Success Stories - What People are Saying about SBDC

Have you ever wondered how your friends and neighbors were able to see their dreams, act on them and make them become a reality?  
We often sit in awe of them when we consider what it takes to start a business and work it until it becomes successful. Making a business
a success, though, isn’t a mystery. It’s developing and following a plan and adjusting when necessary. That’s where the SBDC becomes an invaluable partner in helping you make that dream of starting your own business come true. Read what these folks are saying about how they were able to get started with a little help from us. Give us a call at 330.308.7479.

Midvale Speedway


When John and Kelley Chapman purchased the Midvale Speedway, it was New Philadelphia, Ohio their dream come true. However, the journey wasn’t easy. The Midvale Speedway is motor speedway in New Philadelphia, Ohio. The Chapmans have been involved with the speedway for years, both as attendees and videographers for the races. The couple even had their first date at the track in 1980. When the track went up for sale, they couldn’t let the opportunity pass to own this place so near to their hearts.

The Chapmans approached their local bank to inquire about the necessary steps to purchase the speedway. While the obstacles to requesting a loan proved to be much more than anticipated, John and Kelley were determined to make their dream a reality. They met with Steve Schillig at the Small Business Development Center on the Kent State Tuscarawas Campus, and he walked them through the process of securing a loan. After successfully assembling their “loan package,” (business plan, financial projections, verification of equity, etc.), the Chapmans, with the aid of the SBDC made presentations to a few banks in the area. Huntington Bank approved the $800,000 loan request, and the loan closed in December 2017.

Once the loan was approved, the SBDC continued to support the Chapmans with registering their LLC, filing for an Employer Identification Number and applying for a vendor’s license.

“Mr. Schillig’s expertise in banking and the knowledge of the SBDC is the only reason our loan packet was readily approved,” the Chapmans wrote in a letter to the SBDC. “We would not have been able to do this without his assistance. Mr. Schillig was flexible with his schedule and was always available to talk on the phone or meet with us, which he did a multitude of times. We want to personally thank Steve Schillig for his hard work and dedication in our purchase of Midvale Speedway.”

The Chapmans were quite busy lining up sponsors and drivers, promoting the business, scheduling races, and hiring the staff of more than 40 seasonal workers for the opening night that took place on April 14, 2018. They invited both the lenders and the SBDC to attend the event and sit in their VIP box. They were also recognized as the “client of choice” by the SBDC at Kent State Tuscarawas Campus for the event planned in conjunction with the National Small Business Week on May 2.

For more information about Midvale Speedway,

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Chris Harmon, Owner Custom Needle Print, LLC

Custom Needle Print, LLC

Meet Chris Harmon, entrepreneur and owner of Custom Needle Print, LLC in New Philadelphia, OH. Chris decided to open his own business because he loves serving clients and helping them to meet their needs for apparel and promotional products. So, in 2015, he stepped away from full-time work with his former employer and opened Custom Needle-Print, LLC. Chris found that working in the business and working on his business was at odds with helping him manage cash flow and time to prospect new clients with a suitable life/work balance. That’s where the SBDC has been a tremendous help for Chris.


“The SBDC is a wonderful resource for me because going into your own business can sometimes be scary,” says Harmon. “I knew how to sell and help customers, but getting through minefields like taxes - federal, state and local - and other start-up needs like filing for a federal ID number, registering with the State of Ohio, et cetera, is where Jeanne Keenan and Steve Schillig were invaluable to me as a resource!”


Chris also noted that having experienced, advisors like Jeanne and Steve available to him on an ongoing basis is a service he highly values as a sounding board. >> For more business start-up information, contact Steve Schillig.

















Lockport Brewery

Lockport Brewery a microbrew-pub located in Bolivar, OH., specializing in handmade ales and lagers served fresh and cold in an open, industrial - yet cozy - setting. Andrew and Lauren Marberger realized they both had a strong inclination to become entrepreneurs very early in their relationship and moved forward with their dream.


Some of their primary reasons for doing so included the idea of self-direction (“being your own boss”), the opportunity for financial independence, and the chance to positively impact their community. The SBDC was instrumental in the creation and critique of our business plan over the period of a few years, advice on securing start-up funding, and continued business counseling - for instance, we earned a Rent Subsidy grant with their guidance that helped us cover the cost of a delivery vehicle, etc. The couple’s greatest success was far exceeding their sales targets for year one.


“We increased our cellar capacity by 50%, an expansion originally planned for year 3, and we hired a great team that works well together,” he said.  “Seeing people come together and enjoy what we have to offer is the most gratifying part of the experience so far.”  


>> For more business start-up information, contact Steve Schillig

Andrew and Lauren Marberger, OwnersLockport Brewery

Email:         PH: 330.308.7479

© 2018 Copyright, Small Business Development Center at Kent State University at Tuscarawas, all rights reserved 

The Ohio Small Business Development Center (SBDC) program is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. The SBDC program is also funded in part by the Ohio Development Services Agency. All services extended to the public on a non-discriminatory basis. Language assistance services are available for limited English proficient individuals. Reasonable accommodation for persons with disabilities will be made if requested at least two weeks in advance. Contact SBDC at 330.308.7479 or visit our website: SBA’s participation or support is not an endorsement of any product, service, or entity. Kent State University at Tuscarawas (SBDC) reserves the right to cancel any course or activity due to insufficient enrollment or for other unforeseen reasons. In the event a program is canceled, the University (SBDC) is not responsible for any related costs, charges or expenses.