Jim Giffin of the Sumter was recently recognized as South Carolina’s State Star by the Association of Small Business Development Centers (ASBDC). In a ceremony at the national ASBDC convention in New Orleans, Giffin joined other stars being honored for their significant contributions to the economic development of their states.
Giffin’s role with the South Carolina Small Business Development Centers (SC SBDC) network was expanded in 2011 to include managing the Veterans Business Program. In the past three years as business consultant and Veterans Business Manager, Giffin has logged nearly 700 counseling sessions with more than 400 clients. His clients have started 45 new businesses and generated nearly $16 million in investments resulting in the creation or retention of nearly 200 jobs.
Giffin specializes in business and family financial estate planning. He provides managerial and technical assistance and training for both new and existing businesses. When helping small business owners, Giffin speaks from experience. For more than two decades, he ran Giffin Financial Services in Sumter. He also started and then sold a small packing and shipping company with his wife, Shirley Giffin.
“My philosophy is not to help people start a business, but to help people be successful in business,” Giffin said. He has a wide range of clients with whom he consults. “I’ve had clients who do everything from opening a funeral home in Manning to raising boa constrictors in Sumter.”
Giffin started working when he was twelve years old delivering morning newspapers. He joined the Air Force at seventeen where he earned an associate degree in aeronautic science and became a FAA certified aircraft mechanic and a commercial pilot/instrument flight instructor. Giffin retired from the Air Force in December 1981 after 22 years of service.
Giffin earned an M.A. in both business administration and management information systems. He has taught a variety of business, management, computer and accounting courses at both USC Sumter and Morris College.
“We are very pleased to have Jim Giffin as our State Star,” said SC SBDC State Director Michele Abraham. “Jim exemplifies the can-do attitude and tireless dedication to clients that we seek in our consultants. He’s out there working events and making contact with our military business owners, even on weekends. Jim is a stellar representative of our network.”
Seventeen South Carolina Small Business Development Centers across the state offer individual, confidential business consulting at no cost. Highly-trained consultants assist both existing and startup companies. Consultants provide a variety of services, including advisement on business plans, fiscal and operations management, financing options, marketing strategies, human resources and much more. Centers conduct affordable education workshops and provide referrals to useful business resources. Specialized services include government contracting, exporting, veterans business assistance and minority outreach. Visit www.SCSBDC.com to find a center and make an appointment.