“The Cowarts were already successfully producing a value-added product in the winery. You could see the potential for adding another business,” says Finney. “We put together all the pieces that showed how the distillery would work and how they would use more of their wine in the product.”
Mike Aldridge went into commercial printing in the Atlanta area just a year out of high school. After a career in the industry, he began to think about running his own business his way with a focus on printing for the rug trade. “I had a desire to go into it further,” he says. However, […]
Alex Cesar knew from an early age that she’d run a school. Inspired by her grandmother, a principal, Alex would sometimes join her in the classroom. She eventually taught special education in the public schools, but felt stuck in the system. “I always had a vision of running a child-care center that would emphasize learning, […]
By all accounts, the Gretchen Greene School of Dance is a Savannah tradition. Founded in 1969 by a Savannah native who danced as a Radio City Music Hall Rockette, the school now teaches the children and grandchildren of many an aspiring young ballerina and tap dancer who first graced its studios. So many new young […]
Movies can transport a viewer into another world, if only temporarily. In 2009 Nelson Burke spotted some props in a Georgia-produced movie that transformed his business. By 2015 his new focus had led The Engineer Guy to more than $3 million in sales.
Brothers Kevin and Randy Redd make Ford and Chevy street cars both fast and “fly.” Their uniquely designed Concept One high performance pulley systems mount on an engine and drive all of its belts, improving power and maximizing performance. In 2001 they began selling their systems and other product lines to hot rod muscle car […]
Rod Meyer had worked in Minneapolis 25 years with the market-leading industrial x-ray imaging equipment company, rising to vice president of sales and leading a tenfold increase in capital sales, before the company was sold and narrowed its product line. “The new company decided to focus on standard x-ray imaging systems. This decision opened an […]
Veterinarian Mike Ammermon was a senior in the University of Georgia’s College of Veterinary Medicine when UGA Small Business Development Center consultant Jeff Sanford started teaching fourth-year vet students a new curriculum on core business principles in 2008. The program, still going strong, includes a practice management rotation that brings these students together with veterinarians […]
Dr. Ram K. and Aru Reddy are in the business of “helping people feel better when they need it the most.” Partners in an enterprise that adds urgently needed medical care to underserved communities in northeast Georgia, this husband and wife team is also steadily adding to the employment rolls of the small cities and towns they serve.
Catherine Downey didn’t find an easy way to success. She did find what works: hard work and dedication to a vision. Catherine Downey started her first business with “a pen and a legal pad” so she could work at home after her first child was born. Today, she has four grown children and one of the fastest growing companies in Atlanta. She’s also garnered a hard-earned honor: she […]
Moving a small business from start-up to growth mode requires a leap of faith, hard work and difficult, strategic decision-making. Carrie Sagel Burns has the” leap of faith” part down, regularly suspending disbelief in thousands of visitors who ride around Atlanta in buses guided by former zombie extras, an actress portraying author Margaret Mitchell or character actors from The Hunger Games.
“You’d be crazy not to take advantage of something like the SBDC. What an awesome thing,” he says. “Paying for a business consultant is very expensive. John is extremely knowledgeable. I think of him as a partner. I don’t think I’d be where I’m at now if it wasn’t for him.”
Crook acquired the loan and opened her business. About five years later, she approached McDonell for help obtaining a $1 million SBA 504 loan, which she used to purchase land and build the first Pawtropolis. Five years after that, with 25 employees and trainers, an award-winning business and a facility filled to capacity, Crook again turned to the SBDC. After attending the GrowSmart™ program, she asked McDonell to help her create projections for a $2.2 million loan she received and will use to build a second, larger facility on land she had purchased.
Former Army executive Annette O’Banion spent several years consulting with top brass in the Pentagon on issues such as recruiting and retaining talent for the Army Reserve. Her expertise in strategic planning and implementation often had her partnering on projects outsourced to national defense consulting firms. Captain O’Banion, USA, Retired, now uses her experience to […]
Dhiren Patel is a seasoned business owner. An electrical engineer who started his career in the innovative AT&T Bell Labs, his first solo venture was AmTech Electronics India Limited, which he launched in India in 1991. When he decided to expand into the U.S. market, he and his family moved to Atlanta and opened an […]
The annual economic impact study of the University of Georgia SBDC, published in August of 2015, provides solid evidence that entrepreneurs utilizing SBDC assistance experience employment growth significantly greater than the state average. All clients who received five or more hours of consulting in 2013 received a questionnaire that inquired as to the benefit of […]
Travelers driving north and south on Interstate 95 will pass 24 billboards inviting them to stop and purchase mouth-watering products like “Fresh Georgia Peaches — Exit 58” and “Georgia Peach Ice Cream” at Georgia Peach World and the Eulonia Country Store in Townsend. The young entrepreneur behind the bold, simple marketing campaign, Jason Reott, is […]
Newspaper veterans John and Pat Curry love a good cup of coffee. So when they ran across a book on home coffee roasting several years ago, they purchased it and a small home roaster. Soon, John was spending Saturday afternoons roasting on their front porch in Athens. In 2009, John and Pat were laid off […]
Chef Doug Turbush has garnered more than 15 years of experience and rave reviews in the restaurant industry. But the kitchen wasn’t his end goal when he began earning a degree in hotel management. “I’d been working in restaurants since I was 15, and there was no order or discipline. It was complete chaos,” he […]
Strategic Planning Expands Markets for Rutledge Mold and Tooling Manufacturer Inventiveness and responsiveness have long been trademarks of the Heusser family business, Versatile Mold and Design. But like many small businesses, this Rutledge mold and tooling manufacturer’s management – led by siblings Bob, Tim, Frank and Suzanne Brown – was so busy working in the […]
Expansion Financing Essential for Rapidly Growing Thomasville Producer Kyle and Janelle Wehner started Dreaming Cow in 2009 to test whether their yogurt concept could be built into a national brand. Using an all-natural recipe derived from the South Island of Janelle’s native New Zealand, they make Dreaming Cow yogurt on Kyle’s parents’ Thomasville farm. Kyle […]
Atlas Turf International owner John Holmes figuratively fell into his job selling turf grasses in foreign countries. He worked at Highland Country Club in LaGrange when he was 15, deciding he wanted to be a golf course superintendent. John graduated from Lake City Community College with a degree in turf grass management and began work in […]
It is rare to see a young family in Georgia make a business out of a small dairy farm. The around-the-clock work and competition from big corporate dairies has stopped many who desire such a lifestyle dead in their tracks. Not so for fourth-generation dairy farmer Scott Glover and his wife, Jennifer, who have built […]
Growing Pains Send Augusta Day Care Operator to the SBDC Shortly after opening a licensed childcare service in her home, Janie Davis needed to expand. “We started in 1996 with six children in my home, but received so many calls that we knew we had to grow,” say Davis, founder and CEO of Children Unique Christian Daycare Center, Inc., in […]
Strategic Planning Leads Norcross Technology Firm to Greater Profits After leading an IT department that had won several awards for another technical firm, Mary Hester acquired LAN Systems in January 2008 “We did the kind of IT work people needed,” says Hester, who sports both an M.B.A. and a degree in electrical engineering. “I wanted to take that experience and philosophy and […]