A LETTER FROM THE CHAIR
Serving as the KOSBE chair for 2022 was both an honor and a joy. A brief history of me- My husband and I have our roots in the Kingsport community and he started our small business here in 1998 As the years went by, our company grew, as did our involvement in different parts of the community Doors opened for me to volunteer and serve our city in a variety of ways Those relationships led me to the Kingsport Chamber and KOSBE The resources and services of KOSBE are personally vital to me, because I received those services to start my own small business Not only do I know about KOSBE, but I have first hand experience KOSBE gave me the step up that I needed to start my business successfully. They walked alongside me as I navigated the struggles of being a non-essential business through the pandemic by providing support and services to help me stay afloat and make smart financial decisions I am happy to say my business has grown exponentially in large part to the support I have received from KOSBE.
When I was asked to chair KOSBE, I immediately jumped at the opportunity because I knew the great things KOSBE was doing in our city and region and I wanted to be a part of that In 2022, KOSBE reached and supported hundreds of businesses, from startups to those receiving continued support As an advisory council, we challenged ourselves to think about ways we could support and celebrate our small business community We revamped the KOSBE awards and spent many hours thinking of creative ways to let our business community know how important they are and what they mean to us as a region My favorite part of being involved with KOSBE is the importance placed on celebrating and loving our small businesses through the KOSBE awards, free training opportunities, collaborative luncheons and so much more!
I was surrounded by an incredible advisory council and KOSBE staff The collaborative ideas and discussions we all shared were what our world needs more of I was humbled and honored to be a part of such an important and vital part of our community KOSBE is doing great things and if you ever have the chance to get involved- I wholeheartedly think you should!
2022 KOSBE Advisory Chair, Jamie JacksonJamiEvents
"I'm proud to work with such a diverse group of volunteers and business owners who give feedback and advice, as well as bring forward issues and concerns related to small businesses This group is a sounding board for program initiatives and proposals affecting the small business community"
ADVISORY COUNCIL & STAFF
"In the nearly two years I have been with KOSBE, I have been blessed to see, and be a part of, the impact that this council has on our small business community"
IN THE MEDIA
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KOSBE on Daytime Tri-Cities
Regular Quarterly Segment
KOSBE on WCYB
2022 KOSBE Awards Coverage
GAZELLE AWARD STAYING POWER AWARD
THE KOSBE AWARDS
DISTINGUISHED BUSINESS EXCELLENCE
NEW BUSINESS EXCELLENCE
COMMUNITY IMPACT AWARD
ERNIE RUSMBY AWARD FOR VETERAN-OWNED BUSINESS EXCELLENCE
Like many others who t Fusion Cuisine Inc moved to Kingsport wit a and the people Jaime Joaquin formerly operat he began working as a manager at a local resta p p leen, had worked in K12 education for several years and was looking forward to slowing down When the pandemic hit, Jaime Joaquin voluntarily reduced his hours at work, so that other employees could keep their schedule The pandemic lingered, so he decided to change gears Instead of dropping out of the workforce, he took a bold step to create more jobs – by starting a restaurant It made sense because people still needed to eat, and he was able-bodied and looking for a way to help his community
Launching a brand-new startup from scratch was daunting Joaquin connected with the Tennessee Small Business Development Center (TSBDC) at East Tennessee State University (ETSU) Kingsport Affiliate Office (KOSBE) in May of 2020, to become familiar with the local services and develop a business plan Fusion was not eligible for the federally mandated COVID-19 financial relief programs due to the timing of the business opening; however, local programs propped the business up during a very difficult time For example, McClaskey Excellence Institute, an independent contractor associated with the KOSBE TSBDC COVID-19 Enriched Technical Assistance Program, provided 1-on-1 private consultation focusing on three areas: host position, back of house production, and new employee orientation. Another TSBDC contractor, ARO Creative Inc., helped with marketing – including web site design and buildout with custom food photography Additionally, Fusion was one of 11 Kingsport businesses who received the City’s Outdoor Dining Enhancement Mini Grant, to establish an outdoor dining area The owner also completed a Tennessee Chamber Healthy Business Certification Program offered through TSBDC and the Kingsport Chamber
When asked how he survived the pandemic, Joaquin stated: “We’re only as good as the people who work here I train and invest in every team member, so they are equipped and empowered to serve the community in any capacity with excellence We are a family Fusion is a place to learn, grow and thrive”
A Family That Cooks Together Grows Together
In 2018, Elizabeth Ro al-prepping into an operational catering business With the help of two of her children, Rosenbalm opened Good Batch Mama, a family-owned business that offers custom event catering and packaged frozen meals
Good Batch Mama originally opened with the intent to focus on catering operations, but when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and their catering sales began to drop, they rerouted their efforts and focus to the frozen meals side of the business Luckily for them, their endeavors were successful and frozen meals sales doubled during this time
In March of 2019, Rosenbalm's son, Adam, reached out to KOSBE (the Tennessee Small Business Development Center at East Tennessee State University Kingsport Affiliate Office) to discuss succession planning and operations At this time, Adam was a college student, studying finance and planning to take over the business for his mother after graduation
Rosenbalm has attended several TSBDC webinars such as 'E-Commerce Strategy and Tools' and 'Automated Food Safety for Small Teams' and encourages his staff to attend as well "Our relationship with KOSBE has continued to evolve and grow, and we have now moved from strictly a participant to a sponsor and collaborator. Our involvement at events ticked up, due in large part to these new relationships, and we have a whole network of second- and third-degree connections through these events"
In addition to succession planning, Adam was interested in learning about funding opportunities and finance options to purchase Good Batch Mama's first building Fortunately, Rosenbalm received funding, and moved into their first permanent location in 2020
Celebrating Young Entrepreneurs
Thank you both for allowing me to be a part of this event today! Wow. Such incredible kids with big ideas.
Tri-Cities Regional MEDWeek
Supporting Minority Enterprise Development
I think this is a great opportunity for all of us.
Women's Entrepreneurship Luncheon
Supporting Female Entrepreneurs
What a delightful way to begin networking in person! The women's event today was fantastic!
Food Venture Program and Proof Incubator Collaboration
Assisting Food & Beverage Businesses
Things like the PROOF seminar have sprung up from time to time, but we reconnected with them through one of your programs.
-Adam Rosenbalm, Good Batch Mama