Gardner-Webb University Business Classes Offer Services to Local Businesses

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Communities in Schools Thrift Shop and Broad River Coffee and Cone Receive Assistance 

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. – Gardner-Webb University’s Godbold School of Business senior seminar classes recently offered assistance that helped guide the direction of local businesses, allowing students valuable hands on experience in planning and operating a business.  Communities in Schools (CIS) of Cleveland County Thrift Store and Broad River Coffee and Cone, both located in Boiling Springs, N.C., were recipients of in depth analysis reports serving to benefit their operations.

Over the past two semesters select classes at the Godbold School of Business served as consultants for these projects under the guidance of Oscar Zamora, a professor of business administration and management for the School.  “I was so pleased that Communities in School and Broad River Coffee and Cone allowed those students to use what they had learned to help in their local community,” said Zamora.

“We began researching the thrift shop more than a year ago,” said Executive Director of CIS of Cleveland County, Phillis White.  “We toured different shops across the state and then modeled ours after one in Brunswick County (N.C.).  We met with Gardner-Webb students and then exchanged information about things like location, square footage and cost, and the types of items we planned to carry.”

Once the class completed their findings, they offered the results during a presentation to CIS representatives. The plan included a market analysis, SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis, and economic forecasting.

“The students researched other shops in the community, the types and prices of items they carried and what it would cost to operate the shop.  They determined that our targeted space in Shelby was too small to make a profit,” White explained.  “It was the students who found an available larger space in Boiling Springs.  They also made suggestions on hours of operation and items to carry that would also appeal to students.”

CIS representatives were convinced and opened their store last December at 112 East College Avenue in Boiling Springs.  The facility offers name brand clothing, shoes, books, videos, and even vinyl records with most prices under $4.  Students will continue to help by serving as volunteers to work shifts, push clothing drives, and schedule events to promote the store, such as a possible social media fashion show.

Chris Turner had recently become the owner of Broad River Coffee, located on Main Street in Boiling Springs, and he was hoping to provide new additions to the business, such as ice cream, a lunch menu, and an artisan gift shop. He was interested in market evaluation and He was also seeking some financial-related suggestions.

“The class primarily worked on accounting, bookkeeping, and payroll,” said Turner.  “They also examined profit and loss analysis and performed market studies.  They were a big help, especially with the accounting.  I felt like the process benefited both parties.”

For additional information on the Godbold School of Business contact Natetsa Lawrence at 704-406-2260 or by email at

Communities in Schools of Cleveland County is a local affiliate of a state and national organization with a mission to surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life.  In 2013, CIS worked intensively with over 900 county students in 16 schools.  They also have a long partnership with GWU.

Broad River Coffee and Cone offers a variety of medium, dark, and decaffeinated coffee blends, as well as hot and cold specialty drinks.  They also provide ice cream, lunch items and freshly made cakes and brownies, and merchandise including mugs and T-shirts.

Located in Boiling Springs, N.C., Gardner-Webb University offers a comprehensive academic experience that introduces students to the diverse world of ideas and to the people who think them, preparing them for professional success and for productive citizenship.