About Us
The SBTDC at UNC Wilmington is affiliated with the UNCW Cameron School of Business and is located next to the UNCW Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Our experienced business advisory team offers confidential, in-depth business counseling to small- to mid-sized company business owners and management staff and to entrepreneurs preparing to launch their next venture. 
Heather McWhorter
Regional Director
910.962.4248 or 

Robin Bennett
Business Counselor
910.962.3744 or 

Diane Lantz
Business Counselor
910.962.2869 or 

Gloria Monroe
Business Counselor
910.962.7307 or 

Hurricane florence: First steps to recovery

The SBTDC is here to help as your business recovers from physical and economic impacts from Hurricane Florence. The first steps to recovery include:
  1. Contact your insurance carrier to file your claim. If you are leasing business space, ensure that your lease owner has contacted their insurance carrier. Take pictures of the damage.
  2. Register with FEMA. Contact FEMA by phone or online at http://www.fema.gov to report any loss. FEMA will take your information and provide you with a registration number. For business losses, FEMA will refer you to the U.S. Small Business Administration. 
FEMA Phone Registration
1-800-621-FEMA    (3362) or TTY 
1-800-462-7585    (speech & hearing impaired).

You can also visit a FEMA/SBA Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) in your area. DRC's are temporary assistance centers that are established after a federal disaster declaration has been made. These centers have staff from both FEMA and SBA and often other state resources. SBA also has Business Recovery Centers (BRC's). These locations are staffed by SBA staff only and they only handle SBA loan applications. In our six-county region, one DRC and one BRC have been established as of September 30. They are listed below:

DRC - Onslow County

Next to Don Williamson Nissan
312 Western Blvd
Jacksonville, NC 28546
Hours: Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Sunday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

BRC - New Hanover County

Greater Wilmington Chamber of Commerce
1 Estelle Lee Place
Wilmington, NC 28401
Hours: Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Closed on Sundays

For the most up-to-date and complete list, please visit http://www.sbtdc.org/hurricaneflorence/.

Contact the SBTDC  for assistance in developing your overall recovery plan. Our counseling staff can help you: 
  • Assess the financial impact on your business
  • Reconstruct financial statements
  • Explore options with creditors
  • Prepare your emergency bridge loan and/or SBA disaster loan application
If needed, apply for a Rapid Recovery loan.  If you need speedy access to capital, Thread Capital, the NC Rural Center's lending arm, offers Rapid Recovery loans up to $50,000 dollars. Click here to apply. These short-term loans can be repaid with insurance proceeds or other disaster loan proceeds (such as an SBA disaster loan). The application requirements and documentation are minimal, but SBTDC counselors can help with your application if you need assistance.

If needed, apply for an SBA disaster loan.  SBA provides low interest disaster loans for homeowners, renters, businesses, and non-profits. SBTDC counselors can assist you in preparing your loan package which often requires some homework on your part - gathering documents and tax records, etc. SBTDC counselors can also help evaluate your ability to repay a loan and help you make good decisions for your recovery. There are two types of SBA disaster loans: (1) physical damage; and (2) economic injury. Apply online, visit an SBTDC office, or visit a BRC. 
Keep a cool head.  You may hear rumors about grants for individuals or businesses. This is common after every disaster and often leads people to delay their own recovery plans. There are NO grants. There is only hard work, good decisions, ingenuity, good advice from experienced professionals, and loan programs. Be proactive, be patient, and be persistent in pursuing your recovery. It's a long road. However, local, state and federal partners work closely to provide as much assistance as possible.

Please visit http://www.sbtdc.org/hurricaneflorence/ for additional information. Good luck in your recovery. We hope that you, your family, and your business fared well - please stay in touch.
Photo from www.kohlscustard.com
When 2015 UNCW graduate Matthew Smith, manager at Kohl's Frozen Custard in Wrightsville Beach, heard that there was an opportunity to purchase the business that he was employed at in spring 2018, he jumped at the opportunity. The seasonal business is a frozen custard shop that offers custards with many different toppings, shakes and malts, sundaes, sandwiches, and items from the grill. He heard about the UNCW SBTDC through an online search, so scheduled a meeting. Over the course of only months, Matthew worked with Business Counselors to develop a Business Plan, project cash flow, and obtain the capital needed to purchase the business. Through his diligence, he purchased the business and now has 15 employees. Also be sure to check out Kohl's Frozen Custard new, engaged social media presence managed by Matthew's fiancé Tania Varela. Congratulations, Matthew and Tania!
Ginny Vaca is the new International Business Development (IBD) Counselor for the UNCW SBTDC region. In her new role, she will be providing international counseling services to pre-venture, small, and medium sized companies. Ginny has been with the SBTDC as a General Business Counselor for the Capital Region and is an NC State University employee.

Ginny's background is in the International arena for hand and machine tool manufacturers specializing in the areas of business development in sales and marketing, logistics, and customer service. In her last role, Ginny managed strategic international accounts, overseeing also the logistics export services department. She is a graduate of Meredith College. Ginny is bilingual (Spanish and English) as she grew up in Nicaragua.

If you are interested in working with Ginny, please contact your UNCW SBTDC Business Counselor and she will make the introduction for you. International Business Development (IBD) services have no cost and are confidential, similar to general business counseling services.
In May, Toya Wilson-Smith, CEO of NexGeneration Digital Marketing Agency, co-founder of Simply Social a social media educational company, and UNCW SBTDC Regional Advisory Board member, offered a SBTDC seminar about "Managing Your Online Presence". The response was outstanding - and we have been asked by participants and clients that missed the workshop to bring her back. You asked, we delivered!

Managing Your Online Presence with a Smart Phone
Wednesday, October 16
2:00 - 3:30 p.m.
Location: UNCW Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE), 803 S. College Rd., Suite G
Cost: FREE
Have you heard of the NCWorks Career Center? They will help your business find, develop, and retain talented employees. Some of the services that they offer include:
  • Identifying qualified candidates - Work with your business - no matter what size it is - to develop a "job profile" for the skills matching your business need. Identify and screen candidates.
  • On-the-job (OJT) training - NC Works will reimburse your business up to 75% of the wages paid during a training period for OJT training for identified candidates. The length of training depends on the existing skills of the candidate.
  • Work based learning/Paid work experience - NC Works will have a short-term agreement with your business to subsidize participant's wages, which are paid directly by a Federal program. Career Advisors will work with the participant to develop a training program similar to an internship (commonly 6 to 8 weeks).
For more information about this program, refer to ncworks.gov . To learn about how their FREE services can benefit your business, contact the Business Engagement Manager to set up an appointment:

Scott Levine
UNCW MBA Learning alliance: MV-team in 2018
For more than 10 years, the SBTDC has been a partner of the Learning Alliance. The purpose of the Learning Alliance is to expose UNCW's MBA students to the realities and complexities of business operations and to provide the business with MBA team assistance in conducting relevant and contemporary business analyses on the firm's industry and business processes. An alliance - the "Learning Alliance" - is formed between a UNCW Cameron School of Business MBA Team of students, a UNCW Cameron School of Business faculty member, an SBTDC client business, and the UNCW SBTDC.
The goal of the Alliance is to foster learning by students and the business via the interactive exchange of ideas, data, studies of the firm's business processes, and the firm's competitive environment. The Alliance culminates in realistic strategic recommendations to the business from the MBA team.
Each year, the "most value added" (MVA) team is nominated. This year, the MVA team helped a software product SBTDC client. The client was losing share and sales volume in their market. They needed to grow new opportunities and go after different verticals and industries. The owners tasked their Learning Alliance team with the job of researching a specific vertical sector and assessing their potential to develop a successful entry strategy. The team took on this challenge as part of the Growth and Profit component of their project. After a rigorous industry, competitor, and customer analysis, they found that the market was consolidating, faced extreme competitive intensity, and would not be a viable vertical market for this business.
Further discretionary effort on the team's part led to a series of interviews with industry experts who confirmed that they needed to look at other verticals. The team rolled up their sleeves and started researching other potential verticals. They found a new, robust market segment for the business to pursue and outlined the entry strategy including a dynamic cash flow spreadsheet to evaluate alternatives. This viable market will give the SBTDC client continued growth. The rest of the story is now in the businesses' hands...with help from the SBTDC.
If you have not stopped by our office in a while, you will be surprised! We just wrapped up a suite renovation in June thanks to UNCW and the UNCW Cameron School of Business. Stop for a suite tour! We are open Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
803 S. College Rd, Suite A
Wilmington, NC 28403-5977