IT Mindshare wins SBA Veteran Owned Business of the Year

Morgantown firm specializes in information technology services, consulting, security and more

IT Mindshare wins SBA Veteran Owned Business of the Year

IT Mindshare wins SBA Veteran Owned Business of the Year

It was Jeremy Harris’ experience in the military that piqued his interest in information technology.

Harris had originally planned on becoming an engineer before joining the Army. During his stint in Afghanistan, the decorated war veteran specialized in electronic warfare and signals intelligence. He took note of how much the technology was in demand. After he finished his military service, he pursued a career in the information technology (IT) field.

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WV SBDC celebrates National Small Business Week by promoting local businesses

West Virginia joins the national movement to recognize the hard work of entrepreneurs and economic impact of small businesses.

WV SBDC celebrates National Small Business Week by promoting local businessesSmall Business Person of the Year winner Michael Mills (right)

WV SBDC celebrates National Small Business Week by promoting local businesses

The American dream of owning a successful business is becoming a reality for more people today than ever before. More than half of Americans either own or work for small businesses, which create about two out of every three new jobs in the United States each year. In West Virginia, small businesses make up 95 percent of businesses and employ about 300,000 people.

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Architecture Group Preserves the Past to Build the Future

Mills Group founder wins West Virginia Small Business Person of the Year

Architecture Group Preserves the Past to Build the Future

Architecture Group Preserves the Past to Build the Future

The past tells stories.

Michael Mills sees stories in the shape and construction of heritage buildings and their influence on contemporary designs. Michael is the founder of The Mills Group, an architecture, planning, and preservation firm based in Morgantown.

He is also the recipient of the SBA’s West Virginia Small Business Person of the Year award. He will join honorees from the other U.S. states and territories in Washington, D.C., May 5 – 6 during National Small Business Week.

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In the business of changing lives: Bright Futures provides ABA therapy for autistic children

In the business of changing lives: Bright Futures provides ABA therapy for autistic children

In the business of changing lives: Bright Futures provides ABA therapy for autistic children

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.

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WV SBDC helps veterans bring agritourism business to Mountain State

Wonder Valley Farm preparing to sell local lavender, forest botanicals and honey.

Wonder Valley Farm

Wonder Valley Farm

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.

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J.Q. Dickinson Salt-Works: A small business with big aspirations

J.Q. Dickinson Salt-Works opened in Malden in 2013, but its story dates back hundreds of years.

J.Q. Dickinson Salt-Works

J.Q. Dickinson Salt-Works

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.

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Popular woodworking company off to successful start with advice from WV SBDC

Bear Wood Company: proof that starting a small business in the middle of a career is possible.

Matt Snyder, owner of Bear Wood Company in Hurricane, W.Va.

Bear Wood Company in Hurricane, W.Va. 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.

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WV SBDC helping custom mascot and costume artist grow business

Dale Morton, owner of Dale Morton Studio Mascot Costumes

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.

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WV SBDC helped my dream of a nature shop take wing

By Scott Cavallaro, franchise store owner, Wild Birds Unlimited, Morgantown, West Virginia

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.

Wild Birds Unlimited, Morgantown, West Virginia

Fledgling interest

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.

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