Mary Beth and David Barlow started Barlow’s Plumbing and Well Systems, Inc. in 1992 and have been a thriving success ever since. Now, Barlow’s will be able to expand with a $20,000 micro loan for working capital, the purchase of equipment and a used van.
In 2012, the Barlows came to the South Eastern Economic Development (SEED) Corporation, the Micro Loan Intermediary in Rhode Island for the U.S. Small Business Administration seeking financing to expand their business to include rootering services as a complement to their existing plumbing and well maintenance services. SEED referred them to the RI Small Business Development Center (RISBDC) for technical assistance.
Douglas Jobling, the Regional Director of the RISBDC, met with the Barlows to assist with their business expansion. He reviewed their financial position, provided an assessment of their finances, and discussed the typical requirements for financing (down payment, credit report, collateral, profitability and the like). He also provided recommendations regarding cash management and insurance. According to Jobling, “The RISBDC works very closely with SEED, especially its excellent Micro Loan Program by helping companies develop business plans and financial projections to support the loan application.”
Barlow’s Plumbing and Well Systems, Inc. has been serving the Rhode Island community for over 21 years. As a full service plumbing company, Barlow’s specializes in well repair and maintenance, and water treatment and filtration systems. In addition, the company provides backflow prevention services, a component that most plumbing companies do not offer.
Barlow’s clients include a variety of commercial and residential customers as well as the State of Rhode Island. Barlow’s maintains contracts with all the University of RI campuses, the Community College of RI Campuses, the RI State Police, the Attorney General, the RI Department of Mental Health and Community Living and Support group homes, RI Services for the Blind, RI Department of Administration, RI Department of Health, RI Veterans Cemetery, and Zambarano Hospital.
SEED was established in 1982 and is a Certified Development Company under the SBA 504 Program and an SBA micro lender. As a regional non-profit economic development corporation, SEED focuses on job creation by financing all types of small businesses in MA and RI. Over the past 30 years, SEED has developed close relationships with the community and small business resource partners, which has allowed SEED to better serve start-up and exiting businesses.
The RI SBDC provides technical assistance and support to small businesses through free individual business counseling and a variety of training programs. The RISBDC is part of a national network of SBDCs, all partially funded by SBA. RISBDC support can be discipline-specific (finance, marketing, human resource development, company growth), or industry-specific. The RISBDC continues to provide technical support after a SEED loan so the company has a good chance to successfully grow and repay the loan. In addition to Barlow’s Plumbing, Doug has also assisted SEED clients Ecologic Spray Foam Insulation, Marathon Industries, and CrossFit Automile.
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