SCORE honors outstanding businesses with annual awards
By Cape Cod SCORE
SCORE Cape Cod & the Islands’ small business awards ceremony has been a much-anticipated event in the community for 27 years, providing recognition to not only an outstanding SCORE business, nonprofit and champion, but also to businesses in each of the 15 chamber of commerce communities. Like many activities on the Cape, this year’s awards ceremony has been postponed until 2021. While the ceremony will wait, the businesses should be recognized for their achievements during National Small Business Week:
SCORE Small Business of the Year: Greenbird Landscaping and Irrigation, Harwich
In just six years, Rodrigo Epifanio successfully built a landscaping business servicing both residential and commercial customers and employing five people. What Rodrigo learned though is that as a business grows, so does the complexity. His growing customer base generated additional profit plus issues surrounding the management of a multiproject business.
Epifanio came to SCORE for advice on moving his business from the technician stage to the systems phase of management. He worked with two SCORE mentors supported by another mentor who has accounting expertise to finetune his financial statements, approaches to payroll and cash management. Time management was a major concern of Epifanio and his wife, Shelder, who handles the company’s administrative efforts while holding down a full-time job. Balancing work and life were clearly key to getting to the next steps in the growth of his business. With a clearer financial picture and reading “eMyth Revisited” by Michael Gerber, Rodrigo saw that he could add an administrator to follow up with clients, proof proposals and conduct day-today clerical tasks, freeing him to work with clients and manage his teams. A new software package helped create and follow customer proposals in a more timely manner. The next step for Greenbird? Hire a team leader who can organize, assign and manage the daily work, leaving Epifanio even more time to work with existing and new customers.
Mastering time-management skills has allowed Epifanio to focus on the critical components of his business — spending more time with customers, working on the business, not just in the business, and importantly, spending time with family. SCORE recognizes his effort to make a good business a great business.
Nonprofit Business of the Year: Lower Cape Outreach Council, Orleans
Each year, SCORE identifies a Cape & Islands nonprofit group that leverages its operations and success through the use of sound business principles. In the early 1980s, the Cape was dotted with isolated cottages, some unheated. No DSS, no Department of Children’s Services. No Needy Fund. Rarely a food pantry. Fishermen worked as far out as Alaska to support their families. Mothers were trying to feed their families and stay strong while isolated and, at times, desperate. These are the conditions that laid the foundation for the Lower Cape Outreach Council. Its mission is to provide comprehensive assistance to those in need of immediate support and to encourage long-term self-sufficiency. For 40 years, the group has excelled at serving the residents of the Lower and Outer Cape in times of need. Today, they have nine food pantries, provide nutritional workshops at six locations with staff and volunteers offering client access to programs including Katy’s Korner (free clothing and bedding),
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federal fuel assistance, SNAP (nutritional food assistance) and MassHealth. The council offers timely financial assistance, providing that lifeline to help residents catch up.
In 2019, the Lower Cape Outreach Council invested over $600,000 in financial assistance and offered over $700,000 in food and clothing. It has developed a volunteer core of over 400 people to help provide that needed support throughout the Lower and Outer Cape.
Through an effective board/ leadership collaboration, the council is able to implement sound budgeting and oversight of operations. The staff is organized to support the mission and work with many volunteers and locations. The application of sound business principles in the management of the council makes it an example to others in the nonprofit field on the Cape and Islands.
SCORE is proud to have assisted the Lower Cape Outreach Council in facilitating its most recent strategic plan and creating action plans to sustain the lifelines it has delivered for over 40 years.
Small-business Champion: BizChecks Payroll, Marston Mills
Business success is SCORE’s primary goal, but understanding the value of strong community support, the chapter annually honors one larger business that benefits smaller businesses through direct support and sponsorships. Past winners have included Shepley Wood Products, Cape Cod Beer and Nauset Disposal. It’s no surprise that the 2020 recipient is BizChecks Payroll, as Larry Drago established the company in 2003 as a local alternative to the large, impersonal and expensive national payroll companies. He understood the value of community. As local business owners for over 30 years, the team at BizChecks understands just how hard it is to run a successful organization. Their mission is to work hard each and every day to make life a little easier for small business owners and managers. They offer Payroll, HR (employee screening/onboarding), time and attendance solutions and benefits administration. The company’s sponsorships and donations have defined it as a great supporter of small business. In addition to small businesses, the company helps Flower Angels, the Association to Preserve Cape Cod, Habitat for Humanity, Independence House, the Cotuit Kettleers, Calmer Choice and many others. It is through the initiatives of companies like BizChecks that small businesses get the support and assistance they need to sustain themselves and remain the foundation of the Cape and Islands’ economy. We wholeheartedly applaud their efforts.
Look for the notice for the date for SCORE’s 2021 Small Business Awards Breakfast in the coming months. We will fully recognize these three outstanding organizations as well as the 15 Better Mousetrap Award winners. Contributed by SCORE Cape Cod & the Islands. For free and confidential mentoring contact capecod.score.org, firstname.lastname@example.org or 508-775-4884. Ask us about our advisory team approach to helping small businesses grow. We go where you are.