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Monday, July 30, 2012

Aug 11: Eighth Annual Homegrown Tomato Fest



HOMEGROWN TOMATO FEST VIII
A Celebration of All Things Tomato



The Eighth Annual Homegrown Tomato Fest will take place Saturday, August 11, 2012, from 8 - 11 a.m. at the Kingsport Farmers' Market, Center Street & Clinchfield Street in Kingsport. This celebration of the juicy red fruit features tomato contests, free tomato tastings (including many heirloom varieties), free tomato refreshments, culinary demonstrations by Food City and UT Extension, tomato-growing advice, tomato recipes, activities for kids, and fun for the whole family.

Tomato lovers are invited to enter the Best Salsa Contest and to bring tomatoes to compete in the following categories: Best Tasting, Biggest, Prettiest, Ugliest, Most Bizarre, and Best Dressed. Admission is free and there are no entry fees. Entry forms may be downloaded from the SAPS website, www.saps.us, or picked up at Downtown Kingsport Association (DKA) or Ward's Feed Store Entries will be accepted from 8 - 9 am for all contests, and winners will be announced after 10 a.m.

Homegrown Tomato Fest is sponsored by the Southern Appalachian Plant Society (SAPS) and Downtown Kingsport Association. For more information, call 423-288-3675 or e-mail dmarshall@chartertn.net

Southern Appalachian Plant Society (SAPS) is an regional non-profit educational organization which promotes sound horticultural practices in our homes and communities. Its members are horticulturists, Master Gardeners, nursery professionals, and gardening hobbyists. Membership is open to anyone with and interest in gardening.

 

 

Sunday, July 29, 2012

KOSBE/TSBDC’s Aundrea Y. Wilcox Appointed to 2012 TNCPE Board of Examiners

KINGSPORT, Tenn. – The Tennessee Small Business Development Center (TSBDC) at ETSU and the Kingsport Office of Small Business Development & Entrepreneurship (KOSBE) are proud to announce, Aundrea Y. Wilcox, MBA, executive director, of the Office of Small Business for the Kingsport Area Chamber of Commerce has been appointed by the Board of Directors of the Tennessee Center for Performance Excellence (TNCPE) to the 2012 Board of Examiners.

 

Wilcox is also the Senior Business Counselor of the Tennessee Small Business Development Center (TSBDC) at East Tennessee State University (ETSU) Kingsport Affiliate Office, and the author of the new book, Startup Savvy: Strategies for Optimizing Small Business Survival and Success.  Every year, the TNCPE award program recognizes organizations demonstrating excellence in business operations and results.

 

As an examiner, Wilcox is responsible for reviewing and evaluating organizations that apply for a TNCPE Award.  The Board of Examiners comprises experts from all sectors of the regional economy, including health care, service, non-profit, manufacturing, education and government.  All members of the Board of Examiners must complete extensive training in the Baldrige Criteria for Performance ExcellenceExaminers take the skills developed during training and the assessment process back to their own jobs, benefiting and improving their own organizations in the process.

Each year, the TNCPE Board of Examiners contributes more than 10,000 hours of volunteer service to organizations across Tennessee.

Established in 1993 as a public-private partnership by Governor Ned R. McWherter, the Tennessee Center for Performance Excellence strives to promote economic development by helping companies and organizations grow more competitive in today's global marketplace through affordable, in-depth assessments.

A statewide non-profit, TNCPE is patterned after the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program, the national standard for recognizing organizational excellence. More than 1,200 organizations have participated in and benefited from the TNCPE program. Four Tennessee businesses—Caterpillar Financial  Services, Pal's Sudden Service, Eastman Chemical Company and Federal Express—have received both the prestigious Baldrige National Quality Award and the TNCPE Excellence Award. For more information, visit www.tncpe.org.

It is the intent of KOSBE to be the go-to organization in the Tri-Cities for small business owners and entrepreneurs who want to start or grow their businesses, by creating and developing the right tools and resources and cultivating the right partnerships. In partnership with Tennessee Small Business Development Centers (TSBDC) at ETSU, KOSBE can more effectively serve the needs of entrepreneurs and small businesses. For a complete listing of services, tools and resources, visit kosbe.org.

 

The cooperative agreement between KOSBE and East Tennessee State University is partially funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). SBA's funding is not an endorsement of any products, opinions or services. SBA funded programs are extended to the public on a non-discriminatory basis. Additional funding is provided by the Tennessee Board of Regents and the state of Tennessee.

 

To schedule your free confidential counseling appointment in a private setting by TSBDC-certified counselors in person, online by phone or e-mail call Marybeth McLain at (423) 392.8825 or e-mail, mmclain@kosbe.org.  

 

For more information about the Tennessee Small Business Development Center (TSBDC) at ETSU Kingsport Affiliate Office and your Kingsport Office of Small Business Development & Entrepreneurship (KOSBE), visit tsbdc.org and kosbe.org or call (423) 392.8825. We're social too; follow us on Facebook, Kosbe – The Small Business Connection, Twitter, @KOSBEConnection, LinkedIn group, KOSBE - The Small Business Connection and our YouTube Channel, KOSBEConnection.

 

####                       

 

Regards,

 

Marybeth McLain

Small Business Services Marketing Manager, KOSBE

Administrative Coordinator, TSBDC at ETSU Kingsport Affiliate Office

Kingsport Area Chamber of Commerce

Office of Small Business Development & Entrepreneurship
WE'VE MOVED!! 400 Clinchfield Street, Ste. 100, Kingsport TN, 37660

 

Ph. (423) 392.8811 • Fax (423) 392.8834

mmclain@kosbe.org

www.kosbe.org www.tsbdc.org

www.teamsantatrain.org

 




--
Jeff Fleming
Kingsport Blog

The Business Beacon - KOSBE/TSBDC Newsletter



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In This Issue!
The 411...
KOSBE Awards Application!
*Client Success Story*
The Cash Corner
SAVE THE DATE
Problem Solved!
New Business Stand-Out
SBA Access/Opportunities
Quick Links
 KOSBE
  TSBDC
  SBA

 News
Window of Opportunity
 
  
We are currently seeking sponsors for the 2012 Annual KOSBE Awards in December. 
 
We have several sponsorship packages available with a ton of perks and exposure opportunities!  

Please contact
Aundrea Wilcox
if your business is interested.
HELP WANTED!

 
Looking for a few good men or women? 
 
Send us your current job openings and we'll post it here for you. 
E-mail the following to awilcox@kosbe.org 
 

- Business Name

- Position

- Job description (100 words or less OR link to description)  

- Contact information

The Number
  
A noteworthy business statistic! 

Did you know that since the KOSBE Awards began in 1994 we have had 67
KOSBE Award Winners and Runner Ups?  

Out of those 67 small businesses, 58 are still in business!  

That is an 87% survival rate! 
Veterans, Women & Minorities Take Note
 


BuyVeteran.com is a national campaign spearheaded by the National Veteran-Owned Business Association (NaVOBA) to bring the success and momentum of the National Veteran Business Movement to all of America's 3 million veteran-owned businesses. Is your
veteran-owned business registered online?!

 
The National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) is the unified voice of America's more than 10 million women-owned businesses representing the fastest growing segment of the economy. Check out their Resource Center exclusively for women-owned businesses at nawbo.org.

 
The Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA), is a part of the U.S. Department of Commerce. The mission is to actively promote the growth and competitiveness of large, medium and small minority business enterprises (MBEs). Register your minority-owned business at mbda.org for free tools and resources. 
 Small Biz Trends

Thumbtack.com, in partnership with the Kauffman Foundation, has released new data showing that small businesses rank Tennessee among the top ten least costly states nationwide for hiring a new employee. 

 

The Thumbtack.com Small Business Survey is the only survey to draw data from an extensive, nationwide universe of job creators and entrepreneurs themselves in order to investigate the best places in the country to do business.

 

"After a two-month survey of over 6,000 small business owners nationwide, Tennessee ranked very favorably across a variety of categories," said Sander Daniels, co-founder of Thumbtack.com.

 

Key findings for Tennessee can be found here...

  

The Office Depot Program 



Kingsport Chamber Members receive DEEPER DISCOUNTS THAN EVER BEFORE with the Office Depot National Chamber Program.

No strings attached.

Contact Kim Jones at
(423) 392.8805
for details!

Take 5 Series! 
 

KOSBE's original  

Take 5 Series was such a hit last year, we're doing them again! 

 

Take a look back at our 2011 past KOSBE Award Winner's interviews before we start our new interviews for 2012!

 

WATCH NOW! 

  

A Little About Our Program

It is the intent of KOSBE to be the go-to organization in the Tri-Cities for small business owners and entrepreneurs who want to start or grow their businesses, by creating and developing the right tools and resources and cultivating the right partnerships. In partnership with Tennessee Small Business Development Centers (TSBDC) at ETSU, KOSBE can more effectively serve the needs of entrepreneurs and small businesses. For a complete listing of services, tools and resources, visit kosbe.org.

 

The cooperative agreement between KOSBE and East Tennessee State University is partially funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). SBA's funding is not an endorsement of any products, opinions or services. SBA funded programs are extended to the public on a non-discriminatory basis. Additional funding is provided by the Tennessee Board of Regents and the state of Tennessee.

 

To schedule your free confidential counseling appointment in a private setting by TSBDC-certified counselors in person, online by phone or e-mail call Marybeth McLain at (423) 392.8825 or e-mail, mmclain@kosbe.org.

 

Get To Know Us! 
A. Wilcox headshot
 Aundrea Wilcox  

Executive Director, KOSBE

Senior Business Counselor, TSBDC @ ETSU Kingsport Affiliate Office

 

M.McLain headshot Marybeth McLain

Small Business Services Marketing Manager, KOSBE

Administrative Coordinator, TSBDC @ ETSU Kingsport Affiliate Office
Issue #0001 - July 2012
Dear Jeff,

You are receiving this e-mail because of your relationship with either the Kingsport Chamber of Commerce, the Kingsport Office of Small Business Development & Entrepreneurship (KOSBE) or the Tennessee Small Business Development Center (TSBDC) at ETSU Kingsport Affiliate Office.

Thank you for your interest in our local small businesses and small business-related events, issues and information.

The 411...

 

We hope this finds you well.  

 

Each issue will be distributed monthly and will shine a light on a successful small business located within our region.

 

In addition to the featured business, we will be posting upcoming events and training opportunities, highlighting information exclusively for veteran, woman and minority-owned businesses and sharing any other important news and information for your reference.

 

Some of the regular features will include: the Window of Opportunity, Help Wanted, The Cash Corner, Take Five Video Series, New Business Stand-Out, The Number, Small Biz Trends, Problem Solved and PR Rx by Marybeth McLain.

 

Also, don't forget that KOSBE has become quite the social butterfly! You can follow us daily on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and watch videos of KOSBE - The Small Business Connection on YouTube. We post tips, tricks, events fliers and small business information at least once daily, so check us out!

 

In addition, if you are a KOSBE Awards Winner or Runner Up you have your own Facebook page designed exclusively for you to interact and network amongst each other. 


 Phil's Dream Pit Wins SBA State of Tennessee Entrepreneurial Success Award

Photo from left to right: Walter Perry, Dianna and Phil Pipkin and Aundrea Wilcox

Walter Perry, district director of SBA's Tennessee District Office presented owners, Phil and Dianna Pipkin with the SBA State of Tennessee Entrepreneurial Success Award on Friday, June 22 at the Kingsport Chamber of Commerce's Fourth Friday Breakfast sponsored by Charter Media.

  

SBA celebrates National Small Business Week every year with events and award ceremonies held in Washington D.C. This year, May 20-26, was designated National Small Business Week with SBA Tennessee winners receiving their awards at ceremonies throughout the month.

 

"These award winners represent the many excellent small businesses that we have in the Volunteer State," said Perry. "All across Tennessee, our hard working award winners are the very best at what they do, including today's recipients, the Pipkin's of Phil's Dream Pit."

  

Phil's Dream Pit is a 2009 KOSBE Award Winner in the New Business category.

 

Dream Pit was founded in February 2008 by the husband and wife duo. They have seven employees and have grown their business over 40 percent each year and well over $600,000 in annual revenue.  

 

Read the full article here...   

 Video of Presentation  

 

 Phil's Dream Pit

534 Eastern Star Road, Kingsport, TN 37664 

 

Ph: (423)349-6437    Visit Their Website!  

 

The Cash Corner
Seeking capital for your business? 

Good... great news! SBA has revised its Small Loan Advantage Program to enable lenders to make small dollar loans to start-ups or existing businesses.   

 

While the maximum loan amount is $350,000, there is high interest in those of $25,000 or less, particularly those which do not require collateral.  Both Superior Financial Group and Borrego Springs Bank are offering this SBA guaranteed loan product.  

 

KOSBE/TSBDC works directly with these lenders. To learn more, schedule your private and confidential appointment to discuss financing options, call (423) 392.8825  Also, if you want to meet these lenders face-to-face, save these important dates or register for one of our upcoming borrower events below:

 

Tuesday, August 7: FREE Small Business Sources of Capital Class - Show Me the Money! in Kingsport. (Superior Financial Group)

 

 Tuesday, November 13: FREE Small Business Fall Night School in Kingpsort. (Borrego Springs)

 

 SBA Small Loan Advantage Fact Sheet  

 

SAVE THE DATE!
Upcoming Events & Training Classes
 
Find all upcoming events at kosbe.org
and register for the below events by clicking on each!

 

Hands-On QuickBooks Training: QuickBooks1 - Beginners

Thursday, July 19, 1 - 4 p.m. Morristown Chamber

 

Small Group Training: Search Engine Optimization

Tuesday, July 24, 9 - 11 a.m., Kingsport Chamber 

 

Small Business Sources of Capital Class - Show Me the Money!

Tuesday, August 7, 6 - 9 p.m., Kingsport Chamber 

 

Small Business Counseling in Hamblen County 

Thursday, August 9, 9 a.m. - 12 p.m., Morristown Chamber  

Call (423) 392.8825 to schedule your free appointment.

 

2nd Annual Breakfast of Champions Event

Friday, August 10, 7:30 - 9 a.m., downtown Food City - Press Room

 

Small Business Sources of Capital Class - Show Me the Money! Thursday, August 16, 1 - 3 p.m., Rogersville Chamber 

 

KOSBE AWARD APPLICATIONS DEADLINE

Download your 2012 KOSBE Awards Application Now! 

Friday, September 7 at midnight

DROP OFF completed applications at your Kingsport Chamber 

FAX to (423) 392.8834 or E-MAIL application awilcox@kosbe.org

Problem Solved!
The Importance of Good Branding...

Before you order 5,000 business cards on the internet, spend some serious time on your brand. Some of you might be thinking, "Why should I spend time on this.. I want to get things going!" 
 
Your brand essentially, is what your customers/clients say behind your back... it is their emotional connection to you and your business. Your brand will be your framework for your customer's experience and will align your advertising and promotional activities. Whatever it is, you need to have a unique, consistent and meaningful essence that connects to your target audience. 
 
PROBLEM: New client, Renea Insalago and business partner, Debbie Deyton of Bay Street Cleaning Services came to us with a business name, plan and a pretty solid idea of what they wanted. The only problem was, they didn't have the budget to hire a professional agency to do their design work. They needed a starter-kit that was professional looking and didn't look home-made. 
 
SOLUTION: Starting with a pencil drawn sketch by Renea, KOSBE/TSBDC provided a full blown professional looking logo, business cards and brochures (designs only) at no cost. Bay Street Cleaning Services now has a marketing starter-kit with a solid brand that translates exactly what their business is. Renea and Debbie will be able to use these core marketing pieces for the duration of their business or until they can afford to upgrade. 
 
Now securing clients, their next step is creating a business Facebook page and a website. 
 
Contact Bay Street Cleaning Services for a FREE ESTIMATE on your residential or commercial cleaning needs... these ladies do it all! Call (423) 408.8213 or e-mail spotless@baystreetcleaning.com.
PR Rx
By: Marybeth McLain
KOSBE Marketing Manager
 
Did you know that you could single handedly (no pun intended) impact your bottom line by a silly Facebook post or by a careless Tweet?

It's true.

Being a public relations and marketing girl, I value the First Amendment more than anyone and find myself thinking twice before I post, "What I REALLY want to say" on Facebook.

I also take into account that I represent not only myself, but the organization I work for. I'm associated with the organizations I volunteer for and the clients I help on a daily basis. It's not just, "Me against the world"... not with the internet anyway.

Let me get to the point. You are a small business owner. Your customers/clients associate you and your business as a pair. And I'm sure, almost certain in fact, that your friends/family/employees/colleagues/customers/clients (a lot, huh?) are Facebook friends of yours or follow your Tweets... either on your business page or personal page.

That's a lot exposure! Be mindful of what you post or tweet. Most people really don't care what you throw out there, but there are those who do... "over sensitives" I like to call them and boy oh boy, do they know how to spread the word about something/someone they do not approve of or agree with.

For your business pages/tweets, keep it clean, professional and post/promote/share only related items for your business. Unless you want to start a Facebook battle or lose customers/clients avoid the following:

1. Politics - Especially during time of an election.
2. Religion - Good luck ending this conversation once this stream starts. 
3. Racial issues - The last thing you want is to be called a bigot or Nazi.  
4. HOT Topics - Just don't go there.
5. Inappropriate photos/videos - Particularly your "almost nude" before shots for P90X. 
6. Bashing others/businesses - What was it that Thumper said?! 
7. Slang - Some will find it rude and offensive

Best advice, if you wouldn't want your grandmother to see it, don't post/tweet it. As boring and unoriginal as it may be, political correctness is key.

For your personal pages, that's on you, but keep in mind you may have customers/clients who are the sensitive type and hold a stupid post against you and your business.  

Remember, word of mouth is a heavy hitter. 
New Business Stand-Out
KOSBE/TSBDC Client Profile
 

SRV Global Health is a full-service medical travel facilitator. Their experienced staff of doctors and consultants will help you find and gain access to cost-effective medical care abroad at a world-class hospital or clinic.

 

Medical tourism is the practice of traveling abroad to seek medical treatment, whether it is heart and cardiac care, hip replacement, cosmetic surgery, or even dental work. Financial savings are remarkable with procedures often costing 1/5 of what you would often pay at home! 

 

Currently, SRV is now booking a group to travel to India which  

departs on October 24, 2012 for a two week retreat to one of the  

premier ashrams of South India.

 

Think, EAT, PRAY, LOVE: Imagine a beautiful scenic waterway, luxurious surroundings and daily healing therapies to help restore balance to your mind, body, and spirit. Picture an atmosphere where a doctor carefully examines you and prescribes a treatment plan designed to meet your individual needs for either disease prevention or treatment using Ayurvedic therapies. Throughout the day, between treatments, you can participate in Yoga or Meditation/Prayer groups, relax and enjoy the library, the pool, or simply commune with nature enjoying the lush green scenery and waterfront views. 

 

All of your travel details, including airfare, travel documents, valet service and a personal patient care representative are provided for your effortless retreat experience. This two week retreat is easily affordable at $1,825.00, per person and includes your deluxe accommodations, meals, daily massage, doctor's exam and associated herbals while on retreat.   

 

Contact SRV Global Health for your FREE CONSULTATION and to set up your healing retreat! Call (423) 646.1958, email info@srvglobalhealth.com or visit www.srvglobalhealth.com.   

 

SBA Provides More Access & Opportunities
By Cassius Butts, SBA Regional Administrator

To help our nation recover from the biggest recession since the Great Depression, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) stepped in and supported more than $79 billion to more than 150,000 small businesses since 2009. To make this possible, we brought more than 1,000 community lenders back to SBA lending for the first time since 2007 and we secured a $20 billion commitment to increase small business lending over the next three years from 13 of the largest banks. These steps culminated in a record year for SBA in 2011. We supported more than $30 billion in lending to over 60,000 small businesses and over $4 billion in SBA-backed loans were approved right here in the SBA Southeast Region.

SBA also provided small businesses with the tools they needed to help lead us out of the recession and into recovery. However, because there are still gaps in the marketplace, SBA is creating new products to fill the gaps and provide more access and opportunity; at the same time streamlining and simplifying our process to make it easier for customers.
 
We hope you enjoyed this issue of The Business Beacon and found it informational. We are always looking for new ideas and welcome your feedback.

Feel free to forward this issue to your friends, family, employees and/or colleagues.
 
Sincerely,
 
Your KOSBE and TSBDC at ETSU Kingsport Affiliate Office Staff
 

Kingsport Office of Small Business Development & Entrepreneurship

TSBDC at ETSU Kingsport Affiliate Office

 

400 Clinchfield Street, Ste. 100, Kingsport, TN 37660

 Phone: (423) 392.8825 * Fax: (423) 392.8834

 

 www.kosbe.org * www.tsbdc.org

This email was sent to kingsportblog@gmail.com by mmclain@kosbe.org |  
KOSBE/TSBDC | Kingsport Chamber of Commerce | KOSBE | 400 Clinchfield Street, Ste. 100 | Kingsport | TN | 37660



--
Jeff Fleming
Kingsport Blog

Kingsport is located on the Tennessee-Virginia border at the crossroads of I-81 and I-26 near the geographic center of the Eastern U.S. This city of 50,000 in a metro of 308,000, was planned by renowned American planner John Nolen in his office at Harvard Square. Located in the lush green foothills of the Tennessee Valley, it is surrounded by the Southern Highlands and mountain lakes. Kingsport is home to Marriott’s www.MeadowViewResort.com and thousands of acres of unique, natural amenities at Bays Mountain and Warriors Path Parks. The natural geography provides a temperate, well-balanced climate with four seasons and a natural shelter from extreme weather. Population growth has also been well-balanced, ensuring you will not outgrow your decision to relocate. With no personal property taxes, special assessments, or state income taxes on salaries/wages, you’ll find that Kingsport has a very low cost of living coupled with an exceptionally high quality of life (see for yourself at www.BestPlaces.net). The regional airport (TRI) has direct flights to Atlanta, Charlotte, Orlando and St. Pete/Clearwater with easy access, parking, and virtually no security lines. The public education system was planned by Columbia University and Newsweek has repeatedly recognized the local high school as one of the best in America. Year in and year out our graduates go on to the top colleges and universities (and without costly private school tuition fees). Harvard also recognized Kingsport in 2009 with the Innovations in American Government Award for its higher education initiative. What are you waiting for? It’s time to leave the high costs, traffic jams, and stress behind and discover this hidden gem.