Local Small Business Icon Bill Edwards Retires
More than a thousand small businesses have been started in Warren, Washington and Saratoga counties because of Bill Edwards started a regional SCORE team at the Adirondack Regional Chamber of Commerce in 2005.
After being Senior Financial Officer for H P Hood Dairy and International Corporate Vice President and Regional Director for Arthur D. Little, one of the world’s largest consulting firms, Bill became a college teacher and was selected as the Harder professor of business and management at Skidmore, where he regularly received rave reviews from his students.
Retiring for the second time in 2005, Bill became a volunteer with SCORE, which is a national not-for-profit partner of the U. S. Small Business Administration dedicated to helping small business owners form and grow their businesses.
Todd Shimkus, then President of the Adirondack Regional Chamber of Commerce, remembers meeting with Bill Edwards and his team in 2005. “They were so eager to help local entrepreneurs and small business owners by setting up a local SCORE Chapter.
“Saying yes to Bill was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my Chamber career. Under his leadership, our local SCORE Chapter has become one of the best performing organizations of its kind in the US. Our local SCORE chapter has created hundreds of new businesses and thousands of local jobs. Bill’s work on this startup venture will endure and stand as a legacy to his vision and commitment to helping small businesses to succeed, grow and thrive.”
Joe Dalton, long-time president of the Saratoga Chamber, said: “After several unsuccessful attempts by the Chamber to create a volunteer business consulting group, Bill Edwards showed up and installed an outstanding team of SCORE business counselors. We were blessed that Bill’s knowledge and enthusiasm was able to build a great team which created thousands of jobs throughout Saratoga County and the region. He will be sorely missed.”
Starting with a single office provided by the Adirondack Regional Chamber of Commerce in Glens Falls, Bill’s team grew to 30 counselors in four offices.
Bill’s third retirement comes after a banner 2020. Using Zoom, his team spent more than 6,000 hours and helped 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.
Results like these have consistently placed the local SCORE chapter in the top 1% based on research conducted by the national organization.
While Bill has retired, he leaves a team and processes which will continue to mentor start-ups and help operating small businesses prosper. For assistance, go to score.org and answer a few simple questions.
SCORE Chapter Chair
Pictured (L to R): Bill Edwards, Charles Newman (SCORE Chapter Chair), Joe Dalton (Former Saratoga County Chamber President), Todd Shimkus (President, Saratoga County Chamber).