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Success Stories

Memphis, Tenn.—Dr. Ivory Taylor and Dr. Joyce Taylor are both successful small business owners of Taylor Apothecary, a Memphis-based pharmacy firm. Dr. Ivory Taylor is a retired U.S. Army master sergeant whose last tour of duty in the 1990s was running the Mississippi ROTC program.  Dr. Joyce Taylor was a pharmacist for over fifteen years with Walgreens before joining her husband and formulating plans for the first and second Taylor Apothecary locations.

In 2008, Taylor Apothecary participated in the U.S. Small Business Administration’s e200 program. “The goal of the SBA Emerging 200 initiative is to identify 200 inner-city businesses across the country that show a high potential for growth—and to provide them the network, resources and motivation required to build a sustainable business of size and scale. SBA is increasing outreach to areas historically challenged by high levels of unemployment and poverty,” according to Tennessee SBA District Director Walter Perry.  The... Read More

Famous Five Dining Inc. is the creation of four very successful restaurant operators, franchise owners of five successful Famous Dave’s restaurants in Tennessee.  They are the SBA 2012 Tennessee Small Business of the Year.  Owners Mike and Tamara Lister, and Doug and Laurel Renegar, have over eighty-five years of combined experience in the restaurant industry.  As life-long friends, they have shared experiences since school days, through marriage, children and forming and growing a business together.  Together Doug and Mike handle on-going operations and strategic growth for the company.  Laurel and Tamara focus on the business of running a business and are responsible for support functions as equal partners in Famous Five Dining, Inc.  Tennessee locations include the cities of Hermitage, Smyrna, Knoxville, Chattanooga, and Franklin.  Famous Five Dining Inc. provides employment for over two hundred and fifty employees. In the Fall of 2001, the four entrepreneurs entered into a... Read More


Chattanooga, Tenn.-- In 1998, Dan Spriggs began a business that was to evolve into one of the most successful independent home health care businesses in the east Tennessee area. Dan saw a need emerging to provide quality in-home care in the lives of his own close family members, and for the growing senior citizen market for all aspects of in-home care.


The early days were very difficult, according to Dan. Dan Spriggs first contacted the U.S. Small Business Administration and the Tennessee Small Business Development Center in Chattanooga. The SBDC, sponsored and supported by the SBA, provides free one-on-one business counseling as well as workshops and seminars on how to run a small business. Dan had great experiences with the SBDC: “Their expertise, encouragement and assistance proved to be invaluable,” he noted. Within a few short weeks of establishing his company, then called Evercare Home Services, Dan’s business opened in a tiny one-room office in the... Read More