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 

Jamie Stalfort
Business Launch Specialist
910.962.0537 or 

Donna Warren
PTAC Counselor
910.962.3566 or 

Welcome to the newsletter of the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW) Small Business and Technology Development Center (SBTDC). The theme of this newsletter is "planning". Whether it's strategic planning, financial planning, or disaster planning - we are here to help! The goal of the UNCW SBTDC is simple: to empower business owners and entrepreneurs to make businesses in southeast NC more competitive and more profitable. As described at www.sbtdc.org , our Center helps for-profit businesses in all industry sectors to start and grow with personalized business counseling assistance and specialized services such as international business/exporting, selling to the government, and technology commercialization. If your small business needs business assistance, contact your Business Counselor or email uncw@sbtdc.org today.
How can you differentiate your business and its services or products over time? Having a facilitated strategic planning retreat with key individuals from inside and outside of your organization can help you to develop short- and long-range goals and buy-in about the direction of your business.
When the right people are engaged in strategic planning, the mystery is removed from such areas as:
  • Vision
  • Current reality
  • Priorities
  • Goal setting
  • Mission
  • SWOT analysis
  • Action plans
  • Implementation
A major outcome of strategic retreats is enhanced strategic thinking. These skills also go beyond strategic planning by generating new ideas, improving performance beyond competitors, and bringing fresh new approaches to your business.
Contributed by Eric K. Griffin, CEM,  UNCW Emergency Management Coordinator
Did you know that according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, 40% of small businesses won't reopen after a disaster, and that 75% of businesses without a continuity plan fail within three years? (2014) It is extremely important that businesses engage in continuity planning in order to thrive in hazard-prone areas like eastern North Carolina.

There are two actions among many that businesses can take to become more prepared. First, know that the Small Business Administration does not serve as an insurance company. There is no "free" money to be had. It is essential for all businesses to have insurance, to include business continuity insurance. Business owners leasing space in buildings should reach out to their building managers for information on their insurance as well. Second, make a plan by using the planning tools freely available on the internet. Read https://www.fema.gov/media-library/assets/documents/152381 and then use the screen-fillable packet available to make your plans here . Now is the best time to start planning, not tomorrow. Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.
Contributed by Diane Lantz, Business Counselor
With Hurricane season in full swing and memories of Hurricane Florence still fresh, it is not too late to put a business emergency plan in place. A good disaster plan can mean less days out of business, better communication with your customers, and a better outcome with your insurance company.
Here are some basic steps to take to be prepared for a disaster:
  1. Make copies and backup files. While we live in a digital age, it is crucial to make copies of critical documents and have them stored in a separate location. Cloud storage is important but you will also need to have additional copies. Often, when a disaster strikes, infrastructure such as power will be impacted as well.
  2. Have a disaster/evacuation plan in place. https://www.ready.gov is an excellent resource with a business emergency plan template available. The emergency response template for businesses can be found here.
  3. Test your plan. The plan has no value unless is it practiced and tested. The best time to test the plan is 30 days before storm season.
  4. Be prepared to work remotely. After a disaster, employees may not be able to get to work. Test this plan at least once a year.
  5. Have a tested backup plan ready to go. If the business will be impacted for more than a few days, it is crucial to have options ready to go. This may include finding short-term work space outside the impacted area.
  6. Review your insurance. Talk to your insurance agent prior to and understand what your policy covers. Review your insurance with your agent at least once a year. Make sure you have the right protection in place before a disaster strikes.
  7. Stay on top of your receivables. Bills still need to be paid even during a disaster. Make sure your receivables are as current as possible.
There are numerous resources available to assist your business and the SBTDC is ready to assist you. Mitigate the impact of a disaster by being prepared!
According to the Small Business Credit Survey 2019 Report on Employer Firms by the Federal Reserve Bank, 64% of employer firms faced financial challenges in the prior 12 months. Would you like to confidentially discuss the finances of your business? Contact your Business Counselor or the SBTDC at uncw@sbtdc.org today.

From: 2018 Small Business Credit Survey, Federal Reserve Banks (n=6,490)
At the UNCW SBTDC, we worked with more than 50 students since January 2019 alone to help our clients succeed and enhance the students' college education.
Our signature program is Learning Alliance. The purpose of the Learning Alliance program is to expose UNCW 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 analysis on the firm's industry and business processes. An Alliance is formed between a UNCW Cameron School of Business Professional MBA Team, a UNCW faculty member, a business, and the SBTDC. The Alliance culminates in realistic strategic growth and profit recommendations to the business from the MBA team.
Another example of student engagement is the M.S. of Accountancy (MSA) Student Practicum. This practicum gives students hands-on experience with accounting and financial analysis methods to help business owners make strategic and operational decisions.
In 2019, seven SBTDC clients worked with Learning Alliance Teams and four SBTDC clients worked with MSA student teams. Four other UNCW SBTDC clients worked with teams from NC State University and Tech Team interns . In total, including assistance from graduate and undergraduate students and the class-based student teams, 85 businesses benefited from UNCW student engagement this year so far. Thank you to the businesses, students, and faculty that participated!
Upcoming events
Taking the Leap | Wilmington
Sep 9, 2019
Wilmington NC
Capture Management Workshop - Wilmington
Sep 24, 2019
Wilmington NC
Taking the Leap | Wilmington
Oct 7, 2019
Wilmington NC
More local events and registration are at http://www.sbtdc.org/offices/uncw/events . In addition to these, there are even more programs hosted by members of The Coalition: Cape Fear Community College Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) , Brunswick Community College , SCORE SBAAARP, and  tekMountain ! Other members of the Coalition include Coastal Women's Ventures of the Carolina Small Business Development Fund, the Hamilton Foundation, and the North Carolina Military Business Center. Check out the complete  Coalition Calendar here . If you are in Onslow County, also check out the upcoming workshops and events at the Coastal Carolina Community College Small Business Center (SBC) , Columbus County should check out the Southeast Community College SBC programs, and Duplin County should visit James Sprunt Community College SBC . Please email us at uncw@sbtdc.org if you need assistance from or information about any of these organizations.
803 S. College Rd, Suite A
Wilmington, NC 28403-5977