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Success Stories

Rural Family-Owned Semi-truck Repair Company Expands Thanks to Business Advising 

David Ruelas developed a strong work ethic early in life. As the son of Mexican immigrants, he worked alongside his family in the agricultural fields of eastern Washington before and after school and on weekends. While other kids went on summer or winter break, the Ruelas family went back to work for various farmers seven days a week. After graduating from high school, Ruelas apprenticed with a semi-truck mechanic and became a skilled mechanic. He found work at a Yakima repair shop, but soon tired of the 45-minute commute from Sunnyside to Yakima each day. Seeing a need for mobile repair services for semi-trucks in the rural areas surrounding Yakima, he started Fast Mobile Service Truck Repair as a one-man, one-truck service. He leased a 5,400 square-foot shop in 2011. As business continued to grow, Ruelas added employees and family members to the team, including father Gerardo as a... Read More

Seattle Fencing Company Doubles Sales with SBA-Backed Loans

After spending 32 years working in another industry, Rick Koch decided it was time to work for himself. In 2008 he purchased All City Fence, an established Seattle-based fence manufacturer and installation company. A few years after purchasing the company with a traditional business loan, Koch wanted to refinance and started to research his options. He was also interested in purchasing his own land and building as opposed to continuing to lease.


In 2011 Koch used the SBA Guarantee Loan program to refinance, after receiving a recommendation from Key Bank. Since 2011, Koch has taken out five additional SBA-backed loans, including an SBA-guaranteed revolving line of credit. He is currently looking at using the SBA 504 Loan Program to purchase and buildout two new office locations.


Thanks to the SBA loans, Koch has grown annual revenues by 115% from 2011 to 2019 – more... Read More

From Buildings to Barley: Constructing Success Through Brewing

Rich Nesheim, a Woodinville, Washington native, was working in Arizona in the construction industry in 2007. He found himself unemployed in 2008 due to the halt in the industry as part of the Great Recession of 2008. His brother, Raymond, found himself in the same situation, but in Washington State. Rich packed his life up and moved home, and the two brainstormed a solution to their employment problem: open a brewery. 


Pulling money from 401k’s, borrowing from family members, and utilizing the 7(a) Loan program offered by the U.S. Small Business Administration, the two brothers started Triplehorn Brewing in 2012. They opened their doors with three brewing tanks and barely enough money in the bank to cover the first month’s expenses. The business grew quickly over the first three years, seeing 35% growth each year.


In 2016, they obtained another 7(a) loan for a... Read More

Spokane Exhibit Manufacturer Goes Global with Export Help from SBA

Founded in Spokane in 2013 by Coleen Quisenberry, FLEXHIBIT designs and manufactures affordable science center exhibits and portable STEM carts for discovery centers, children’s museums and schools. After receiving their first international order from Malaysia, she realized they needed to know how to do business internationally. 


Quisenberry learned about export regulations and got help with how to strategically enter international markets from International Trade Business Advisor Vern Jenkins with the Washington Small Business Development Center (SBDC).

Quisenberry also utilized SBA STEP grant funds to attend international trade conferences, giving her access to foreign buyers she would have not otherwise been able to reach.


Expansion into international markets has increased the company sales with 45 percent of sales attributed to exports. With the... Read More