2010 Emerging Businesses EDGE Awards Winners
The ISBDC EDGE Awards celebrate Economic Development & Growth through Entrepreneurship. EDGE Award recipients fall into one of two categories: Emerging or Established businesses. Eligibility is limited to clients of the ISBDC who in the past year have received one-on-one confidential counseling with a trained ISBDC Business Advisor, participated in ISBDC programs, or used ISBDC tools and business resources. EDGE Award recipients have been selected locally by the regional ISBDC staff who work directly with the business. Congratulations to the 2010 Class of Emerging Business EDGE Awards Winners.
Jacqueline Overpeck worked as a pediatric physical therapist for 6 years in a hospital setting. She determined she would be able to provide a better and wider variety of services at a place that was strictly set up for children. Initially she contacted the ISBDC for help with financing as she did not want to borrow a large amount of money, but the local banks were reluctant to loan at the time. With an ISBDC introduction she obtained an SBA loan through Borrego Springs Bank for $25,000 and days later her business opened in September 2010. One reason she was able to get her loan processed so quickly was due to the ISBDC providing assistance with her business plan and loan documentation. Families with children who have special needs can now receive the same services in Madison that they previously had to travel to Louisville, Cincinnati, or Indianapolis to receive.
South Bend, IN
Gary engaged the ISBDC in January 2009, requesting assistance in developing a business plan and pursuit of funding to establish a service and sales business for materials handling equipment. After an ISBDC business model evaluation, Gary pursued funding from a number of banks without success. Faced with a difficult lending environment, he revised his business model and personally funded Clarklift of Michiana Inc. in June 2010, with Gary and two managers working without a salary to establish operations. Gary eventually secured a line of credit with Indiana Community Bank in Elkhart. QuickBooks training and additional counseling in establishing an accounting system from the ISBDC followed.
The business has averaged $44,000/month since opening and now employs six, including three experienced field service technicians who had previously been drawing unemployment benefits.
Deer Ridge Woodcraft
Terre Haute, IN
Wade Biggs came to the ISBDC in October 2009 seeking to establish a company to restore antique furniture and create customized woodwork. Woodworking is a family practice that has been passed down through more than four generations. Wade and his parents had been restoring antique furniture and working with friends and family to create specific pieces of furniture.
The West Central ISBDC assisted Wade in determining the equipment needed and costs associated with each piece as well as its financing. Over several months, the WC ISBDC helped focus Wade’s efforts in business planning and extensively utilized geographic information system (GIS) resources to evaluate demographics and create a profile of customers and buying patterns of potential Deer Ridge Woodcraft customers within a 150 mile radius. The client’s business plan was reviewed, and a strategic plan developed. The goals: find a path to profitability, identify possible growth strategies, and evaluate the operational and financial implications of this direction. The business opened in January 2010 with 3 full time equivalent employees, has expanded to B2B markets, and is working with local Indiana companies like Bee Creek Brewery.
In 2007, Brenda and Bill Floyd came to the ISBDC wanting to build and operate a car wash/oil change/coffee shop in Newburgh. They had researched construction costs and had talked to Lucas Oil about using their brand name for the shop. Over 40 hours of ISBDC assistance was provided, including business plan development, financial projections, and research of local demographics. This work culminated in the approval of $1.7 million in financing from First Federal Savings Bank. Forest Lucas of Lucas Oil was convinced that this unique type of “center” including an internet café would be successful and has made a substantial investment in the company. Potential of significant expansion opportunities are being planned. The business will open in early March and plans to employ upwards of 30 employees, with 75% working full-time.
Cedar Lake, IN
Rich Thiel and his partner Jorge Rangel began working with the Northwest ISBDC in 2008 on steps to take their environmental recycling company, Midwest PGM, from a remote business to a retail operation. After successfully applying for and receiving a start-up grant from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management’s Recycling Promotion and Assistance Fund, they opened their recycling center location in Cedar Lake in April 2009. Midwest PGM, Inc. buys used automotive parts for reuse by aftermarket parts rebuilders and purchases automotive scrap for recycling. They also purchase plastics, aluminum, and specified non-ferrous and ferrous materials at their retail center, keeping unnecessary items from entering landfills.
With over $600,000 in sales for fiscal year 2010, the company is now in the process of planning another expansion. Most recently, they have worked with ISBDC Business Advisors on their loan package to secure funds to buy a building, expand their location and continue to grow their business.
Steve started his sport event promotion company, Muncie Multi-Sport, in 2009 with two employees to bring USA Triathlon and Ironman sanctioned events to East Central Indiana. Steve has been planning and promoting multi-sport events since the mid-’90s when he worked for the Muncie YMCA. In his first year of operation, Steve promoted and ran 5 events in the Muncie area. Since his initial launch, Steve has expanded his operations to include planning and promoting smaller events for other organizations as well as increasing the number of his own events and generating new sales of $100,000. Muncie Multi-Sport has also partnered with many local and regional small businesses.
Perhaps the biggest economic impact Steve’s business has had on the area is the increase of tourist dollars. Ironman sanctioned events and triathlons attract athletes from all over North America. In his first year of business, Steve sold out all of the events and is on his way to selling out the 2011 season.
Prestige Drycleaners, LLC
Tim and Debbi Bolin wanted to start a business they could run as a family and upon retirement continue to create wealth for the family. They had identified a need for drycleaners in Martinsville. Their Central ISBDC Business Advisor used demographic reports to make sure the customer base was present and used market research tools to benchmark profit margins and average expected returns. The ISBDC’s business plan writing software, SmallBizNavigator, helped the Bolin’s write their business plan and create financial projections. The ISBDC also provided assistance in site selection, strategic partner analysis, marketing plan development, and web design.
With an introduction from the ISBDC, Home Bank issued an SBA 7(a) loan for startup capital and equipment of $120,000 and, along with a personal loan, Prestige Drycleaners opened their first location on March 1, 2010 with 6 employees. The Bolin’s and their ISBDC Business Advisor are evaluating an opportunity to open a second drop-off and pick-up location in Ellettsville.
Tashia began experimenting with gourmet chocolate covered popcorn in 2003. In 2005, she attended some Hoosier Heartland ISBDC workshops, took a buy-out from her employer, and began to pursue her business more aggressively. Desiring a retail store, she met with ISBDC Business Advisors in the summer of 2009 to help with a business plan, projections, and strategies.
In the fall of 2009, Tashia participated in the ISBDC Collegiate Management Program at IU – Kokomo, where students assisted with her business plan, a break-even analysis, and new market ideas. With 2 employees, Sweet Poppin’s opened its first retail store at the edge of Kokomo and a web-based retail site in the spring of 2010. Sweet Poppin’s moved to downtown Kokomo in July 2010. The ISBDC assisted Sweet Poppin’s with a Woman-Minority Owned Business certification, product pricing, cash flow projections, locating suppliers, legal issues, nutritional labels, and retail demographic information. Sweet Poppin’s products have been promoted at the Kentucky Derby, Indiana Black Expo, the Soul Train Music Awards, and will be featured in a 2011 motion picture.
Since spending almost 30 hours working with HH ISBDC Business Advisors, Sweet Poppin’s obtained a revolving loan fund through the City of Kokomo for $15,000 and sales have tripled.
Fort Wayne, IN
Lori Berndt first came to the Northeast ISBDC seeking assistance with loan and location after being referred by the City of Fort Wayne. The Berndt’s were introduced to The Olive Twist concept while on vacation. “I visited an olive oil and vinegar tasting bar and fell in love,” Lori recalls. “On my flight home, I couldn’t stop thinking about opening up my own tasting bar.” ISBDC Business Advisors assisted Ms. Berndt by providing her with research on other specialty retail food stores; reviewing industry standards and competition; providing a template for financial projections; and demographic information to help Lori determine the best geographic location for her new store. The ISBDC also created and distributed a press release that resulted in substantial media attention for the new business. The business opened this past fall and employs 2 full time equivalent employees.