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HomeGrown Tours MVI

Submitted by: Dolores Borza
Business Website: http://homegrowntoursmvi.com
State: Massachusetts
City: Oak Bluffs

Business Description

HomeGrown Tours MVI is a sightseeing company on Martha's Vineyard. We do private/custom tours and bus tours. Wheelchair accessible bus available for those with mobility issues.

What one unique aspect of your business will make you succeed over the next year?

Martha's Vineyard is home base for HomeGrown Tours MVI, a unique and exciting sightseeing company that caters to individuals reliant upon a wheelchair and for those with mobility issues. Martha's Vineyard is well known for being one of the top vacation destinations. I am a third generation Islander with roots dating back to 1909. My knowledge of the Island's history and extensive experience in customer service makes this business thrive. I am passionate about creating alternatives for traditional ways of doing tours. With HomeGrown Tours MVI, EVERYONE can experience Martha's Vineyard's beauty and historical value. No one ever needs to feel left out because we foster an environment of empathy and compassion along with the desire to accommodate the needs of everyone. My inspiration to create this unique business came to me when doing a tour for a wheelchair client. He struggled to get in the car and folded the wheelchair, which was a bit challenging for the vehicle being used. We live in a world where "time is money", because of his transfer difficulties, he opted out of seeing the most beautiful sights on the tour and settled to look at pictures from his caregivers. This awakened my empathy and magnified the need to accommodate this community of people with the means that should be available to them. Im hoping that this will enable those that travel on wheels to connect with others and make new friends.

How does your business make a positive impact on the community?

Martha's Vineyard operates solely on a seasonal basis. HomeGrown Tours MVI can be a significant help by attracting new travelers and vacationers to the Island thus bringing more capital to the businesses here. Having a chance to do the workshop in Texas will enhance my capabilities to better manage my business with the goal of growing and opening up opportunities for employment of others.

What would you do with a $1,000 Sam’s Club gift card, training, and help from a SCORE mentor to grow your business?

I would upgrade my computer system with the Sam's Club gift card. Working with SCORE mentors in the past have not only helped me with creating my business plan and talking in depth with me about my ideas, but have also helped my self-worth, validation as a woman alone in business and empowerment. It would be a gift to continue working with a mentor so as to better manage my creative ideas, drive and learn new ways to improve what I do for my business.

The following responses will be considered in judging for a SCORE Award.

How has working with a SCORE mentor helped your business?

I can't express how much I admire my two mentors. Right from the beginning I've enjoyed working with them, for over a year now. They have helped me create my business plan, talked with me in depth about my ideas along with meeting me and talking for hours about the specifics of a business. I have been truly blessed to have had the chance to work with this program. The most important part of my mentors is that we have a great relationship and work well together.

Have you had to overcome any obstacles along the way to build your business?

After having been inspired to create this business, I had to acquire certain licenses and permits, go to selectmen meetings and state board meetings. I studied and passed my commercial drivers license so that I could drive my bus that I obtained specifically because it has a wheelchair lift. I also felt it necessary to take a certified cpr/first aid class. Granted that it was my first year, it was quite a struggle financially, but I stayed steadfast with my goals in front of me.

How will you utilize the marketing video and national recognition of winning a SCORE Award to help take your business to the next level?

The marketing video will enable me to get my name out there so that everyone will know that we offer the services of wheelchair tours on Martha's Vineyard. The national recognition of winning a SCORE Award brings attention to the variety of people that come to the Island from all over the world. It will also create exposure that I couldn't possibly afford to do on my own.
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