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Success Stories

It’s all in the Family: Local Irish Pub Grows Strong Roots with SBA Assistance

Shawn O’Donnell’s American Grill and Irish Pub is truly a family affair. With a strong connection to his Irish roots and an even stronger connection to his Washington-based family, Founder and Owner Shawn O’Donnell Sr. opened his first sandwich shop in Everett, Washington in 1982. It seemed a natural progression to get family involved as his business expanded into three full-service locations over the course of more than 30 years. The current-day owners of Shawn O’Donnell’s three locations now include his wife Tina O’Donnell, son Shawn O’Donnell Jr., daughter-in-law Molly O’Donnell, daughter Sophia Taylor, niece Kristen Nannery, and close family friend Chase VanCotthem.

Along the way the O’Donnell family has encountered various obstacles to survival and growth. In 2003 following a landlord dispute, they wanted to stop renting and were ready to buy. Shortly after moving and opening... Read More

Bremerton Construction Firm Uses Quality-Centric Philosophy, Federal Programs to Find Success

Roger Newton never planned to start his own business. But after years of hands-on construction and project management experience, Newton branched out on his own and founded Newton Building and Development, LLC (NBD) in March 2002. He recognized the opportunities of doing business with the federal government but he needed a way to gain access to the network.


Having seen the benefits of the SBA 8(a) Business Development Program at a previous firm, Newton applied for and received his 8(a) certification in 2005. The combination of the certification and outstanding project reviews opened the floodgates for work opportunities with the Navy. After a successful nine-year run, Newton graduated from the SBA 8(a) program. Several years later, he was ready to take his business in a new direction, but wasn’t sure what that should be. That’s when Newton was accepted... Read More

Bone-a-Fide Dog Ranch From NYC to the Town of Maltby: a Big Move for a Small Business

Lauren Rick was tired of designing software and wanted a change. So she started walking dogs while still living in New York City; but the big city didn’t offer the space she wanted for the dogs. Focused on a doggy daycare business model where dogs had space to run, she began searching nationwide for a business she could buy.


In 2009, Rick made use of the U.S. Small Business Administration loan program and purchased Bone-a-Fide Ranch in the small town of Maltby, Washington, population 10,830. The business is spread across five acres open for the dogs to play  and includes a single family home that has been converted into a specialized shelter where the dogs sleep overnight.


She has grown the business to 17 employees and has six vans that go around the greater Seattle area to pick up and drop off dogs for “doggy day care.” Rick’s business... Read More

From Flat-line to Full-time: Success in SCORE Strategic Planning

In 2014, Linda Lybert found herself in the unfortunate position of having her job within a medical company eliminated and was suddenly a woman in her 50s on unemployment searching for a new job. After months of searching with no success, she began to revitalize a consulting business she started in 2012 specializing in infection prevention as it relates to the acquisition and transmission of pathogens that cause deadly infections via surfaces. This was a highly specialized niche that no one had ever worked in, which meant there was no template for success. Her unemployment assistance was almost over when Lybert received a notice from the unemployment office with contact information for SCORE. SCORE is a nonprofit association and resource partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) dedicated to educating entrepreneurs through free business counseling and workshops.  Lybert jumped at the chance... Read More