My name is Paul Farmer, I'm the President of Office Star Training, and we're in Salinas, California. What we do is we provide training services to adults. Both those who already have jobs and just need to brush up their skills in Microsoft Office or a technical certification, and we also work with people who have either lost their jobs or have been injured on the job and they need to go to a short-term vocational training program. Last year I had some difficulties at work. Our revenue basically got cut in half from one month to the next, and I was reaching out for anybody who could help, and I thought of the SBDC. I started meeting regularly with a counselor who helped me weather the storm, and figure out where I was and how I could stabilize the business. We had laid off a couple of employees, we had downsized some of our offices, and frankly I wasn't sure if we'd be able to make it through. And my business advisor from the SBDC helped me calm down, make a plan, and then execute toward that plan. Once we had solidified the business we went back into a growth phase, and I believe that my counselor from the SBDC helped me to be able to bring those people back. We did hire a couple of additional people, but we were able to rehire. We're a small company, but we rehired two employees who had been let go, so that was great for us and great for them. My future plans are to open up a few additional satellite offices as it makes sense.
Our main office is in Salinas, we have a small office in Santa Cruz, and we're expanding right now to Hollister. I want to thank the Small Business Development Center for being a resource for us, and making your services available. You came at a time that was very difficult for me, and I wasn't sure whether I was going to be able to weather the storm. I felt like I was alone. But the Small Business Development Center and your services helped me chart a course to get back to success, and so I feel in many ways that the SBDC was like that ray of sunshine that breaks through when all you see is storm clouds. So thank you SBDC.