Monday, May 30, 2011

Can Your Company Win the Start-Up Open? .......

Is your new company ready to compete? Would you like to enter a competition that could win you the opportunity to grow your business with a once-in-a-lifetime experience?

Startup Open is a competition to recognize and reward startups and the entrepreneurs behind them. Held as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week, Startup Open will recognize the top 50 startups in 2011 and award prizes to help them grow their business.

Registration for Startup Open is open until September 15, 2011. Just click on the link above, create and account, and answer some questions about your company. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

SBA Introduces New Mobile Application for Small Business Owners, Entrepreneurs

New SBA mobile application brings enhanced access to
information and resources . . .

WASHINGTON – Smart phone users interested in starting or growing a small business can now find helpful resources at their fingertips via a new SBA mobile application from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

“Increasingly, smart phones are the vehicle through which Americans access information. This is certainly true of many entrepreneurs and small business owners and this new application ensures they will have access to SBA’s resources and programs – literally at their fingertips,” said SBA Administrator Karen G. Mills. “Greater mobility fits with the new user-focused launched recently, and is another example of the steps we are taking to do a better job of connecting entrepreneurs and small business owners with the tools to help them start or grow their businesses and create jobs.”

Developed and donated as a gift by Palo Alto Software, Inc., the SBA mobile app will make the search for extensive resources more efficient, whether users are starting a new business or taking an existing business to a new level. The app will first be available for the Apple iPhone®, with future versions for other smart phone platforms.

“Palo Alto Software’s mission is to help small businesses succeed. We’ve developed this mobile application for the SBA because we understand the importance of having the right tools and resources when starting or growing a business,” said Sabrina Parsons, CEO of Palo Alto Software. “Ideas can strike entrepreneurs at any moment, and having useful resources available through mobile devices could be the impetus that begins the next big company.”

The mobile app will help users connect with SBA district office staff and SBA-affiliated counselors and mentors who can provide free, personalized small business assistance. The user-friendly format of the app will help answer questions such as: How do I start a business? Where can I go in my area to get free help with writing a business plan? And where do I begin finding funding for my business?

The SBA mobile app also features a built-in startup cost calculator to help estimate the costs associated with getting a business off the ground, plus an SBA partner locator to help users find SBA offices, Small Business Development Centers, Women’s Business Centers and SCORE.

Users will also have mobile access to SBA video content and social media alerts to provide them with tips on the go. This will include live updates from the SBA’s YouTube channel and from SBA’s Twitter feeds. The free mobile app can be downloaded from the SBA’s website at

Monday, May 16, 2011

Want to Expand Your Sales?


Tuesday, May 17, 2011, Winthrop University's Carroll Hall, Room 200
9:00 am- 12:00 noon
This three-hour workshop will include:
 Government Contracting (and the nuclear industry)
 Getting Registered (the “paperwork”)
 Getting Certified (set-aside programs you may be eligible for)
 Is this for you? (are you “responsible”)
 Topics include bonding, insurance, marketing and accounting
 Getting started (finding work opportunities and networking)
 Topic includes a discussion of subcontracting
 Competition, how the process works

Scott Bellows, PTAC Manager for the SC SBDC

Limited Seating

To register, contact Alice at:
Winthrop University
Carroll Hall – Room 200
701 Oakland Avenue
Rock Hill, SC 29733

Enter the campus through the main gate on Oakland Avenue, and bear right onto Memorial Circle. Go to the stop sign after the 3rd building on your right. Turn right and Carroll Hall will be the building on the right side. Parking is available in the parking lot directly across from Carroll Hall on your left.

“The South Carolina SBDC is partially funded under Cooperative Agreement No. 1-603001-Z-0043-21 by the U.S. Small Business Administration.”
The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) operates in partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration. The support given by the U.S. Small Business Administration through such funding does not constitute an expressed or implied endorsement of the co-sponsor(s) or participants’ opinions, products or services.” All SBDC programs are non-discriminatory and available to individuals with disabilities.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Right Way to Ask for an SBA Loan

SBA money IS available for a variety of business loans, but what potential borrowers don't always realize is that the SBA funds are not given directly from the SBA ..... those funds are administered by banks, and as such are approved by those banks according to their own company's rules for lending.

But our SBA sources tell us that potential borrowers need to do a little research before heading to just any bank to apply for an SBA loan. Call ahead before going to any bank and inquire as to whether or not that particular bank offers SBA loans; and if so, WHO is their SBA Loan Officer. Not every loan officer handles or understands SBA loans. Once they get the name of the right person to speak with, they need to go ahead and request an appointment with the SBA Loan Officer. This will be a process, as is any loan negotiation, and you'll want to insure that they set aside enough time to really talk to you and understand your concept -- you don't want to stop by unannounced, catch them at a bad time, and have them only half listen to your proposal because they're watching the clock to get to their next meeting. Get that appointment with the right person at their convenience, and you'll up your chances of a successful relationship with your loan officer.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Access to Capital -- A Lender's Perspective

NFIB/South Carolina, the South Carolina Banker’s Association, and the South Carolina Department of Commerce are teaming up to present "Access to Capital - A Lenders Perspective". In this session local lenders will offer tips to business owners on how to make successful loan presentations. They will discuss common problems with small business applications and recommend resources to help companies improve their overall loan presentation.

Webinar topics and presenters will include:
• Introduction
J.J. Darby, NFIB/South Carolina State Director

• A Lender’s Perspective
Justin Strickland, CEO – Southern First Bank

• Overview of Funding Sources
Keith Black, President and CEO - Provident Financial Services

Participants can also ask questions of the panel.

Space is limited. RSVP today!
South Carolina Small Business Webinar Series
Access to Capital: A Lenders Perspective
May 12, 2011 11 a.m. to noon

To register, please e-mail or call the NFIB/South Carolina office at 803-254-1476. After registering, you will receive a confirmation e-mail with information about joining the webinar.