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Success Stories

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. 

Solution

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.

Impact

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

Yakima Construction Firm Grows with SBA Certification Program and Tax Cuts

Shannon and Richard Sevigny first met on a construction site – at the time, both were working with their respective families. They soon fell in love, married and decided to go into business for themselves. In 1990 the Sevignys opened a general contracting business – RJS Construction (RJS) in Yakima, Washington with Shannon Sevigny as the majority owner. While she worked on running the administrative side of the business, Richard Sevigny tackled operations. During the next 20 years RJS steadily grew, specializing in residential and commercial construction projects of all kinds. As the business grew, so did their family. At one time or another, six of their eight children have worked for RJS. Business was thriving until the recession hit hard in October 2008. Within 10 days, a year’s worth of RJS contracted projects called to cancel. The Sevignys had no choice but to let most of their staff go... Read More

Millennial Business Owner Grows Specialty Woodworking Shop 600% with SBA Loan

At the age of 19, Nathie Katzoff earned his diploma in wooden boat building in Kennebunkport, Maine. There he began to develop his mastery in sophisticated woodworking techniques such as joinery and steam bending. Upon graduation Katzoff relocated to Seattle and founded in NK Woodworking in 2011 as a small one-man shop. His first residential staircase was commissioned in 2012 by family friends for their home in Bothell, Washington. That staircase earned Katzoff his first national design award and attracted national attention from high-end luxury home designers and architects. Despite the regular demand for his high-end custom wooden staircases, furniture, architectural woodwork and bathtubs, Katzoff found himself in need of working capital to build out his shop and add employees to fulfil the incoming commissions.

Solution

In 2015 Katzoff was approved for an SBA Guaranteed... Read More

How Going Global Paid Off for Ellensburg Hay Business

In December of 1997 the Haberman family farm produced their first pressed bale of hay in Ellensburg, Washington. The original reason the Haberman’s got into pressing hay was to supplement their family farm income, which consisted of raising timothy hay, seed oats and a custom feed lot at that time—with another income-generating activity. Co-owners and brothers Bob and Brad Haberman steadily grew the hay and foraged-products pressing side of their business over the next few years and made their first international sale of pressed hay bales to Japan in 2000. By 2003 the Haberman family farm needed to create a new company known as the Number 9 Hay Trading Company because of the expanding international orders for their products but had an issue with cash flow management. Traditional business lenders weren’t willing to work with them since they had self-financed their entire operation until this point and didn’t have a... Read More

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