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Austin Peay State University’s small business development center presents Kimmy’s Christian Academy with 2020 Rising Star Award

Austin Peay State University - APSUClarksville, TN – Every year, the Tennessee Small Business Development Center (TSBDC) at Austin Peay State University (APSU) presents the Rising Star Award to companies that exemplify business success and an outstanding working relationship with the TSBDC.

Lorneth Peters (center) presents the award to Martin and Kim Hines. (APSU)
Lorneth Peters (center) presents the award to Martin and Kim Hines. (APSU)

This year, Martin and Kim Hines, owners of Kimmy’s Christian Academy, will be presented with the Rising Star Award during the virtual SBDC Day event. From 10:30am-11:30am on March 17th.  

In January of 2020, while attending a workshop co-hosted by the TSBDC, the Hines learned more about the Center’s no-cost small business support services.

After reviewing all the information learned at the workshop, the couple was determined to scale their business. Enlisting the assistance of the Center was the first step for direction on business expansion options. 

“When we first met with Mrs. Lorneth Peters, the director of the Center, we did not know what to expect,” the Hines said in a joint statement. “We were pleasantly surprised by her warm demeanor and interest in the success of our business. As a business owner, you sometimes feel alone, but the TSBDC at APSU was and continues to be a support system.”

During the initial meeting, discussions focused on scaling the company, the current workforce, updating businesses processes, and the unique value proposition needed to offer additional families with childcare services. After reviewing the 5 Cs – Character, Collateral, Capacity, Capital, and Business Conditions – the Center prepared the business to meet with a local banker. 

After meeting with the banker and determining the next steps, the coronavirus (COVID-19) impact became a reality, delaying the application process. As shelter-at-home restrictions affected the local community, Kimmy’s Christian Academy lost 80% of enrollment, closed for weeks, and significantly reduced its workforce.

Since re-opening the business, they are now back to full capacity and following the cleaning procedures and other safety precautions to protect the well-being of parents and children entering the facility. The renewed stability of the business led to revisiting expansion possibilities. 

In the late Fall of 2020, a local bank awarded Kimmy’s Christian Academy with a business loan to open a second location in early 2021. Since working with the TSBDC, the business has increased revenue by over 40%, streamlined operational costs, hired well, and focused on business growth strategies for the next five years. 



Kimmy’s Christian Academy, located at 443 Ringgold Road, offers a safe space for kids from 15 months up to school age, and it positions all students for success by providing an environment with enriched learning opportunities.  The second location will open in late spring at 2225 Woodlawn Drive.  

To register for the virtual SBDC Day event, visit https://clients.tsbdc.org/workshop.aspx?ekey=70410012. The event will also feature a presentation on small business marketing in 2021 and beyond. 

Clarksville’s TSBDC Center, located in the APSU College of Business, provides a myriad of services for entrepreneurs and business owners such as free and confidential counseling and training seminars on many business-related topics. The TSBDC is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).


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