Celebrating Small Business Week in South Carolina

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South Carolina District Office

u s small business administration

Featured Events

Illustration of main street businesses with the following text, Happy National Small Business Week, celebrating resilience and renewal

SBA Programs Overview

What can the SBA do for you? Let Angela Brewer answer that question! Angela is a Business Opportunity Specialist with the SBA South Carolina District Office and will be discussing access to capital, contracting, available resources and counseling. Hosted by the South Carolina Commission for Minority Affairs.

Tuesday, September 14, 2021 - 10:00am EDT



OBO Virtual Small Business Week Conference - Opportunities Out of Crisis

Join the City of Columbia OBO as they recognize the contributions of Columbia's entrepreneurs and small business owners! Topics include creating opportunities during times of crisis, real-life examples of businesses that have pivoted during the pandemic, and navigating the procurement process with government agencies.

Thursday, September 16, 2021 - 9:00am EDT



Federal Contracting 101

Get the information you need to know about how to do business with the world's biggest customer--the U.S. government. Plus, learn about the SBA's small business contracting programs, including the 8(a) Program for socially and economically disadvantaged business owners, Woman-Owned Small Business (WOSB) Program, Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) Program, and Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone) Program. Also learn about prime and subcontracting assistance programs. Hosted by the SC Commission for Minority Affairs.

Thursday, September 16, 2021 - 10:00am EDT


Selling to the Government Contracting Guide

How to Win the Contract: Webinar Series

How to Win the Contract four part webinar series is hosted by the City of Charleston’s M&WBE Office. The webinar series schedule includes:

September 8 - Why Be Certified?
September 15 - SBA Federal Contracting 101
September 22 - Understanding the Scope & Winning the Contract
September 29 - Got the Contract, Now What?

Webinars are free and registration is required. Once registered, you will be automatically signed up for all four webinars in the series. The webinars are hosted every Wednesday night from 6 - 7 PM starting September 8th through the 29th. For additional questions, please contact the M&WBE office at mwbe@charleston-sc.gov.


National Small Business Week Events

Tuesday, September 14, 11 a.m. EDT – “Better Serving Small Businesses and Underserved Communities

Day’s events include:

  • Morning Sessions –
    • Access to Capital for Women Entrepreneurs
    • U.S. Postal Service: Delivering Solutions for Small Businesses
  • Mid-day Sessions –
    • Unlocking the Doors to Access for Black-Owned Businesses:  Funders and Founders Share their Real-Life Stories
    • Resilience and the Recovery: How Small Businesses Can Adapt to the Trends Transforming the Workforce
  • Late-day Session – Support Latino Biz: How Mayors and influencers are leading the way to celebrate the significant economic contributions that Latino-owned businesses make, the jobs they help create, and the positive impact they bring to our community.   

Wednesday, September 15, 11 a.m. EDT – “Continuance to Support Resilience and Renewal”

Day’s events include:

  • Morning Session – Recovery Lessons from the Nation’s Entrepreneurial Coaching Networks
  • Panel Discussion – Exporting as a Way to Grow Your Business: How SBA Can Help You Sell Overseas
  • Mid-day Sessions –
    • Accelerate Your Small Business Success by Selling Online
    • Integrating Brick and Mortar and E-commerce
  • Late-day Session – Empowering the Veteran and Military Small Business Community
  • Closing Session– “Gateway to Success:” Tune in to get a virtual look at the nationwide resources SBA field offices have to help small businesses business start, grow, expand and recover, and how to get connected to the powerful network of small business entrepreneurs right in your community.

To register for the National Small Business Week Virtual Summit and to participate in summit workshops, please visit http://www.sba.gov/NSBW. All events will be live-streamed and will use the event hashtag #SmallBusinessWeek.

Information Corner

Toni Reale

Charleston Florist Business Blooms Amid COVID Crisis

Toni Reale’s love for the environment started with her career in geology as an adjunct professor for the College of Charleston. In 2012, she had the idea of converting a 1970s ice cream truck into a mobile florist shop, specializing in locally sourced flowers. This was an important goal for Reale, as 80 percent of flowers in the U.S. are usually imported from other countries that are not environmentally or labor conscious. The business quickly outgrew the ice cream truck, and Reale needed more retail space to relaunch into weddings. In just nine months, the business outgrew that space as well, and Roadside Blooms moved to their current location. Roadside Blooms has now grown into a botanical and mercantile shop providing gifts, workshops, crystals, local Charleston fresh flower delivery, plants and elopement and micro wedding offerings.

When the COVID-19 pandemic struck the U.S., Roadside Blooms was hit hard. Over 75 percent of the business’s sales are derived from weddings, and in the blink of an eye, a year’s worth of profits were gone. At the time, Reale employed seven talented women, many of which are mothers who had their own families to support. Not only did Reale worry for her employees, but she also feared they may have to leave her business to find another job, and the business would greatly suffer without them.

Reale sought disaster assistance from the U.S. Small Business Administration through the Paycheck Protection Program and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan. Through these two loan programs, Reale was able to keep her staff employed, and cover working capital expenses until her business was able to get back up and running.

Roadside Blooms is now doing better than ever. Business started to pick up as they pivoted their focus to home floral arrangements. Reale was even able to hire an additional designer to her staff with the PPP funding, and they have emerged as a better and stronger team.

“I want to express my gratitude to the SBA for being able to access these loans and having a peace of mind that this business I’ve invested so much time and energy into will be ok,” said Reale. “Without that funding, I would’ve had to lay employs off, and my business would not have been the same.”

Upcoming Events

Grow with Google - Make Better Business Decisions with Analytics
SCORE Business Mentor
Thursday, September 16, 2021 - 12:00pm EDT

How to Fund Your Business
SCORE Business Mentor
Thursday, September 16, 2021 - 12:00pm EDT