Hunter Lawrence has been in business a good while for someone still considered a young entrepreneur. It’s a title that isn’t going away anytime soon, and one that keeps garnering attention for his business.
Lawrence, 21, was recently named the South Carolina Young Entrepreneur of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration. The Fort Mill resident will be honored in Columbia during a May 5 ceremony. Lawrence operates Hunter’s Arcade House and Sales, a business he started at age 13.
Lawrence buys, sells, repairs, delivers and otherwise works with a variety of arcade style games and machines. He began by selling a claw machine he’d gotten a loan from his parents to buy, then paid off through online arcade prize and other sales. Lawrence then set up a storage unit as home base where he brought in and sent out large games.
The recent title isn’t the first for Lawrence.
Nonprofit group SC Economics named Lawrence its 2019 SC Young Entrepreneur of the Year. At that time, the Nation Ford High School student already had sold products to 35 states and three foreign countries.
Lawrence’s business is eight years old. He could run it another eight years and still qualify as young entrepreneur.
Susan Chavis, economic development specialist with the state office for the U.S. Small Business Administration, said the award Lawrence just won is available to business owners up to age 30.
It’s awarded for young professionals who are majority owners of a business open at least three years. It’s based on year-to-year growth, expansion, online activity, employee count and community involvement.
In addition to arcades, Lawrence works with businesses and restaurants that want games in waiting areas, offices or lobbies. Lawrence also works with homeowners on private game rooms.