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Military Veteran Brings Quality of Life through Fitness

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.

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