Port City Moped Revs Up for Summer With Intuit Grant

A hundred years after his great-grandfather opened the first Schwinn bicycle dealership in the city of Charleston, S.C., Jordan Chaplin decided to enter the family business.

He’d met his future business partner, Dave Jarman, in 2010, while both were employed by a national car-rental service. The pair recently quit their jobs to follow in Granddad’s footsteps by offering a newer form of two-wheeled transportation.

In February, the young entrepreneurs opened Port City Moped on the Isle of Palms — a beautiful Atlantic barrier island (and city) that attracts tens of thousands of visitors annually. Because the seven-mile-long, one-mile-wide island lacks ample parking for cars, a moped rental business seemed like a bankable venture. The partners went all-in.

“[We] quit our jobs and spent all of our money trying to open up this business,” Jarman says. “You have to give everything you have in order to show everyone around you that you’re willing to give what it takes to make your business work.”

Just three months out, demand for mopeds on the Isle of Palms is so strong that the startup already needs to add more vehicles to its fleet. “Right now, we have 13 rentable units,” Jarman says. “We need more mopeds for people to rent.”

Looking to rev up for the busy summer season, Jarman entered Port City Moped into Intuit’s Small Business Growing Strong campaign.

“We cashed our 401(k)s and all of our savings combined to get a rental fleet and a store,” his wish entry explains. “We’ve had a great response from the community, but need more scooters to meet the demand. We work seven days a week and won’t pay ourselves until we reach our fleet goal.

“Five thousand dollars is all we need to maximize our fleet and make every visitor on the island happy. Customer service is our number one priority, and the last thing we want to do is turn people away. Please help!”

Help is on the way: Intuit is granting his wish.

“I really don’t know what to say,” Jarman says. “I’m speechless. … With this grant, we will be able to get another seven or eight mopeds. It’s basically a 30 or 40 percent increase in our fleet.”

Jarman hopes that, beyond expanding the fleet, serving customers honorably and well will fuel Port City Moped’s success. “We just try to be honest and nice to other people,” he says, “because I think it comes around — and instances like this prove it.”

Intuit’s Small Business Growing Strong campaign is announcing one winner a day through May 24, 2013. Check out the list of current winners, and find out if yours is one of the wishes we’ve granted!

About Michael Essany

Michael Essany is a former E! Entertainment Television host and nationally published author who was recognized by A&E Biography in 2005 as "One of America's Most Remarkable People." Michael currently serves as Vice President of Indiana Grain Company, LLC.
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45 comments
Debbie Goodrich
Debbie Goodrich

That is awesome and congratulations on having your wish granted. Following your grandfather's footsteps cannot be easy:)

Deana Martinson
Deana Martinson

Read your story! What a great one you have! So happy you won, I'm also in the contest, hoping I'm on the list too! Congrat's to you!!! Best Wishes for All the Success in the world, sounds like you are making such a positive difference in so many different ways!!!

Kathy Tumlinson
Kathy Tumlinson

Congratulations, only in AMERICA would you be given money to make a dream come true!! I hope my wish is granted. I really am in desperate need to update very old and dated salon equipment!! :)

Jacque Zirtzman
Jacque Zirtzman

Congratulations! From L.O.V.E. Lifting Others Visions Effectively.

Dennis Tadin
Dennis Tadin

Boo! As a moped owner looking at their site they don't own 1 moped..... All scooter toliets! Mopeds=have pedals! Should be calling it port city toliets not mopeds!

Keith Fuelling
Keith Fuelling

Congrats. We still have 9 more chances. R&R Kennels.

Vicki Flower
Vicki Flower

Congratulations from Stitched Creations!

Kevin Chestnut
Kevin Chestnut

congratulations guys...now... feel free to vote for Beckley Bypass Mini Storage LLC in Beckley WV.. i not only have storage spaces, but i offer a low rent... low overhead... in one of the most busy traffic areas in the city. i don't expect to become rich but i like helping others get their starts. Thanks.

JackieMorella
JackieMorella

to bye stock for my mobile spa business and Usborne books

Dave Jarman
Dave Jarman

Typically this is something I would see on TV or read about in the paper. We never thought in a million years that we would be 1 of the 15 lucky winners. Thank you so much from the bottom of our hearts! We truly feel blessed! Charleston, SC is one of the best cities in North America, so make sure you stay in touch and come check us out!!!!