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Success Stories

Small Business Achieves Growth with 504 Loan

Drew acquired working knowledge and business savvy while attending high school and college working in his father's business, Eugene Tile Company. After college, he was asked by his father and brother to go into business with them, and they opened a tile distribution warehouse and retail store. He continued with the family owned business for another three years. After discussing the idea in-depth with his wife and other people, Drew decided to start his own business.

Drew established Intrepid International in 1993, operating from his home. For three years, Drew worked as a sole proprietor establishing a strong customer and supplier base. Drew's knowledge and experience in the industry allowed him to build an excellent reputation within his field. Drew has taken his small home based business to a company that had revenues in excess of $6,000,000 last year and is on target to reach $7,000,000 by this year-end. His profits have grown to an impressive $700,000 for the year... Read More

Jodi and Dan Bittick purchased One Hour Martinizing in Medford in 1998. The operation does dry cleaning, repairs, alterations, preservation and laundry. Both Jodi and Dan worked for big business in Utah and wanted to own their own business. Dry-cleaning was a natural choice since Jodi's grandfather and her father owned and operated a dry cleaning business. Jodi and her siblings often helped with the family business.

In the four years as owners of the Medford store, the Bitticks had increased their market and wanted to expand by purchasing a new, larger capacity washer and dryer. The owners couldn't get a bank loan, because the loan request was too small. Roger Harding of the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) in Grants Pass, and their instructor in the Rogue Community College Small Business Management Program, referred them to Dennis Davis, the Loan Fund Manager at Southern Oregon Women’s Access to Credit (SOWAC) Business Training and Lending in Medford, Oregon... Read More

Allen Surgeon had a vision to run a mill efficiently and profitably. As owner of Rogue Valley Fuel, he has been in the wood products industry for 20 years and gotten used to rolling with the punches." When drastic changes hit the logging industry and Environmental concerns reshaped the industry, Allen had to diversify. He purchased used equipment from mills that closed, and began offering a wide range of products using small diameter logs. His products are wood blocks, chips, posts and poles, bark and sawdust. His success in business has been guided by extensive industry experience. He continually applies the lessons he learned about the most efficient ways to run a mill profitably.

This success story is a team effort, which includes the Grants Pass Small Business Development Center (SBDC), Oregon Department of Economic Development (OECDD), Southern Oregon Regional Economic Development, Inc. (SOREDI) And Southern Oregon Womens Access to Credit (SOWAC). Roger Harding from... Read More
Care-O-Sell Still Going Around

Chris Kodama had been a secretary for 25 years when the arrival of a new granddaughter led her to drive to Boise with her husband from their Ontario, OR, home to look for baby clothes. They found a nice resale clothing store in Idaho. “When my husband saw the store,” Chris recalls, “he asked, ‘why aren’t we doing that?’”  Why not, indeed?  In September of 2000, Chris quit her secretarial job and launched her new life as an entrepreneur.

Care-O-Sell, Kodama’s store, is a “first-class children’s and maternity resale store.”  “I had been in stores like this before,” Chris says, “but I knew I could do it better.”  And, Chris says, the move meant something important:  “No more memos!” Care-O-Sell carries anything related to children including clothing, toys and equipment.  Running a children’s clothing store is anything but child’s play.  Chris devoured magazines and books about the retail clothing business and set about creating a business plan that would work for her... Read More

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