SBDC Hall of Fame

Lenore Schwartz

Lenore Schwartz

Lenore Schwartz
Total Electric Distributors
Staten Island SBDC

The client and her sister Wendie learned the electric business from their father, who owned the Flatbush Lighting Fixture Company in Brooklyn.  In 1989, the sisters established a certified woman—owned electrical wholesale business.  They struggled through a series of setbacks, a construction recession, strike, bankruptcy, and Wendie’s move to England. Lenore attributed the company’s success to hard work and tough decisions, a reputation for super customer service, along with minority business contracts. The company has supplied lighting for the Port Authority, LaGuardia Airport, and New York City high schools.

The company was completely reorganized in 1994, and in 1995, Lenore consulted the SBDC for advice on financing. She returned to the SBDC in 2001 for assistance in restructuring her business plan and working through a buy-out of her sister’s half of the business and integration of a new partner.  Lenore requested SBDC assistance in December 2001 to secure a disaster loan to help the business recover in the aftermath of September 11th.  In 2003, she contacted the SBDC yet again to help gain a line of credit for the business. The business now has 14 employee and annual sales of $20 million.

For four consecutive years, Total Electric was recognized as one of the 25 fastest growing companies in Staten Island, Brooklyn and Queens.  They sell all products utilized inside and outside facilities that relate to the lighting function.  Lenore is one of the Staten Island Center’s greatest source of referrals. She is also an active member of the Staten Island SBDC’s Advisory Board as well as a leading participant in the Center’s Information Exchange Program.