Category Archives: Success Story

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!


Hilton Head Rentals and Golf

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HILTON HEAD RENTALS & GOLF
TOM AND NANCY RIDGWAY
578 WILLIAM HILTON PARKWAY
HILTON HEAD, SC 29928
(843) 785-8687
Email: Tom@hiltonheadvacation.com
Website: www.hiltonheadvacation.com

Tom and Nancy Ridgway, after deciding to retire from years in the corporate “rat race,” longed to find a business that they could own and operate from a beautiful setting in the Southeastern part of the country. This dream came true for the Ridgways in 1998 when they purchased Hilton Head Rentals and Golf, Inc. on Hilton Head Island in South Carolina. The business had been in operation under the same manager/owner since it was founded in 1981. The owner decided that the time had come to move on, and so, Tom and Nancy acquired the business and began to work on improving not only the product offered, but also the infrastructure of the company.

Hilton Head Rentals & Golf is a real estate rental company that rents out houses, villas, and condos located on Hilton Head Island. Property owners not interested in dealing with the mundane details of renting their property, list it with Hilton Head Rentals & Golf and Tom and Nancy handle the rental of the property, the guest relations during their stay, and the clean up of the unit after the guest’s departure. Hilton Head Rentals & Golf allows many property owners the luxury of renting out their property without having to deal with the “nitty gritty” of the transaction.

With a focus on providing premier, upscale properties and superior customer service/guest relations, Tom and Nancy were able to triple reservations and double revenues. These increases called for additional staff and upgraded reservation systems. 2002 found Hilton Head Rentals 7 Golf “bursting at the seams” of their location. Tom and Nancy had to find a larger facility – and fast.

Tom and Nancy found the perfect building for their business, and it was across the street from their location. The building is two stories nestled in among old oak trees dripping with Spanish moss and has the look of an antebellum Southern mansion. Tom and Nancy negotiated the purchase and approached South Carolina Bank & Trust for financing. The SCB&T loan officer got the purchase approved with an SBA 504 loan, and referred the Ridgways to SBAC to get the SBA loan. SBA approved the loan in the beginning of 2003 and Hilton Head Rentals & Golf was in their new “mansion” to kick off the start of their season.

If you want to stay on the beautiful island of Hilton Head on the South Carolina coast, contact Tom and Nancy to find the perfect hideaway for you and your family. And when you travel down the island to get to your rental unit, be sure to take a quick peek at the Hilton Head Rentals & Golf building – you can’t miss it, it’s the antebellum mansion next to the ancient graveyard mid-island.


Circa Lighting and One Fish Two Fish

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WHITAKER@JONES, LLC: CIRCA LIGHTING and ONE FISH TWO FISH
GALE SINGER AND JENNIFER GRAYSON
401 – 409 WHITAKER STREET AND 101 WEST JONES STREET
SAVANNAH, GA 31401

(912) 447-1008 CIRCA LIGHTING
Email: gale@circalighting.com
Website: www.circalighting.com

(912) 447-4600 ONE FISH TWO FISH
Email: fishstore3@hotmail.com

Gale Singer, owner of Circa Lighting, and Jennifer Grayson, owner of One Fish Two Fish, have know each other for several years having been neighboring shopkeepers in the Whitaker/Jones building in downtown Savannah. Gale and Jennifer struck a friendship over those years that comes from their love of the neighborhood where their businesses are located as well as a dedication to their clientele and customers. When the building came up for sale in the Fall of 2002, Gale and Jennifer sprang into action to preserve not only their business locations, but the cornerstone of their neighborhood. Gale and Jennifer immediately contracted to purchase the building. The successful operating history of both businesses made their purchase of the real estate a logical step to take – it would provide stability for the two stores – which would not have been the case had the building been purchased by another individual or party.

Gale and Jennifer began working with SunTrust Bank to obtain the financing for the building acquisition. SunTrust recommended that Gale and Jennifer obtain an SBA 504 loan for the building acquisition, and as such, referred them to SBAC to begin the process. An application was prepared and submitted to SBA which was subsequently approved. The transfer of ownership for the building occurred in the Spring of 2003 and has allowed both Gale and Jennifer to expand their businesses and make aesthetic changes to the building to enhance their business operations.

The Whitaker@Jones complex is home to other businesses – an art gallery and an antique shop to name a few. The complex fits quite nicely as the cornerstone to a residential neighborhood on a busy thoroughfare of downtown Savannah. Gale and Jennifer have painstakingly improved the image of the complex with beautiful landscaping that compliments both the businesses as well as the neighborhood. Their love of the building and its impact on the community is evident in the upkeep they have provided to the building.

Take a walking tour of Savannah that brings you through the historic district of downtown. You will inevitably pass by the Whitaker@Jones complex. Stop in at Circa Lighting to see the latest in period lighting fixtures or at One Fish Two Fish for unique gift items and delicious desserts and treats. You’ll be glad you stopped in, and Gale and Jennifer enjoy hosting visitors to the City and their stores.


Day’s Inn – Hardeeville

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DAYS INN – HARDEEVILLE
JATIN AND HETAL PATEL
I-95 AND US HIGHWAY 17
HARDEEVILLE, SC 29927
(843) 784-2281

Jatin and Hetal Patel grew up in a world of entrepreneurship watching their parents own and operate several successful hotels and other small business ventures. When their father was contacted about a hotel that was going to be put up for sale in Hardeeville, Jatin and Hetal began talking to him about their desire to be small business owners, specifically, hoteliers. The fact that the hotel in Hardeeville already had a franchise in place – Days Inn – and had consistently received high ratings from the franchisor made the purchase all the more attractive.

Jatin and Hetal, relatively new to the world of small business ownership, could and would draw from their parent’s experience as hotel owners/operators as well as the franchisor’s vast resources. Having grown up in the atmosphere of small business, Jatin and Hetal had been taught how to be successful entrepreneurs. All that was left at this point, was to take the plunge by signing the contract and obtaining financing.

Jatin and Hetal began working with their father to obtain the necessary financing to purchase their dream. They found People’s State Bank who referred Jatin and Hetal to SBAC for an SBA 504 loan for the acquisition of the real estate. The SBA application was submitted and approved in the winter of 2002. Jatin and Hetal closed on the acquisition and realized their dream of hotel ownership in early 2003. You can find them on site each day proudly overseeing the operations of their “dream.”

If you find yourself on the I-95 corridor, just crossing over the Georgia/South Carolina border and in need of a place to stop and rest, check out the Hardeeville Days Inn. Jatin and Hetal will be happy to host your overnight stay.


Creative Catering

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JOHN MENZIES
251 RIVERVIEW ROAD
SAVANNAH, GA 31404
(912) 341-3663/1-866-864-1044
Email: catermaster@hotmail.com
Website: creativecateringga.com

In 1992, John Menzies decided to use the large kitchen of his home to launch a new endeavor – his catering company. John envisioned himself preparing upscale food for the premiere events held in Savannah each year. Creative Catering, in John’s eyes, would be the name people would immediately think of when an event called for outside catering service. In the ten years since starting the business, John has succeeded in doing exactly what he set out to do. Creative Catering is a reputable, top-notch operation used for many of the upscale events held in Savannah.

John’s reputation in the marketplace as well as the industry has fueled the tremendous growth of his business. Still operating from the kitchen at his house – although is was industrial size – led to problems with the zoning codes and designations. You see, John’s home was located in an area that was not zoned for commercial businesses, nor would it ever be. So, John was given the choice: move the business operation or shut it down. Either way, it could not operate from his home any longer.

John contacted a friend regarding his predicament and was immediately referred to SBAC for an SBA 504 loan to build his new commercial facility. SBAC worked in conjunction with First Chatham Bank to obtain the 504 loan for this venture. SBA approved the request and construction began immediately. The new facility was completed at the beginning of 2003 with Creative Catering moving into it that January – with several parties to cater the weekend they moved in! John also utilized the SBAC Direct Loan program to get needed working capital for the business once it was moved into the new facility.

Creative Catering now boasts an industrial size kitchen preparation facility that makes John better able to serve his ever growing clientele. Efficiency and effectiveness have improved dramatically with the new facility, making Creative Catering the premier caterer in town.

If you have an event that needs to be catered, call John – he’d love to help you out. Just do so early, as he is so popular and in demand, he needs a little bit of advance notice to “get you on the books!”


Redd’s Heating and A/C Appliance Repair, INC.

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REDD’S HEATING AND A/C APPLIANCE REPAIR, INC.
BUDDY REDD
5224 SKIDAWAY ROAD
SAVANNAH, GA 31404
(912) 355-9616

Buddy Redd has been working on A/C units since he was old enough to “turn a wrench” to work on one. Having served as the principal of his family’s business for almost 10 years, Buddy decided it was time to go out on his own and start HIS own business. Since the family business was fraying at the edges with the death of Buddy’s father, the time was ripe for Buddy to venture into the world of entrepreneurialism.

Buddy was given the opportunity to purchase the building where he located his business – conveniently, as the building was owned by his mother. Buddy and his mother negotiated a fair purchase price for the building (substantiated by an independent appraisal), and Buddy was on his way to being not only an entrepreneur, but one who owned land for his new independent business venture. The acquisition of the building, where the business was already operating, was essential to the longevity and ultimate success of Buddy’s business. In a nutshell, if someone else bought the building from Buddy’s mother, there would be no guarantee that Buddy would be allowed to maintain his operation from that location.

Having been through the SBA process when his family owned an operated their business, Buddy turned to SBAC to seek assistance in preparing and then obtaining an SBA 7(a) loan. SBAC worked with Buddy to place the request and ultimately found Sunbelt Commercial Capital – which was able to provide the needed financing. Sunbelt, as a PLP SBA lender, was able to approve Buddy’s request rapidly and allow Buddy to become a small business owner/operator who owns the commercial real estate where his business operates. The SBA loan was closed at the beginning of 2003 and Buddy started the new year off with a head start.

If you own a building in Savannah – whether it is residential or commercial – and find that there is A/C work that needs to be done, call Buddy Redd. He will bring with him not only his knowledge and expertise of heating and A/C repair, but also the sincerity of a repairman that is seldom found, let alone seen, nowadays.