Palm Beach Co. small businesses get free help

Posted at 11:39 AM, Mar 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-18 13:08:30-04

Starting a business can be a risky move, but one organization in our area is now offering free assistance to start-ups and small businesses.

Two new business owners who traded in their day job for a career on the road.

Long-time friends Nick McGrady and Ben Sauberman used to be teachers but grew tired of the daily grind.

"It gets to you, working for somebody else and being a slave to a certain schedule," said McGrady.

Now they only answer to each other. Nick and ben recently started their own food truck business, "Sweet Stack Chimney Cakes."

"When we first started it was definitely hard," said McGrady.

It didn't take long for them to realize it would take more than a tasty recipe.  It took a lot of cash. 

"It's not just cooking and baking, it's taxes and legal work," said Sauberman.

They started working with a mentor from Palm Beach SCORE, a non-profit organization that provides free counseling to start-ups and small businesses.

SCORE has more than 70 volunteer executives and entrepreneurs helping with everything from business plans to financial development.

"Owning a business is a 24-hour a day job," said Penny Pompei of Palm Beach SCORE.

Pompei said there are a few things people overlook when starting a business.

"Usually the problems are around marketing. I think they overlook the amount of money it takes to really get started and the amount of time," said Pompei.

SCORE also helps existing small businesses expand.

Cynthia Heathcoe used a SCORE mentor when she opened her furniture store "Contemporary Living" in Palm Beach Gardens. They are now working on a long-term plan.

"They come in and help you with financial management. We're doing OK, but now we really need to start planning for growth, so we can stay here,” said Heathcoe.

SCORE mentors say once you understand the basics of how to run a business, you will have a higher chance for success.

“Sweet Stack Chimney Cakes” has taken off and McGrady and Sauberman have already started working at festivals in the area.

They said their food truck is about much more than money or chimney cakes.  It's about the freedom to pursue their dreams.

Visit Palm Beach SCORE at to learn more or call 561-833-1672.