The annual SCORE Small Business Awards recognize five local businesses that demonstrate resiliency, leadership and excellence. SCORE Lancaster-Lebanon provides free business advice to entrepreneurs with future business ideas, small businesses that want to improve their results and nonprofit organizations that are working hard to deliver their mission. Last year, the organization supported 725 businesses, as well as helped to open 117 new businesses.
The 2023 Small Business Award Winners
HQ Water Solutions
Husband-and-wife team, Stephen and Jordan Evangelista, opened HQ Water Solutions in March 2020 during the onset of the pandemic. With an $800 investment and 10 years of industrial water treatment experience, Stephen was determined to chase his longtime dream of starting a business and providing the high-quality customer service experiences he thought the industry lacked. Jordan eventually left her full-time job to also support the business as well. Despite the pandemic, the business grew faster than they were anticipating, and with the help of SCORE mentor, Mike Canarelli, they were able to take the business full-time in 2022. Today, HQ Water Solutions offers water softeners, home water filtration systems, water testing and more to over 400 clients in central PA. Learn more at hqwatersolutions.com.
Andrew Lally left his job as a physical therapist in the corporate health care setting to pursue his passion for golf. With the help of his SCORE mentor, Gary Wojcik, Andrew combined his background in physical therapy and his love of golf to create an innovative business plan. inJoy Golf offers expert level fitness plans to help you improve your golf performance, as well as golf simulators available to rent by the hour (BYO food and alcohol). The simulators feature 160 courses worldwide. Guests can play on iconic courses, join a league or get a golf lesson. Next, Andrew hopes to expand and add new locations. Learn more at injoygolf.com.
Sisters & Brothers Keepers
Owners and sisters, Justina Mancino and Regina Opiyo, started Sisters & Brothers Keepers in 2017 to help the vulnerable aging community who were left alone in their homes with many unmet needs. Unfortunately, 2020 was the end of their business as they knew it. Faced with changes from the government organization they worked with, Justina and Regina were forced to pivot. With the help of their SCORE mentor, Jerry Glenn, Sisters & Brothers Keepers successfully transitioned to helping Pennsylvanians with disabilities through the Office of Developmental Programs. They offer behavioral health services, home and community habilitation, respite services, companion services and more. After making virtually no revenue in 2021, last year they were able to exceed their pre-pandemic numbers. Learn more at sistersandbrotherskeepers.com.
SmartPay Rentals offers an affordable storage shed rent-to-own service enabling their customers to take responsibility for their self-storage solutions. Rather than paying for offsite storage space, SmartPay Rentals’ customers get convenient access to storage space right in their backyards. Owner, Dave Miller, and his SCORE mentors, Eric Parker and Tom Roche, were able to take SmartPay Rentals to the next level through focusing on sales tactics and long-term strategy. Thanks to these tactics and the backyard industry boom during the pandemic, Dave was able to take the company from a small start-up to a company doing business in over forty states. Learn more at smartpayrentals.com.
SWAN: Scaling Walls a Note at a Time
Diana Vuolo came up with the idea for SWAN in 2009 while her husband, Reverend Chuck Vuolo, was providing counsel to several criminal offenders and their families. When a parent goes to prison, a child may experience the trauma of separation, abandonment, homelessness and continued or deepening poverty. Diana saw firsthand the traumatic impact of parental incarceration and asked herself, “How can I help?” As a professional violinist, performer and teacher, music seemed to be the answer. She was aware of the value of music education and the healing power of music. In 2011, she decided to start SWAN: Scaling Walls a Note at a Time. Today, with the assistance of her SCORE mentors, Bob Thomas and Beverly Doody, SWAN has expanded to offer free music lessons, performance programs, mentoring and more for children affected by parental incarceration. Learn more at swan4kids.org.
For more information about SCORE Lancaster-Lebanon, visit score.org/lancaster-lebanon