Success Stories

Freshwater Vermont is not the place one might expect expertise in the removal of salt from seawater, and yet St. George, Vermont is the home of Industrial Services, Inc., a thriving international company focused on desalination.  In fact, it’s owner and founder, Scott Shumway, chose Vermont as an ideal place from which to conduct business.  In 1999, he and his wife and children moved from Bermuda to Vermont to start his global business and to enjoy the state’s beauty and outdoor activities.  “No matter where you’re located,” Shumway explained, “this is a field where you’re going to be working internationally.  For me, moving to Vermont was a quality of life issue.”  

Industrial Services Inc. (ISI) provides both the know-how and the equipment to convert millions of gallons of seawater into drinking water for municipal water supply companies and hotels and resorts around the world.  Since its founding in 2003, ISI revenues have increased from $200,000 to nearly $8... Read More

Bia Diagnostics is the manifestation of a long-term science bond shared by father and daughter, Thomas and Hannah Grace.  One of Hannah’s first memories is of observing, at the age of three, the division of cells through her father’s microscope at a UVM lab.  “I remember that as being the most amazing experience,” Hannah said.  Thomas and Hannah’s mutual love of science deepened over the years and prompted the co-founding of the company in 2007.

Bia Diagnostics, a Burlington food-testing lab, specializes in detecting allergens, gluten and trace contaminants in commercially-produced food products.  With funding assistance from an SBA-guaranteed loan, Thomas and Hannah Grace set up their own lab and office, purchased testing equipment, and began reaching out to potential customers.  “Without the SBA loan, we couldn’t have done it,” Thomas Grace said.  “We used it to buy equipment and create a buffer zone for things like rent and electricity until we could increase our... Read More

Although she’s only twenty-five, Mollie Breault-Binaghi’s interests and education have given her a giant leg up in two businesses:  Copy World, a printing services company in Barre, and Eternity Web, a web design business in S. Burlington.  When she was twelve, she taught herself web design and programming.  Later at Spaulding High School, she was editor-in-chief of The Sentinel.  At St. Michael’s College, she majored in journalism and minored in art and focused on computer and graphic design.  

Since purchasing the company in 2009, Copy World revenues have grown by fifty-six percent.  Mollie attributes her dramatic success to an increase in digital options and services.  She said Copy World is valued in the area for its customer service and excellent quality for the price.  “It’s always shocked me how many people will go to the big box stores thinking they’re going to get the best deals there, and 9 times out of 10 we’re less expensive and faster,” Mollie said.

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When Valerie Beaudet learned Flowers by Emslie & Co. was for sale in 2002, she bought the business with an $80,000 SBA-guaranteed loan plus funding from personal resources and immediately turned her attention to customer service and expanding her product line.  The business was successful, and Beaudet began looking for another space in 2005. 

Because the Barre City Fire Department had outgrown its original quarters, built in 1904, it relocated to a new public safety complex on the north end of town.  Subsequently, the Barre City Council placed the historic firehouse on the real estate market, hoping the new owner could generate tax revenues, offer local employment, and retain the building’s historic character.  Potential purchasers were asked to submit bids for review by the Council.  Beaudet's bid was the only one to outline a plan which more than satisfied all three City Council parameters. 

“From the very beginning, Valerie’s offer stood out,” said ... Read More

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