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Success Stories

Ellensburg Cidery Grows with Business Guidance

When Susie Jensen retired from being an art teacher, she knew she wasn’t quite ready for quiet retirement life. Through her travels she discovered a love for full-bodied dry hard cider and decided she wanted to produce her own cider. Founded in 2017 in Ellensburg, WA, Wheel Line Cider is dedicated to the craft of reviving and pressing heirloom bittersweet apples. Shortly after launching her business, Jensen participated and received encouraging feedback from judges in the Kittitas and Yakima County Enterprise Challenge Business Plan Competition. She also recognized the need for a business plan and setting goals.

Solution

Jensen sought out business expertise from SBA Resource Partner SCORE Mentors for startup guidance, and then began meeting regularly with Washington Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Adviser Sarah Truglio.

Impact

Thanks to Truglio’s consistent advising, Jensen has... Read More

Veteran-Owned Pest Control Company Wins SBA Honor and Business Thrives Thanks to PPP Loan

Founded in 2006 by Matthew (Matt) Purcell, PCI Pest Control is a prevention-focused residential and commercial pest and weed control service. They offer services in Thurston, Pierce and Mason counties and contract work with the state governments of Washington and Oregon. Purcell joined the Alaska Army National Guard in 1986 and completed Airborne training. The following year he was accepted into the Active Guard Reserve Program and served 20 years on active duty, supporting National Guard units in Alaska, Virginia and Washington before retiring. He decided his next step would be to start his own business but needed guidance on how to get started.

Solution

Purcell sought assistance from the Washington Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and Washington Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) to get assistance breaking into state government contracting.... Read More

Mount Vernon Winery Stays Afloat Thanks to PPP

Founded in 1995 by Gene and Kathy Pasek, Pasek Cellars is a small winery with a tasting room and retail store in Mount Vernon, Washington. What started as a small mom-and-pop operation has grown into a 13,000-case per year operation, now run by Owner David James and his wife Judy Pascale. They use between 5,000 to 15,000 pounds of fruit grown in the Pacific Northwest every month to produce their specialty wines including cranberry and blackberry fruit wines, which in turn supports regional farmers. When the pandemic hit in early 2020, wine sales declined immediately, putting their business and six employees’ jobs at risk.

Solution

James applied and was approved for the SBA Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) forgivable loan.

Impact

The SBA PPP loan helped carry Pasek Cellars through a lean time in retail sales and allowed them to bring people back to work in the retail shop. More importantly, it... Read More

Popular Seattle Bakery Grows into Multi-Location Business and Wins SBA Honors

Founded in 1992, Piroshky Piroshky has offered hand-crafted Russian pastries to tourists and locals starting with their flagship bakery in the historic Pike Place Market. For the first 15 years of operation, it remained a small local bakery and employed five people. Olga Sagan, a Russian immigrant, arrived in the United States at 16 years old and started to learn English. In 2006 she came on as partial owner of Piroshky Piroshky, where she learned how to navigate being a woman leader in business, a non-traditional role for a Russian woman. Sagan started to grow the business but wanted guidance on how to grow strategically.

Solution

Sagan participated in the SBA Seattle Emerging Leaders course in 2015, a competitive seven-month “mini-MBA” for businesses on the cusp of major growth which results with each program participant producing a three-year strategic growth plan.

... Read More

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