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Success Stories

The Secret Is Doing What You Enjoy

Jocelyn Anderson and Holly Swensen, always knew what they wanted to do "when they grew up". The sisters are part of large and loving family and both worked for their mother’s daycare for a couple of years before striking out independently to start their own individual in home day care businesses. Three years later, they decided to open a preschool/daycare together and in August 2011, Shooting Stars Children’s Center opened their doors to families in Evanston, Wyoming. According to Kevin Kallas, AVP/Commercial Loan Officer, 1st State Bank, "Jocelyn and Holly had lots of experience working for their mother, but none running their own business, so this was considered a start-up. The bank would not have been able to help them purchase the building they are currently in without the SBA Guarantee."

When asked about obstacles overcome, Jocelyn replied, "Being working mothers is obstacle enough and with eleven children between the two of us, things can get pretty hectic." "We truly... Read More

Using a SBA 504 Loan to “Do Things Right”!

Mark and Amy Hlad started Hydrafab, LLC in June of 2007 in New Mexico. In 2011, in an effort to become closer to customers and more entrenched in a local marketplace for hydraulic repair, they moved their company from New Mexico to Green River, Wyoming. According to Amy, relocating the business was one of three obstacles the Hlad’s had to overcome. "Finding financing to build a commercial building and recruiting and retaining qualified employees with specialized skills in hydraulics in addition to relocating from one state to another were the obstacles we were challenged with," she said.

The initial option for the Hlad’s was to locate their company in leased space in Green River which wasn’t the most ideal situation for them. They needed room to grow and the best option was to build a new facility. Most lenders wanted 25%-30% down payment for a loan which would have taken all of the business and personal cash. Mountain West Small Business Finance, a SBA 504 lender from Salt... Read More

Rubenesque - A Woman's Clothing Store with All Sizes in Mind

Maegan Wittke’s passion for fashion started her on the path to entrepreneurship. Her first step was enrolling in Casper College to study retail merchandizing. By the time she graduated in 2006, Maegan had a completed business plan and her Associate Degree. Two years later, in 2008, she received a Bachelor Degree in Business Management from the University of Mary.

The next step for Maegan was a visit to the Wyoming Small Business Development Center (SBDC) where she discovered information about many free resources available statewide to assist entrepreneurs. "Maegan was one of the most enthusiastic clients I’ve worked with. She had great passion for her idea." said Cindy Unger, SBDC Business Advisor. Megan’s plan was to open a plus size fashion store. After meeting with Cindy, Maegan decided to expand her product line. She also decided to ease the financial pressure of owning a business by paying down her existing debt. Maegan said, "I saved up money, lived with my mom and... Read More

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EVANSVILLE, Wyo. – Doug and Heidi Nicol of HQ Southern BBQ in Evansville had only been in business a short two years when nine other restaurants, one of which was a BBQ chain and clear competitor, opened within a 1.5 mile radius. Nicol, who came into his own business with almost two decades of experience in the food and beverage industry managing day-to-day restaurant operations, knew the danger of supply and demand.

“When I realized nine other new restaurants, not counting old ones, were going to open, I was inspired rather than intimidated,” Nicol said. “We fought through that and a lot of people counted us out and it’s hard to blame them, nine restaurants with one being a major BBQ chain, but it just made me go back to the drawing board and make sure we were getting it right every day.”

How does one compete with the restaurant-on-every-corner that is the junction of Casper, Evansville and I-25? Social media, a stellar staff, consistency and above all else: great... Read More