Kevin and Barbara Held are the owners of Twilight on the Erie RV Resort along the Erie Canal in Macedon, New York. With the help of a 504 program loan from the U.S. Small Business Administration and SCORE Rochester, the women-owned RV Resort will open its doors in June 2014. The new generation recreational resort has over 140 sites and will offer newer trends in camping such as the comforts of home, WIFI, cable television, camp store, snack bar with fire stone brick oven specialties, gunite swimming pool and much more.
No strangers to entrepreneurship, Kevin and Barbara owned and operated Reds Landscaping for 30 years and now have handed over the reins to their son, Tim. Both Kevin and Barbara will work at the resort and have 5 employees with plans to hire another 7 or 8 within the next three years.
What started as a dream had finally become a reality. With the help of SCORE mentors, Kevin and Barbara were guided through the foundational and developmental stages of formulating their business plan, learning new marketing techniques, sales operations and social media. SCORE mentors provide confidential business mentoring services, both in person and online. SCORE hosts seminars and workshops to help small business owners meet their goals and achieve success.
“We learned about SCORE through the SBA website and chose them because of their highly successful people who are mentoring business owners,” said Barbara. “They are extremely knowledgeable and the experience they provided was a tremendous resource, not to mention free.”
After finalizing their business plan, the adventurous duo approached several financial institutions to begin their project and the SBA, New York Business Development Center, Steuben Trust and Wayne County Economic Development Agency stepped up to the plate.
“Kevin and Barbara have been well established business owners for years,” said Pennie Smith, vice president NYBDC. “We looked at the loan as a way to keep two highly productive entrepreneurs in a viable business and as a way to allow growth in our local community of Macedon.”
The Small Business Administration's 504 Loan Program provides small companies in development areas with guarantees for loans for major fixed assets such as land and buildings for economic development. The purpose of 504 loans is to improve the economy of a locality or to assist businesses owned by women, minorities, veterans, rural businesses, and other designated types of businesses. The 504 loans are set up to work with Certified Development Companies - nonprofit corporations set up for community development.
The loans have allowed Kevin and Barbara to begin excavation and construction of their 100 acre landscaped resort. Twilight on the Erie RV Resort is conveniently located along the Erie Canal. This location allows them to offer their guests off-site attractions and activities that include go-carting, miniature golf, and shopping. Along the canal side, the resort will host recreational activities such as ladder ball, horse shoes, sitting areas around the water or overlooking the canal. To add, the resort also offers hiking, nature, and biking trails.
Barbara has advice for other small business owners, “you must persevere through the obstacles because there is always a solution. Solving problems, researching the resources, and finding the right contacts will be worth it in the end.”
For more Information on The Twilight on the Erie RV Resort can be found at twilightrv.com. Information on SBA programs and services can be found by visiting the SBA’s website at www.sba.gov/ny/buffalo.
SBA Straight Talk, Resources Help Retiree Build Business from the Ground Up
BUFFALO, NY – It was desire that motivated retired secretary, Mary Beth Glatz to create SandDancer, a canine swim therapy and fitness facility she opened in Orchard Park, New York in 2013. Inspired by her beloved Labrador Retriever, the idea of canine swim therapy was easy. Mary Beth recalls, “Several months prior to the end of our Labrador Retriever’s life, our veterinarian recommended swim therapy to help with his deteriorating health. Not only did the swimming extend his life, it improved his quality of life.” These results prompted Mary Beth’s research of canine swim facilities and the future opening of her dream business.
An encore entrepreneur, Glatz says, “After having a taste of being an entrepreneur 20 plus years ago, I had the yearning to again become an entrepreneur. I had the concept and the experience to imagine my vision but I also knew I needed additional guidance to bring my reality to fruition. I called SCORE Buffalo Niagara and met with volunteer mentor Scott Smith, who was very supportive of my ideas. His advice allowed me to prioritize my goals.”
After meeting with SCORE mentor Scott Smith, Mary Beth was referred to another SBA resource, the Small Business Development Center at Buffalo State College. Working with several business advisors at the SBDC, Mary Beth fine-tuned her business plan, set financial projections and gathered the necessary information needed for the construction of her home-based business. As her initial success continued, Mary Beth learned about the U.S. Small Business Administration’s annual Straight Talk conference, where the contacts and training she received helped her successfully start and open SandDancer.
Built from the ground up, SandDancer is an indoor warm water canine therapy and fitness facility that focuses on a dog’s physical and emotional health and well-being. The business features arthritis treatment, weight loss and management, relief for hip, shoulder and elbow dysplasia, improved circulation, post-surgery rehabilitation and much more. Swims are always one-on-one with a certified warm water swim specialist and comprise of one-hour sessions. Each session is customized depending on the dog’s individual needs.
“Straight Talk played a critical role in the development of my business. The contacts and resources provided made it possible for me to move my business forward,” recalled Mary Beth. “SBA, I feel has the greatest resources for small business. I received so much for FREE! For every challenge faced, I had someone who could support me and give advice.”
Straight Talk 2014 is the 18th annual presentation of this program which over the years has attracted thousands of participants. The upcoming half-day seminar will be held on Saturday, January 18, 2014. Available seminars include: “Show Me the Money”, “Business Basics”, “Make Yourself Credit Worthy”, “Accessing Business Opportunities through SBA 8(a), DBE and MWBE Certification”, “Business Assistance for Veterans”, “Navigating Your Business through Taxes & Permits”, “We Did It! You Can Too!” and “Marketing Your Small Business".
“I am convinced that this conference gives entrepreneurs essential tools needed to achieve small business success,” said SBA Buffalo District Director Franklin Sciortino.
Daniel Mitchell is a US Army Combat Medic veteran, who served our country from 1989 to 1993 in the Persian Gulf and Somalia.
He grew up in nearby Utica, New York where at just age 12 he began working in gyms. At this young age, he knew he wanted to change lives. “I felt I had a purpose in life to enhance our quality of life with exercise. I wanted to release this life force through health, training and discipline, said Mitchell.” As founder and owner of The Soap Box, a health and fitness club located in downtown Buffalo, New York, I knew I had the tools to help change lives but knew I needed additional resources to maintain my business structure and add clients.”
Passionate about his clients and the desire to open a second location, Daniel contacted the Small Business Development Center at Buffalo State College and found William Grieshober, Small Business Advisor. Daniel continued to meet with Bill, working on writing a business plan, managing numbers and marketing strategies. Daniel says, Bill was unbelievable, giving him the resources he needed to sharpen his plan and reach his goal of receiving a U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) guaranteed loan for the start and growth of his new business.
Daniel reflected on his banking experience saying, “At the very start of my ambition to start a business, I contacted the Small Business Administration’s Buffalo District Office who directed me to contact my local banking representative. That’s when I met with George Gardner, my local banking representative. George provided me with some great advice and assisted me through the process of opening my first business with and SBA Patriot Express loan.”
Years later the two met again. Daniel was in search of resources to open his second location. Once again he found George who knew Daniel was a veteran who served in the US Army and encouraged him to apply for an SBA guaranteed loan. Daniel was approved and received his SBA loan from the New York Business Development Center and Lake Shore Savings Bank and in 2012 opened The Powerhouse Studios.
To be eligible to receive an SBA Patriot Express Loan, the business must be owned and controlled (51 percent or more) by eligible veterans and members of the military community who want to establish or expand a small business. Eligible military community members include veterans, service-disabled veterans, active-duty service members eligible for the military’s transition assistance program, reservists and National Guard members, current spouses of any of the above, including any service member and widowed spouses of service members or veterans who died during service or of a service-connected disability. To learn more about SBA’s Patriot Express Loan program, please visit http://www.sba.gov/content/express-pilot-programs
Daniel received his SBA loan and his plan to open a second location was complete. Today, The Soap Box and The Powerhouse Studios are a way of life for many, offering a variety of programs and services to improve one’s health and quality of life. “We recognize that every person has their own set of goals and aspirations and that is why we provide personal certified instructors and various other services including martial arts, aikido and tai-chi.
Daniel is proud to see his dreams of changing lives and watching clients get healthy and stay healthy. “The accomplishment of expanding and growing is rewarding,” said Daniel. “I enjoy training and working with my clients.
For more information on SBA’s program and services, please visit www.sba.gov.