PCDC Connects Business Owners to Resources

22 Mar 2016

The Phelps County Development Corporation has a tool box full of ways to help local businesses thrive.


Succession planning, new product lines and loans and grants are just some of the ways that PCDC can help business owners.


Hawkins Manufacturing General Manager Karen Aldama said she is grateful for PCDC’s tip that led her company to receive a $5,000 training grant to train her employees in LEAN manufacturing principles.


“PCDC has been an enormous resource for me, especially with all the contacts they have, and they have been able to steer us toward other economic development opportunities,” Aldama said.


Here are some other ways PCDC can help:


Transition/Succession Planning: Two of PCDC’s role are to support entrepreneurs and retain current businesses, so it makes sense to match entrepreneurs with retiring business owners.


“We encounter people that are exploring opportunities but are finding it extremely difficult to dream up ideas on their own,” PCDC Executive Director Monica Boyken said. “Buying an existing business is much easier.”


She encourages business owners looking at retirement in the next 5-10 years to obtain a realistic valuation of the business’ worth and be sure it doesn’t include too much “blue sky.”


Market Trends: Which area of town has the highest traffic count? What are the shopping patterns and household income for Phelps County residents? PCDC has access to this information and other statistcs that can help local business owners make important future decisions.


“We have statistics about what the average person purchases each year, and we know what purchases are leaving town,” Boyken said. “A little more research, and you can begin to determine if that’s because that product isn’t offered here or if a local offering just can’t compete with big box or online sellers. There’s also demographics to look at. If you want to sell high-end merchandise, yet only 30 households in the area make more than $100,000, you probably don’t have a business…..or at least you don’t have a sustainable one.”


Building expansion or location: Boyken said PCDC never competes with local realtors but can be helpful in researching options and talking through the pros and cons of certain locations. Sometimes, PCDC has information about buildings that aren’t yet advertised to the general public and that may be “just the ‘break’ that the client needs.”


Financing and loans: PCDC has nearly $700,000 in loan funds available to help businesses. The loans fill a gap between what a bank will loan and what a business needs to proceed with a project or to just get started. These loans are available for technology update, remodels, start-up costs and succession planning. The loan fund can lend up to 50 percent of a project’s total cost and owners must provide at least 10 percent equity.


PCDC regularly informs businesses about state grants or loans for which they may be eligible. (You can find one in an article within this publication!)


Business in Motion: PCDC hosts the monthly Business in Motion group to help business owners set aside time to “work” on their businesses. Each meeting gives attendees a chance to learn hints and tips through a professional video series and discussions with other business owners. The group meets on at 8:30 a.m. the first Tuesday of each month at Fourth Avenue Coffee.


Confidential Meetings: PCDC staff can meet with business owners any time to confidentially discuss plans and goals. While it may be tempting to keep thoughts about retirement and other changes to themselves, business owners may find that sharing those ideas confidentially can often result in solutions or connections.


Read more about Karen Aldama and Hawkins Manufacturing in the spring Phelps County Business Journal coming to your mailbox soon. If you are not a subscriber to our mailing list and would like to receive the quarterly journal that highlights economic development  and business happenings in Phelps County, please email your name and address to stacy@phelpscountyne.com.