The Small Business Development Center of Hampton Roads (SBDC), an affiliate of the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce, is pleased to announce results of its 2011 Performance Report. Since 1990, the non-profit has provided counseling and training to small businesses in the region’s 18 cities and counties. By offering free, confidential one-on-one business counseling, low-cost training, research through SBDCNet and referrals to top-flight service providers, the SBDC assists in maintaining and growing this vitally important segment of the region’s economy.
- In 2011, the SBDC counseled 454 clients. These numbers are an increase from 2010. A majority of clients were from Virginia Beach, the Eastern Shore, and Hampton. Client satisfaction rate was 96%.
- 1,381 people attended training seminars, with the majority of attendees from Hampton, Virginia Beach, Newport News and Norfolk. Training satisfaction rate was 97%.
- The SBDC aided in the start of 10 businesses.
- 819 jobs were created or saved.
- The total economic impact was $16,567,330.
Elaine Arrieta of Arrieta Construction in Yorktown, said, “The SBDC has been a vital asset to my business’ quick success. I attended several workshops/events that cost next to nothing (many were free). It was and continues to be a “home base” for me. The staff is extremely knowledgeable and eager to assist with anything they can, to get you the information you need to succeed! I highly recommend contacting your local SBDC for guidance on starting-up or even to further excel in your business.”
In 2010 and 2011, Ms. Arrieta company’s revenues grew from $1.9 million to over $2.1 million and she started with 7 employees and has retained 15. Arrieta Construction provides construction services for most Government Installations in, but not limited to, the following Virginia communities: Yorktown, Lackey, Newport News, Hampton, Richmond, Norfolk & Portsmouth, Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Williamsburg & Alexandria.
In 2010, Donna Long, of Gov Solutions, approached several banks in Hampton Roads in an attempt to obtain financing she would need to grow her business. In 2009, the Virginia Beach company had over $3 million in sales, but had issues with cash flow.
Recognizing that her 8(a) designation gave her an opportunity both for significant growth, as well as new business, she set about to get funding from the banks to enable her to expand and obtain a bank line of credit. Unfortunately every bank she approached declined to lend her the money because they thought her company’s balance sheet was weak and the fact that the company had experienced losses in two of the three preceding years.
The SBDC began working with Ms. Long in October 2010 and identified a number of operational and organizational areas upon which the business could improve. With certain changes, the business would be better able to communicate the company’s financial results to local lending institutions and take advantage of its true potential.
In 2011, Gov Solutions obtained $300,000 in financing which enabled Ms. Long to better manage cash flow and growth. Her company’s 2011 year-end profit and loss statement showed revenues in excess of $8.5 million and a net income of over $200,000. During the last two years, Ms. Long has been able to add additional employees each year to handle the growth the company is experiencing as well as operate more efficiently.
For more about the Small Business Development Center of Hampton Roads, visit www.hrsbdc.org.