How SCORE helped. 

A year has passed since the COVID pandemic slammed into our economy and our lives, changing the norms in both in such significant ways. During that year, the small business community learned to pivot and adjust to a new normal. Individuals experienced profound changes when many saw jobs reduced or eliminated as larger companies cut back to adjust to the economy. Despite all that, or perhaps because of it, according to Forbes, Americans are starting businesses in record numbers "In 2020, applications for new business tax IDs actually rose at the fastest rate since 2007."

One of these bold entrepreneurs is Terri Lynn Givens, the new owner of The Main Street Peddler  (22 E. Main Street) in downtown Lititz. Prior to the pandemic, Terri served as the Business Development Manager for Susquehanna Valley EMS. The COVID crisis's effects led first to a furlough and then to a cut back in hours. This development inspired Terri to take action on the entrepreneurial dream she had fostered for so long. In October of 2020, Terri made the daring move to become a small business owner.

SCORE Client Terri Lynn Givens

Pivot to Over the Fence Mentoring

As Terri began her research into small business opportunities, she had no doubt she would reach out to a SCORE mentor for guidance and support. After all, she had one living right next door with volunteer mentor Steve Engle. How to hold an effective mentoring session during a global pandemic? The SCORE Lancaster-Lebanon mentors have been connecting with clients through video meetings, phone conferences, and the occasional socially distant in-person meeting. Terri and Steve met over their backyard fence to discuss her business plan and the business purchase negotiations. 

"Working with Steve has been an enjoyable and rewarding experience. Steve has given me great guidance on purchasing a business. He has made me think about things differently. If I pose questions to him about a topic, he gives me guidance--not advice--there is a difference and points me in the right direction by asking me questions and making me think about things, so I come to a conclusion with his direction. In the beginning, our conversations were about financial topics. After I purchased the business and got going for a few weeks, we have discussed items that need to be addressed for the overall business plan we are developing."

    - Terri Lynn Givens, owner of The Main Street Peddler

SCORE Client

SCORE Mentors Are with You for the Business Journey

Terri continues to meet safely "over the fence" with her SCORE mentor Steve Engle to update and review her business plan and outlooks for the future.

"In the next few weeks, Steve and I will be putting together a financial plan and set goals for the coming year. We will be looking at ideas and accessing ways that we can increase the foot traffic and ultimately make the store profitable." 

    - Terri Lynn Givens, owner of The Main Street Peddler

These last few months have fulfilled Terri Lynn’s entrepreneurial dreams, including her long-held wish to be a part of the vibrant downtown Lititz community. It has been a brave leap of faith to make during a pandemic but one that she made with family support and a SCORE mentor cheering her on. Terri believes that a sense of community is vital to ensure that an emerging small business can survive and thrive in these times. She also thinks that the reinforcement and professional guidance of a free SCORE volunteer mentor is an essential advantage during these challenging times.

"If you're thinking about starting a business or purchasing a business, you can't do it alone. It doesn't matter how knowledgeable you are. The support and guidance you will receive from a SCORE mentor will be invaluable to you and your success."    

    - Terri Lynn Givens, owner of The Main Street Peddler

SCORE Mentor Steve Engle

Photography credit to Josh Carrigan of Feliz Productions.

SCORE Client Terri Lynn Givens