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Local entrepreneur gets a boost from Small Business Development Center

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On an average day, Trina Worrell Benjamin handles invoices, returns calls and emails, directs a team of nearly a dozen employees and manages a client roster that has included big names like Rite Aid and Toys“R”Us. She admits her first steps into entrepreneurship were not easy. But with the help of…

Local entrepreneur gets a boost from Small Business Development Center

  • SBDC: Temple University SBDC
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University of Scranton SBDC Clients win SBA Small Business Persons of the Year, Young Entrepreneur of the Year

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Michael and Jennifer Mancuso, owners of Figliomeni Drug Store in Carbondale, PA were awarded Small Business Persons of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Eastern Pennsylvania District Office, and claimed the honor for SBA Region 3.  The award recognizes their achievement based on several criteria, including: financial stability, community service, increasing economic development by creating or renovating a structure; and technological advances.

“We were nominated for the award by the University of Scranton Small Business Development Center,” Michael Mancuso told The Carbondale News.  “Five years ago, the Center began assisting us with our business plan.  In 2010, Keith Yurgosky of the University of Scranton SBDC assisted the Mancuso’s with preparing financials to consolidate their two drugs stores into one and obtain financing for a new property.  Yurgosky assisted in preparing the financials and in 2010 the Mancusos received a $389,000 loan and opened their new location in January of 2011.  Since then, Figliomeni Drug Store has retained 13 jobs as part of their business growth.

Michael and Jennifer attended an event in Philadelphia on Thursday, June 7, to officially accept the honor of being chosen Small Business Persons of the Year for Eastern Pennsylvania.  The Mancusos were also eligible for the national award, and attended a ceremony in Washington D.C. on May 20 and 21.  Although they were not chosen, they were recognized for earning Small Business Persons of the Year in SBA Region 3 which consists of Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, Delaware and Washington D.C.

Maggie Calpin, owner of Nibbles & Bits, a specialty shop selling gourmet foods in East Scranton was honored as the SBA Young Entrepreneur for Eastern Pennsylvania.  The award category covers 40 counties which includes 600,000 businesses according to SBA district director, Dave Dickson. 

Lisa Hall, director of the University of Scranton SBDC, nominated Calpin for the award and the SBDC helped develop a business plan. 

In an article posted in the Scranton Times Tribune, Hall commented on Calpin saying "Maggie worked so hard to expand, move over here and make it her own," Hall said. "She is so enthusiastic."  According to the article, five banks rejected Calpin before a sixth approved financing to acquire Nibbles & Bits.  Since then, Calpin has been able to increase her line of credit and in August 2011 added three jobs to her payroll.

    • Figliomeni Drug Store SBA Person of the Year 2012