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LAUNCH

Your business ideas

The Small Business Development Center removes the guesswork out of launching a new business.

All start-ups can use help with:

  • Business Structure Decisions and Filings

  • Budgeting & Access to Capital

  • Human Resources

  • Marketing and Communications

  • Business Plan Development

  • Strategic Planning

Launch your business ideas today!

COMMON QUESTIONS ANSWERED:

HOW DO I HIRE AN EMPLOYEE?

The SBDC provides workshops on Hiring Your 1st employee. We also have an expert HR consultant that can work with you to know when to hire and employee and the necessary steps to hiring.

Union Provisions

MEET SBDC CLIENT – SHAWN GRIEVES & TIM SCHOLL

The SBDC helped Shawn & Tim through the hoops of writing a business plans, guesstimating growth, and providing valuable connections, advice, and support. They found the loan application process and forms daunting. 

 

Working with the SBDC really made the difference for them in getting through the process successfully.

tim-scholl.jpg

“The [SBDC] was simply superb in helping us through the hoops of writing the business plans, guesstimating growth, and providing valuable connections, advice, and support.”

– Shawn Grieves & Tim Scholl, Union Town Provisions

THE SBDC HELPED NAVIGATE THE LOAN APPLICATION PROCESS

COMPANY DETAILS

Business Name:

Union Town Provisions

Website:

uniontownprovisions.com

What prompted the idea for your business?  What ignited your entrepreneurial spark?

 

We are both passionate about food that is fresh, local, and made with integrity. We felt that in addition to providing downtown Lorain with quality coffee and baked goods made on the premises, we could offer a range of locally-produced cheeses and cured meats, and other provisions (olives, vinegars, and oils). Lorain is a food desert for now, but the revitalization that is occurring has made it a perfect place for the kind of business we had in mind.

How did you get funded?  What creative strategies did you use to execute on minimal cash flow? 

 

We talked to many bankers. It was clear that we would need to receive funding from the Small Business Administration, but that is trickier for a start-up than an established business. Nonetheless, Northwest Bank and the SBA came through for us. One of our friends attributes our success to our persistence. Still, the building was a mess when we took it over, and that's where sweat equity came in. So, persistence - and patience. Restaurant equipment is becoming very expensive, but a combination of buying, leasing, and re-purposing kept costs down.

What distinguishes your business?  What about your business is the envy of your competitors? 

We were fortunate to buy a beautiful historic building in Lorain's downtown entertainment district. It is large enough to accommodate several directions we are anxious to explore (cheese-making, curing meats, fermentation). The building survived its many previous lives mostly intact, and we were very fortunate to uncover wonderful old floors, art deco tiles on the walls, and other features that would be impossible to replicate today.  This was a hidden treasure and gives the atmosphere an eclectic European cafe feel and look.

If you could travel back in time to when you first started, what advice would you tell yourself?  Were there opportunities you should have embraced or pitfalls you should have avoided? 

 

Our best piece of advice happens to be the one that is impossible: budgeting. It would be nice to say 'we need X amount of dollars,' for example, but you can't really plan for the needs of an older building (although this is a problem for all start-ups, regardless of location). At the same time, discovering a beautiful wall that had been covered up and really getting to know an older building allowed for plenty of moments to embrace new possibilities. Once you've started, you can only enjoy the ride.

Describe how your relationship with SBDC at LCCC has accelerated your company's growth and success. 

 

Enormously. Lisa was simply superb in helping us through the hoops of writing the business plans, guesstimating growth, and providing valuable connections, advice, and support. When you begin that application process, the forms appear pretty daunting. The SBDC at LCCC really made the difference for us in getting through the process successfully. 

SBDC Services Utilized

  • Business Planning

  • Loan Application Process

Union Town Case Study
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