Category: Industry

Savannah SCORE Offers Opportunity for Entrepreneurs to Win $10K to Launch Their New Business

Savannah SCORE Offers Opportunity for Entrepreneurs to Win $10K to Launch Their New Business

(SAVANNAH, GA) Got an idea for a unique exciting new product or service? Then consider the new “BizPitch Savannah™” entrepreneurial competition, a kinder, gentler version of TV’s “Shark Tank.” It’s a chance to pitch your idea to a panel of judges with the potential to win $2500 in cash and a package of professional start-up business services worth an estimated $7,500.

BizPitch Savannah™, presented by the Savannah SCORE

BizPitch Savannah™, presented by Savannah SCORE

This can either be a new start up or, if you have an existing business, you must have obtained your Savannah-Chatham business license after March 1, 2017. You must be at least 18 years old. Applications will be accepted through midnight, Wednesday, Aug. 1, with a $25 non-refundable application fee payable at the time of submission.

Eight finalists will be announced on Aug. 10, and will make their pitches to a panel of judges at the “BizPitch Savannah™” event on Friday, Sept. 7, from 4-6:30 p.m. at The Creative Coast, 2222 Bull St.

The five judges are Jesse Cole, entrepreneur and owner, The Savannah Bananas; Jen Bonnett, vice president of innovation and entrepreneurship for the Savannah Economic Development Authorityand executive director of The Creative Coast; Susan Speros, founder and president of Speros Business Technology Solutions; Sheree Darien, community development loan officer, Small Business Assistance Corporation; and a certified Savannah SCOREBusiness Mentor.

Three winners will receive the cash and services.

Competition rules and application forms are available at

BizPitch Savannah™” is presented by the Savannah Chapter of SCORE, the nation’s largest provider of free business mentoring and educational programs for aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners. Sponsorships and donations for the event include those from:

Savannah Economic Development Authority
Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce
Savannah Morning News / GateHouse Media
ArcMedia Group
Small Business Assistance Corporation
Bouhan Falligant
Kenkel Design
Wells Fargo – The Private Bank
City of Savannah Office of Business Opportunity
The Creative Coast
Carriage Trade Public Relations® Inc.
Ad Specialty Services

For more info please contact Savannah SCOREat



Enmarket Assumes Operations of 34 E-Z Shop Convenience Stores in S.C.

Enmarket Assumes Operations of 34 E-Z Shop Convenience Stores in S.C.

(SAVANNAH, GA) Enmarket has assumed operations of 34 E-Z Shop convenience stores located throughout South Carolina. The Savannah-based company recently bought the stores from Brabham Oil Company, Inc., based in Bamberg, S.C.

The purchase includes Brabham Oil’s wholesale fuel distribution company as well as eleven Subway franchises. It marks the second major purchase in recent months that, together, have doubled Enmarket’s store count.

“The addition of these 34 locations has enhanced our presence in South Carolina and will further build our brand in the Southeast,” said Brett Giesick, Enmarket’s president. “But more than that, our parent company, Colonial Oil, and Brabham Oil are both fourth generation family-owned businesses that have built strong reputations with both customers and employees. We understand the trust and commitment we took on with this purchase and will continue to build on it.”

Both companies have ties that date back to 1929 when Clarence M. Brabham opened a small wholesale petroleum business as a reseller for Colonial Oil. Brabham Oil served as a wholesale jobber for major fuel brands such as Shell, BP, Phillips 66 and Chevron for several decades.

In 1999, Brabham Oil recognized the need for private label gasoline and launched the Horizon brand. Today EZ-Shop convenience stores and Horizon fuel are among the largest and most recognized chains in South Carolina.

“The friendships established by this company with customers and suppliers over the years have been vital to its success and will always be treasured,” said Brabham Oil president Brab McCully. “We look forward to the family business tradition being continued by the good folks at Enmarket.”

Enmarket assumed ownership and operations of the stores on April 19th. Rebranding of the locations from EZ-Shop to Enmarket will begin later this year and is expected to conclude in 2019. The purchase brings Enmarket’s store count to 122 convenience stores and 14 quick serve restaurants.

Enmarket, founded as Interstate Stations by Robert Demere in 1963, is part of Savannah-based Colonial Group, Inc. The retailer operates convenience stores in Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina. The company is committed to giving back to the community through many charitable contributions and volunteer efforts, offering fresh food, healthy snacks, and competitively priced quality fuel as part of its mission to enrich life. Enmarket currently employs more than 1,200 people and operates 122 stores as the 54th largest convenience store operator in the country.

Matt Clements
Director of Marketing

Jason Ryals of Speros in Savannah Receives Microsoft Windows Server Certification

Jason Ryals of Speros in Savannah Receives Microsoft Windows Server Certification

(SAVANNAH, GA) Jason Ryals, chief technology officer of Speros, a full-service technology company based in Savannah, has completed a MCSA (Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate) certification program.

The certification confirms Ryals has the skills and knowledge to implement a core Windows Server infrastructure in a new or existing enterprise environment.

Microsoft is the number one operating system and computer hardware system for businesses across the globe. Companies that use IT (information technology) personnel who have earned Microsoft certifications can be assured they are competent to do the work needed and also committed to the IT industry. Students are required to undergo a rigorous skills overview process and pass three exams to earn the certification.

“In the current IT market, there is a huge demand for Windows Server,” said Ryals. “Because I now have this technology certification in Windows Server skills, it is a greater assurance to our clients that Speros is equipped with the resources to help them reduce their IT costs and deliver more business value to their organizations.”

The certification has also better equipped Ryals to oversee the daily efforts of the 10 engineers of Speros’ IT team as he helps train, coach and mentor them. He is also certified in VMware Certified Professional DataCenter Virtualization, Linux Plus, Sonicwall certified Security Administrator, ADTRAN Technical Solutions Professional (ATSP). Ryals’ career in IT spans more than 15 years.

Established in 1984, Speros provides technology solutions for businesses, offering telephone systems, IT services, surveillance systems, web design and branding solutions, and cloud computing. Speros team members continually stay updated on leading-edge, certified technologies to maximize solutions and ensure businesses succeed in this fast-paced, technology-driven world. For more information, visit, call 912-354-8900 or email

Jason Ryals
Chief Technology Officer

Cecilia Russo
Cecilia Russo Marketing

Marjorie Young
Carriage Trade Public Relations, Inc.

Bethesda Academy Hosts Savannah’s 2017 State of Small Business

Bethesda Academy Hosts Savannah’s 2017 State of Small Business

Savannah’s 2017 State of Small Business to be Livestreamed on Dec. 1

(SAVANNAH, GA) The Fifth Annual State of Small Business will be livestreamed Friday, Dec. 1, at noon from the campus of Bethesda Academy.

Reports will be issued by 11 area experts who will have three minutes each to present their information on measurable benchmarks relating to Savannah’s small business community. A panel of small business owners will then discuss the implications of the data.

The livestream will be broadcast from the William H. Ford, SR. Museum at Bethesda Academy. The webstreaming services are provided by Stage Front – a better plan for AV.
This presentation will only be available to the public online at

2017 State of Small Business subjects and presenters include:

> Small Business Employment Statistics
Michael Toma, Director of the Center for Regional Analysis at Armstrong State University

> Tourism
Michael Owens, CEO of Tourism Leadership Council

> Commercial Real Estate Trends
Rhett Mouchet, Associate Broker, Colliers International Savannah

> Internet Speeds and Their Effect on Business Growth
Susan Speros, CEO at Speros

> Local Growth in Construction
Peter Ghilarducci, Development Services Liaison, city of Savannah

> Film Industry in Savannah
Charles Bowen, Corporate/Entertainment Attorney at The Bowen Law Group

> Freight Shipping Trends
Lee Beckman, Georgia Ports Authority, Garden City Terminal

> Education Statistics
Catalina Garcia-Quick, Executive Director of Communities in Schools

> Small Business Access to Capital in the Savannah Region
Tony O’Reilly, President of the Small Business Assistance Corporation

> Labor Statistics
Faith Copeland-Pittman, Business Services Recruiter for the Georgia Department of Labor

> Economic Development in Chatham County
Brandt Herndon, Vice President of Business Development for the Savannah Economic Development Authority (SEDA)

A PDF of all reports will be available on the Savannah SCORE website in mid-December.

The event is free to watch online and will run from noon to 1:30 p.m. at:

Join the conversation by using the hashtag #SmallBizSav17.

SCORE, part of the Small Business Administration (SBA), is the largest provider of free small business mentoring services and educational business programs in the United States. Since its inception in 1964, SCORE has helped more than 10 million aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners successfully start and grow their businesses. SCORE now has 320 chapters nationwide with over 11,000 volunteers donating over 2 million hours of their time each year. In 2016, Savannah SCORE helped start 135 new businesses and create 329 new non-owner jobs. Because of its contributions to Savannah’s small business community, the chapter has been ranked in the top 30 SCORE chapters in the country and has been nominated as Chapter of the Year. If you are interested in speaking with a SCORE mentor about your business ideas or needs, or if you are interested in becoming a SCORE mentor, please call (912)-652-4335 or visit our website at

Marjorie Young
Carriage Trade Public Relations®, Inc.