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Statewide Organization Helping Many Small Businesses

Michele Abraham
Mike Switzer/SC Public Radio

Over the past five years our next guest’s organization has helped our state’s small business community acquire over $35 billion in government contracts, $215 million dollars in financing, while helping almost 800 entrepreneurs start a business.

Mike Switzer interviews Michele Abraham, state director for the South Carolina Small Business Development Centers.

After almost 20 years, Mike Switzer retired from Wells Fargo Securities in 2001 as Senior Vice President/Investment Officer and Certified Portfolio Manager. In 1999, he and his wife, Maggie, purchased and operated for eight years the Baskin Robbins ice cream store on Forest Drive in Columbia. They grew the store from a bottom-tier operation in the Baskin Robbins franchise system to one in the top 5% nationwide within three years, tripling sales along the way. While operating the ice cream store, Mike and Maggie received patents for a portable ice cream sink and fold-down sneezeguard they invented and in 2002 started Magnolia Carts, an ice cream cart manufacturing company, which they sold in 2013.