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 

Paige O'Neill
International Business Development Specialist
910.962.0592 or 

James Chestnut
Procurement Specialist
910.962.2869 or 

Cheryl Young
Business Resiliency and Recovery Counselor
910.962.3744 or 

The loss of income from COVID-19 has resulted in a significant impact for small businesses. Small businesses are the heart of our region, offering not only the unique character and experience when living and visiting our region, but also representing more than 99% of our 15,800 employers. Without healthy, thriving businesses, individuals and the economy suffer. I encourage each of you to make conscious purchasing decisions to buy small and buy local to support small businesses.

The University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW) SBTDC team will continue to work from its virtual office for the foreseeable future and continues to actively meet with business owners by videoconference (Zoom), phone, and email. Business counseling services are focused on both short- and long-term success strategies. Please note that if you have not applied for a disaster loan yet, some programs are still open including:
  • Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) - Accepting new applications through August 8.
  • Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL)
  • SBA Express Bridge Loans
For a full list of funding available and other resiliency and recovery resources, please visit http://www.sbtdc.org/coronavirus . If you know businesses that need assistance, please ask them to contact a Business Counselor or email us at uncw@sbtdc.org .

Stay safe, plan strategically, and innovate!

Heather McWhorter
UNCW SBTDC Regional Center Director
C ontributed by Diane Lantz, SBTDC General Business Counselor
Now more than ever, it is important for small business owners to have a full understanding of their business finances. Many small businesses outsource bookkeeping or do it themselves when they have time (which means at the end of the year).
18% of businesses fail because of poor cash management and 82% of businesses that fail cite cash flow problems as a factor in their failure. Here are some recommendations for small businesses and why they need to have a strong understanding of their finances:
  1. Be directly involved and communicate regularly with your bookkeeper to ensure accuracy and consistency. This includes making sure deposits are made regularly, accounts receivable are received in a timely manner, and accounts payable are paid on time.
  2. Have and monitor a financial strategy. This enables owners to recognize where cash proceeds will be most productive and how well expenses are distributed through business functions.
  3. Understand your financial position so you can adapt. Many businesses had to pivot during the pandemic, which includes going online and using cloud-based services. Develop multiple income streams so the impact on the business is not as severe as if you only had one source of revenue.
  4. Assess your bookkeeping strategy periodically. Know your current financial situation, maintain long term financial objectives, and develop a strategy on how to accomplish financial objectives with more than one option. Maintain a cash flow projection and update as the situation requires.
  5. Educate yourself on what relief is available. Local, state, and federal resources are available to assist businesses in a disaster but you will need to have updated business financial information to access these programs.
It is better to plan and not need it than to need it and not have planned for it.
Student engagement     
One of the perks of working at the UNCW SBTDC is that we have the opportunity to connect student learning with our clients to help businesses succeed. This year, we worked with twelve graduate student teams from the UNCW Cameron School of Business Master of Science in Accountancy (MSA) program and Professional Master of Business Administration (PMBA) program. Projects ranged from one to five months long and focused on accounting, financial analysis, marketing, and strategic growth opportunities.
According to client Gunilla Kroshus, President of American Dream Cakes in Jacksonville, NC, "In a short period of time the students put together a solid spreadsheet to calculate our end item product cost. This is something that we will use in the future when projecting our final cost of our products."

American Dream Cakes is an award-winning bakery that specializes in wedding and custom creation cakes. Gunillla had the opportunity to work with a team of MSA students from mid-May to mid-June. More information about the business is at www.americandreamcakes.com .
Are you curious about how our region's small business ownership stacks up compared to national statistics? According to the most recent available data (2012 Census), 37% of firms are women owned, 14% are minority owned, and 13% are veteran owned in our six-county region. Nationally, 40% of firms are women owned, 30% are minority owned, and 9% are veteran owned. (As a reference, 50% of our six-county population are women, 21% are minorities, and 9% are veterans.)
According to a report recently released by the Kauffman Foundation, 1 in 4 new entrepreneurs are immigrants and new entrepreneurs represent all ages. The share of new entrepreneurs who are Latino also more than doubled between 1996 and 2019. Additional information about that study is at: https://www.kauffman.org/entrepreneurship/reports/race-ethnicity-age-immigration-trends-united-states-entrepreneurs-1996-2019/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=currents-newsletter7_23_2020 .
As with most regions around the nation, we can and should continue to work together to ensure that entrepreneurship is accessible to everyone and that all entrepreneurs have access to the same opportunities to succeed. Please plan to participate in this year's Cape Fear Minority Enterprise Development (MED) Week, which will be October 5-10. The great lineup of 23+ events is at https://uncw.edu/diversity/medweek .
James Chestnut joined the NC Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) team on May 7. He is co-located in Wilmington at the UNCW SBTDC.
In his new role, James assists existing businesses with selling products or services to federal, state, and local government agencies. Some services include determining the suitability for contracting, securing necessary registrations, researching procurement histories, identifying bid opportunities, reviewing proposals, assisting with contract performance issues, and assisting with SBD, 8(a), HUBZone, WOSB, and other certifications. For a full description of PTAC and its services, please visit http://www.sbtdc.org/programs/ptac .
James served for 21 years as Senior Contracting Officer with the Federal Government. His most recent position was as the Director and Senior Contracting Officer of the Acquisitions Division for the Office of Inspector General (OIG) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Prior to the OIG, James worked as the Chief of the Scientific Support Branch (Acquisitions) for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. He also served as a Contracting Officer for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Naval Medical Logistics Command, and the National Cancer Institute. After leaving Federal service and before joining the PTAC team he worked as a contracted Senior Contract Analyst for the Defense Health Agency.
James holds a Master of Science specializing in Procurement and Acquisition from the University of Maryland University College (UMUC). As an Adjunct Assistant Professor for UMUC, he taught "Introduction to Federal Contracting" in their undergraduate program.
James is a retired Commissioned Officer (Major) with 20 years of service with the North Carolina Army National Guard in both an active and reserve capacity.
Cheryl Young was hired as a Business Counselor for the COVID 19 Business Recovery and Resiliency Program in the six-county UNCW SBTDC region on June 23.
This program will provide services consistent with core SBTDC services, such as obtaining capital, analyzing financials, identifying market opportunities, and helping to develop short- and long-term business strategies. However, her role focuses solely on helping small businesses to recover from the ongoing effects of COVID-19.
Cheryl was a business consultant with the Pennsylvania Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Shippensburg University for 13 years before moving to Wilmington in March. In her position at the SBDC she provided counseling assistance to existing small businesses as well as emerging entrepreneurs. She assisted with business plans, financial analysis, marketing plans, and general business start-up guidance.
Cheryl has also been an entrepreneur for over 20 years. She and her husband successfully owned and operated three restaurants in Pennsylvania. During her time in Pennsylvania, she served on the board of the United Way of Franklin County, Chambersburg Downtown Inc., and Community Development Corporation. She regularly volunteered in her community through her church and local nonprofit organizations. Cheryl earned a bachelor's degree in business/marketing from Penn State University.
Upcoming events
Have you heard that Wilmington ranks in the top 100 startup ecosystems in the world? (Read more here and here .) Do you want to start your business and become part of the thriving regional startup ecosystem? Do you have a big idea that you want to turn into a business?
We are offering a free online program to learn about different aspects of starting a business, including identifying potential markets, writing a business plan, running the finances of a business, and marketing a business. You will work with mentors and peers in fun breakout activities designed to help strengthen your business ideas and prepare you for success.

September 8 - September 29, 2020, Tuesdays 6-8 p.m. - click here to apply

There are even more programs hosted by members of The Business Coalition and located throughout southeast NC to work one-on-one with entrepreneurs and small businesses to help them succeed. The consolidated calendar of events can be accessed on the UNCW SBTDC website at http://www.sbtdc.org/offices/uncw/events .

803 S. College Rd, Suite A
Wilmington, NC 28403-5977