Rend Lake College’s Small Business Development Center kicked off 2005 by securing $167,000 in loans and reaching $86,000 in equity funded for small businesses in the first quarter of the year.
Also during the first quarter, four jobs were created, seven jobs were retained and 48 hours of business training were offered.
Among those receiving assistance from the RLC Small Business Development Center so far this year:
• Randy and Judy Harlan have been avid campers for several years. Sherwood Campground originally was established in 1971 and was a popular camp resort until it closed a few years ago. The Harlans began to consider purchasing the property for the excellent location – directly on the road to Rend Lake – it provided to campers.
Randy Harlan first met with Rend Lake College SBDC Director Curt Mowrer in November 2004, and within a week he had returned with his plan draft. The projections were completed and the plan packaged. The Harlans were able to secure funding from People’s National Bank Commercial Lender Mark Kabat. The couple presently are cleaning the area and will be ready to open the resort in time for the 2005 camping season.
• Geof Smith and Jay Grafton had an idea to fill a void in the area, and their idea is now a reality in Pyramid Industrial Coatings, located at 13 Industrial Drive in Mt. Vernon.
The company specializes in aluminum anodizing. Aluminum parts are cleaned and transported to tanks that contain a solution through which an electric current is passed to form a porous aluminum oxide layer on the surface of the aluminum. The process strengthens the object, producing a layer of the second-hardest substance known to man, surpassed only by the diamond. The anodizing process increases the lifespan of the material and insures that the object’s strength is exceptional. Color also can be added to the object during the process. An environmentally friendly powder-coating operation can be used to protect the metal and add colors as well.
Smith and Grafton secured a loan from Rob Bingham of Fifth Third Bank in Mt. Vernon. They now are in operation at Industrial Park and are excited about being the premiere provider of this service in Mt. Vernon.
For more information on the Rend Lake College Small Business Development Center, contact Mowrer at (618) 242-5813.