Category Archives: Success Story

Dental Designs of Savannah

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Dental Designs of Savannah
Dr. Richard M. Thomas, Jr.
300 Bull Street Suite 301
Savannah, GA 31401
912-234-1944

Richard M. Thomas, Jr, D.M.D., P.C. is proof that a teenager’s dream of becoming an entrepreneur can come true. It was during those years that he was influenced by his family’s orthodontist to become a dentist.

Dr. Thomas graduated from the Medical College of Georgia School of Dentistry in Augusta, GA in 1994 and worked as an Associate Dentist from 1998 to 2002 for Dental Care Alliance, later named Smile Innovations, LLC.

In October 2001, Dr. Thomas began the planning phase of what is now Richard M. Thomas, Jr., PC dba Dental Designs of Savannah located at 300 Bull Street Suite 301 in the DeSoto Hilton Hotel in beautiful Historic Savannah, GA.

Dental Designs of Savannah is a Cosmetic, General and Implant Dentistry practice that offers radiology/imaging consultation, diagnosis, treatment planning, therapy and dental surgery.

Darby Bank approached the Small Business Assistance Corporation with a request to guarantee a working capital loan for Dr. Thomas using the City of Savannah’s Guarantee Loan Program. The loan was approved and allowed Dr. Thomas to create two new jobs.

In Dr. Thomas’ office, you are not treated like a number; he and his staff offers on time, caring and personalized services that make you want to return again and again.


Love’s Daycare Center

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LOVE’S DAYCARE CENTER
LORINE AND DEWITT LOVE
503 DENMARK STREET
STATESBORO, GA 30458
(912) 764-5860

Lorine started Love’s Daycare 14 years ago after realizing that her opportunity to advance to a Supervisor at a sewing factory in Statesboro, GA was limited. But, Lorine saw a business opportunity unfold right before her eyes. She noticed that several co-workers were looking for a structured childcare facility in which to leave their children, instead of with family members and friends. Lorine left her job of 13 years with the intention of filling that need.

She used profit sharing from her factory job to help pay for the equipment and supplies that she and her husband needed to start a day care business. They opened with three children, the maximum allowed without a license at that time. They saw a growth opportunity in this industry which led them to add a new room onto their home; Lorine enrolled in childcare classes and made necessary arrangements to be licensed by the State of Georgia to keep 18 children.

After reaching full capacity, the Loves applied for a micro loan to remodel a building they purchased two years earlier. SBAC referred them to the Georgia Southern Small Business Development Center where Lori Durden assisted Lorine with writing her business plan. SBAC made a MicroLoan to the Loves for this project. After the remodeling is complete, she will double her current capacity and hire one full time and one part-time employee, giving her 3 employees total. “The MicroLoan has played a big part in completing our second building,” says Lorine.

Lorine, her staff and the children welcome your visit, and tell them that SBAC sent you.


Master of the Links

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MASTER OF THE LINKS
MICHAEL J. O’NEILL ENTERPRISES, INC.
365 Red Cedar Street, Unit 503
Bluffton, SC 29910
843-815-2472
www.masterofthelinks.com
mjone2000@aol.com

Master of the Links was purchased by the current owner Michael O’Neill in 1999. The company is the supplier for golf club equipment and supplies for the everyday operation of a golf course. The company currently represents over 50 manufacturing companies. Most recently Master of the Links has become the exclusive dealer for Husqarvana Power Equipment. This required that Michael move into a larger facility that would accommodate sales and service in the same location.

With the assistance of the Small Business Assistance Corporation and the First Savings and Loan Association of Charleston, Mr. O’ Neill acquired a building in Bluffton, SC and has opened his retail location. This will increase his gross sales annually with the additional line of merchandise and equipment. He continues to be one of the chief suppliers of golf course maintenance equipment and supplies throughout the Southeast.


Auto Intensive Care, INC

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THE ROSARIO GROUP, INC
DBA AUTO INTENSIVE CARE, INC.
215 HIGHWAY 80, WEST
GARDEN CITY, GA 31408
912-963-9635

In 1995 two auto mechanics from Volvo of Savannah decided after working for the dealership for more than ten years each decided to open up their own garage, specializing in foreign automotive repair. Since that time the company and partnership has evolved into three locations in the Metro Savannah area.

Michael Lombardo and Mikeol Thompson with the assistance of the Small Business Assistance Corporation used the SBA-504 program to purchase their first garage. They had been renting two locations and in 2002 they added a third. They have now purchased with the help of Jeff Mulling at First National Bank and the SBA the Garden City location. A modern six bay repair facility that serves the needs of both Mike’s and the customers they serve. They have added 5 additional employees to the corporation and continue to look for other locations. Both Mike’s are active in the daily operations of all three sites and continue to look for locations to grow the business.


Beaufort Boat House

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CGF, INCORPORATED
DBA BEAUFORT BOAT HOUSE
247 ROBERT SMALLS PARKWAY
BEAUFORT, SC 29906
(843)522-2040/1-866-258-3053
FAX: (843)522-0885
E-Mail: info@beaufortboathouse.com
Web Site: www.beaufortboathouse.com

Beaufort Boat House was established in 1996 by the previous owner. The winters in New England over the last several years have been long, cold and heavy with snow. Craig and Dawn Freeman decided enough was enough and wanted to change their life style. Craig grew up spending his summers off the shores of Cape Cod and the Islands fishing and enjoying the ocean. The most logical way to continue that summer vacation type life style that they dreamed of was to move to the Low Country of South Carolina. When the opportunity arose to purchase the Beaufort Boat House, Craig and Dawn jumped at the opportunity, buying the business and the real estate.

With the assistance of Leo Story at The First National Bank of Nassau County and the Small Business Assistance Corporation the Freeman’s were able to put together an SBA 504 loan request to purchase the real estate that the boat dealership was housed in. The company provides the sales and service of consumer fishing boats. Their two main boat lines are Pursuit and Parker. They also provide the Angler Model. They have an exclusive agreement with Pursuit to service the market from Charleston, S.C. to Savannah, Ga.

They have over fifteen (15) years of experience in sales and marketing. Dawn is overseeing the office manager duties, while Craig focuses on sales and customer relations. This young and energetic couple has established a goal of being one of the premiere boat dealerships from here to Charleston Harbor, and in the short time they have been operating the company they are not disappointing anyone.


Closet and Clutter Solutions

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CLOSET & CLUTTER SOLUTIONS
JENNIFER SIMMONS
112 WESTMINISTER DRIVE
SAVANNAH, GA 31419
(912) 631-3126

Jennifer Simmons, a member of the National Association of Professional Organizers and a registered ClosetMaid dealer is the owner of Closet & Clutter Solutions in Savannah, GA. This is a residential organizational business specializing in affordable organizational services and products.

Closet & Clutter Solutions is the problem solver for anyone who has accumulated “stuff” and does not know how to organize nor graciously dispose of it. Jennifer and her staff can help homeowners clean those unwanted items out of their homes and provide storage units that will allow them to arrange their items neatly. Jennifer has the secret for motivating homeowners to decide what stays, what goes to charity and what goes in the trash. In the process, the homeowner benefits by receiving a tax deduction for donating unwanted items to charities or making a few dollars via a yard/garage sale.

They install both reach in and walk-in storage units for homeowners that are ideal for closets, garages, pantries and laundry/utility rooms.

After SBDC assisted her with a business plan, Jennifer received a MicroLoan from SBAC for working capital and for inventory.

If you are a homeowner who needs help organizing those precious items you’ve collected over the years, just call Jennifer, she is your “wish comes true” for removing and organizing the unwanted.


Tod Godwin Contruction, INC

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TODD GODWIN CONSTRUCTION, INC.
DBA PRECISION GOLF
281 COURSEY ROAD
ELLABELL, GA 31308
912-653-2660

Heather Godwin, President of Todd Godwin Construction, Inc. dba Precision Golf, and her husband Todd had crafted a niche in the landscaping and construction business by specializing in golf course construction and renovation. Golf courses are constantly in need of maintenance beyond keeping the greens manicured. Especially during the winter months many courses suffer from erosion and deterioration. Additionally, the owners make changes to the courses and the greens to keep things new and interesting for their clientele.

Precision Golf provided sprig installation, built greens, installed fairway drainage, bunker development (sorry guys, they do that too), and tee construction. They had developed a good reputation and worked from Florida into the Carolina’s and were getting more and more inquiries. However they were concerned that during the off season their employees would leave for steady work elsewhere. This was a large problem in that these employees were experienced in the job requirements and would be difficult to replace.

Heather approached their bank, Darby Bank, for a working capital loan in order to keep their employees in place. Darby Bank identified an opportunity for SBAC to provide Heather with a SBA MicroLoan. SBAC reviewed the request and was able to put the needed capital in place not only saving jobs but keeping a business viable by allowing valued, experienced employees in place.


Law Offices of Harrid O’Dell, JR.

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LAW OFFICES OF HARRIS O’DELL, JR.
HARRIS O’DELL, JR.
1808 ABERCORN STTREET
SAVANNAH, GA 31401
912-236-1158

Harris Odell, Jr. is well known in Savannah and Chatham County, serving as a County Commissioner, and one of the most respected African American attorneys in Savannah. His success however could not prevent his Mother from becoming gravely ill and he put his law practice on hold to care for her. When he returned to his practice he was given the opportunity to move into an entirely different area of law, an opportunity which he took.

In need of working capital to support the change and make improvements to his office, Mr. Odell, Jr. turned to the Small Business Assistance Corporation. He outlined his loan requirements and the past events that brought him to his current needs.

The SBAC reviewed the request and was able to provide him with the funds necessary for Mr. Odell, Jr. to improve his office and building and support his move into a different area of law.


Foulke Realty, LLC

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FOULKE REALTY, LLC: MAPTECH PACKAGING, INC. AND
CHAMPION SYSTEMS, INC.
GUY FOULKE
145 DILLON ROAD
HILTON HEAD, SC 29926
(843) 342-5900

After 20 years of being employed in the food packaging industry, Guy Foulke decided it was time to open his own business to provide the same consulting services he had been providing – this time, though, the profits would come to him instead of a large corporate conglomerate. So, with that thought in mind, Guy opened Champion Systems, Inc. in 1993 to provide consulting services to businesses that utilize food packaging equipment as well as to facilitate a company’s acquisition of the actual equipment. Champion Systems, Inc. did so well that, in 2000, Guy formed another company, MapTech Packaging, Inc., with the mission of exploring and testing new ways to package perishable foods. Since inception, MapTech has successfully obtained patents for their innovations in machinery and equipment used in food packaging. Since both businesses are owned and operated by Guy, they were housed in the same building – at that time, a small unit in a local strip center.

Fiscal year 2002 saw tremendous growth for both businesses. So much so, Guy found himself in a position of needing a larger facility and needing it immediately if he planned to keep up with orders and customer requests. By the end of 2002, Guy had located the perfect building for the businesses – one that had sufficient office space, warehouse space, and refrigeration capabilities. Armed with a purchase contract, Guy contacted his banker about financing options. The bank, South Carolina Bank & Trust, suggested Guy utilize the SBA 504 loan program and put him in touch with SBAC. Guy’s SBA loan was approved and closed in early 2003 giving Guy the opportunity to move into the new, larger building and take advantage of the growth spurt both businesses were experiencing.

Guy has filled the building with additional employees, machinery, equipment, and products. In fact, Guy has already managed to completely fill the whole building with these two successful businesses.


Green Frog Sleep Center

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GREEN FROG SLEEP CENTER
DEBRA AND TRACY GIBSON
7501 ABERCORN STREET
SAVANNAH, GA 31406
(912) 352-4001

Green Frog Sleep Center has been selling mattresses and futons to the Savannah community since 1981. Under the ownership and guidance of Debra Gibson, Green Frog Sleep Center has grown in leaps and bounds. Originally located in a small unit in a strip center on the Southside of Savannah, Green Frog Sleep Center was jam packed with beds, mattresses, futons, furniture and waterbeds. In order to “walk the maze” of inventory, customers had to pretty much test each mattress to get to the one they wanted. Not a bad sales tool, but a bit cumbersome for customers.

In early 2003, it became evident that the business had literally outgrown the facility. Debra, with her daughter and “right hand woman” Tracy, began the search for a larger facility. After spending 20 years in a building that is not visible from the main thoroughfare, not easily accessible, and had very limited parking, Debra and Tracy knew what they wanted for their new building.

It didn’t take long to find it: on the major thoroughfare of Savannah – Abercorn Street – with frontage on the street, therefore, visibility and accessibility, and ample parking. Having found the building, Debra and Tracy needed to get their financing. They contacted a local bank, First Chatham Bank, who suggested an SBA 504 loan for the building acquisition. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Green Frog Sleep Center moved into the new facility in the Spring/Summer of 2003. The showroom is much easier to navigate and holds more displays than Debra and Tracy ever had in the old facility. The building’s location on the major road through town has helped to sustain the growth the business had attained over the years – definitive support for the decision to move and purchase a new building.

If your back is bothering you, or you just want to try a new bed (or waterbed!), come by and talk with Debra and Tracy. They know their stuff and will be happy to help you find what you need, or want. Try them out, your sore back will thank you!