UW-Green Bay SBDC’s Ray York has had to pivot his business during the pandemic. To survive the challenges facing the travel industry, The Rochester Inn in Sheboygan Falls identified the need for an innovative strategy for their “small, clean and caring Inn.” They needed to find creative ways to elevate their guest’s experience while reducing operating expenses and maximizing revenues. In addition, based on the global mindsight shift towards sustainable business practices, they prioritized the implementation of a sustainability strategy that will reduce future expenses while elevating the creditability of The Rochester Inn brand.
The Rochester Inn already has a strong reputation of being a “small, clean and caring Inn,” and part of their COVID survival strategy is to continue to treat their guests as family, while keeping them safe during their stay is their highest priority. They have implemented a reduced-contact experience for their guests’ safety and have made great strides to accommodate this through more virtual interactions and personalized messaging. They have maintained their in-room breakfast service and increased their in-room amenities for an improved experience and personalized travel stay.
With less travelers and an improved guest experience, they needed to find ways to cut operating expenses and maximize revenues. With methodical adjustments they have been successful in reducing their operating expenses, while consistently evaluating trends to realize their full market value.
The Inn is 173 years old and there is an opportunity to reduce expenses through green business practices and renovations, in coordination with becoming Travel Green Certified through Travel Wisconsin. They have taken steps towards efficiency upgrades and Travel Green Certification throughout 2020, with efficiency upgrades and certification ongoing in 2021.
SBDC’s at UW-Green Bay Entrepreneurial Training Program graduates, Melissa and Kevin Adlebush, are opening a third Aurora Apothecary location, this time in Green Bay. The grand opening is planned for Saturday Nov. 28, 2020 in celebration of Small Business Saturday. The new location is at 133 N. Broadway in Green Bay. The new store has homegrown bulk herbs, hand blended teas, handmade herbal items such as tinctures, salves, and body products. It features a blending bar where customers can scent their own body products. They also carry crystals, aroma jewelry, tarot decks, and a plethora of books. Aurora Apothecary locations: 1133 N, Broadway in Green Bay, 607 N. Richmond Street in Appleton, and a seasonal store at 9428 Cedar Street, Fish Creek in Door County.
This semester, the students in Maree Baumann’s Entrepreneurship & Small Business (Writing a Business Plan) college-credit course at Southern Door High School, are experiencing first-hand what it’s like to be a client working with one of the support organizations available to entrepreneurs in the state of Wisconsin. Tara Carr, director of the Small Business Development Center at UW-Green Bay, is joining the class virtually throughout the semester. Two meetings have already taken place in which Tara has given an overview of SBDC and business plans, and each student has pitched his/her proposed business idea to Tara. Maree and Tara have developed an outline for the virtual meetings that will cover the 5 P’s of marketing; target market research—how to conduct research and where to get the information; NAICS codes; industry analysis; SWOT analysis; operations/organizational plan; inventory, suppliers, floor plan, staffing plan, point of sale, payments; finances; risk management – pros and cons of owning a business; cybersecurity; business growth; and leadership. This enriching partnership is to encourage and promote entrepreneurism in Northeast Wisconsin.
The Sheboygan County Economic Development Corporation has teamed up with the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at UW-Green Bay to bring the Entrepreneurship Training Program (ETP) virtually, via Zoom, to entrepreneurs of Sheboygan County. To register for the class, call (920)-366-9063 or email email@example.com.
Congratulations to UW-Green Bay alumna Jodi Gonzales of Jodi Rose Studio for submitting the winning business plan of the 19th annual Door County Entrepreneur Training Program business plan contest.
Gonzales completed the Entrepreneurial Training Program (ETP) class facilitated by Small Business Development Center Director Tara Carr. ETP is an eight-week course for startup ventures or current business owners that want to grow an existing business. SBDC consultant David Stauffacher has consulted Jodi throughout the process.
The Door County Economic Development Corporation and UW-Green Bay Small Business Development Center commend Jodi Rose on her exceptionally written business plan, which scored 97/100 points.
“The Entrepreneurial Training Program was a real game-changer,” Gonzales stated. “Alongside a general description of my business, and development of my budget, I was encouraged to closely examine the various staff and management roles I perform as a solo entrepreneur. This informed improvements in time management, work space, job satisfaction, and overall performance. Meanwhile, it helped me define more specific and attainable goals.”
As the 2020 business plan contest winner Jodi Rose Studio receives $1,000 in cash to use on business expenses. The $1,000 award was generously sponsored by Associated Bank, Bank of Luxemburg, and Nicolet National Bank.
“I have reviewed many business plans in my career but Jodi’s was not only detailed and well researched, it was stunning in design,” noted Steve Jenkins, executive director of the Door County Economic Development Corporation. “Jodi not only had a robust, well-crafted plan but she was able to draw you deeply into her vision and story to better understand her business.”
A panel of experienced judges representing the 3 sponsoring banks evaluated the top business plans from the entrepreneurs enrolled in the 2020 class. The entrepreneur students learned the building blocks of a successful business plan, and wrote their plans with the help of Tara Carr and Dave Stauffacher from the UW-Green Bay SBDC and DCEDC. The eight-week course covered such topics as Research, Marketing, Organizational Matters, Financial Planning, Projections and Managing Growth.
Other business plans submitted for consideration represented a variety of different industries:
Smokin’ Tom’s TEAM BBQ – BBQ Food Truck (2nd Place)
Euphoria 54209 – Hair Salon (3rd Place)
Door County Yoga & Massage – Yoga, Health & Wellness (4th Place)
Under an Acre Farm – Farm Stand & Edible Plant Nursery
All students who took the time to finish their business plan is a winner. By putting in the effort to learn the skills of business planning, they have each greatly improved their chances of succeeding in their business ventures. Students that finish and turn in a passing business plan are eligible for a grant from the Small Business Development Center, reducing the cost of the class for each student from $1,000 to $250.
“The Entrepreneurial Training Program (ETP) is a great resource for business owners, at any stage, to create marketing, operational and strategic plans, while preparing financially to meet their goals” added Tara Carr, Director of the Small Business Development Center. “The Small Business Development Center gives ongoing support and consulting expertise to ETP clients and Door County businesses. The Door County Economic Development Corporation and the Small Business Development Center work collaboratively by strengthening entrepreneurial skills and developing strong relationships with the business community.”
On Friday, July 31st, the U.S. SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza, along with Wisconsin District Director Eric Ness toured three businesses in the Green Bay area that received Paycheck Protection Program loans. UW-Green Bay Small Business Development Center consultant, David Stauffacher, joined Administrator Carranza for the tour at Reynolds Packing. Stauffacher has been advising Reynold Packaging, a woman-owned business, during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Reynolds Packaging pivoted their business to manufacture personal protective equipment. Reynolds quickly started mass producing two types of PPE: a face mask specifically for those in healthcare and a filter that sticks to reusable masks. The non-woven material has been approved by the U.S Food and Drug Administration under an Emergency Use Authorization. The filtration level is at least 95 percent and helps keep particles from entering or exiting the mask.
The PPP loan is one of the largest that Northeast Wisconsin received. New records released by the federal government show thousands of other local companies got loans. Records show that 15 area companies received between $5 and 10 million. Dozens more received more than one million dollars.
“The big picture is that businesses need help right now,” UWGB Small Business Development Center director Tara Carr said.
Carr said there were some overall trends in who received loans.
“There is a difference in the money that has been accessed in Green Bay, which is primarily construction and retail and restaurants and accommodations,” she said. “You see the same in Appleton, but then there’s also that healthcare transition of businesses and that need.”
When local small businesses and entrepreneurs needed help navigating the pandemic, the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) of UW-Green Bay answered the call—literally—serving remotely, 591 distinct businesses with disaster consultation since March 15… the most of any state center (Madison was second with 163 businesses served).Wisconsin SBDCs have been the “go to” for the EIDL and PPP opportunities for small businesses. During the start of the pandemic, UW-Green Bay transferred three people from the Continuing Education and Community Engagement Staff to temporarily the SBDC staff to help manage the overwhelming workload.
Sheboygan County, Wis. (WBAY) – The Sheboygan County Economic Development Corporation (SCEDC) has partnered with the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at UW-Green Bay (UWGB) to provide timely guidance to Sheboygan County entrepreneurs on the various assistance programs related to the COVID-19 economic disaster.