Wilkes University

September

Wilkes University Small Business Development Center Client Wins U.S. Small Business Administration Award

Award
Tri-County Lumber and Truss of Berwick, Pa., received the Eastern Pennsylvania Entrepreneurial Success of the Year Award.

A client from Wilkes University's Small Business Development Center is among the 2020 Small Business Week Award Winners from the U.S. Small Business Administration. Tri-County Lumber and Truss of Berwick, Pa., is the recipient of the 2020 Eastern Pennsylvania Entrepreneurial Success of the Year Award. Tri-County President John O. Coates received the award during a virtual ceremony held by the Small Business Administration on Tuesday, Sept. 29.

Tri-County was selected among nominees located across Pennsylvania's 40 eastern counties. The business offers building materials; design and remodeling services for kitchens, baths, decks and outdoor spaces; lumber products; contractor educational courses and events; tools and tool maintenance; and services for contractors and homeowners.

The business was nominated by Ray Haden, a business consultant at Wilkes University's Small Business Development Center. Since 2017, Haden and Coates have worked to develop a business plan and financial projections for the construction of a new 10,000 square foot kitchen and bath showroom and design center. Named Forest & Field, the company plans to open the design center in Jan. 2021 in the Columbia County Business Park, Bloomsburg, Pa.

"The expansion project is one of personal pride for Mr. Coates. He will create jobs in our area while being a product of our area," said Haden. "Through our work together, we identified the goals of the expansion project – showcasing designed kitchens and baths, appliances, window and door displays and a working kitchen for chef demonstration – and plan it in a way that best served the operation and surrounding areas."

"Mr. Coates' deliberations with the expansion project also took into consideration what would work for his employees," adds Dorothy Lane, Director, Wilkes SBDC. "COVID-19 slowed them down for two months, but with SBA's Economic Injury Disaster Loan, EIDL Advance, and Paycheck Protection Program Loan, they were able to maintain payroll, prevent layoffs and continue to purchase inventory and stay current on their existing debt."

"It's wonderful to be recognized as SBA's Entrepreneurial Success of the Year," said Coates. "We're honored that Wilkes University SBDC nominated us and that SBA selected our business. The support from the SBA, Wilkes SBDC and SEDA-Council of Governments enabled us to expand and construct a state-of-the art kitchen and bath showroom and design center that will revive the local economy with job creation and sales revenue."

This local recognition is part of the annual Presidentially-designated National Small Business Week, which recognizes the small business community's contribution to the U.S. economy.

"Each year, SBA's National Small Business Week awards recognize the achievements of small businesses and the organizations that assist them in eastern Pennsylvania," said SBA Eastern Pennsylvania District Director Steven Dixel. "It's an honor to present these awards. Each business is exceptional and deserving of recognition because they represent the very best of the eastern Pennsylvania small business community."

The Wilkes University Small Business Development Center serves clients in Carbon, Columbia, Luzerne, Schuylkill and Sullivan counties. Founded in 1980, it was one of the state's original seven SBDCs. It is funded by grants from the U.S. Small Business Administration and the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development and support from its host institution – Wilkes University. The Wilkes University SBDC provides education and no-
cost consulting services to entrepreneurs and small business owners. Its one-on-one management consulting emphasizes education and guidance in finding practical solutions to business problems. Consulting is confidential and provided by a staff of skilled professionals.

About the U.S. Small Business Administration
The U.S. Small Business Administration makes the American dream of business ownership a reality. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow or expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit www.sba.gov.

About Wilkes University
Wilkes University is a private, independent, non-sectarian institution of higher education dedicated to academic and intellectual excellence through mentoring in the liberal arts, sciences and professional programs. Founded in 1933, Wilkes is on a mission to create one of the nation's finest doctoral universities, offering all of the programs, activities and opportunities of a large university in the intimate, caring and mentoring environment of a small college, open to all who show promise. The Brookings Institution ranked Wilkes 14th in the nation for middle-class mobility. In addition to 45 majors, Wilkes offers 24 master's degree programs and five doctoral/terminal degree programs, including the doctor of philosophy in nursing, doctor of nursing practice, doctor of education, doctor of pharmacy, and master of fine arts in creative writing. Learn more at www.wilkes.edu.


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