Friday, August 28, 2015

Shenanigans Restaurant Saipan: Five Years and Growing

By: The CNMI SBDC Staff

Growing up in a restaurant environment, the exposure to the hotel and restaurant industry from her grandparents and father, and then later studied the business aspects of the industry in college, Belen Busby was destined to open a restaurant of her own. She stated, “It’s kind of a childhood dream that needed to happen.” Belen was born into the industry where her grandparents owned a restaurant in the Philippines and then having worked in F&B businesses since the age of 18. She went to college and earned a degree in Hotel and Restaurant Administration and a Bachelor’s of Science in Information Technology and Network Engineering. Belen has resided on Saipan for 21 years with her husband Michael Busby and son, Rafael.
Five years ago, Belen and Michael opened Shenanigans Restaurant located in Orchid St. Beach Road, Garapan serving up pasta, sandwiches, and other delicious entrees. The business was funded through their personal savings and personal loans. Belen recalls back on the obstacles they faced during their start-up years that not only affected the CNMI throughout but their business as well. Shenanigans Restaurant was opened during a period when the government and private sector were cutting hours, during the unfortunate and unforeseen disasters in Japan (one of the CNMI’s main tourism markets), and the increase in prices and utility rates. Other challenges have been obtaining CNMI-only Transitional Worker (CW) permits for workers, finding experienced U.S. Citizens to replace CWs, and maintaining operating capital to meet the shortcoming of the low season. However, the Busby’s survived and Belen stated that if they could survive those years, especially in an industry as tough as the restaurant business, she believes they can survive another five years and more.
As their five year mark approached, their equipment reached its mark as well. With the guidance and assistance of the CNMI SBDC, the Commonwealth Development Authority (CDA), and City Trust Bank, the Busby’s were able to obtain funding to purchase new equipment and repair their old ones. In addition, they were able to access additional operating capital and gained the knowledge of creating a formal financial portfolio for their company. One of the most difficult years for the Busby’s and Shenanigans Restaurant was the hardships they faced in 2014 and making it through that served as their most memorable triumph. Belen shared her gratitude and appreciation of the patronage of their customers and the support of their vendors and the trust that they have instilled in them over the years.

With her experience Belen advises entrepreneurs, “Follow your instinct and keep praying for guidance. Know who to trust and stay away from the ones that project negative vibes.” She continues on to say that a business is a gamble. You will never know if you are going to succeed unless you try. It is also a test of self-control and knowing when to stop. Before Belen and Michael opened Shenanigans, she shared her possible venture with others. They questioned her decision with the condition of the economy. However, she responded that [the economy] is in the bottom and that there is nowhere for it to go but up. She also stated that if she did not do it now then she might not have the chance to do it again and she will never know if it failed or succeeded.
Shenanigans Restaurant is located in Garapan, Saipan. They are open for breakfast at 7:30am on Saturday and Sunday only and every day for lunch from 10:30am – 3:00pm and dinner from 5:30pm – 10:00pm. Contact Shenanigans Restaurant at 670-233-8324 or e-mail
For more information on how the CNMI SBDC can assist you start or expand your business, contact their office at 670-664-3018 or visit 

Friday, August 21, 2015

Sari Sari Outlet Open at the Agana Shopping Center

By: Fred Granillo
Business Advisor
(Guam SBDC)

Robert & Filipina “Pina” Rabago are the husband and wife team that own Sari Sari Outlet.  Sari Sari in Tagalog basically means everything, but right now they’ve been focusing on cell phone covers and accessories.  Robert and Pina have been married for 10 years with two children (girl and boy) ages 9 and 7, respectively.  Robert is from Guam and Pina is from the Philippines.
Their business is truly a family run operation with Pina and Robert handling the day to day operations after work hours while their oldest daughter, Hazel Aulerio, runs the morning shift.  Even the children are there to help out after school – cleaning up, and putting the products in the packages.  Pina and Robert still have a full time job and consider this venture as their part time job after work and on the weekends.
Pina is the driving force behind Sari Sari Outlet. She had been planning and dreaming that one day she would own her own business. She had been working part-time at different retail positions and gained some knowledge on product placement, promotion and distribution.

Her last position was working part time for a small business at the Market Place in Agana Shopping Center that sold retail electronic accessories.  She liked and understood the various products and felt strongly that she could start up the same type of business but achieve a better market penetration and establish herself in this business. Having never owned a small business before, Pina had enough retail experience, customer service and product knowledge that she was convinced she could open her own business.  Robert was not so convinced that it could work.
Although Pina was confident that the business could work because of her knowledge of the other shop at that time, they realized further assistance was needed in developing their financial projections for the business. Robert knew Fred Granillo, Business Advisor and asked for assistance in developing their projections. The Business Advisor helped in clarifying how to develop and determine their total startup costs, operating expenses and projected sales. Robert noted he wanted to see what the numbers looked like but after working with the Small Business Development certainly opened his eyes to the real potential for his business financial operations.
Pina was now more focused on establishing the business and she never looked back.  She worked with her husband and had many discussions on planning, opening the business and committing to the daily operations. This business would be a meaningful part of their livelihood so she was going to see it through and give it her full attention.
With a husband and wife team, the stress level was at an all-time high during the initial set up of the business.  But the start-up process was very interesting and a real business education. For instance, the areas that they encountered were working with the suppliers to bring in the product and build their inventory, understanding the shipping process and costing, establishing the leasehold location including the leasehold improvements, and the business license process. Other items they had to learn were the setup of the credit card to enhance their sales and the recordkeeping function that they would handle on their own.
The business was started with their personal funds and a personal loan that they took advantage of to pay off another current loan and the difference used to start the business. They are conservative people so they wanted to limit the amount of debt used in the business that in turn to have a low monthly payment. Some of the biggest challenges were understanding the ordering part process as there are many product items offered by the supplier and each with a particular code. Any error in the coding process could produce the wrong product received. Further, trying to build up their inventory in a short time so they can have a sufficient opportunity to capture sales during the holiday season.  Pina was and is the only one with the retail eye for items that customers will want to purchase in the shop.
Owners of Sari Sari Outlet,
Pina and Robert Rabago
Their opening day and having to experience the first customer sale was the ultimate experience in establishing the business. That feeling was the best confirmation of all their efforts had come to fruition. Plus Pina noted there is a sense of freedom of operating your own business and she is happy that she took the step.
Pina and Robert’s short term plan is to refine the product mix within the store to identify the products most in demand form their target market. Further, they desire to enhance their marketing budget and increase an advertising strategy to attract more customers. So sales is the key focus. In the long term they want to eventually expand in to a second location so as to leverage their knowledge from the first store and further increase sales and potentially net profits. They want this business to be a long term sustainable business.
Pina and Robert’s advice for other small business startups is once you commit don’t look back.  Stay positive and get started on that business license.  Everyone will give you advice, but it’s really on you to make it happen.  Plus take advantage of free resources like the Small Business Development office that offers sound business advice to make sure you’re on the right track.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Killy's Store: Offering Refreshing Iced Products

By: Ketsen Haregaichig
Service Center Director/Business Advisor
Chuuk SBDC

Killy Fritz is a mother of four little girls and a part time custodian at Chuuk SBDC for over ten (10) years now.   My four little girls are attending private school and my salary barely meets their tuitions, school expenses and home needs.  Life is difficult but I want the best for me and my girls.

So, Killy decided to open up a business selling iced drinks. Killy went to the Chuuk SBDC to get help on business planning and start-up assistance. Killy stated, “I want to thank the staff of Chuuk SBDC for their help, strong support and encouragement that led me into developing my business plan and submitted to the FSM Development Bank.  After two visits to the bank I was informed that my loan request was approved.  I was very happy.”

The start up process was not easy but with the strong support and encouragement by the staff of Chuuk SBDC things went well. Killy sells three types of iced products on a dock where islanders come in the morning and leave in the afternoon. Her product is ideal for the heat. Killy sells ice blocks to fishermen and others who need ice for cold drinks and food preservation. She also sells ice cups which is a delicious and refreshing koolaid mixture. And lastly, she offers ice chofar which is a popular ice cup flavor in the Chuukese community. It is made of water mixed with carnation milk, condense milk, sugar, and chofar.

In the long run, Killy intends to purchase her own chiller where she will be able to produce more ice block and ice cups and be able to meet the demand of her present market.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Jiron in Keko's Taxi Service: An Interview with Owner Scott Paul

By: Anel Philimon
Service Center Director/Business Advisor

Please tell us about yourself and your family.
I grew up in a business environment in which my parents owned and operated a small retail store for which financed my brothers and I through school.

Why did you decide to start your own business?
Business and management is what I know and is basically my life.

What experience do you have in this type of business?
Retailing and Banking management.

How did the Small Business Development Center and other resources help you?
This program opened opportunities pertaining to capital availability and a business model to follow.

What was the start-up process like?
Start-up process had no issues. It was smooth with the guidance of the SBDC consultant and Bank of the Marshall Islands-BOMI representatives.

How did you fund your business?
Through the Bank of the Marshall Islands (BOMI)

What is your most memorable triumph in your start-up process?
Starting up the taxi service business.

What are your short-term and long-term plans for your business?
Short term goal is to pay off the loan in one and a half years and my long-term goal is to explore other business opportunities.

What advise would you give to others who want to start a business at this time?
Owning your own business will only be successful if you are true to it.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Blue Amber Trio Opens Guam Art Boutique at Chamorro Village

By: Denise Mendiola-Hertslet
Senior Business Advisor/WIB Program Coordinator

Growing up, Amber Wood and her mother, Char, often dreamed of opening a business together. Char always knew that “Blue Amber” would eventually be the business’s name. Wood’s entrepreneurial journey started in the third grade where she would walk door to door in her little 42-house town collecting recyclables. Wood even had her business card, “Kids who Care.” After that business, Wood and Char decided to open a phone-order pie company where people in her little town could order homemade apple pies made with apples from their own crab apple trees.

As Wood got older, she continued to come up with business ideas while traveling the world. She settled in Thailand where she met Songsri, whom she refers to as her Thai mother. They both shared the love and passion for art. Songsri was a painter, seamstress, crafter, and jewelry designer much like Wood herself. On a shopping trip, they came across beautiful stones and decided to create jewelry to raise funds for Wood to visit Char. Wood had been beading since she was eight and had created a jewelry business while in college. Once Songsri and Wood made enough money, Wood was able to go back to visit Char and share the revitalization of her business venture. Char was ecstatic. She had long loved gemstones and had been collecting for years. They planned a trip across the United States stopping at gift shops and showing their wares out of an old leather suitcase to potential buyers.

Wood continued her jewelry business and continued to traverse the globe. She found herself on Guam along with Char and her sister. This is where she decided to take her business to the next level. Creating the pieces, although time consuming, was the easier part of the start-up process because Wood already had the materials needed and Char invested $3,000 to fund licenses, display materials, tools, and other supplies. Wood set her eye on opening a small shop in Chamorro Village, but in order to secure a spot, her business plan had to be approved by the Guam Small Business Development Center (Guam SBDC). Before her first meeting with Senior Business Advisor Denise Mendiola-Hertslet, Wood drafted a business plan. Wood stated, “Denise was amazingly friendly, made the stepping stones of business development easy to understand and also helped me realize that I needed to tweak my margins if I wanted to make business sustainable.” Wood found that the process to start was time consuming yet straight forward regarding getting the proper paperwork and licenses. Extensive research in finding out vendor fairs, networking, and attending SBDC seminars and business counseling sessions were crucial components in finalizing her business plan from SBDC and gaining approval for the Guam Product Seal from the Guam Economic Development Authority (GEDA). Wood quoted, “The start-up process was an adventure, full of research and lots of legwork, but far worth it!”

Wood realized that collaboration with other artisans would be the perfect solution to such time consuming work; therefore, she organized a group of Made in Guam seal holders who had expressed interest in starting up a location together. In March, Wood opened Blue Amber Trio Guam Art Boutique at the Chamorro Village. While the boutique is currently under Blue Amber Trio, it is in many ways an unofficial co-op with the intention to become its own entity. Wood stated that she was filled with great appreciation that the vendor community embraced her with such love to create a system and space for a few of them to come together and grow together. It brings Wood great joy and pride when she sees someone wearing a piece of her jewelry and hear them say things like “This is my favorite pair of earrings” or when she sees repeat customers come back for their third or even fourth piece.

What does the future hold for Blue Amber Trio? Wood explains that in the short run, her plans are to find new and innovative ways to create unique and diverse product offerings that pull on the healing and metaphysical qualities of gemstones, in combination with items found locally on Guam, for not only jewelry but also other Made in Guam gift items. Wood intends to expand her offering to other retail locations throughout the island and not limit it to Guam Art Boutique, Underwater World, and Wednesday Night Market at Chamorro Village. In the long run, Wood plans to add two unique wholesale lines, one less expensive gift item lie for the ABC Stores and/or JP Superstores and a higher end silver line for DFS Galleria, in addition to other plans.

Wood leaves off with letting other entrepreneurs know to, “Go for it! Be on top of your books from the start and take each failure as a lesson with gratitude.” She ends with a quote from Rumi, “What you seek is seeking you.” Guam Art Boutique is open every day from 10:00am – 6:00pm except on Wednesdays and Sundays, they are open from 10:00am-9:00pm and 10:00am – 2:00pm respectively. To find out more information, please contact Amber Wood at 671-998-0560 or email or visit

For more information on how the Guam Small Business Development Center can assist you, contact their office at 671-735-2590 or visit their website at to register for small business workshops and/or request for FREE confidential one-to-one counseling. 

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Advanced Eyecare, LLC: An Interview with Owner Peter Lombard MD

By: Denise Mendiola-Hertslet
Senior Business Advisor/WIB Coordinator
(Guam SBDC)

Freedom, Opportunity, and Service are the foundation blocks of Advanced Eyecare, LLC and the reasons why Peter Lombard MD decided to venture on his own to open up an ophthalmology clinic. We recently had the opportunity to speak with Peter on his journey in opening his business.

Please tell us about yourself and your family.

My mom and dad came to Guam in 1975 and built a house in Pago Bay where they still live.  I have an older sister in Hawaii and my brother Gabe lives with me on Guam. I came back to Guam in 2010 after spending a number of years off island for college, medical school, residency training, and military service.  I am leaving the U.S. Navy this summer to start my own ophthalmology clinic.

Why did you decide to start your own business?

Freedom, opportunity, service.  I have the opportunity to build something special and long-lasting, from the ground up.  My business will provide a service that is tremendously useful to our community, and that makes me very proud.  There’s something particularly liberating about being your own boss, and it’s empowering to know that the success and failure of your business rests only on your shoulders.

What experience do you have in this type of business?

I have no prior business experience running a private medical clinic, but I have the technical expertise to treat patients.  This is a problem many doctors face, and remains a big hurdle for many doctors when contemplating starting their own private practice.

How did the Small Business Development Center and other resources help you?

The hardest part for me initially was understanding the steps in the process.  Not having any prior business experience, even simple terms were hard for me to grasp at first.  I was assigned an advisor, Denise Mendiola, and she worked closely with me through each step.  She provided me with the Word and Excel templates I needed, and when I would get stuck on a certain section she helped me complete these parts.  She made sure I was moving forward at a steady pace, periodically asking how things were going and offering further assistance.  She has been an invaluable asset for me and I’m very grateful for her help!

What was the start-up process like?

After establishing the LLC, I determined what equipment costs I would have, the staffing I would need, and located a place to start my business.  I drafted a business plan and financial projections to submit with my loan application. Once approved for the loan, I acquired the medical equipment and clinic management systems needed to run a clinic, negotiated contracts with the local insurance carriers, hired and trained staff, and started to see patients. It all seems simple written out like this but this took about 6 months and was very stressful at times.
How did you fund your business?

I applied for a business loan, but also used significant personal savings for the startup costs.  Approximately 70% of startup costs were financed with the business loan, 30% from personal savings.

What were some of the biggest challenges you experienced in the start-up process?

I struggled a bit with the financial projections.  For my particular business it is hard to estimate the sales of the services I provide, because it is very different for each patient.  I’m not selling items at a fixed cost from inventory. 

What is your most memorable triumph in your start-up process?

Putting the LLC certificate up on the wall is always a nice feeling.  But I’ll never forget the day the network was hooked up and all the computers and software was working the way they are supposed to!  You live and die by your IT support!

What are your short-term and long-term plans for your business?

Short term: establish consistent patient base, grow the practice over the first 2 years and establish my clinic as a center of excellence in Guam. Long term: build a new eye clinic with room for significant growth and expansion.

What advice would you give to others who want to start a business at this time?

Definitely avail yourself of the services offered by SBDC.  Set reasonable time goals, and understand it’s a long process.  Put in the time and hours when required to get things off the ground when it’s crunch time.  Dream big.  Always look for more opportunities, and don’t be afraid to talk to people about your plans – you never know how they might be able to help you or what insight they can give.

For more information on how Guam SBDC can assist you, contact their office 671-735-2590 or visit






Friday, April 10, 2015

Dikiki Donuts Pack Big Flavor

An Interview with Owner Jim Dimag

Please tell us about yourself and your family.
We are a family of four that consists of my lovely wife Kaori, my beautiful daughter Crystal, my handsome son Chance. My name is Jim and I work in the Hotel Industry.
Why did you decide to start your own business?

The reason for starting my small business is to save money to take my family on a yearly vacation. I wanted to make memories so that when my family gets older and we are sitting on our front porch we can pull these memories from our back pockets and smile.
I remember when I was younger, I would frequent the Gibson’s comic shop (Guam Premier Outlets). There was a guy who used to sell doughnuts at the entrance. I remember the smell walking into Gibson’s and I can still remember the taste to this day. When I was searching for a great business idea, I thought I could do something like that.  My customers often share their stories of the Gibson’s doughnut stand as well and tell me that Dikiki Donuts remind them of the good old days at Gibson’s.

What experience do you have in this type of business?
Absolutely ZERO, business plan is basically ‘save more than you spend or spend less than you make.’

How did the Small Business Development Center and other resources help you?
Denise was very helpful, she pointed me in the right direction making sure I went step by step and in the correct order as it relates to permits and licenses. She reviewed my business plan and calculated the expense to ensure my business was profitable. On top of that Denise is a wonderful individual. The experience was a positive one.

What was the start-up process like?
It was overwhelming at first, going to different agencies filling out forms ensuring that you are compliant. I remember thinking ‘what have I gotten myself into.’ I persevered and the feeling you have when you receive your business license is one of relief and accomplishment.
How did you fund your business?
I received a loan from the Bank of Guam, a gentleman by the name of Dave Arriola assisted me with the process. Dave was the reason I went with Bank of Guam, he is professional individual with a great personality. The experience was a positive one.

What were some of the biggest challenges you experienced in the start-up process?
One of the biggest challenges was running out of funds, the process to receive my business license took longer than I planned plus I wanted to upgrade my business.
What is your most memorable triumph in your start-up process?
The first day I opened my business at the Dededo flea market. I remember stepping back and thinking to myself ‘better late than never'

What are your short-term and long-term plans for your business?
Short       - selling at Dededo flea market and Chamorro village.
Long term       - opening up in a major location, and managing my staff.
What advice would you give to others who want to start a business at this time?
‘Go for it!’ but do yourself a favor and make an appointment to see Denise Hertslet at Guam Small Business Center at UOG.

For more information about the Guam Small Business Development Center contact Denise-Mendiola Hertslet at or 671-735-2590 or visit our website at

Friday, April 3, 2015

UOG President Visits RMI SBDC

By: Anel Philimon
SBDC Director/Business Advisor


UOG President Dr. Robert Underwood (left) is photographed
with RMI SBDC Director Anel Philimon.
University of Guam President Dr. Robert A. Underwood recently visited the Majuro, the capital of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, from January 16th to 20th, 2015. In addition to his visits to other government ministries and agencies which included the College of the Marshall Islands, Dr. Underwood also visited the RMI SBDC center on January 19, 2015. The center is hosted by the Ministry of Resources and Development in partnership with the University of Guam (UOG) Pacific Islands SBDC Network. He learned more about the RMI SBDC and that there are only two staff operating the center, with one being the office manager and the other being the center director.


UOG President Dr. Robert Underwood is photographed with
RMI SBDC Office Manager Leeno Aikuij.
Dr. Underwood was interested in learning how the RMI SBDC is doing in terms of meeting and complying with its objectives and goals as stated in the signed MOU between the University of Guam Pacific Islands Small Business Development Center Network (PISBDCN) in partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and the Ministry of Resources and Development on behalf of the government of the Marshall Islands.  He was happy to learn that like the other six SBDC centers throughout the region that are part of UOG PISBDCN, our goals and objectives were successfully and satisfactorily being met.

Lastly, Dr. Underwood mentioned that he will ask representatives of the Bank of Guam about their Marshall Islands activities and encourage more interest.  One last laugh that we shared with each other before he departed arose from the last lesson he learned in regard to how many coconuts it takes to make 100 pound bag of copra.  He was surprised to learn that it takes 300 coconuts to make 100 pounds of copra!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Kosrae SBDC Assists Land Grant Youth Program

By: Skiller Jackson
Service Center Director/Business Advisor
Kosrae SBDC


The Kosrae SBDC and the College of Micronesia (COM) Land Grant Program renewed their long-time collaboration ties again this year. The COM Land Grant Youth Entrepreneurship Start-up (YES) program and the Kosrae SBDC had agreed to provide business skills training to out-of-school youths, students from the local college, students from the Kosrae High School, and other interested youth groups.

This collaborative effort started again last year around November 2014 where the COM Land Grant program recruited students from the Kosrae High School to pilot this YES program. This program runs every Wednesday around 9:00am to 10:00am. The Land Grant program will provide skills training in carving, sewing, and cooking while the Kosrae SBDC will provide business skills training in business plan development, pricing, small business management, and other basic business skills training.

This YES program started on November 2014 and will continue until May 2015. Hopefully, the program will start again when the new school year begins. The COM Land Grant program and the Kosrae SBDC is also planning on continuing this program to out-of-school youths and community youth groups during the summer.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Guam Muay Thai: Growing Strong

By: Denise Mendiola-Hertslet

Senior Business Advisor/WIB Program Coordinator

(Guam SBDC)

Honor, Respect, and Loyalty are words to live by for a man with humble beginnings. Santa Rita native, Kevin Jalique, also known as “Kru” to his students, has a passion for the art of Muay Thai. His unceasing determination and unbreakable self-discipline eventually fueled his desire to take the entrepreneurial path and open Guam Muay Thai in Mangilao. Since its inception in 2012, the business has quickly grown in students and now includes classes for women and children. We recently had an opportunity to share the story of Guam Muay Thai.

From left to right: Christina Kidd, Alvina Gumataotao, Adelle Dimalanta, Michelle Catahay, Jalanda Megofna, Januarie Strong, Kat Aquino, Mariana Kidd, Meagan Kidd, Geralyn Mendiola.
Bottom: Kru Melchor Antolin, Kru Kevin Jalique

Los Angeles, California was where Kevin Jalique’s passion in Muay Thai came about in 2000. He first started training under Instructor Kru Pongsan Ek-Yotin of the World Muay Thai Gym. It was through Kru Pongsan that Jalique honed his skills at being a teacher and a trainer and picked up some of the business aspects and operations of running a fight gym.  Jalique returned to Guam and after teaching at the Talent Box Studio and Underworld Xtreme gym, he had the vision of owning his own gym. The enrollment at the classes he taught were growing and he saw that there was a demand for it. However, to accommodate his students, he needed a larger facility and more equipment.

Jalique visited the Guam Small Business Development Center where Denise Mendiola-Hertslet assisted him and his wife, Piyamas Sablan-Jalique. He states that, “Denise provided them with a business plan template, great advice, and a lot of resources for loans if needed.” Jalique still consults with Denise when he has questions and finds her very helpful. Jalique recalls that the start-up process was easy and exciting, because his passion was there and with that he had the motivation to realize his end goal.

After completing the business plan, Jalique’s next goal was to find a good location. He took into consideration that he was still teaching classes at Talent Box Studio and Underworld Xtreme gym and to ensure that his students were able to easily transition to the new location. In 2012, Guam Muay Thai opened in Mangilao. Jalique strategically positioned the gym where a large part of his main market in the age group of 17 – 35 years old frequent and because of its proximity to the college and university. Passersby would see the gym from the road on their way to class and there were no other Muay Thai gyms in the area.

Jalique faced many challenges, but the biggest obstacle was the organization and time management to plan the set-up of the location for opening, working full time, and continuing to teach two classes. All the work was done themselves with the assistance of friends and students. Jalique said, “It was well worth all the hard work and sweat!” Jalique discussed what was in store for Guam Muay Thai. For its short terms goals, he wants to keep their current students and increase enrollment. In the long term, Jalique plans on getting a bigger facility, provide more classes, increase retail sales, and start hosting amateur Muay Thai fights for kids and adults.

Lastly, Jalique reached out to the aspiring entrepreneurs with some advice. He stated, “Do something that you have a passion for because you may not see the profits come in right away, be prepared to a low, and make an appointment with the Guam SBDC before doing anything.” To learn more about Guam Muay Thai, check out their Facebook page at or give them a call at 671-487-7718.

For more information about the Guam Small Business Development Center contact Denise Mendiola Hertslet, Senior Business Advisor and Bank of Guam Women in Business Program Coordinator at or 735-2590 or visit our website at

Friday, March 13, 2015

USDA, Farm Service Agency – Microloan Program Now Available in Marshall Islands

In partnership with the U.S. Small Business Development Center (SBDC), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Farm Service Agency (FSA) microloan program is now available to agricultural producers of all types in Majuro, RMI.     
The microloan program was established to serve small-scale operations with access to up to $50,000 with a simpler application process, a low, fixed interest rate, and a maximum of seven years to repay.  Microloans can be used for initial start-up expenses; annual expenses such as seed, fertilizer, utilities and land rents; value-added processing, marketing and distribution expenses; and the purchase of livestock and equipment.
“SBDC business training and education, in combination with access to low-interest microloans, can provide producers with opportunities to increase their family income, promote local food self-sufficiency and help stimulate the local economy,” said FSA, State Executive Director, Diane Ley.
The Majuro SBDC will provide a direct link for producers to FSA programs and guide them in the loan application process.  The College of the Marshall Islands will provide training and educational workshops while the RMI Ministry of Resources and Development will provide technical assistance and help coordinate all government and non-government partners.

From (L) to (R):  Hiroshi V. Yamamura, Minister of Public Works and Acting Minister for Resources and Development; Anel N. Philimon, Director, RMI SBDC; Carl Hacker, President,  College of the Marshall Islands; Diane L. Ley, State Executive Director, USDA, Farm Service Agency.

Friday, March 6, 2015

America's #1 Trusted Small Business Network

Celebrates 35 Years

Business has changed dramatically in the last 35 years, from the introduction of new technologies to the expansion of global trade. And  America’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC) network has been there throughout -- helping small businesses succeed, and helping aspiring entrepreneurs achieve the American dream of owning their own business.

“America’s small businesses are truly the engine of economic growth, and for 35 years, America’s SBDCs have been like spark plugs helping to keep that engine going,” said Charles “Tee” Rowe, President of America’s SBDC.

Today, a new business is opened by an SBDC in-depth client every 33 minutes; a new job is created in the U.S. by an SBDC in-depth client every 7 minutes; $100,000 in new sales are generated by SBDC in-depth clients every 4 minutes; and $100,000 in capital is obtained by SBDC in-depth clients every 15 minutes.

America’s SBDC network is a partnership that includes the U.S. Congress, SBA, the private sector, and the colleges, universities and state governments that manage SBDCs across the nation. SBDCs provide management and technical assistance to an estimated one million small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs each year. Small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs can go to their local SBDCs for free, face-to-face business consulting and at-cost training on writing business plans, accessing capital, marketing, regulatory compliance, international trade and more.

The 35-year story of how America’s Small Business Development Center Network grew -- from a small pilot program to a nationwide business education and training infrastructure with nearly 1,000 centers throughout the nation providing management and technical assistance to over a million Americans annually -- is a unique one. It chronicles the commitment of key federal lawmakers, training professionals, college and university officials, state and local policymakers, private and public sector partners, dedicated SBDC personnel, an active trade association and, most of all, the millions of small business men and women who have come to America’s SBDCs seeking to improve their lives through America’s free enterprise system.

Celebrating 35 years to us doesn’t mean looking back, it means looking to the next 35 years and where our network is going and what we are doing that is changing and revolutionizing the small business world. To learn more about what the SBDC program in your state is doing for small business, go to the SBDC locator and find out how SBDCs are helping businesses start, grow and thrive where you live.

To learn more about America’s SBDC or find your local SBDC, visit today!
Celebrating 35 Years
 William Flewellen, Jr. (of the University of Georgia) and Reed Powell (of the California State Polytechnic University at Pomona), both of whom served on the SBA National Advisory Board, begin discussing the need for a program that combines the resources of higher education, government and the private sector to support the development of small businesses.
The SBA implements a new University Business Development Center (UBDC) Program by funding a pilot initiative at California State Polytechnic University in Pomona, CA.
Seven more universities are added to the network, in Georgia, California, Missouri, Nebraska, Maine, Florida and New Jersey.
Senator Gaylord Nelson introduces the Small Business Development Center Act
The network grows to 16 participants, with the addition of centers in Arkansas, the District of Columbia, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Utah and Washington State, and becomes known as the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) network.
The Association of Small Business Development Centers is formed, and Larry Bramlett, Director of the Georgia SBDC, becomes the Association’s first president.
President Carter signs legislation enacting the Small Business Development Centers network into law (P.L. 96-302).
Massachusetts and Alabama are added to the network.
Connecticut, Mississippi Kentucky, Iowa, Vermont, West Virginia and
Delaware are added to the network.
The SBA SBDC National Advisory Board is established.
SBA appoints a Deputy Associate Administrator for Management Assistance (later to be known as the Associate Administrator for SBDCs). Ms. Johnnie Albertson manages the national program in that position for the greater part of 20 years.
“Peer Reviews” are initiated and become the forerunner of the modern-day SBDC certification/accreditation program, which is provided for by statute.
Rhode Island, Michigan, Louisiana, Kansas Illinois, Tennessee, Texas- Arlington, Oregon, New Hampshire, New York (SUNY), Oklahoma, Texas- Houston and North Carolina are added to the network.
Indiana, Nevada, NY (Downstate) North Dakota, Puerto Rico, South Dakota, the Virgin Islands, Wyoming, Texas-Dallas, Texas-Lubbock, Texas-San Antonio, Ohio, Idaho and Alaska are added to the network.
Arizona, Colorado, Maryland, Montana, New Mexico, Hawaii and Virginia are added to the network.
The SBDC program returns to California after an absence of several years, establishing for the first time an SBDC program in every state in the nation.
The Association of Small Business Development Centers (ASBDC) hosts its first national Professional Development Conference for SBDCs.
Dr. James Chrisman publishes the first SBDC Economic Impact report on the nationwide impact of America’s SBDC network.
Guam is added to the network.
American Samoa is added to the network.
Six regional SBDC programs are established in California, making 63 total SBDC programs.
America’s SBDCs help in-depth consulting clients create a new job every 7 minutes; a new business every 33 minutes; $100,000 in sales every four minutes; and access $100,000 in capital every 15 minutes.
The Association of Small Business Development Centers (ASBDC) rebrands itself and the national SBDC network as America’s SBDC.”
America’s SBDC celebrates its 35th Anniversary.
America’s SBDC network comprises nearly 1,000 centers across the nation, providing consulting, training and other services to approximately one million small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs each year.