The SBDC Team Finds Success Both Inside and Out of the Office

Updated: Jun 27

2021 Small Business Relief Day Picture Credit: Simon Shakespeare

It’s not easy navigating through a pandemic, but our small but mighty SBDC team has managed to find a way.

Over the past year, members of the team took it upon themselves to further their professional development by obtaining a Certified Business Advisor (CBA) certification. This certification involves completing a graduate level program and is a credential that helps set the SBDC team apart from others in their field. All staff members who went through the process successfully completed rigorous coursework in order to achieve this feat. Receiving this certification is beneficial for any professional who counsels and informs entrepreneurs through it:

  • Providing assurance to clients

  • Serving as a review of what the advisor has previously learned

  • Reaffirming the business advisor’s knowledge

By obtaining this certification, it further proves that the SBDC team is committed to going the extra mile in order to provide entrepreneurs with excellent counsel and assistance. Their achievements don’t stop there, however, the team, under the leadership and direction of Wanda Walker - Smith, also saw their total capital infusion increase to over $6.2 million, an increase of more than three times what they’ve done in previous years. The capital infusion is a culmination of loans, equity injections, grants, and contracts. Congratulations to our very own Gino DiGiovanni, Myra Humphrey, and Eric Williams and to SBDC consultants; Karla Boldery, Jilson Daniels, General Freed, John Macy, Audra McIntosh, and David Thomsen for achieving this huge accomplishment!

The SBDC team works with several types of businesses to help them achieve success, but two in particular saw exponential growth in 2021. The first being Herban Vegans and the other being Lost & Found, two restaurants in the Cincinnati area.

Herban Vegans was able to open their first restaurant and store front this past September after renting kitchen space in Finley market for two years. The restaurant specializes in vegan seafood and is committed to building a communal experience and making the world a healthier place.

Since its grand opening last month, business has exceeded their expectations and they look forward to having a profitable end of the year. Herban Vegans is located at 1809 Elm Street Cincinnati OH 45202 and offers dine-in, pickup, and delivery options.

Lost & Found is a bar and grill in Over the Rhine that was able to remain financially secure during the pandemic.

They secured two Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans along with funding from the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RFD). Not only did this help maintain their current staff, but it also helped create jobs. Through these funds, the owner was also able to pay back loans and finance an expansion for the restaurant.

The funding that Lost & Found received allowed them to keep their doors open and this past July proved to be their most successful month during the pandemic. They still have a long way to go with mastering running their business through these difficult times, but they are certainly on the right track. We’re so happy to report on their success and look forward to what they will accomplish in the near future. You can visit Lost & Found at 22 E 14th St, Cincinnati, OH 45202 and they too offer dine-in, pickup, and delivery options.

As mentioned above, it’s not easy navigating through a pandemic, but the SBDC team found a way that works not only for themselves internally, but for the business community. Their dedication to helping small businesses thrive is unmatched and we’re proud of all they’ve accomplished this year.

Small businesses are the heartbeats of the community and they’re able to keep pumping thanks to thoughtful and involved team members like ours.

For more information on how the SBDC team can help your small business, contact the Hamilton County Director of SBDC, Wanda Walker Smith at, 513-487-1274 or Business Resource Coordinator, Myra Humphrey at, 513-487-1155.

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