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STAFF PHOTO BY ERIC CARLSON
Students from lieth Gurganus 's pre-kindergarten class at Union Primary School enjoy a tour of the
HrunsM-ick Beacon last w eek. Pressman William Manning (rear) took the group through the process of
laying out and printing a newspaper.
New Small Business Director Left
BY SUSAN USHER
When Michael Edward Royal ac
cepted the job of Small Business
Center Director at Brunswick
Community College, he was ready
for change, to leave the road behind. |
Now he's preparing for possible
shifts in direction for the center.
"The feedback I get from the
businesses will determine the direc
tion the center moves in," he said in
an interview last week between tele
phone calls from prospective new
business owners. "What we do will
be designed around the needs of this
Royal won't rely on his personal
knowledge to make that determina
tion. After several weeks of famil
iarizing himself with the center's re
sources and operations. Royal has
begun designing a survey he intends
to distribute to small businesses
across Brunswick County.
A native of Southport and a resi
dent of Boiling Spring Lakes, Royal
is the second person to serve as cen
ter director. He succeeds Velva Hall
Jenkins of Winnabow, who moved
into the new BCC post of assistant
dean of continuing education last
She was hired in 1V86 to bring the
Small Business Center into being. It
began operation in 1987 and is
presently funded by a Department of
Community Colleges grant of
$54,(KM). It still offers the same basic
services as then: one-on-one coun
seling, seminars and workshops tar
geted at the needs of small business
es, and resource maieriais thai can
loaned out or used in-housc.
The center also co-sponsors local
observance of Small Business Week
(May 1-7 this year) and the Small
Business Awards presented annually
at a dinner that week.
Royal also appears on a radio
show, "Minding Your Business,"
which airs live on WCCA every first
Tuesday at 2:30 p.m.
The center director serves as
counselor, sounding Uuiu .mu lufur
ral agent for clients with widely
varying needs?so diverse it's un
likely any one person has all the an
On this particular afternoon a
caller interested in opening a day
care facility asks for census data on
children in a particular section of the
county; another is interested in
opening a landscape tree nursery,
lor a third caller. Royal offers to set
lin :in ?tnrw<intmi,nt with an
tant willing to give an initial consul
tation at no charge.
"You don't really need to know
what the answers are if you know
where to find them," he says.
While trying to assess client
needs. Royal said he is also "moving
quickly" to bring himself up to
speed on the job, to identify as many
resources and sources of information
as possible related to all areas of
small business start-up and opera
An internal survey by the South
Brunswick Islands Chamber of
Commerce last year indicated mem
bers had a high interest in time and
stress management and hiring and
firing issues. Royal doesn't know
yet if small businesses in other sec
tions of the county sh;tre those same
It may not matter il interest is suf
ficiently high in the South
Brunswick area. Royal is looking at
the possibility of moving center
workshops away from the BCC
main campus in Supply and schedul
ing them in outlying communities
He is eyeing other ways also for
breaking a pattern of low attendance
at past center-sponsored workshops.
"I think there arc some things we
can do to turn that around." he said.
fcf-r.i . hA m
STAFF PHOTO BY SUSAN USHER
AS THE NEW director of the BCC Small Business Center Michael
Royal offers a network of resources tit help individuals start new
businesses as well as give existing businesses some of the support
thev need to survive.
"Among other things I'm looking at
the possibility of taking workshops
to more remote areas, not just to the
BCC main campus."
Depending on interest and/or
funding, other tentative projects on
Royal's idea hoard include institut
ing a business-to-business partner
ship program, updating and expand
ing the center's collection of re
souicc iiiaiciidi, u) coopera
tion with the BCC and public li
braries; publishing a small business
directory, developing a newcomer
incentive package and instituting a
"lunch 'n' learn" series.
"Tlie main thing is 1 think I need
to be able to help people who want
to start a new business and also help
established businesses," he said.
"Our goal is to have businesses that
start remain in business. We're try
ing to change the odds."
A message |x>ps up on his com
puter screen from a Small Business
Center on the other side of the state:
"X has a client interested in purchas
ing clothing directly from the manu
facturer for a wholesale outlet.
Royal sees the computer as one of
the center's most flexible and useful
tools, a means of reaching every
Small Business Center in the state.
"If a client has a specific need
that I haven't dealt with, somewhere
in the system there's someone who
has," he said.
1 - mTrtfxnrt ifc Kn
iii I lit.!, iii il; il.t wujvcuvwA, iic
thinks the Small Business Center
has the potential to "dramatically af
fect" Brunswick County's double
digit unemployment rate through
support of small business start-up
Ciood communication with clients
and providing them current and use
ful information are critical to that
A business-to-business partner
ship, for instance, would link a new
business with an established busi
ness in the same or similar line, but
in a different market area, possibly
in an adjacent county, in a mentor
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Jump Rope For Heart
Bolivia Elementary School second graders (front, from left) Ashley Hux, Clint Brewer and Chad Scott
jump rope to raise funds for American Heart Association research and education programs. They were
among 50 to 60 students at the school who participated in the Jump Rope For Heart benefit, said cam
paign chairman Bill Potts. The three are students in Shelley Payton 's physical education class.
Road For A Challenge Closer Home
ing-type relationship. "Because they
arc in the same line of business, they
would he able to offer more specific
advice than we can provide at the
center," he said.
While upgrading the center's ref
erence collection. Royal also wants
to make it more accessible to the
public. One option might be to work
with the Brunswick County Public
Library to establish a mini-collec
tion in each branch, with space for
Small Business Administration pam
phlets as well.
The proposed small business di
rectory, suggested to Royal by the
center's advisory council, would list
all small businesses in the county
and the services or goods they pro
If the center is to help fledgling
businesses, it needs to be an early
point of contact in the county. Royal
wants to offer a service or gift as an
incentive for new or proposed busi
nesses to contact his office.
A lunch 'n' learn series would of
fer events during the noon lunch
hour, with participants bringing bag
lunches, an alternative to the longer
programs the center offers.
Royal doesn't mind the sharp
learning curve involved in a new
job; it's good to be home full time.
He started with the Smali Business
Center on Jan. 3, off the highway for
the first time in at least eight years.
Except for a brief stint as area
representative for wholesale lighting
fixture sales in the Tampa Bay, Fla.,
market for Progress Lighting, he had
hccTi ;s territory manager with Fasco
Industries Inc. of Fayetteville since
The job kept him on the road in
eastern South Carolina and North
Carolina, calling on professionals
and wholesale distributors in the
electrical and building construction
fields. It meant being away from his
home and family in Boiling Spring
"I had gotten to the point I wanted
to be home more and I couldn't be,"
said the former Fasco regional Top
Gun, Most Improved Performer and
Million Dollar Club member. "To be
honest with you, I haven't missed it.
I think that is because I was really
ready to make the change."
In addition to a background in
corporate sales and marketing.
Royal brings to the job a significant
plus: his familiarity with Brunswick
County and its people.
After graduating in 1973 ?ia a
member of the first senior class of
South Brunswick High School, he
went to work for one of the area's
largest employers, Du Pont's Cape
Fear Plant in Iceland. Later he joined
Pfizer Chemical Co. in Southport,
When he left Pfizer in 1981,
Royal entered the Walker College of
Business at Appalachian State
University at Boone. !r. August
1984. he earned a bachelor of sci
ence in business administration,
with a major in marketing and a mi
nor in management. During school
he served as a resident assistant, as
business manager of ASU's student
newspaper as a senior business in
tern, and gained hands-on experi
ence in market research and distrib
His sales ability didn't go unno
ticed even then; he received the top
salesman award in a cruise fund
raising project held by his sales and
Royal's first job out of college
was in inside sales as a manufactur
er's representative for J.G. Fair
banks and Associates of Charlotte.
Approximately a year later, he
moved on to Fasco.
Excited about his new post. Royal
has no regrets over changing ca
"Everywhere, at the college and
in the community, everyone has re
ally welcomed me and made me feel
comfortable," he said. "I used to dri
ve about 50,(HK) miles a year. I got
to meet people, but I didn't have the
camaraderie of coworkers. Now I
His voice assumes a more serious
note as he adds, "I'm really excited
about this, about being able to con
tribute something to the county."
William Temple Allen, CPA, P. A.
Income Tax Preparation/
(federal and all state returns)
Accounting and Bookkeeping
Tax and Estate Planning
Former IRS Assistant Director
Technical Division, Washington, D.C.
25 Years Tax Experience
Ragpatch Row, Calabash
Dr. Christopher J. Moshoures
is pleased to announce
the opening of his
new office location
for the practice of
Optometry and Diseases of the Eye.
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