When Jill Scarbro-McLaury was in the first grade, an observant teacher changed her life. The teacher recognized Jill had a learning disability. Now Jill makes it her business to change the lives of other children with learning disabilities.
In 2007, she founded Bright Futures Learning Services to provide behavioral treatment for children with autism. In 2019, Jill was chosen the SBA’s West Virginia Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year.
Wonder Valley Farm preparing to sell local lavender, forest botanicals and honey.
You can hear the excitement in Sierra Cox’s voice when she talks about Wonder Valley Farm. The agritourism startup, located in Gandeeville, Roane County, is co-owned by Cox and her partner John Pennacchio, both Navy veterans who moved across the country to start a 100-acre lavender, bee and forest botanicals farm right here in the Mountain State.
J.Q. Dickinson Salt-Works opened in Malden in 2013, but its story dates back hundreds of years.
Native Americans were the first to discover the salt seeps they called the Great Buffalo Lick, a 10-mile stretch of land along the Kanawha River. They boiled brine from the springs to make salt. In the 1800s, white settlers began mining this area they called the Kanawha Salines, and the salt industry was born.
Bear Wood Company: proof that starting a small business in the middle of a career is possible.
The successful start Bear Wood Company in Hurricane, W.Va. has enjoyed since opening in 2016 is proof that something old can be made new again. Like the reclaimed lumber the popular woodworking company turns into beautiful furniture and ornaments, owner Matt Snyder recreated his career by leaving a high-stress job in news to start Bear Wood.
Dale Morton, owner of Dale Morton Studio Mascot Costumes, has been making costumes for nearly 20 years. The highly detailed custom creations coming out of his small studio in Hurricane, W.Va., have graced football fields and theater stages, entertained celebrities and professional athletes and been used in marketing campaigns for small businesses and large corporations. And for the last two years, he’s been working with the West Virginia Small Business Development Center to grow his business.
By Scott Cavallaro, franchise store owner, Wild Birds Unlimited, Morgantown, West Virginia
Wild Birds Unlimited is a franchise nature shop. We sell bird food, feeders, nesting boxes and accessories.
I’ve been feeding and housing birds since I was about 10 years old. About eight years ago, while visiting a friend in Winchester, Virginia, I happened to walk into a Wild Birds store. I instantly fell in love with the store and the quality of products they had to offer. I decided right then that this would be the perfect second career for me. Five years later, I decided to take my chances and do it, thinking that if I waited around too long, someone else might beat me to it.
No fee for business fundamentals event sponsored by RDFC
SUMMERSVILLE, W.Va. — For the first time, the West Virginia Small Business Development Center is teaming with the West Virginia National Guard’s Patriot Guardens initiative to offer free business fundamentals training in two sessions. The two-part workshop will be held at the New River Community and Technical College’s Nicholas County Campus, 6101 Webster Road, Summersville. Business Coach Harold Patterson will lead Session I. Business Coach Shannon Mitchell will lead Session II.
By Erika Bailey, State Director of the West Virginia Small Business Development Center
Get a head start on your holiday shopping—and support local businesses—with Shop Small in July!
An extension of the nationwide movement Shop Small Saturday that traditionally falls on the first Saturday after Black Friday, Shop Small West Virginia was launched by the West Virginia Small Business Development Center and the Small Business Administration West Virginia District to inspire retailers to reach out to the estimated 40 percent of consumers who start their holiday shopping before Halloween.
By: Terry Cyfers, Business Coach
So, you have an idea for a business—now what do you do?
Write a business plan, of course. But most people’s idea of a business plan is a 40+ page document, and the dread of undertaking such a daunting task scares them away from fulfilling their dreams. Yet without a business plan, you can’t clear your path to success.
By: Mary Hott, WV SBDC Business Coach
Most people know they need to track their personal credit score, but did you know your business also has a credit score that should be tracked? A recent Manta survey revealed that 72 percent of business owners didn’t realize they have a business credit score. And small business owners who understand their business credit are 41 percent more likely to be approved for a business loan.