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SBA Loan Helps Encore Entrepreneurs Open Resort
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.