A local small business owner, Seimitsu “Sam” Cook, was selected to participate in the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program. Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses aims to provide access to education, capital and business support services to small business owners throughout the country. The program, which is delivered both remotely and on-site at the Babson College in Wellesley, Massachusetts, helps participants gain practical skills in topics such as negotiation, marketing and employee management. Participants also receive the tools and professional support to develop a strategic and customized growth plan for their business.
Sam and his wife, Cynthia Cook, founded Seimitsu in 1984 with financing from the Small Business Assistance Corporation (SBAC), a local nonprofit dedicated to providing small business loans. Still locally-owned and operated after three decades, Seimitsu has grown from a computer repair shop to a full-service IT provider, offering a range of telecommunications and IT solutions to national carriers, enterprise, small business, healthcare, governmental and educational customers.
To stay ahead of current technology trends, Seimitsu is developing a fiber-optic network to serve Savannah and beyond. The network already stretches across over 50 miles of underground conduit providing fiber to commercial clients, and Sam and Cindy have plans for continued growth into residential areas. Such growth, however, relies on significant up-front investment in infrastructure. “We are still energized, and loving what we do,” said Sam, “It is just a very capital intensive business.” For the necessary funding, Seimitsu turned again to the SBAC. Stephen George, Vice President at SBAC, recommended that Sam apply for the Goldman Sachs program. “Sam and Cindy’s commitment has taken their business so far already, and they are poised to take it even further” said George. “This program is a strong fit for their business goals.” According to Goldman-Sachs, 48% of program graduates report creating new jobs and 68% report an increase in revenue after just 6 months. After making it through the competitive application and interview process, Sam is excited for what the program holds for him and his business. He hopes that the practical education offered will improve his abilities to pitch to investors, opening opportunities for Seimitsu to continue to thrive.