Friday, August 30, 2013

Sansrik Laundromat: NOW OPEN!

By: Skiller Jackson


(Kosrae SBDC)


Mr. Grant H. Ismael and his wife, Kenye, have been dreaming of opening up a business on their piece of land at Sansrik, in the Lelu Municipality. The couple has been residing in the Utwe Municipality for more than 15 years. They have passed through this parcel of land every day while going to and from work, visiting family members in the Lelu Municipality, and doing family shopping.

Front View of Sansrik Laundromat
Mr. Grant Ismael has been working for the Kosrae State Government for the past several years as the Administrator for the Kosrae Visitors Bureau. His wife used to work for the Kosrae State Government for two years as a practical nurse and a legal aid for a local law attorney for a year. Due to family obligations with their kids, Mrs. Kenye Grant refrained from her government jobs.

Around that time, Mr. Grant Ismael came to visit the Kosrae SBDC to start planning for a laundry business for his family. Along the way, a business plan draft was completed and left in his possession for almost seven years. As their kids matured and are now attending school, the couple decided to reactivate their laundry business plan.

On July 2012, Mr. Grant Ismael contacted the Kosrae SBDC for assistance in updating his business plan and to make the necessary updates and revisions to the cost of building materials and laundry machines. After several counseling sessions with the Kosrae SBDC staff, the plan was updated and sent to the Pacific Island Development Bank for review and comment.

Washers and Dryers at Sansrik Laundromat

Earlier this year, on February 19, 2013, Mr. Grant Ismael’s loan request for a laundry business was approved. One month later, the Sansrik Laundromat was opened for business. The Kosrae SBDC would like to congratulate Mr. Grant Ismael and his wife Kenye Grant for their efforts in making their dream become reality. The Sansrik Laundromat is opened for business from Monday to Saturday. Hours of operations are from 7:00am to 10:30pm. The Sansrik Laundromat has made life much easier for the Sansrik Community as they used to drive for at least 3 to 4 miles to the nearest laundry service.

For more information on the services and operations of the Sansrik Laundromat, please call the owner (Mr. Grant Ismael) or manager (Mrs. Kenye Grant) at telephone number 370-4900 or 370-7208.

For more information on how the Kosrae SBDC can help you, please call (691)370-2751, email, or visit

Friday, August 23, 2013

Second Annual Guam Export Trade Show To Highlight Guam's Growing Export Industry

By: Guam Economic Development Authority (GEDA) & Guam SBDC Staff

It is expected to be the largest trades show ever to be held on Guam, and it will certainly highlight the growth in the island's trade industry.  The 2013 Guam Export Trade Show (GETS) will be held on Saturday, September 21 at the University of Guam Fieldhouse.  GETS will feature many of the island's businesses and products, and the hope is to link them with potential buyers, both local and international.

This year will be the second annual event hosted by the Guam Economic Development Authority (GEDA) and the UOG Guam Small Business Development Center (SBDC) with a goal to enroll 50 conference participants and 100 trade show participants.

Elyse Eriksson teaches "The Riddle of the Exporter" last year (2012) at the Hyatt Regency Guam.
"Last year's event was highly successful, with 50 local vendors showcasing their products and services, and this year's event is expected to have double the participation," according to GEDA Administrator, Henry J. Taitano. "This is a prime opportunity to link our local entrepreneurs with international buyers, helping them market their products, and in effect, helping to grow our island's trade industry."

As part of the tradeshow GEDA and the Guam SBDC will also host "Export University 101," which will be a comprehensive training session that will cover all major aspects of exporting, and will offer tips in developing global strategies for small businesses.  This will include materials and information to help them create their international business plan.

As part of “Export University 101”, presentations will be given by Kevin Craft, president and founder of Tradewinds Global, an award winning management and marketing company, focusing on the export development and placement of consumer brands throughout the Pacific Rim and Lesley Harvey, Project Director for Hawaii's Pacific Export Council.

"The 'Export University Series' will provide useful tools to help small businesses that are new to exporting, as well as those with a blossoming international business, grow their global business," Taitano added, "which is the intent of the GETS event and the STEP Grant program."

The State Trade and Export Promotions (STEP) Grant, was established through the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010.  It is a 3-year trade and export pilot, which is intended to assist eligible small businesses.  It also ties into President Barrack Obama's National Export Initiative, which seeks to double the amount of exports in the next 5 years, to increase the number of small businesses that export, as well as increase the value of exports for small businesses that are currently involved in exporting.

It was last year, GEDA received an additional $227,445 in STEP Grant funding, and much of that money has been successfully spent on helping local businesses enter into the export industry.  GEDA has also integrated its Guam Product Seal Program, and Buy Local Initiative, into its plan, in an effort to better expand local products and services into foreign markets.

"Our GPS clients will be a big focus during this year's trade show, and we are sure they will benefit from the opportunity to market their products," according to Tina Garcia GEDA's Business Development Manager.

Guam Product Seal clients who are also STEP grant clients include Grow Guam, Coco Jo's, Island Memories, B &O Sausages and Cruz Best Foods to name a few.

GETS 2013 will highlight local produce, with a real effort to expand our local farm industry. "There has been a real interest in local produce," said Garcia, who is also planning to attend a food export trade mission in Hong Kong.  "We have investors in Hong Kong, who are looking at Guam, to provide produce for their hotels and restaurants."

"Places like Hong Kong, are always looking for sources of fresh, clean produce, and so this is just another prime opportunity to export goods, and help our local farmers."  GEDA will be participating in the largest Hong Kong food expo in August.

Tourism has been the island's number one industry, and tourism related products and services will also be highlights during the GETS show.   Guam's tourism and trade makes up for a large percentage of the island's export industry, and the event is also beneficial in expanding the tourism market as well.

Export University 101 will be held on Thursday, September 19, 2013 and Friday, September 20, 2013 at the UOG School of Business and Public Administration, room number 129.  To register go to  For more information on this conference, please call the Guam SBDC at 735-2590.

The Guam Export Trade Show will be held on Saturday, September 21, 2013, at the University of Guam Field House. The first couple of hours will be open for buyers and traders only, but after noon, it will be open to the public.  Up to 100 exhibits featuring Guam based businesses in the Tourism industry, Farmers Coop, local wholesalers and manufacturers will be featured.  Guam businesses can register as an exhibitor at

For more information on the trade show, contact GEDA's offices at 647-4332 or visit their website at

Friday, August 16, 2013

Pacific Composites Inc. DBA ShipRight! and boatSHOP: Expansion in the Making


By: Denise Mendiola-Hertslet

Senior Business Counselor/Bank of Guam WIB Program Coordinator

(Guam SBDC)

Chris and Amanda Young, owners of ShipRight, are partners in business and partners in life. They are a unique duo with even more unique approaches towards life and the business that happens whilst living it. Chris and Amanda are high school sweethearts though neither went to the same high school. Chris was homeschooled and was already taking college courses at night after work and Amanda went to Guam High School. After leaving home at 17 to live out her dream with her soon to be partner in everything, she also started working during the day and taking classes at night. Working construction and cleaning houses, they lived fugally in order to put themselves through Guam Community College, debt free. They got married not too long after college and have been married for eight years on July 25th   this year and have been devoted partners for13 yrs. Today, they are blessed with three daughters: Evie 5, Lighlah 3, and Aurora 9months. We live in the flourishing village of Agat where our extended family: Chris’ parents, siblings, and grandmother as well as Amanda’s parents are just a drive down away. Family is the major motivation behind what they do every day so naturally their business must also feel like family.
The Young’s did not just sprung up from their feet and decide to open up a business. They say it “was a process that happened organically. There wasn’t really a definite decision to one day own a business. It was more like making a decision not to work for another business. It felt more natural to simply work for ourselves.
Chris and Amanda Young, owners of ShipRight! And boatSHOP, (in black) snap a quick photo in front of their shop with their employees.
Because Chris grew up in the marine industry, majority of his working knowledge was developed by the direct instruction of his father who was a boat builder/general contractor. His father and mother even built the boat that they lived on and are working their retirement on Guam towards renovating the “Our Way”, the boat that sailed them through life. Having been raised on a boat, Chris sailed to many ports through out the West Coast and South Pacific, exposing him too more building opportunities that helped him expand his abilities. Amanda working along side Chris for many years has absorbed wisdom of the Marine Industry and uses that insight to market and administer the company to be an established and prosperous marine fabrication and repair shop. With a unique upbringing and over 20 years experience in the field of building and boating, they are able to offer both skill and first hand knowledge to the services offered at their company.
The demand for their services started getting bigger than their company itself. Therefore to accommodate what their customers wanted without compromising on their values of quality and integrity, they felt it was necessary for to expand their business.
The Young’s stated, “The templates that SBDC provided for writing up business plans and financials made this process less intimidating and the personable one on one support was very motivating. Denise Mendiola-Herslet was our SBDC counselor, her realism and confidence was an inspiring yet calming presence during the expansion process. She rocks!” Expanding a business can bring up an array of emotions. For the Young’s, the expansion process “was both thrilling and exhausting but all together gratifying. There was a lot of research, fact checking, phone calls, meetings, and many conversations in between the many other daily conversations about making this expansion happen.”
The Young’s try to keep the funding of their business without the need of investors, because they started their business with their own efforts and continue to do so. Therefore, they came up with multiple back-up plans to finance their expansion. Their initial plan was to bring in their expansion documents to their company banker up at First Hawaiian Bank. In case that plan fell through, they would be able to fund the expansion three different ways: government financial aid institutions like SBA or USDA, creatively set up independent fundraising events, or online sources such as “indiegogo” or “go fund me”. The Young’s stated, “We are big on thinking outside the box!” Fortunately, they did not have to get that elaborate for funding the expansion, because the bank was impressed by their expansion documents allowing them to acquire funding in a very easy way. In addition because of the way we wrote our plans the banker was able to set up funding options that worked best for our situation.
One of the biggest challenges the Young’s faced was balancing the numbers. When looking to the future of what their business needed to survive as well as thrive, it was conflicting trying to weigh out what areas of the business would require more funding and what areas did not. They had to make modest requests for those appropriations so that financial institutions would find those requests reasonable and profitable. Another challenge was balancing life. It was difficult trying to find the stability between working on the expansion, working the business already in operation, and working on family. Balancing the time spent on each but again not compromising on the values of quality and integrity in each of those aspects, that was the hardest.
Chris and Amanda Young spend some quality time with their daughters Evie 5, Lighlah 3, and Aurora 9 months.
The most memorable triumph thus far in the business for the Young’s is acquiring the rights to deal and distribute Suzuki Marine, SystemThree, and HoneyComb Core to Guam and the Marianas. From those triumphs, developing personable and gratifyingly real relationships with these companies, which add value to our company as well as our life and exemplifying again the feeling of family in our business.
The future is bright for Ship Right. The Young’s describe their goals both short and long term. For their short term goal, they want to complete the physical expansion of their boat supply storefront so that they can quickly accommodate the growing demand of their quality marine products. For their long term goal, they look forward to start manufacturing and marketing an award wining design of efficient boats, to support the local boating community through DIY workshops, sponsoring, and/or partnering at community events associated with water sports and recreation.
The Young’s advice for future or continuing business owners is to, “[Not] wait for perfect conditions. Even the smallest action now will perpetuate into big endeavors later. And if motivation is all you need… simply set up an appointment with the people at SBDC they can help make your dreams your business.”
Pacific Composites Inc. DBA ShipRight! And boatSHOP specializes in boat repair, fabrication, and distribution of marine tooling and materials. They are an official dealer of Suzuki Outboards and Parts, System Three epoxies and resins, Honey Comb Core, and more. They are conveniently located across the street from the Agana Boat Basin, Guam’s main Marina at 302 W. Soledad Ave Hagatna GU 96910 next to Moylan’s party world. They are open Tuesdays – Fridays from 9:00am – 5:00pm, Saturdays from 10:00am – 2:00pm, and are closed on Sundays and most major holidays. You can give them a call at (671)989-SHIP (7447) or visit their website at
For more information on how the Guam Small Business Development Center can help you, please give us a call at (671)735-2590 or visit our website at