Governor Steve Bullock Wednesday joined four Montana small businesses to celebrate their successes with the help of the Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) at the second annual SBDC Day event at Anchor Fitness in Great Falls.
“Montana is built on the innovative ideas of our small business owners, and it’s an honor to celebrate them,” said Governor Bullock. “These businesses, with support of the Small Business Development Centers, strive to make their communities and Montana a great example for future entrepreneurs.”
Anchor Fitness and 2J’s Fresh Market are two SBDC success story businesses that promote a healthy lifestyle by encouraging people stay active and sustain healthy eating habits. Both have successful businesses thanks to the support and expertise of their local SBDC business advisor.
Governor Bullock recognized March 21, 2018 as SBDC Day in Montana. The event unites 10 regional centers in Montana and nearly 1,000 SBDC centers across the country and the hundreds of thousands of clients they’ve served in their near 40-year history. The Montana SBDC network has assisted more than 29,000 Montana entrepreneurs and nearly 6,500 businesses since it began in 1989. In just the last year, Montana SBDC’s have helped launched 78 new businesses and created or retained 841 jobs.
“The SBDC has been invaluable to us, and the fact that it is offered at no cost to the business is truly remarkable,” said Anchor Fitness owner Tamara Podry.
Social media plays a central role in connecting businesses across the country on SBDC Day. Small businesses, partners and advocates are invited to help spread the word using the hashtag #SBDCDay to share what SBDC’s do and how small businesses make a difference in local communities. To learn more about SBDC Day, and to join the movement, visit http://sbdc.mt.gov and http://www.AmericasSBDC.org/SBDCDay.
"This day is important to tell the stories of successful businesses and the support that the Montana SBDC network strives to provide in building a thriving economy in Montana," said SBDC State Director Chad Moore.
ABOUT THE BUSINESSES:
- Anchor Fitness, Great Falls
Zach and Tamara Podry embarked on the journey of opening a lifestyle fitness gym in Great Falls, MT when they made their dream of becoming entrepreneurs a reality. They created the business Anchor Fitness that focuses on training programs, fitness classes, and personal training mentorship. They have successfully operated their business and provided a welcoming space for all ages since 2016. The Podrys found the SBDC and Jason Nitschke, Great Falls Development Authority Regional SBDC Director, by searching the Internet for local resources. They have been clients since March 2016 and have met with Jason monthly to work on a variety of business topics. With the information and consulting Jason has provided Anchor Fitness has been able to launch their Certified Personal Trainer mentor program. Since the launch they have graduated four Certified Personal Trainers and currently employ two of those trainers.
- 2J’s Fresh Market, Great Falls
2J’s Fresh Market has been serving Great Falls, MT, as a locally owned and operated business since 1986. However, Michael Vetere become the official sole owner of the business in 2016 when he bought out his partner. The business has kept the same standards as a wholesale produce company to natural food store, they have worked hard to meet the needs of customers by delivering the freshest products at the best possible prices. Jason Nitschke, Great Falls Development Authority Regional SBDC Director, began working with Michael in December 2016 and has provided 18 hours of assistance to help make 2J’s Fresh Market a strong successful business. With the help of Jason, Michael has been able to experience a rewarding ownership transition, develop marketing strategies, and produce a business that encourage the community to live a healthy lifestyle.
Ranch Resources is a business that assists landowners with managing their ranch properties. Logan Miller and Dan Durham embarked on Ranch Resources when Logan was presented an opportunity to purchase the existing business and in turn he asked Dan to join the entrepreneurial path with him. Both Logan and Dan had background with the business and with the knowledge that they gained they decided to turn to Headwaters SBDC for assistance in purchasing the business. Julie Jaksha, Headwaters Regional SBDC Director, began working with Logan and Dan to help them understand the financials of taking over Ranch Resources and provided them with technical resources. They were able to complete a business plan and utilize the Headwaters IRP loan funds to match the contribution of Ruby Valley Bank. They were able to acquire the business and have been successfully doing so since fall of 2017.
Mark Huntington is the owner of Copper Tee and produces a large amount of apparel for UPTOP Clothing which is a company that continues to see substantial growth and a demand for their products. With the growing demand Mark realized he need to expand his operation, purchase new equipment, and find a suitable space that would allow him to increase capacity and production time to fulfill the order demands from UPTOP. Mark connected with Julie Jaksha, Headwaters Regional SBDC Director, for assistance in understanding how he could make this expansion possible. They worked together to understand what he could afford and how it would impact his bottom line. They analyzed financials, operations, customer satisfaction, and the equipment needed which lead Mark to make the decision to lease a larger space and purchase the new equipment. Mark gained confidence and has grown his business by more than 20%.
About Montana Small Business Development Centers
The Montana SBDC Network is funded in-part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration and the Montana Department of Commerce that began in 1989. Over the course of its 28-year history, the Montana SBDC has assisted more than 29,000 Montana entrepreneurs and nearly 6,500 businesses. The Montana SBDC Lead Center, located in Helena, oversees administrative operations with satellite offices throughout the state. Montana SBDC's certified Business Consultants provide one-to-one management advising to small businesses at no cost to clients. For more information, visit sbdc.mt.gov.
About America’s SBDC
America's SBDC represents the Nation's 63 Small Business Development Centers, a national network of partnerships uniting higher education, state and local nonprofit economic development organizations, private enterprise and government. It is the Small Business Administration's largest partnership program, providing management and technical assistance to help Americans start, run and grow their own businesses. Learn more at www.AmericasSBDC.org.