“SBDC has helped me navigate: to determine if starting my business was even a good idea, all the way through to helping me get a loan five years later to purchase a new building.”
Left to start over after the devastating Paradise fire took Rich Cogin’s house and livelihood, the SBDC helped him to rebuild his business and open a second location.
In November 2018, Rich Colgin’s home was destroyed by the Paradise Camp Fire. His bicycle sales and repair business also suffered extensive damage and he lost his income, which led to unemployment. Rich relocated to another city while trying to rebuild his Paradise business.
Rich came to the Butte SBDC for help in rebuilding his business, logging over 11 hours of one-on-one advising and training where he learned about access to capital, marketing, business planning, and management. His advisor supported him in exploring the possibility of expanding his business into another region – until he was ready to rebuild in Paradise – which included financial management and assessing, selecting, and negotiating a suitable commercial location for the second business.
The SBDC also helped Rich to apply for the SBA Disaster Loan and assisted him in developing and implementing a business planning process to rebuild his Paradise bike shop.
Rich was approved for an SBA Disaster Loan to rebuild his Paradise business, but his loan was much less than he expected. He completed a minimal rebuild of his business in Paradise which will suffice until the community returns to normal. In November 2019 he secured a second commercial location, invested his own money, and opened another bike shop in Oroville. This provided him additional income and a full time job, with pay, for himself. Rich was also selected by Butte SBDC to participate in the Governor’s Office outreach in Butte County. The speaking opportunity covered Paradise Camp Fire disaster effects on his business and home, his experience in managing recovery and resiliency efforts, and continued assistance from the SBDC.