SBA NH Recognizes SBA Legacy Business W.S. Badger Company, Inc.

W.S. Badger Company

SBA New Hampshire District Director Amy Bassett and Deputy District Director Rachael Roderick had the honor of recognizing the SBA’s 70th Anniversary NH Legacy business, W.S. Badger Company, Inc. in Gilsum.

W.S. Badger makers of organic body care started back in 1995. Like many successful entrepreneurs, Bill "Badger Bill" Whyte stumbled into business to solve his own problem. Back in the mid-1990s, founder Bill Whyte worked as a carpenter. He worked hard, and so did his hands. They would often split and crack in the frigid New Hampshire winters. One night, seeking a soothing solution, he mixed up some beeswax and olive oil to create a simple herbal balm. It helped his hands so much, he decided to share it with everyone he knew. With the help of his family, Bill decided to offer this product to his community and started the business in his kitchen filling tins by hand. He packed them in homemade wooden boxes and drove around to hardware stores, selling them out of his work van – and the rest, as they say, is Badger history.

Now 25 years later, Badger continues to produce its products in the small town of Gilsum, N.H. with 90 employees. They offer over 100 products that include a line of organic skin products, like ginger and lemon lip balm and argan face cleansing oil, that sells directly to wholesalers as well as retailers including Whole Foods and Cracker Barrel. They have also grown internationally, selling all over the world to an impressive 20 countries which has launched the business and helped grow sales to over $20MM.

The connection with SBA runs deep: they started with the help of SCORE; they utilized SBA 7(a) and 504 loans to start, grow, and expand; and they utilized disaster assistance offered through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Covid Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) to maintain their employees and operations through the pandemic. This is a truly remarkable business success story, and it is important to note that W.S. Badger achieved this success while at the same time remaining dedicated to their commitment to being environmentally conscious and employee and community focused. They invest and produce their electricity through solar, are a recognized B Corp, provide employees with onsite childcare and employer-provided lunch each day, and support their community in various ways. The company has now passed to the 2nd generation, with daughters Emily and Rebecca at the helm taking the company into the future and building upon their father’s success.

This article does not constitute or imply an endorsement by the SBA of any opinions, products, or services of any private individual or entity.