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Local Coffee Entrepreneur Model for SBA Small Biz Development Program

John Smith/WAER News

The U-S Small Business Administration and Congress member John Katko are hoping what’s brewing at Cafe Kubal can be an example to other businesses wanting to expand.  That’s because Owner Matt Godard is one of the graduates of the SBA’s Emerging Leaders program. 

The free 7-month intensive course offered by the SBA takes a look at existing businesses from the outside to see how they can improve their operations.  Congress member John Katko says the program works.

“They give you the keys to grow your business to unlock your potential, and to venture out into uncharted territory.  And that’s exactly what Café Kubal has done and they’re growing leaps and bounds everywhere.”

The instructor of the course, John Litty, will work with 15 to 20 business owners.  He says Cafe Kubal’s owner had some large goals he wanted to fulfill going into the course.

Credit John Smith/WAER News
Cafe Kubal's owner used the training to inform his growth into several new outlets and ventures.

“Not only was he thinking about doing some expansion in his small business, he was doing it critically.  He was thinking, ‘what if I (grow) not just one store, but how do I repeat that.’  He wanted to think about growth in the community.”

Congress member Katko says he’s working with his colleagues in Washington to reduce regulations and is optimistic new tax policies can be hammered out that would help small businesses. 

Credit John Smith/WAER News
Rep. Katko supports the SBA program and says he's working on tax and regulation reform that could also help small businesses.

“The backbone of our economy is small businesses.  In New York State more than 90% of businesses are small businesses.  It’s a stunning number when you think about it.  This is a mom and pop coffee store, a grocery store, my sister and brother-in-law’s restaurant, Kitty Hoynes, right down the road, another example.  Those are the things that are running our economy; that’s why the Small Business Administration is so important.”

The deadline to apply for the Emerging Leaders Program is March 15 and classes begin at the end of the April.  

Chris Bolt, Ed.D. has proudly been covering the Central New York community and mentoring students for more than 30 years. His career in public media started as a student volunteer, then as a reporter/producer. He has been the news director for WAER since 1995. Dedicated to keeping local news coverage alive, Chris also has a passion for education, having trained, mentored and provided a platform for growth to more than a thousand students. Career highlights include having work appear on NPR, CBS, ABC and other news networks, winning numerous local and state journalism awards.