Archive for the ‘Small Business’ Category

Tony’s Canvas and Leather Wins Manufacturer of the Year from SBDC

Monday, May 23rd, 2011
Tony O'Geen

Tony O’Geen, owner of Tony’s Canvas and Leather in Massena and 1984 SUNY Canton graduate, mends a hockey glove in his shop. O’Geen won the SBDC’s Manufacturing Entrepreneur of the Year award.

If you rip it, Tony O’Geen can stitch it.

O’Geen, owner of Tony’s Canvas and Leather in Massena, has been selected by the New York State Small Business Development Center (SBDC) as Manufacturing Entrepreneur of the Year after working with the SBDC office at SUNY Canton. He will receive his award at a recognition dinner on May 24 as part of the SBDC’s Annual Conference at the Crowne Plaza in Lake Placid.

The 1984 SUNY Canton graduate started Tony’s Canvas and Leather from his home in 2001 after realizing the demand for local sports equipment repair services. He traveled to Montreal, Canada, to learn the art of re-palming hockey gloves from Eagle Hockey and began posting flyers in the local hockey arenas and sports facilities. His grass roots efforts paid off and he quickly expanded his offerings to manufacturing and repair of all variety of sports bags and equipment. He soon began repairing hockey equipment for local colleges, including SUNY Canton.

“Tony represents the idea of a true American entrepreneur,” Dale Rice, SUNY Canton SBDC director said. “He saw a need in the market and found a way to fulfill it, beginning as a part-time, home-based business and growing gradually to become a force in the global marketplace.”

O’Geen began working with the SBDC in 2008 on a variety of business development initiatives. Over time, he amassed an impressive menu of services worthy of his slogan, “You Rip It, I’ll Stitch It.”

He gradually expanded to work on leather saddlebags, boat and trailer covers, tack repair and shoe repair. He also began creating custom printed and embroidered apparel, fire bags, hunting bags, signs and banners.

Several years ago O’Geen worked with the Northern Adirondack Trading Cooperative to develop his website, www.tonyscanvas.com. It immediately gave him access to a global market and in recent years he has attracted customers from as far away as Australia.His success is even more notable considering that up until this year the business was a part-time venture in addition to his full-time employment as a New York State Corrections Officer.

Upon retirement earlier this year, Tony set out to further expand his company by seeking grant and loan funding through the St. Lawrence County IDA. The funds allowed him to purchase new equipment that will greatly expand his printing logos and sign services.

Media inquiries should be directed to Gregory Kie, Media Relations Coordinator, or call 315/386-7528.


 

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SUNY Canton SBDC to Host Women’s Business Boot Camp & Resource Expo

Thursday, February 24th, 2011

Local women entrepreneurs will have the chance to learn about the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) newly launched Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contract program next week.

The SUNY Canton Small Business Development Center (SBDC) will host the 5th Annual Women’s Business Boot Camp from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Wednesday, March 2 in the College’s Richard W. Miller Campus Center. The program will feature Cathy Pokines, director of marketing and communications from the SBA’s Syracuse District office, who will discuss the new federal contracting program.

“This year more than ever, it’s important for women-owned businesses to take advantage of training and networking opportunities such as the boot camp because of both the economic climate and the launch of this new program,” said Dale Rice, director of the SUNY Canton SBDC.
Women-owned businesses are one of the fastest growing sectors of the economy, according to a statement released by the SBA. The Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) Federal Contract program will provide greater access to federal contracting opportunities for both WOSBs and economically-disadvantaged women-owned small businesses (EDWOSBs) to help them take their businesses to the next level.

The day-long event will also include training sessions on credit issues and energy efficiency programs for small business throughout the morning. Following lunch and Pokines’ discussion, the event will conclude with a financing panel where lenders will share information on funding programs and requirements for funding approval.

In addition to the Boot Camp, the event will feature a Resource Expo where area businesses and organizations can showcase products and services. The Expo will be open throughout the day with special networking sessions scheduled for conference participants to explore local resources.

The SBDC received sponsorship from the Center for Entrepreneurship at Clarkson University and the SeaComm Federal Credit Union in order to bring the Boot Camp to the area this year. Last year’s conference was attended by nearly 50 women from the North Country region.

“We are pleased these sponsors are supporting the SBDC and see the benefits of bringing this valuable training to our local entrepreneurs once again,” Rice said.

The cost to attend the Boot Camp is $45 per person, while registration as an Expo exhibitor is $30 (which includes the lunch program). The cost is $65 for those wishing to attend the Boot Camp and exhibit in the Expo.

For more information or to register for the event, contact the SUNY Canton SBDC at (315) 386-7312.

 

 

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SUNY Canton SBDC Offering Free Business Sessions in Gouverneur

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

SUNY Canton’s Small Business Development Center is arming local entrepreneurs and business owners with information and resources to help them succeed despite the country’s recent economic difficulties.

The Center (SBDC) has teamed up with the Gouverneur Chamber of Commerce, the Gouverneur Area Development Corporation and the St. Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce to host a series of informational breakfast sessions on a variety of business-related topics throughout June and early July.

The program is designed for current business owners and people thinking about starting a business in Gouverneur and the surrounding North Country communities.

“Gouverneur’s Chamber of Commerce approached us and wanted to find a way to help local businesses,” said Michelle Collins, the SBDC’s business advisor. “They want local business owners and entrepreneurs to be aware of the multitude of local resources we have here in the North Country, and this gives them a starting point.”

With topics such as business resources, energy, and cost saving strategies headlining the series so far, it has already attracted 25 people at the first two sessions, which were held on June 10 and June 17.

The final two sessions, which will focus on financing and funding opportunities, as well as employee relations and compliance issues, will be held from 7:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, June 24 and Thursday, July 1, respectively. Both sessions will be located at the Methodist Church, 34 Grove Street, Gouverneur.

Panelists for the financial session on June 24 titled, “Show Me the Money,” include employees and business leaders from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Small Business Association, Gouverneur Area Development Corporation, Community Bank, Gouverneur Savings and Loan, Key Bank, St. Lawrence County Industrial Development Agency, New York Business Development Corporation, and PathStone’s Enterprise Center.

On July 1, the focus will move towards handling employees, with representatives from One Stop Career Center and the New York State Department of Labor presenting, along with a local accountant and local lawyer, in the session, “Keeping out of Hot Water.”

“For our organization, this has been a great way to reach out to different communities and business leaders around the county,” Collins said. “Businesses shouldn’t have to come see us in Canton to benefit from our knowledge and services. We are accessible to businesses everywhere because we go into the communities and provide the pertinent training and resources businesses need.”

The cost of attending the sessions is free, but pre-registration is required. For more information on attending any of the remaining sessions, contact Donna Lawrence at Gouverneur’s Chamber of Commerce at (315) 287-0331.

Media inquiries should be directed to Gregory Kie, Media Relations Coordinator, or call 315/386-7528.


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Canton Cake Shop Owner Recognized by SBA and SUNY Canton SBDC

Monday, May 10th, 2010

People in the North Country have relied on Cindy Murdie, owner of Cindy’s Cake Shop in Canton, to brighten their celebrations with baked treats for more than a decade. Her cakes have been the centerpiece of innumerable birthdays, anniversaries, retirements and weddings.

Today, (Friday, May 7, 2010) Murdie herself was the center of a celebration at the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) annual luncheon in Syracuse. She received the Small Business Excellence Award presented by the SBA and the Small Business Development Center at SUNY Canton.

“Cindy is a perfect example of the type of successful business owners who drive the country’s economy,” states Dale Rice, Director of the SUNY Canton SBDC. “We are delighted to be able to recognize Cindy for all of her hard work and success.”

Murdie was already well on her way to success when she contacted the SBDC in 2000 for assistance in expanding her business, according to Rice. With the help of the SBDC Murdie was able to secure funding to construct a building on Route 68 and move the business from her original location on Miner Street. She was able to add additional kitchen space and hire new staffing. She also expanded her product line with a variety of cookies sold at area stores and cafes. Cindy’s Cake Shop also keeps an inventory of ready-made cakes for those last-minute events, and carries an inventory of candy- and cake-making supplies.

Murdie began doing business as Cindy’s Cake Shop in 1998 in a tiny rental property on Miner Street.

The shop now employs two people and is considering further expansion opportunities.

Media inquiries should be directed to Gregory Kie, Media Relations Coordinator, or call 315/386-7528.


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St. Lawrence County Clerk Featured at Women’s Business Bootcamp

Friday, February 26th, 2010

The luncheon will feature a keynote from St. Lawrence County Clerk Patricia Ritchie.

St. Lawrence County Clerk Patricia Ritchie will be the keynote speaker at the Small Business Development Center’s Women’s Business Bootcamp and Resource Expo.

The Women’s Business Bootcamp will run from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday, March 4, in the SUNY Canton Richard W. Miller Campus Center. Ritchie will be addressing the conference during the luncheon and will be discussing how positive leadership can impact businesses of all sizes.

“This event is a valuable resource for north country women in business,” says Dale A. Rice, SBDC Director. “It provides both educational opportunities and extremely valuable networking experiences that have proven value for our area entrepreneurs.”

Other conference presentations include a marketing through social networking section by Jeff Yette of Slic Network Solutions and a commercial financing presentation with Charles Beach of Key Bank One “We will also be hosting a panel of women business owners who will share their best practices and personal experiences as entrepreneurs,” Rice added.

The Women’s Resource Expo portion features area businesses and organizations and showcases their products and services.

The Women’s Business Bootcamp is $45 per person. Registration as a Resource Expo exhibitor is $30 and includes lunch and the keynote lecture. Registration for both the Bootcamp and exhibit in the Expo is $65.

For further information, or to register, contact the SUNY Canton SBDC at (315) 386-7312.

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SBDC Offices Moving Back on Campus

Wednesday, May 13th, 2009

The SUNY Canton Small Business Development Center (SBDC) will be moving its base of operations back on campus next month. The College also announced it will be closing its Massena Education Center located in Massena’s St. Lawrence Centre Mall. The two satellite offices are located in the same area in the mall.

“When we opened the Massena Education Center ten years ago, it was to provide residents in that area a convenient option to take college courses,” said SUNY Canton President Joseph L. Kennedy. “We are now doing that online with more than 100 courses per semester offered through SUNY Canton OL. As a result, we’ve seen enrollments decline in Massena enough where it didn’t make fiscal sense to continue our operations there, particularly in light of the massive state budget cuts we’ve experienced.”

SUNY Canton’s overall enrollment continues to experience extraordinary growth. The College surpassed 3,000 students for the first time this past fall. It marks a growth of nearly 50 percent from 15 years ago. Kennedy noted the two full-time employees at the Massena Education Center will be relocated back to the main campus.

The SBDC Offices are expected to relocate back on the SUNY Canton campus next month. They will be located in Wicks Hall.

“The SBDC will continue to provide tremendous support to the small businesses and entrepreneurs of North Country,” said SBDC Director Dale Rice. “We are also currently looking into options to locate a satellite office in Massena so we can maintain a presence here.”

The SBDC has been helping small businesses through all phases of growth for over 20 years. Advisors also provide free individual counseling on business planning, marketing strategies, tax requirements, financial analysis, government procurement, compliance issues, and record keeping in addition to periodic training sessions on a variety of business related topics.

SUNY Canton offers a wide variety of career-driven bachelor’s, associate, and certificate programs, as well as three master’s degrees in conjunction with SUNYIT, Utica. Most of SUNY Canton’s new four-year programs are designed so students can take them on-campus, online, or both. SUNY Canton OnLine features more than 100 courses online each semester. The College offers a four-day academic week allowing students greater flexibility for work, family, or other obligations. The College’s athletic teams belong to the NAIA’s Sunrise Conference, enabling students to compete in their respective sports for four years.

Media inquiries should be directed to Gregory Kie, Media Relations Coordinator, or call 315/386-7528.

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SUNY Canton Entrepreneur Recognized for Business Success

Wednesday, June 25th, 2008
Sarah and Lucas Manning

CAFE SUCCESS – Pictured are Sarah and Lucas Manning, proprietors of The Partridge Cafe in Downtown Canton. Lucas recently won the Young Entrepreneur of the Year award through the Small Business Development Center and the U.S. Small Business Administration.

A twenty-something SUNY Canton alumnus was recently honored by both the New York State Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) as Young Entrepreneur of the Year.

Lucas Manning, owner of The Partridge Café in Canton, received with the SBDC award at the organization’s annual staff training conference at the Hudson Valley Resort in Kerhonkson. Manning was again recognized at the SBA’s Syracuse District Small Business Excellence Awards luncheon in Syracuse.

“In just three years, Lucas has made his business a successful venture and important part of the Canton community,” noted Canton SBDC Director Dale Rice. “His ‘just do it’ attitude and his ability to make wise business decisions will assure that The Partridge Café will continue to thrive.”

In 2005, after receiving a Business Administration degree from SUNY Canton, Manning purchased the Partridge Café in downtown Canton. The café features an inexpensive and unique menu of coffees, sandwiches, wraps, and locally-made bagels. Lucas said he is focused on providing an excellent atmosphere with good food, great coffee, and plenty of reading material.

While maintaining the café’s original ambiance, Manning has partnered with other businesses to increase services in accordance to his market. He is an agent for Trailways bus service, has partnered with The Birchbark Book Shop, and recently began selling microbrew beer and locally produced wines to compliment a slate of live entertainment on the weekends.

Manning worked with Canton SBDC Business Advisor Michelle Collins when he purchased the business and again later when it was time to expand. Collins, who is also an adjunct business instructor at the college, taught Manning during his college studies.

“From the very beginning, Lucas exuded confidence and determination,” Collins noted. “Lucas is the model entrepreneur, doing everything the ‘right’ way and works hard while keeping a smile on his face.”

At age 26, Lucas continues to take college courses while operating the business with his wife, Sarah.

Media inquiries should be directed to Gregory Kie, Media Relations Coordinator, or call 315/386-7528.

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SBDC Ribbon Cutting at St. Lawrence Centre, April 23

Monday, April 7th, 2008

The SUNY Canton Small Business Development Center (SBDC) will be holding an open house and ribbon cutting ceremony at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, April 23, at their new location in the St. Lawrence Centre Mall in Massena.

Representatives from the Massena Chamber, SUNY Canton, New York State SBDC Central Offices, Small Business Administration, and Federal, State, County and Local politicians will be on hand for the ceremony and to provide brief statements in support of the SBDC program and the small business community that it serves.

“Our grand opening falls during National Small Business Week,”Dale Rice, Director of the SBDC said. “It seemed an appropriate time to invite the community in which we serve to an event that also recognizes the small business owner and aspiring entrepreneurs.”

The SBDC Open House is open to the public, refreshments will be provided throughout the day. The office is located in the Saint Lawrence Centre Mall next to the SUNY Canton Education Center.

Media inquiries should be directed to Gregory Kie, Media Relations Coordinator, or call 315/386-7528.

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SBDC to Host Conference for Women in Entrepreneurship and Business at SUNY Canton

Sunday, February 10th, 2008

The SUNY Canton Small Business Development Center (SBDC) will host its second annual women’s conference, Women in Entrepreneurship and Business, from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursday, February 21, in the Richard W. Miller Campus Center Room 212.

“We have planned another great conference and will be adding some new features that we think this year’s attendees will love,” said SBDC Director Dale Rice. Last year’s conference was attended by approximately 40 women from across the north country region.

One addition to the WEB Conference this year is a Resource Expo where area businesses and organizations will showcase their products and services. The Resource Expo will be set up from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the Campus Center Intramural Gym, with special networking sessions scheduled so conference participants can spend exclusive time with Expo vendors. The Resource Expo will also be open to the general public free of charge.

The conference will feature Melanie Upson-Rafferty of Cortel Improvement and Cathy Pokines of the U.S. Small Business Administration as the day’s keynote speakers. Upson-Rafferty will discuss how women can establish credibility in the professional world and will include pointers on “power talk,” confidence, and how to present yourself and your ideas. Pokines will speak about the state of women-owned business in the economy.

The conference features a variety of mini-workshops on topics such as online marketing, credit issues, financing and accounting. Participants will also have the opportunity to attend a panel discussion by successful business owners to gain insight into their best practices.

Cost to attend the conference is $45 per person. Admission to the Resource Expo only is free to the general public. For further information, or to register for the conference, contact the Canton SBDC at (315) 386-7312.

SUNY Canton offers a wide variety of career-driven bachelor’s, associate, and certificate programs, as well as three master’s degrees in conjunction with SUNYIT, Utica. Most of SUNY Canton’s new four-year programs are designed so students can take them on-campus, online, or both. SUNY Canton OnLine features more than 65 courses online each semester. The college’s athletic teams have joined the NAIA’s Sunrise Conference, enabling students to compete in their respective sports for four years.

Media inquiries should be directed to Gregory Kie, Media Relations Coordinator, or call 315/386-7528.

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SUNY Canton SBDC Has Record Impact on Local Economy

Friday, October 19th, 2007

The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at SUNY Canton has had the best year ever, according to Director Dale Rice.

“The economic impact of the businesses that received our assistance in the past year has almost equaled the total economic impact for our past seven years of operation,” Rice said.

From Jan. 1, 2006 through September 30, the Canton SBDC’s clients recorded more than $24 million in economic impact as compared to the more than $25 million of economic impact reported from 1998 to 2005. The economic impact figure is tabulated by combining investments by entrepreneurs, financial institutions, and economic development agencies which resulted in the opening or expansion of a business.

In addition to economic impact, the SBDC also tracks the creation and retention of jobs by new and existing businesses. These figures show marked improvement with 752 jobs recorded from October 1998 to December 2005, and 284 jobs being created in the past 21 months.

“A key factor contributing to this increased investment by SBDC-assisted businesses is our effort to strengthen our strategic partnerships with local lenders and economic developers,” Rice said. “We have worked closely with several agencies to increase client funding, but Raymond Fountain (St. Lawrence County Industrial Development Agency Director of Economic Development) and Patrick Kelly (Deputy Director) have been particularly supportive of our center’s efforts to assist the business community.”

Rice also said Senator James Wright and SUNY Canton President Dr. Joseph Kennedy contributed continuing support to the SBDC program. “Senator Wright and Dr. Kennedy worked diligently to have the SBDC at SUNY Canton,” Rice said. “If it weren’t for them we wouldn’t be here to offer our assistance to the area’s small businesses.”

The New York State SBDC recently underwent a state-wide accreditation review and was recertified without limitations or restrictions for the next four years. Accreditation without conditions is a level only attained by about 10 percent of all programs nationally.

The SBDC has been helping start-up and existing small businesses through all phases of growth for over 20 years. Advisors also provide free individual counseling on business planning, tax requirements, financial analysis, government procurement, compliance issues, and record keeping in addition to periodic training sessions on a variety of business related topics. To schedule an appointment with the SUNY Canton SBDC, call 315-386-7312.

 

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