A Lancaster couple recently launched a small business selling micro-roast coffee.

An audiologist began her own practice 13 years ago and now oversees three thriving Lancaster County locations.

A Lancaster nonprofit that helps single mothers care for their children and get an education went from being in the red to being on the road to sustainability.

What do these three scenarios have in common?

All have been made possible by the Lancaster chapter of SCORE, which provides small-business mentoring and educational programs for startups and existing businesses as well as nonprofits.

These recipients of SCORE Lancaster's guidance are happy to sing the organization's praises, particularly for the free mentoring provided by its volunteers, mostly retirees with business expertise.

But there's more than local voices in that chorus — SCORE Lancaster also has received national recognition.

This summer, the U.S. Small Business Administration and national SCORE honored SCORE Lancaster with the Chapter of the Year award for 2013. Lancaster is one of more than 340 chapters nationwide.

Lancaster Online