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Every year thousands of small business owners turn to the SC SBDC for private consulting. Watch our video and learn how entrepreneurs in all areas of business and industry have found success with the assistance of their local Small Business Development Center.







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Success Story Archive

konaShaved ice makes cool business for Myrtle Beach entrepreneurs

Kay and Marvin Keene, both professors, were interested in finding a franchise opportunity, so they attended the Myrtle Beach Area SBDC’s restaurant business development conference. Marvin had been researching several franchise options and at the conference, he discussed ownership styles and business models with a franchise expert. He also made an appointment to discuss his business plan with Myrtle Beach Area SBDC for private consulting.

In March, he met with Janet Graham, area manager for the Myrtle Beach Area SBDC located at Coastal Carolina University. They further researched franchise opportunities and by April, the Keenes had decided to purchase a Kona Ice franchise, which is a shaved ice refreshment company. Shaved ice is not just the Hawaiian name for a snow cone. Shaved ice has a different texture than snow cones and they come in generally larger sizes. This tropical cousin of the mainland snow cone also comes in a variety of flavors such as guava, mango, coconut and passion fruit. Specialty items include green tea, a low calorie option with vitamin C called Vita-blend and a sports blend that replaces important nutrients during hot South Carolina days.

“The Keenes are model clients and a real joy to assist,” Graham said. “They came in knowing that franchising was a viable option for them. The SBDC helped to determine the best franchising opportunity for their lifestyle and personality. The Keenes work ethic is evident in their dedication to the success of Kona Ice.”



News Archive

Nancy Williamson named SC SBDC State Star, helps nearly 1,000 businesses

Nancy Williamson, CBA, was recently selected the South Carolina Small Business Development Center (SC SBDC) network’s State Star, a distinction imparted by her peers. This honor is based on exemplary performance as a business consultant in specific key performance indicators, her enthusiasm for representing the network in the business community, her contributions to local economic development and her longstanding contributions to the SC SBDC.

Williamson has been running the Newberry Area SBDC located at Newbery College for more than five years. She works primarily with Newberry County clients, but also helps her fellow consultants across the state when they need assistance with web design and social media for their clients. Williamson sees around 60 clients individually and hundreds in her workshops each year.

Williamson offers all types of consulting expertise for both existing businesses and startups. The emphasis of the consulting she provides is in the areas of search engine optimization (SEO), online marketing and social media.

“Many of my clients are on a tight budget and can’t afford extensive marketing, so I help them through the use of free advertising and marketing resources,” Williamson said. “Most of my clients are very uncomfortable with using social media at first, and some downright refuse, but then they come around once they learn how they can build brand awareness and promote their business at no cost. During our first meeting, I look at their website and give them ideas on how to improve functionality and show them simple steps to increase their online pres



University of South Carolina South Carolina State University Winthrop University Clemson University

The U.S. Small Business Administration Frank L Roddey ASBDC