Starting & Growing Business

Business challenges? Justin and Christine can help.

Justin Schulz assumed the role of Director of the Small Business Development Center in 2015 after working in underwriting and origination with the SBA 504 Loan program at the EDC.  He provides technical assistance to entrepreneurs and small business owners on ideation, market validation, business plan development, and financing opportunities.  During his career he has worked on $300 Million in loan approvals.

Justin has an undergraduate degree in Finance and Banking from the University of Missouri-Columbia and is a certified Economic Development Finance Professional from the National Development Council. He will finish his Master’s in Business Administration with an emphasis in Accounting in 2020.

Justin is currently serving as a board member for the Missouri Job Center of St. Charles County.


Christine Zika is the Director of Business Development/Small Business Development Counselor at the EDC Business and Community Partner.  In her current role, Christine assists business owners with strategic planning, idea evaluation, identifying customer segments, marketing and SBA/commercial loan preparation.

Prior to her role as an SBDC Counselor, she owned CZ Concierge Services, LLC after a successful career in marketing and office management.

Christine is also a US Army Veteran having served in the Military Police Corps in the Missouri Army National Guard from 1990 – 2014.

She has an undergraduate degree from Excelsior College and is pursuing her certification as an Economic Development Finance Professional from the National Development Council in addition to completing her Master’s in Business Administration in 2020.

Her current volunteer activities include serving on the Board of Directors for the Lewis and Clark Chapter of the Society of HR Managers as the Workforce Chairwoman.  She has recently been chosen by the National SHRM Foundation for the position of Inclusion Captain for Veteran Hiring Initiatives.

Evaluate your opportunities in the marketplace

Choose a name for your business

Determine your organizational structure

Obtain tax numbers and licenses

Find location and obtain permits

Establish a record keeping system

Open business bank accounts

Apply for funding

Develop promotional and marketing materials

Obtain insurance for the business

Plan a grand opening event

Hire a management team

Funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration.