SBDC helps small businesses in Abilene


ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) — While nowadays you can find Joshua Hackney shuffling through the shelves of his store, just 20 years ago he was working behind the scenes.

“That’s we’re I started at, making glasses in the lab,” said Hackney. “Nothing but working on machines, doing calibration, maintenance, stuff like that.”

Now most people see Hackney through a different lens, as the owner of Optical Express.

“I went to go get a pair of glasses the other day and the guy there, he says, ‘You helped me start my business,'” said David Smith, from the Small Business Development Center (SBDC).

This conversation wasn’t a first for Smith, who works with the SBDC helping secure loose screws and hinges on about half of the businesses in Abilene.

“We’ve had restaurants, we’ve had construction companies, we’ve had manufacturing entities, you name it, we’ve helped them get started,” said Smith. “We do a business plan for some, some people need management skills, [or] they need to do payroll.”

“Sometimes there’s things you might not have thought of,” said Hackney. “I need to add the expense for the phones, or the insurance, and they’ll connect you with those people.”

The SBDC doesn’t just help turn ideas into paper but also into actual buildings, helping make dreams like Hackney’s come true.

The SBDC holds classes for free for the public throughout the year, funded by the SBA and DCOA.

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