources and mentorship offered at the SBDC, which is supported by the U.S. Small Business Administration, and the Cincinnati African American Chamber of Commerce’s Business Development program, Ramsey was able to find the direction that he was looking for, getting advice on procurement certifications including... Read More