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Success Stories

The Webbers

By the fall of 2013, Brad Webber found himself nearing the end of a stellar military career. He had served 31 years in the United States Army and achieved the rank of Sergeant Major.  In November of 2013, he attended the two day SBA Boots to Business workshop at Ft. Jackson, SC to learn more about entrepreneurship.  The class was instructed by Veteran Business Development Officers, Frank Anderson and Floyd Bryant from the SBA South Carolina District Office, and Bob Pettit of the Small Business Development Center.

On the first day of the workshop each of the attendees were asked, “What do you plan to do after serving in the military”? Brad stated that he wanted to give back to the community and continue to mentor/ shape young people’s lives. After all, he had been mentoring young soldiers in the military for the past three decades. During Day-Two of the workshop, Brad heard a presentation from Cathey Petkash on franchise opportunities.   Cathey is a consultant with Frannet,... Read More

Lawrence Higgins-Owner

The first BurgerFi restaurant was started in February, 2011 by a group of gourmet chefs who wanted a quality burger with fresh ingredients.  Created from dissatisfaction with the fast food industry, the BurgerFi concept was born: fresh, never frozen, all-natural, hand crafted burgers, sauces, custard, French fries, and onion rings.  The atmosphere at the BurgerFi restaurant is eco-friendly with an urban feel.

Mr. Higgins first ate at a BurgerFi restaurant in his native state of New York.  He was impressed with the food, the cleanliness of the restaurant, and the overall atmosphere compared to existing burger chains.  Shortly after a visit to Myrtle Beach, Mr. Higgins relocated to the Grand Strand because he fell in love with the area.  After settling into his new home, he knew he wanted to open a BurgerFi restaurant in Myrtle Beach.  At the time, a BurgerFi franchise had recently opened in North Myrtle Beach and appeared to be doing very well.  Mr. Higgins and his business... Read More

Gage Cooper

Cooper River Cycles is a full service bicycle shop that sells all styles of bicycles including beach cruisers, comfort hybrid bikes, road bikes, and mountain bikes.  Additionally, the business provides bike rentals and a full line of bicycle accessories.  Owned and operated by Gage Cooper, Cooper River Cycles is located in the bicycle friendly community of Daniel Island.  The island is experiencing rapid growth and is designed with walking paths and bike trails which allows the community to bike to school, shopping, and other activities.

Gage grew up in Mt. Pleasant, SC and worked in local bicycle shops as a teenager through his college years.  After obtaining a business degree, Gage decided that he wanted to open his own bike shop.  He recognized the unfilled demand on Daniel Island and started working on the business concept in 2014.  While doing research online, he found the resources of the Small Business Development Center (SBDC).  He contacted the SBDC and with the... Read More

Meet Kenneth Canty, the 2011 Minority Small Business Person of the Year for the Southeast region.

As a small business owner, Kenneth is no stranger to adversity. What sets him apart, however, is how he turned adversity into opportunity.

Kenneth is president and CEO of Freeland Construction Company, a Charleston, S.C. firm that specializes in renovation, rehabilitation and restoration projects. Kenneth took over the company in June 2008. Two months later, Freeland Construction lost its major customer, the Naval Weapons Station, when the Charleston area military facilities were consolidated into a joint base.

"This caused us to have to hit the road and find customers outside of Charleston," Kenneth said.

Building on a previous small contract Freeland had performed for the General Services Administration (GSA) in Charleston, Kenneth started networking with the GSA office in nearby Savannah, Ga. His efforts paid off, and Freeland successfully bid on GSA... Read More