Thursday, December 17, 2009

Janet Graham -- SBDC State Star

Announces Selection of Janet Graham As SC State Star

Pictured, left to right: Jerry Silverman, CEO and Founder, Corporate Turnaround, sponsor of the ASBDC State Star Reception; Jerry Cartwright, Chair, ASBDC 2009 Board of Directors and State Director of the Florida SBDC Network; Theresa Singleton, Deputy District Director of the SC office of the Small Business Administration; Larry J. Stevens, Winthrop Regional SBDC Director; Janet Graham; and Antonio Doss, Associate Administrator for the US Small Business Administration's Office of Small Business Development Centers.

Larry Stevens, Regional Director of the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) located at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, announced that Janet Graham has been selected as the 2009 State Star of the South Carolina SBDC. Graham is Area Manager of the Coastal Area SBDC located at Coastal Carolina University in Conway, SC.

“I am pleased to make this announcement, and to recognize Ms. Graham for her extraordinary contributions to the work of the SBDC and small businesses in South Carolina,” said Stevens. “She was chosen by the South Carolina SBDC for being an exemplary performer, making a significant contribution to the SC SBDC program, and showing a strong commitment to small business in the Conway/Myrtle Beach area. I’m proud to have her represent our Winthrop SBDC Region.”

The Winthrop Regional SBDC and the Coastal Area SBDC are a part of America’s Small Business Development Center (ASBDC) Network, a partnership uniting private enterprise, government, higher education and local nonprofit economic development organizations. It is the Small Business Administration’s largest partnership program, providing free counseling, workshops, and management and technical assistance to help Americans start, run and grow their own businesses. With about 1,000 centers across the nation, America’s SBDC network provided business consulting to approximately 200,000 clients, training for more than 400,000 attendees, and other forms of management and technical assistance to approximately 600,000 small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs last year.

“It is an honor to accept this award,” said Graham, “and to have the opportunity to help so many people achieve their entrepreneurial dreams.”

Persons in the coastal area of South Carolina who are interested in receiving business start-up consultation or help in developing business plans should contact Janet Graham at the Coastal Area SBDC, (843) 349-4010 or visit the Coastal Area SBDC web site for more information,

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Small Business Watchdog

We thought you might be interested in knowing about a site where you can read more about the SBA's Office of Advocacy's activities and efforts on behalf of small business. You can also ask questions about small business and its contribution to the economy, discuss the impact of regulations on your own business or industry, and connect with the small business community in your state or your region in particular.

Visit The Small Business Watchdog at

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Want to Start Your Own General Contracting Company?

If you have the credentials and experience, and want to start your own General Contracting Company in the State of South Carolina, we have a workshop coming up that may be of interest to you:


. . . A Workshop sponsored by The Governor’s Office of Small and Minority Business Assistance and the Winthrop University’s Regional Small Business Development Center in conjunction with York Technical College.

Date: Monday, November 16, 2009, Time: 6:00 – 8:00pm

Location: York Technical College at the Baxter Hood Center (Bowater Room.)
452 S. Anderson Road
Rock Hill, South Carolina 29730

You may download a brochure associated with this workshop, or sign up online to attend by visiting our main web site at

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Recovery Act Tax Benefits for Business

Tax News from The Small Business Advocate, Published by the Small Business Administration:

The IRS has made information videos about Recovery Act tax credits available on YouTube (, as well as podcasts on iTunes. The official web site also contains links and complete information about Recovery Act tax provisions at The videos are available in English, Spanish, and American Sign Language versions.

Topics covered include:

  • The first-time homebuyer credit which provides a maximum $8,000 tax credit to people who meet eligibility requirements and complete the purchase of their homes before December 1;
  • The American Oportunity Credit expands education tax credits to $2,500 for tuition and a change in 529 plans allows for the purchase of computers for college;
  • The energy credit expands to a maximum of $1,500 for certain energy-saving upgrades;
  • A new deduction for the sales or excises taxes paid on the purchase price of new vehicles; and
  • The Making Work Pay tax credit, which many American workers received in April through reduced tax withholding in their paychecks. The credit is $400 for single taxpayers who meet certain income guidelines. (However, some people, such as married spouses, workers with two jobs, pensioners, some Social Security recipients and dependents, should check their tax withholding to ensure they are having too little withheld.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Two Upcoming Workshops

Still puzzled trying to piece together your thoughts, ideas, plans, and requirements for your new or soon-to-be business? The Winthrop Regional Small Business Development Center in Rock Hill, SC is offering two workshops in the month ahead that may be of help.

Upcoming on October 19th is an all-day seminar that will be helpful no matter how far along you are in your business plans, and especially helpful if you've already opened the door on your new business: The FREE IRS Tax Workshop will be providing important tax information for new entrepreneurs as well as existing business owners. Speakers will include a CPA and representatives of the SC Employment Security and the SC Department of Revenue. The seminar will be held in the Thurmond Building (College of Business) at Winthrop University, Monday October 19th in Room 415 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. If you're in business, you shouldn't miss this ..... it's relevant for every business owner.

And if you are quite sure what kind of business you want to go into, but you're pretty sure that you don't want to start from the ground up on your own, you might be interested in looking at a franchise business as the way to go. "Why Franchising Is A Viable Option In Today’s Economy," a 2-hour workshop, will be held Monday, November 9th in Room 212 of the Thurmond Building (College of Business) at Winthrop University, 6-8 p.m. This free workshop will be facilitated by Doug Stout of The Entrepreneur's Source. Mr. Stout works with individuals who are looking for options that may include purchasing and running a franchise, "typically those who are

1) Interested in new challenges

2) Frustrated with their current job or career path

3) Unemployed due to downsizing, right sizing, or capsizing

4) Considering a career transition

5) Wanting to develop an alternative source of income

6) Interested in doing something they love

7) Looking to pursue their dream of self-employment

8) Sold their business and considering their options"

If becoming a franchise owner is something you'd like to know more about, this workshop is for you!

To register online for either of these workshops, please go to the registration page on our main web site.

We hope we'll see you there!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Winthrop Regional SBDC Director Named to Michelin Development Upstate Steering Committee

ROCK HILL, S.C. – Larry Stevens, regional director of the Small Business Development Center at Winthrop, was named this week to a Michelin Development Upstate Steering Committee for small business loans.

Michelin North America announced it has set aside $1 million for low-interest loans to help socially and economically disadvantaged businesses throughout the Upstate. Loans will be handled through a newly created Michelin Development Upstate office, located at the NEXT Innovation Center near downtown Greenville, in partnership with Carolina First.“Michelin is keenly aware of the impact that small- and medium-sized businesses have on creating quality jobs and improving our state’s economy,” said Dick Wilkerson, chairman and president of Michelin North America. “Michelin Development Upstate is designed to give these companies a boost that enables them to take the next step toward growth in a challenging economic environment.”

Carolina First will work with the Michelin Development Upstate Steering Committee, a group of Upstate business and civic leaders, to review loan applications for the program. Once an application has been approved by the Steering Committee, it will go to Carolina First for their normal financial due diligence. Loans will be available at $10,000 and up.

Stevens is one of eight members of the Steering Committee. Others are: John Tully, president, Michelin Development Company; Abe Swartz, vice president and commercial relationship manager, Carolina First; Rajeev Jindal, co-founder, Bunty, LLC; S.T. Peden, president, Minority Economic Development Institute, Inc.; Jill Burroughs, regional director for the Small Business Development Center at Clemson University; Jonathan Metcalf, business development, Carolina Minority Supplier Development Council; and Ramon Nieve-Lugo, marketing director, South Carolina Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

The Michelin Development Office has already started work with the Steering Committee to identify clients to participate in the program. In addition to providing financial support, the program will also offer free access to Michelin’s extensive business expertise.

Stevens said the group will meet monthly to approve the loans, which can be used to purchase equipment, working capital and for other uses. “I expect a wide variety of businesses will probably be applying for the loans,” he added. “It has been difficult for many small businesses to get loans with the tight economy so this loan pool will offer significant help for our region.”To qualify for the program, companies must be based in one of the following Upstate counties: Abbeville, Anderson, Cherokee, Greenville, Greenwood, Laurens, Oconee, Pickens, Spartanburg and Union. Loans will have up to 5-year payment terms.

Applications for Michelin Development Upstate low-interest loans will be accepted online at Once a business owner registers and receives a unique user login, they will be asked to complete an “Expression of Interest” form outlining business plans and strategies.

Quick Facts:

  • Michelin North America announced it has set aside $1 million for low-interest loans for small businesses.
  • Companies must be based in Abbeville, Anderson, Cherokee, Greenville, Greenwood, Laurens, Oconee, Pickens, Spartanburg and Union counties.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Interested in A Franchise Business?

Entrepreneur's Source is sponsoring a Franchise Expo at the Hilton Hotel at 5624 Westpark Drive, Charlotte, NC on October 23rd & 24th.

From Entrepreneur's Source:
"Remember You are Only Getting Your Feet Wet.
You may be thinking, I am not ready to go into business right now! You are right. For most people, that would be premature. A little uncertainty is normal. Change usually isn't comfortable, even when it’s positive change. It is natural to see obstacles and avoid risk.

We are Here to Help Minimize the Risk
Let us put it another way: What is the cost of doing nothing about your dream? We have worked with thousands of people just like you, individuals considering business ownership. We have helped them discover businesses that led them to achieving their goals and objectives. As coaches, we guide you through a process of education about opportunities in business ownership."
Some of the questions that you may get answered at this Expo include:
Why choose a franchise rather than starting or buying an independent business?
What are the best franchises for you?
How do you fund the investment in a franchise?
Register online for FREE participation. If you do not register online, there will be a $10 charge at the door.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Great Workshop for Future Entrepreneurs

South Carolina residents with entrepreneurial dreams are getting on track to be a part of the new economy!

Our "How to Start A Small Business" workshop last night was a great success, with 19 brand new or soon-to-be business owners meeting with the SBDC's Winthrop Regional Director, Larry Stevens. Participants were given a packet of information to help them understand what's involved in beginning or expanding a business. They were also presented with a template for a business plan that they could begin filling out at home. Once that's complete, they'll be able to make an appointment for a free consultation with one of our small business consultants to fine-tune those plans, and/or prepare documents to begin seeking funding.

A good business plan is at the heart of every successful small business. It helps you organize your business from its very inception, instead of thinking as you go. It readies you to present your business in a positive light when you're ready to look for start-up or expansion funding. Funding is hard-to-come-by these days unless you have a well-developed business plan and meet the criteria to qualify for a loan. You don't want to go to the bank being unprepared.

If you don't have an SBDC office near you, and you want to begin creating your business plan on your own, go to our main web site and look under "Training" to download our Business Plan Template.

We'll be holding another "How to Start A Small Business" workshop in September -- see our calendar below for details, and pre-register through our web site if you'd like to attend.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

New Workshop for Entrepreneurs

Starting a business is a bit like making a puzzle ...... if you don't have all the pieces, it just doesn't look right, and will never be what you imagined. Come let us help you find the missing pieces in your small business!

We have a workshop coming up on Monday, August 10th, 6-8 p.m. -- "How to Start A Small Business." It's free and open to anyone in the general area of York County, SC who would like to attend (Charlotte, NC area residents are also welcome -- we know how convenient the Winthrop University campus is for some of you).

We'll talk about what you need to start a business, give you a template to create your own business plan as well as other materials, and get you started in the process. If you already have a business you'd like to expand, but have never done a business plan or tried to get expansion funds, this workshop is for you, too. A good business plan is at the heart of every growing business .... big or small.

If you'd like to attend, click here to pre-register online -- the workshop will be held in Room 212 of the Thurmond Building (College of Business) on Winthrop's campus. From Cherry Road, go to Oakland Avenue -- from Oakland, turn into the campus at the main gate at the Eden Terrace intersection. As you go right around the circle, Thurmond will be the 2nd building on your right -- go up the main front stairs to Room 212.

Hope to see you there!!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

What Do I Need to Start a Business in South Carolina?

When we see potential entrepreneurs in our SBDC office, often one of their first questions is, "Where do I start? I don't know what I need, or where to apply for a license, or where to find that information."

Well, South Carolina actually makes it pretty easy to find what you need as far as legal requirements go. South Carolina Business One Stop will tell you exactly what you need based on your business structure, location, business type, etc.

Do a little research there to see what you need, then visit our main web site for more resource information, check our calendar to see when our next free workshop is being held, or give us a call for a free consultation with one of our SBDC Consultants. We're here to help -- it's what we do!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Now's the Time for Aspiring Entrepreneurs to Put Their Ideas to Work!

Have you always had the BIG IDEA? Have you always dreamed of having your own business? This may be the time for you to step up and make those dreams come true!
New entrepreneurs, say experts, are generally expected to lead the economic recovery in the U.S. With help in putting your business plan together from the SBDC, and further assistance possible as a result of the new economic stimulus package when you’re ready for financing, that BIG IDEA may finally be within your reach!
If you are located in South Carolina in the counties of York, Lancaster, Chester, Union, Cherokee, Florence, Marion, Dillon, Darlington, Marlboro, Chesterfield, Lee, Horry, or Georgetown, the Winthrop Regional SBDC has free counseling, training workshops, and resources available to you. Give us a call at (803) 323-2283. We are a partnership program of the U.S. Small Business Administration, located at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, SC

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Introducing . . . the Winthrop Regional SBDC

The Winthrop Regional SBDC is located on the campus of Winthrop University in Rock Hill, SC, and serves 15 South Carolina counties through three area SBDC offices in Rock Hill, Florence and Myrtle Beach. We strive to meet the needs of a diverse community of entrepreneurs and assist business owners, agricultural businesses of the Pee Dee, and tourist related firms strung along the Atlantic coast in Horry and Georgetown counties.

The SBDC is funded in part by a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration.