Kevin Hartford and Ed Newell started their business, Alle-Kiski Industries, in 2005 with loans guaranteed by the SBA. A year later, a second SBA loan was granted to buy the building that houses their manufacturing shop. Kevin and Ed saw the economic downturn coming when business at their company took a turn for the worse. Layoffs soon followed along with pay cuts and many sleepless nights.
But alas, this story has a happy ending and Ed and Kevin are proud to announce that the first quarter of 2011 was their best ever. The two even recently received a personal visit from Karen Mills, Administrator of the SBA. Join us for this special episode as Ed Newell joins Anita Campbell to share their personal story of recovery.
Below are the questions we asked Ed:
- (2:00) Ed, can you tell us a bit about yourself and your background? How did you come to start Alle-Kiski Industries and what is it?
- (2:58) Did you start Alle-Kiski industries?
- (3:23) Was the SBA loan what actually enabled you to get into business or did you start before that? How did that come about?
- (4:05) Tell me a bit about your partner? How did you two meet? Was this a shared dream that you had?
- (5:10) Are you glad you started your business?
- (5:40) How long did the SBA loan process actually take from start to finish?
- (7:22) Did it surprise you that you kept getting hit for information on request for SBA loans?
- (8:25) What happened after you were in business? Did you have to go out and start looking for customers or did you have prior commitments?
- (10:28) So you laid a foundation as best as you could?
- (10:37) Did you meet your goals for growth in those first 3 years? How did that work out for you?
- (11:21) Things started dropping off in 2008. Was that the result of the economy or other factors?
- (12:05) What were some of the things that you did at that point?
- (13:18) And what was the reaction from your employees? Did they understand that it was the economy that was the cause of things?
- (14:20) So when did things start to turn around? Was there a particular point or was it a gradual building over time? How did that work?
- (15:35) What were some of the first things you brought back? Was it hiring people or benefits?
- (16:17) How is 2011 comparing with 2010?
- (17:05) If you had to give other business owners advice for going through the downturn that you went through, are there a couple of pieces of advice?
- (18:23) Is there any cost cutting that you would never do or was it all fair game?
- (19:15) Karen Mills, Administrator of the SBA, made a visit to you. How did that come about? Did you get a phone call one day?
- (20:40) What was the reaction of your employees to have someone like that come?
- (21:05) Was that visit, in any way, a reflection in your performance of repaying your SBA loan or did that not have anything to do with it?
- (22:06) If you had to it all over again and had to wind the clock back to 2004, would you do it all over again with the SBA loan or would you do it a bit differently?
- (24:23) How many employees do you have today?
- (24:27) Is that the highest you’ve ever had?
- (25:13) What do you see for the future? Where do you see things going in the next couple of years, assuming that the economy cooperates with us? Do you see continued growth and big moves in the future?
- (26:33) What did you do to market Alle-Kiski Industries? What are your main avenues? And where can people find out more about Alle-Kiski Industries?
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Listen to Ed’s interview NOW by clicking the red and yellow player below