• Saratoga Business Report
Wednesday, 22 September 2021 19:56

Small Business Owners Honor Bill Edwards for Leading SCORE Featured

Written by Jaynie Ellis
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Todd Shimkus, Saratoga Chamber of Commerce; Jim Sears, UPS; Pam Smith, Spoken Boutique; Patti Fortuna Stannard and Paul Stannard, Fortuna’s Sausage & Online Italian Market; Bill Edwards; Rita Cox, Cox Media Solutions; Janine Remarque, Frontier Adjusters; Robin and Bert Weber, Common Roots Brewery; and Joe Dalton, previously Saratoga Chamber of Commerce. Todd Shimkus, Saratoga Chamber of Commerce; Jim Sears, UPS; Pam Smith, Spoken Boutique; Patti Fortuna Stannard and Paul Stannard, Fortuna’s Sausage & Online Italian Market; Bill Edwards; Rita Cox, Cox Media Solutions; Janine Remarque, Frontier Adjusters; Robin and Bert Weber, Common Roots Brewery; and Joe Dalton, previously Saratoga Chamber of Commerce.

SARATOGA SPRINGS – Small business owners and volunteers honored Bill Edwards at Longfellows for leading SCORE locally for 15 years, which helped launch more than a thousand businesses in Saratoga, Warren, Washington, and several adjacent counties.

Long-time client Patti Fortuna said: 

“Bill loved to share his knowledge and experience in such a passionate way it made me want to succeed even when times were hard. Bill knew my capabilities better than I knew myself, and in his special way he pushed me to my limits and beyond. I will always be grateful for SCORE and especially Bill for his advice, direction, and the time he spend with me over the last nine years helping Fortuna’s Sausage & Online Italian Market.” 

“I am so grateful that Bill was my SCORE mentor as I opened my boutique, Minky Mink in Glens Falls,” said Maura Bannon Forcier. “Thank you a million times over.”

“The information that I gained from Bill before I purchased my business, Frontier Adjusters, was invaluable and set me on a path for success,” said Janine Remarque. 

Several representatives of the regional Chambers of Commerce also wanted to communicate their appreciation for Bill’s contribution to the region’s small business community.

“We are blessed that Bill’s knowledge and enthusiasm was able to build a great team of volunteers which created thousands of jobs throughout Saratoga County and the region,” said Joe Dalton, long-time President of the Saratoga Chamber of Commerce who preceded Todd Shimkus. 

“The impact that Bill Edwards has had on the region’s small businesses over the years is remarkable,” said Michael Bittel, President/CEO of the Adirondack Regional Chamber of Commerce. “So many local entrepreneurs have found success and seen their dreams come true, thanks to Bill’s passion, experience, and guidance.”

Bill’s retirement comes after a banner 2020. Using Zoom, his team of 30 mentors spent more than 6,000 hours and helped to start or expand 117 businesses, creating 236 new jobs. These businesses invested more than $4,000,000, more than half of which was raised from local and regional financial institutions which came to respect SCORE for introducing them to entrepreneurs who were well prepared to start or grow their businesses. 

While Bill has retired, he leaves a large team and processes which will continue to mentor start-ups and help operating small businesses prosper. For assistance, go to www.score.org, ask for a mentor, and answer a few simple questions. 

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