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San Diego District Office Success Stories

San Diego District Office Success Stories

SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet with Brian Milholland of Milholland Electric, Inc.

Brian Milholland is the 2015 SBA California Small Business Person of the Year.

Brian Milholland began his electrician's career while serving his country in the U.S. Army in 1984. There he was trained as a helicopter electrician and served in that military occupation for three years. While stationed as a paratrooper at Fort Bragg North Carolina, Brian studied residential and commercial wiring. Brian received the U.S. Army Good Conduct Medal as well as parachutist and Sharpshooter Badges. After leaving the Army in 1987, Brian worked for a general contractor for two years. He acquired his California Electrical Contractors license and opened a small home-based business in 1990.  Brian's business did well in the 90s with construction on the rise. However, as the economy started to become volatile in 2007, all construction came to a halt jeopardizing the business. Brian successfully navigated Milholland Electric through turmoil, by quickly repurposing the company and its assets; to not only survive, but to grow its revenue and work force by over 300%, taking the expertise in electrical contracting and applying it to the burgeoning solar industry. Milholland Electric has, year after year, shown consistent growth, as a result of being customer centric and environmentally responsible. He maintained his responsibilities and commitment to both employees and his customers.

As Milholland has grown they have moved into progressively larger buildings over the years. The business continued to grow in 2014 prompting Brian to initiate an SBA 504 loan for $717,000, through Chase Bank, to purchase an office condominium in El Cajon, CA, with over 6,200 square feet. The purchase included a larger warehouse and more functional, employee friendly office space. In September 2014, Milholland Electric relocated all San Diego assets to its new main office in El Cajon. Milholland currently has a staff of 48 full-time workers.

In addition to running his business, Brian Milholland appears regularly on the Home Pro Show radio and TV programs offering tips, news and information to assist the public in understanding how solar works and clearing up many misconceptions that have plagued the solar industry.

Milholland Electric is also a member and supporter of CALSEIA, the nation’s oldest state-based solar energy association; has partnered with Sungevity and Citizens Energy, a nonprofit organization, to bring solar power to low-income families; donated several thousand dollars to the East County Magazine to purchase updated secure website software that better protects companies', readers' and subscribers' information and data; and has provided support to and hired several employees from the Not for Profit “Grid Alternatives Program,”  a flagship program, providing solar power for low-income families across the United States while providing volunteers and job trainees with hands-on solar installation experience.

Brian Milholland is a prime example of a business owner who re-invented his business to cope with industry changes to keep his business afloat and create new growth within his company. His efforts have paid off and he continues to look for ways to improve and grow his business.

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