The Georgia Small Business Development Center helps businesses grow and prosper across the state.
Georgia Peach World, Townsend
Jason Reott was selling peaches off the back of his truck in 2013 when he approached the Georgia Small Business Development Center in Brunswick for help in launching a year-round store. Brunswick SBDC Director David Lewis taught Reott how to run a business — everything from paying sales taxes to writing paychecks. With Lewis’ help, Reott got a permit to sell peach wine, find the right technology to run the business and obtain a state trademark for his store. When online sales began to grow, Reott returned to Lewis for help. The company has 19 full-time employees and has seen its sales double over the last two years, “and we’re on track to double them again this year,” Reott says.
Expanding small businesses
Senior Solutions, Americus
Sisters Eshonda Blue and Jessica Wright launched their business, a home health care provider for seniors and people with disabilities, in Americus in 2007. Both nurses, they recognized the needs of an aging population. When they decided to expand, they reached out to the SBDC in Albany. SBDC staffers helped them develop financial, marketing and operations strategies for growth. The women also went through the SBDC GrowSmart program, which assists fast-growing businesses across the state. The company now employs more than 100 people, operates two personal care homes and provides personal care and adult day care services to people in a 19-county region.
Cocoa Town LLC
Roswell equipment makers Andal and Balu Balasubra-manian were targeting sales to Indian retailers and restaurateurs in metro Atlanta until they approached the SBDC in 2007. They had discovered the grinders they sold for coffee could be modified to grind cocoa beans into chocolate, which opened up a whole new venture. With SBDC assistance they drafted a business plan, developed digital marketing, developed a strategic plan and went through the SBDC’s ExportGa training program. International Trade Center Director Rick Martin helped them find international market opportunities. The business that once operated out of a 1,500-square-foot warehouse with three employees now has a 7,000-square-foot facility, four full-time and two part-time employees, and two interns. Now experts in the chocolate industry, they are invited to make presentations around the world.