Monday, May 15, 2017

Vol State TSBDC Celebrates 10 Years Serving Small Business

Small business owners often need help navigating the marketplace. With 2,000 clients, 188 business starts and more than $25 million in capital formation, the Tennessee Small Business Development Center (TSBDC) at Volunteer State Community College has been providing that assistance. The Vol State TSBDC is celebrating a ten-year anniversary. Clients say they have benefited with everything from formulating business plans to advice in marketing. The TSBDC offers free workshops, classes and one-on-one help.

“I received so much great advice and encouragement from Charles and TSBDC when I started my business.  I still hear his voice in my head saying that it just takes time to build a business,” said Kristie Rigdon of My Veggie Chef. 

“We are so grateful to Charles Alexander and the Tennessee Small Business Development Center for helping us successfully launch our new venture, Pour Vous Wine, Spirits and Beer Warehouse,” said Evelyn Bonds. “What an awesome resource they were to us for developing and implementing a marketing plan appropriate for our industry, location and size.  The research and free seminars were invaluable and represented a huge cost savings.” 

TSBDC clients come from a wide-variety of business types, have including restaurants, recycling companies and insurance companies.

“This has been a very interesting ride,” said TSBDC Director Charles Alexander. “When we started this TSBDC ten years ago, social media wasn’t really a thing and the big concern for entrepreneurs was spending money on the Yellow Pages. Since then we’ve had the Great Recession and a local economic boom.  This has been so much fun that I can’t believe I get paid to do it.  I get to selfishly see the help we provide, make an immediate impact on our community.  However, the real credit goes to the business owners.  It’s their hard work, risk, and determination that allows me to have this career.  I’m especially thankful to my supervisor Hilary Marabeti, our local donors, and my sidekick, Dave Jose for making this center thrive.”

Pictured: Celebrating successful businesses helped by TSBDC. The 2016 Rising Star Award recipients, Body Kneads, Inc of Lebanon. Pictured left to right: Charles Alexander, director of the Vol State TSBDC; Julie Miller-Wilson and Heather Hull, of Body Kneads; Dave Jose; Hilary Marabeti, assistant vice president for Continuing Education and Economic Development; and Jerry Faulkner, Vol State president.

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