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Upstate Institution Helps Family-Owned Businesses

South Carolina Business Review logo

Family-owned businesses make up a significant portion of the state and national economy and almost all of them are part of the small business sector that is being so dramatically affected by the current crisis.  Our next guest’s institution recently created a program to offer educational, networking, and professional development opportunities to these business owners.

Mike Switzer interviews Brad Bechtold, founding director of the Family Enterprise Institute of South Carolina at Anderson University.

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.