Posted: Jul 19, 2013 1:39 PM by Yuqing Pan, KOMU 8 Reporter
Updated: Jul 20, 2013 10:04 PM
COLUMBIA - A non-profit organization that provides free financial advice to local business owners said it could see a decrease in federal and local funding.
The communication director of The Missouri Small Businesses and Technology Development Centers (MO SBTDC), Mary Paulsell, said if the organization were to receive less funding, it might not be able to serve as many businesses as it does now.
MO SBTDC has 33 centers across the state of Missouri.
"We based our centers on performance, and it's always possible that we would have to decrease funding to a center that doesn't perform so well." Paulsell said.
Paulsell said the organization would make very careful decisions, based on the possible cuts.
"So if we decrease funding to assist those firms," Paulsell said, "we could see unfortunately fewer businesses starting, fewer businesses growing and fewer jobs created."
Paulsell said the U.S Small Business Administration defined all businesses with fewer than 500 employees as small businesses, so some small businesses were actually quite large. She said they were the ones that create long lasting and sustaining jobs in the community.
Counselors at the MO SBTDC centers were dealing with an increasing number of clients.
The four counselors in Columbia serve a range of 14 counties.
Paulsell said, typically, a counselor had about 60 to 70 active clients at the same time. Some clients worked with the centers for years.
Counselor Collin Bunch transferred to the Columbia branch from University of Central Missouri two months ago. He said he had about 30 to 40 clients. He said more experienced counselors like Virginia Wilson, director in the Columbia downtown office, might have more than a hundred clients.
"I guess there is never enough time, if there are five of Virginia and I, it probably could really make a difference in the area." Bunch said.
Tim and Loretta Ralph were among Bunch's clients. They opened Tim's Automotive in 2010 after years of running a home business. Their shop took off so fast they soon encountered cash flow problems, with new work coming in non-stop while payments from previous customers lagged.
"For automotive businesses, there is not a lot of collateral per se, so it's harder to do just with typical banks." Loretta Ralph said.
But for Bunch, it was a classic high-growth syndrome that he knew well.
"It is a good problem, but it is still a problem." Bunch said.
Bunch said the solution was to look for a line of credit that Loretta Ralph could draw on so that she could pay bills right away.
Loretta Ralph said she was working with the MO SBTDC only on capital growth, for now, which was phase one. But she said she would continue working with the organization for further expansion.
"I am very appreciative that we have something in place here in Columbia that will help businesses, especially businesses that are growing and working hard to do so, to let us know that there is somebody there to help us continue to grow." Loretta said.
Tim's Automotive now has three employees. With a plan for expansion, The Ralphs hoped to buy a new building in the next 12 to 18 months.
"With the amount of work we have, we hope to have a bigger place with more bays, and hopefully a wash bay." Loretta Ralph said.
For more information, visit the MO SBTDC website.
Posted 4:19 AM 11/28/2015 by The Associated Press
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Governor's Mansion is about to look a little more festive.
The Christmas trees that will adorn the Jefferson City mansion are arriving Monday morning. The outside tree is a 30-foot Norway spruce that came from the yard (More)
Posted 2:58 PM 11/27/2015 by Nick Komisar & Amy Money, KOMU 8 Reporters
COLUMBIA - The moment the MU football team announced on Twitter that it wasn't going to play until former UM Systems President Tim Wolfe resigned, the Concerned Student 1950 movement was thrust into the national spotlight. A photo was tweeted by some members of the team locking arms, with (More)
Posted 1:52 PM 11/27/2015 by The Associated Press
BRANSON (AP) — Authorities say deputies have killed a man who shot his wife and pointed a handgun at the deputies.
KOLR-TV reports that 58-year-old Rick Gullickson was killed early Friday at a home in southern Stone County. The Stone County Sheriff's Department said (More)
Adv. - more news below
Posted 1:18 PM 11/27/2015 by The Associated Press
HANNIBAL (AP) — Mark Twain's 180th birthday is being celebrated this weekend in his boyhood hometown.
The Hannibal Courier-Post reports that a mustache competition and a masquerade mask art show are among the activities planned for Saturday at the Mark Twain Boyhood (More)
Posted 1:14 PM 11/27/2015 by The Associated Press
WEST PLAINS (AP) — A south-central Missouri man has been charged in a deadly crash.
The West Plains Daily Quill reports that 33-year-old Kevin Matthew Stephens, of Pomona, is jailed in Howell County on an involuntary manslaughter charge. No attorney is listed for (More)
Posted 10:29 AM 11/27/2015 by The Associated Press
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Local elected officials and state lawmakers are praising Gov. Jay Nixon for calling for settlement money to be spent in areas damaged by lead mining.
Nixon this week directed the state Department of Natural Resources to identify restoration (More)
Posted 10:11 AM 11/27/2015 by Ashton Day, KOMU 8 Digital Producer
JEFFERSON CITY - Despite the rain, Missouri State Parks and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources are encouraging Missourians to spend Black Friday outdoors.
Missouri State Parks is waiving all camping fees the evening of Nov. 27. The campsites will be first come, first (More)
Adv. - more news below
Posted 8:40 AM 11/27/2015 by The Associated Press
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The $380-million Gateway Arch grounds overhaul in St. Louis has opened its first renovated park.
The Arch and its grounds are undergoing a $380-million renovation, which includes a planned 46,000-square-foot expansion of the visitor center and a redesigned Museum of (More)
Posted 8:36 AM 11/27/2015 by The Associated Press
FESTUS (AP) — Administrators of a thrift store in suburban St. Louis are trying to reunite someone with $1,200 in cash that officials said appears to have been accidentally included in donated items.
As the interim (More)