Below are some of our Entrepreneurial Assistance Program clients who have used the tools of the program to help make their business goals come true.
WILLIAM KENNEY – Students to Work, LLC
I worked as a job coach for an agency for three years. During the third year, two fellow job coaches and I decided to start our own company. We wanted the freedom to implement our own methods and ideas. We work with High School students with special needs. We mentor and coach them at local job sites such as Planet Fitness, Pay Half, C.W. Price and Shoprite.
I did the preliminary steps of forming our company, Students to Work, LLC through the NOLO web site. We then made an appointment to see Edison Guzman of SCORE to see what other steps we needed to take. He told us about EAP and that a small business class was starting in three days. I signed up and attended the 10 week class. The information was very valuable and the class was well organized and coordinated by the energetic teacher Cynthia Marsh-Croll. I would highly recommend EAP to anyone starting or building a small business.
Our company was able to secure a contract with the Beacon City School District for the 2012-2013 school year and renewed for the 2013-2014 school year. We are in the process of proposing a contract with increased services for 2014-2015. We tried contacting another district last year and three more districts this year but have not secured additional contracts yet. Changes in state educational mandates for school districts have made our services very appealing so we foresee a bright future.
Students to Work, LLC, was formed by three retired teachers, each with more than thirty years of experience. We went into this venture knowing we were almost assured of getting the original contract. I won’t feel we are a real success until we are able to expand into more districts but we are having a great time working with kids and making a difference in their lives.
My secondary reason for taking the small business class was that my wife was retiring from teaching Art in the Newburgh School District. Her life long dream was to own her own business where she could teach classes, exhibit artist’s works and sell art and artisan wares. My business was a lemonade stand compared to what she proposed so I knew I needed to get help if I was going to help her. She opened Artology, LLC in New Windsor in November 2013 and is growing each day. The information I got from EAP has made a big difference for both of our companies. For more information about either of our companies please go to: www.studentstowork.org or www.artologystudio.org
PATRICIA ROZA – Forget Me Not Cupcakes
Patricia came to the EAP center to get assistance with refining and fine tuning her cupcake business plan and expand her existing business sales. She is looking for a way to make the business full time. Patricia is working in a nursing home as recreation director and is ready to take her business to a sustainable level. She said the sales are really picking up with the cup cakes and it is like working two full-time jobs. Currently Patricia is taking orders from a small pool. Now she has truck to take to events, festivals and corporate events. Patricia also wanted information on how to expand her marketing. She will be looking to get approximately $25,000 in funding for expansion and marketing in the future to assist with growth.
Patricia has taken advantage of ongoing technical assistance such as on 11/12/13 Patricia met with Charlene Finerty and discussed financial statements in detail. Also, on 3/26/14 Patricia met with Edison Guzman and discussed progress of her marketing plan. The chamber participated in Patricia’s Ribbon Cutting on 4/28/14 and she reported having steady sales. Due to the help and support of the program Forget Me Not Cupcakes is booked through June and is anticipating a significant increase in sales. Patricia is also very close to the threshold of needing to hire an employee. I was glad to hear that she has leveraged the marketing advice and was on such media as Fox Radio and a local news station filmed the ribbon cutting. I am thrilled she is able to leverage what she learned during and after attending the EAP program.
Patricia said ”EAP helped me to focus on a direction for Forget Me Not Cupckaes. I was able to purchase a cupcake bus and know that this will give me the exposure and recognition to take the business to the next level.” I look forward to continue working with Patricia in helping her continue to grow her business. To learn more about Forget Me Not Cupcakes visit www.forgetmenotcupcakesny.com or call 845-235-3711
MIRIAM YEOMAN – Rock N Much Tree Farm
On March 1, 2012 Miriam Yeoman came to our EAP center to attend a workshop on Becoming a Certified Minority or Woman Business & How to for Procurement. After attending Miriam responded to our survey December 2012 and reported that she started her business the end of March. Miriam then attended our 60 hour EAP class to increase her knowledge in running the new business. She is planning on becoming MWBE certified once she was in business one year. Part of her business plan is to include government contracts as a new revenue stream. She is able to use 26 years of historical data to help develop her business plan. Miriam wants to acquire financing for equipment, purchase of company and initial start-up capital.
Miriam continued her training by attended our Two Day Internet Marketing Workshop for the Small Business Owner. Then On 3/16/13 Attended our All Day QuickBooks Training. Now Miriam had the foundation she needed to continue moving forward. In March of 2013 Miriam and I began the certification application and bid searching process. On 4/13/13 she attended our 10 hour All Day Sales and Networking Training. On 5/28/13 Miriam informed me that she secured financing for equipment from Hometown Bank of the Hudson Valley. Miriam has reported an increase in sales which is fabulous considering how young the business is. On 6/12/13 Miriam attended our 3 hour Understanding Solicitations: Demystifying the Document, Teaming for Success: Strategic Alliances Can Mean Big Bucks workshop. On 6/21/13 Miriam attended our 3 hour Who’s Buying What You’re Selling? Find Out How to Locate Your Prime. Government Contractors and Opportunities that Do Not Go to Bid. You Have an Appointment with a Government Contractor: Now What? Stay-in-Touch Campaign: Why It Reaps Results; How to Create One Workshop taught by Liz Kallen. Then on 12/11/13 Miriam submitted her MWBE application, reported a significant increase in sales and hired employees. I am looking forward to hearing about her continued successes.
“Learning through the EAP program has been a wonderful experience. The 60 hour EAP class taught me so much about running a business. I have worked for a business previously, however the course showed me the difference between working for a business and running a business. The workshops available showed me what I needed to do to grow my business and bring it to the next level. Cynthia Marsh-Croll encouraged me all the way to meet my goals and learn everything I could. ” We will continue to support Myriam through all the stages of her growing business. Miriam can be reached at 845-564-4172 or online at http://www.rocknmulchtreefarm.com
STEFANIE PEARL – All Kinds of Signs
Stefanie came to the EAP center to create a business plan for HappyHudsonValley.com which is a weblog designed to showcase community news and show improving trends in the Hudson Valley. Stefanie brings eight years of experience in freelance writing and contributions to a various publications and online journal sites. To add to this dynamic women’s portfolio, Stefanie opened All Kinds of Signs. This is Stefanie’s second business! She decided to move forward with this opportunity being her old employer was retiring and she has years of experience in the sign business. Ms. Pearl started the new business from scratch and will be taking over the retiring business’ market share. Stephanie launched her second business on March 20, 2013. Very impressive!
When I checked in with Stefanie on 5/8/13 she had already hired two fulltime employees and had an increase in sales of $8,500.00 which is outstanding since she just opened. Stefanie is the go getter we experienced during class with her business Happy Hudson Valley. Then on 6/6/13 Stefanie reported an increase in sales of $10,000. She also submitted her application for the Kiva Zip Loan Program in the amount of $5,000 and as of 7/10/13 raised 6% of her goal. I expect to hear about her continued success with both businesses.
Stefanie states “EAP gave me the confidence to go forward on a second endeavor when my first had barely left the ground. The workshop provided me detailed information about basic accounting and best business practices. I used the blueprints provided by EAP to structure the business plan and that has helped give the company a direction. But, more importantly now I have a network of professionals who can help me, answer questions and eventually provide service when the company grows into needing it. I feel like I can take on a lot knowing that I don’t have to go it alone.” I see much success for Ms. Pearl in the future, the EAP center and our services will be there to help her every step of the way. To contact Stefanie Pearl call (845) 567-9600 or email her at AllAmericanSignGirl@gmail.com Her company also has a Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/ALLkindsOFsignsNY
LAKEISHA HUDSON – Luscious Cupcakery
Lakeisha came to the EAP center to fine tune her partial business plan and prepare it for funding. She wanted to open up a cupcake and cake bakery in the area. Keisha specifically wanted to fine tune the marketing analysis of her current plan, financial statements and understanding of what needs to be done. During class she had already negotiated a 3 year lease. She also initially wanted to get start-up financing for approximately $80,000.
We have consulted with Keisha about her growth, a point of sales (POS) system, financial record keeping and setting up infrastructure to handle the growth. We were very excited for her grand opening of her location on 2/6/13 and she had already hired a part-time employee and had sales of $2,600 when we spoke not long after her debut. In fact, Lakeisha has found that she no longer needs the start-up funding. Ms. Hudson was even featured in a Saturday Edition of the Times Herald Record shortly after she opened. This helped to create a rapid increase in cash flow. In fact, on 4/15/13 Keisha then reported an additional increase in sales of $20,400 and had hired an additional part-time employee. Another great outcome of Lakeisha attending the EAP program was a fellow graduate and success story helped her with the construction of her store and saved Lakeisha a significant amount of money on the project. I am really enjoying watching her business grow.
Lakeisha states that “Before taking the EAP class I had an idea, a business plan and a goal, but wasn’t sure on how to implement it. After completing the EAP I had the tools necessary to implement my plan and was able to successfully start my business.” I see much success for Ms. Hudson in the future, the EAP center and our services will be there to help her every step of the way. I look forward to continuing to report her success into the future. For more information or to contact Lakeisha call 845-554-3778 or visit her website http://www.lusciouscupcakery.com The store is located at 190 South Plank Rd, Newburgh, NY 12550.
CHRISTINE DZIEGELEWSKI – CD Equipment Leasing LLC.
Christine came to the EAP center in July of 2012 to get help with MWBE certification and enrolled in our 60 hour EAP course to learn how to effectively grow the business and have the ability and resources to take on larger contracts.
Christine participated in our survey in November of 2012 and reported an increase in sales of $48,000. Upon completion of the 60 hour class she had an additional $36,000 increase in sales and obtained $75,000 financing from Kamatsu for the purchase of an excavator and bulldozer. Christine submitted her application via the new electronic system on February 11, 2013. She also did the combined Port Authority section to bid on those jobs as well. Christine is excited because upon certification she will bid on a 70 million dollar project at Stewart Airport where 14 million has to be rewarded to MWBEs. Christine is confident she has a good chance of being rewarded a contact due to her being the only women owned equipment leasing company in the area. Christine is very excited about the opportunities her certification will open up and looks forward to being able to hire back office help and a sales force once she secures some contracts.
Christine said “I was so afraid and in business for myself, by myself. The program is helping me break through a fear barrier that prohibits my growth. Before coming to the EAP center I was dragging my heels and feeling out on a limb. Now I feel I’ve cultivated a support network and resource center for all my business needs. Insurance, marketing, personnel, legal and I even obtained a job from one of my fellow students. We helped each other and I saved my friend a lot of money.” I look forward to hearing about Christine’s business growth and success in the future. We will continue to support her as she grows. (CD Leasing Equipment LLC, 13 Disano Dr., Newburgh, NY 12550, 914-213-8506 firstname.lastname@example.org)
MARISOL JACKSON – Get Fit With Jam, LLC.
Marisol came to the EAP program to help her and her partner get the Zumba fitness business off the ground. Marisol had been teaching Zumba® fitness with a partner for approximately two years at a dance studio they sublet. Marisol has a bachelor’s degree in Marketing, but wanted to know everything she could about starting a business. “I know a lot of businesses fail because people jump into it and wing it. I wanted to be smart about it. I was looking for answers online about forming a business and found myself looking at the Chamber of Commerce website. When I saw the information about the EAP program, I knew I wanted to enroll to learn as much as possible about all aspects of starting a business. “ Because of her hard work Marisol’s business continued to grow, and they added additional classes and additional teachers. Marisol had dreams of opening their own facility but wanted to be prepared when the opportunity arose.
During the EAP course Marisol and her partner formed an LLC and created a logo. Since taking the course they opened Get Fit With JaM. What was even more impressive is they accelerated a full year ahead of their initial forecast! Marisol took over the lease of their location and added Piloxing, HIIT Bootcamp and Yoga. The business has developed such a great client base they are in the process of redesigning a website and creating JaM gear (clothing) for purchase. When Marisol responded to our survey in November she reported an increase in sales. I anticipate Get Fit With JaM will continue to increase their clients and take advantage of expansion funding down the road. We will be there to help Marisol continue her business success.
Marisol said “After taking the course I knew I had a good grasp on what it would take to be successful in taking our business to the next level. Had I not taken the course, I do not know if I would have taken advantage of the opportunity in front of me.” Marisol is very together and has a great vision for her business. I look forward to hearing more about her success in the future. (Marisol Jackson, Get Fit with Jam, New Windsor NY, (845) 729-3374 http://www.getfitwithjam.com)
SAMANTHA OLLEY & MICHAEL KUSMANN – The Lucky Cow
Samantha Olley and Michael Kusmann are co-owners of The Lucky Cow which is a DBA of The Pulp Kitchen, LLC. The Lucky Cow will provides its customers with healthy vegan and vegetarian cuisine, along with freshly made juices and smoothies. It vends at, but not limited to, farmers markets, music festivals, health awareness walks and food festivals. Michael has 5 years of cooking experience, working for both restaurant style establishments as well as cafes. Samantha has been intimately involved in helping the growth of three family owned businesses. Both owners have been preparing vegetarian and vegan cuisine for friends and family for a number of years.
When Samantha and Michael first enrolled they were just going to offer juice and smoothies. Because of attending the class and learning how to develop sales projections and financial forecasts they discovered quickly that this limited menu was not enough to make a profit and they needed to broaden their initial idea. Samantha and Michael decided to expand with food and deserts. The classes helped then with time management and how to progress. They also developed a marketing plan for their target – music festivals and events.
With help from a private funder they purchased a fully loaded truck that would enable them to make their plan a reality. So far they have done farmers markets and small events. In spring they will be attending music festivals as a vendor with a potential to earn a significant profit per 3 day event. In fact, they will be hiring additional employees to help with working these events. Besides all these wonderful outcomes, the planning helped them not only start a business but do it as a couple who is still together after the launch. Good job.
Michael said “All of this was because of the class and they would not be successful had they not attended. Instead of paying someone to write the plan they enrolled because it was economical and by writing the plan themselves they learned how to run a business. Without that education they would have fumbled right away and be flipping out right now. The support from class mates has been awesome and Stefanie Pearl from Happy Hudson Valley did a story on them.”
I look forward to hearing many more great things from this young entrepreneurial pair. They will be the next generation of business owners how will help grow our local economy. Check out their YouTube Vidoe http://youtu.be/vmnyjuIg-g0 You can also check them out on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Lucky-Cow or call (845) 551-5633.
STACIE LASKIN – Global Recycling Inc.
Woman-owned-and-operated Global Recycling Inc is run by third-generation scrap-metal-maven Stacie R. Laskin, the “Queen of Steel.” Her business offers on-site removal of equipment, machinery, Trailers, tractors, water towers, construction metals — not only steel but all ferrous and non-ferrous metals.Stacie came to the Orange County Chamber of Commerce EAP center to attend our Minority Woman Business Enterprise certification informational session which discussed ‘Becoming A Certified Minority or Women Business & How to Get Government Contracts Afterwards’. She also attended our 5 part procurement workshop series which taught attendees: Understanding Solicitations, Teaming for Success, Who’s Buying What You’re Selling? Find Out How to Locate Your Prime Government Contractors and Opportunities that Do Not Go to Bid, You Have an Appointment with a Government Contractor: Now What? and Stay-in-Touch Campaign: Why It Reaps Results; How to Create One. The combination of these educational resources gave Stacie the tools she needed to develop a plan and the available resources for bidding on larger local, state and federal jobs. Lastly we assisted her with completing the WBE New York State certification.
Stacie is one of our success stories in that she has received her WBE certification and will be moving forward on a government contract and be able to hire employees in the very near future. She also has her office in Newburgh which supports economic development in that area. She is impressive in that this industry is primarily male and Stacie can hold her own with the competition. We are looking forward to watching the “Queen of Steel” become a valued business member of the community and help grow the local economy with providing much needed jobs.
During Senator Gillibrand’s press conference on July 6thStacie was quoted as saying “None of this would have been possible without the help of the Orange County Chamber of Commerce”. We are pleased to be part of helping Stacie begin her successful journey and plan on continuing our support to help her grow the business well into the future. (Stacie Laskin, Global Recycling Inc., Newburgh, NY, 914-213-9290 or email@example.com)
JOHN SHORTEN – Smarter Home Inspections
John Shorten came to the Entrepreneurial Assistance Program (EAP) with a definite plan in mind. Not only was he attending two schools of higher education, he was also planning and building an idea and a business. He had 28 years of home improvement experience after receiving a degree in1983from BOCES in carpentry and masonry. With experience and desire, he came to EAP to collect the valuable information we had to offer with knowledgeable, respected teachers and mentors like Charlene Finerty and Edison Guzman.
John was able to gather enough information and professional advice from our program to help him fulfill his dream. Not only did he complete our first January2010EAP class, he also attended our weekend workshop on how to build a website. Today, John is still so satisfied with what we had to offer that he joined the Orange County Chamber of Commerce and continues to attend our programs.
After completing EAP, John was able to launch his business without financing. He became state certified as a Home Inspector and purchased a Smart car in order to create the appropriate image for his business. He currently inspects homes and loves every moment of his self-employment.John explains how, through EAP, he was able to create realistic goals and not only meet, but exceed them in his first year of business. He achieved success by implementing the strategies he learned from EAP, his teachers, mentors and his classmates. The valuable information that he gained will positively impact his ability to grow and expand in the future. The strategic alliances and referral network he has developed as a result of the program are remarkable. His accomplishments have been truly impressive, particularly in a down economy. Bolstered by this growth pattern and enhanced by his strategic marketing and referral plan, John hopes to hire an employee in year two of his business.
John Shorten exemplifies how to take the tools provided by EAP and turn them into a thriving business. He combined his years of experience with a solid business plan to form Smarter Home Inspections, L.L.C. and is proud to have become a solid business in the community. (John Shorten, of Smarter Home Inspections of Bloomingburg, NY, (845) 733-7627 or firstname.lastname@example.org)
STACEY HAWKINS – Time Savor Gourmet
Stacey owns Time Savor Gourmet and she educates people on how to make good food, fast. She also manufactures ready-made ingredients that people can use to eat healthy and have great tasting food. She enrolled in the EAP program to create a business plan worthy of funding and expanding her business. She has many great ideas for her business, and hefty goals. She is also looking for financing to fund the growth of her company.
Stacey was specifically looking for help with financing connections, developing a business strategy for growth and effective planning of implementation. She knew assistance with her marketing plan and sales force development would have a positive impact on her business in the short and long term.
When I had reached out to Stacey for an update she informed me of the significant increase in sales due to the business plan that was developed during the EAP class. In fact, she is creating a multi-level business and will be going from 0 to 75 associates by the end of the year. As Stacey moved forward with her business plan she was able to self-fund her expansion. This gave Stacey the option of soliciting private funding and what options she has for future growth. The EAP program helped her make a smart business decision on how to fund expansion. I look forward to watching Time Savor Gourmet become a household name.
In Stacey’s own words “EAP provided me with the confirmation I needed that my plan was on-track and my business was ready to move to the next level. At the beginning of the class I had questions and was unsure of my direction… after I completed, I had concrete answers and a fortified plan for moving forward, confidently and successfully. Edison Guzman was instrumental in providing the advice, encouragement and most importantly the network and resources I needed to make it all happen. I highly recommend the EAP program for anyone looking to start a new business or to enhance their current business. It is, by far, a value well worth its weight in business gold.” (Stacey Hawkins, Time Savor Gourmet, Newburgh, NY, (914) 720- 5844 or email@example.com)