SCORE helps small businesses get started

Posted at 3:18 PM, May 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-11 18:04:31-04

Any small business owner will tell you there's a lot of small fires to put out everyday, and it's a lot of learning. SCORE, a non profit organization is helping with that learning.

At Green Beans Coffee off 167th and Harrision, its hard to tell what has the bigger buzz, John Sievers' business or the cafe mocha. That success was part of the dream this veteran had after he retired from the air force in 2014. Sievers had his first taste with Green Beans when he was stationed in Afghanistan. Green Beans, a franchise, offers coffee for the troops overseas, in addition to their shops here.

"You'd walk into one of their trailers and have a fresh baked muffin or that coffee from home in  air conditioning and there's wifi. You just step out of that environment and you're back home for a little bit," he explained.

When it came time to open his own store in Omaha, managing coffee baristas proved to be very different than managing in the military .

"It's very different. I can't make them do pushups, or take a lap about the parking lot you know," he joked.

That's where SCORE came in for Sievers. A national nonprofit, Omaha's chapter has helped thousands of area small businesses.  As a business resource partner with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), SCORE operates in cooperation with the SBA to provide entrepreneurs with business information vital to their success, including counseling on financing options, business planning, marketing strategies, product development and more.

"SCORE was created so that we could mentor these small businesses and help them be successful," said BC Clark, a mentor with the organization.

Thursday, SCORE will honor entrepreneurs that rise to success and have taken advantage of their training, most of which is free.

Nationally Small businesses provide 60% - 80% of the net new jobs annually and represent 46.8% of all wholesale sales. Clark hopes that more businesses will get involved and take advantage of what they offer.

"{In Omaha} about 96 percent of the market is small businesses. It's so rewarding to see those who have used SCORE thrive," she said.