Three years had passed since Becky Whitney opened her business “A Passion for Painting” when she decided to contact the St. George Small Business Development Center (SBDC) to evaluate her efforts to expand her business and secure additional capitol.
Whitney had purchased a building in a very good commercial area on Tabernacle in downtown St. George and a building in Panguitch. Business was doing well, however additional capital was essential in order to expand.
While working with the SBDC, Len Erickson and Whitney worked together on several loan applications and secured a 25,000 line of credit from the SouthWest Community Credit Union which has since been increased to $50,000. Whitney also became the first of the St. George SBDC to receive a micro-loan through the Five Counties Association of Governments for $10,000 that has since been fully repaid.
Whitney’s business has expanded in a number of directions. A Passion for Painting is a place for customers to purchase paintings or a variety of painting supplies which are available both in the stores and online. Customers can view the art galleries or take classes from Whitney or other local artists. Services also include high quality picture framing at very competitive prices, sewing machines and classes on the quick to learn piano method.
In reflecting on her experience with the SBDC Whitney states: Whitney advises potential small business owners to “talk to the SBDC, they will give you invaluable advice on how to evaluate your idea and market conditions. They will help with a business plan and are experienced in funding options.”
It’s been a pleasure for Len Erickson, the center director to be a mentor to Whitney and watch her business flourish despite tough economic times. Whitney’s business has grown from a one-person business to five employees and sales have increased from $50,000 to $170,000. A Passion for Painting is truly a gift to the economic fabric of the St. George community.