2012 Dana Peters, Dana’s Garden Spot, Blairs
Dana’s Garden Spot, LLC is a woman-owned retail garden center that began operations in July, 2006, on a small rental lot in Blairs, VA. Dana Peters started her business with personal money and initially staffed it with members of her large family. The Longwood SBDC in Danville has worked with Dana since July of 2007 to help her business to relocate, incorporate, work on her retail and social media skills, and acquire funding.
In 2012 Dana met with Longwood/Danville SBDC personnel to discuss how she could improve her bottom line further by growing her own annuals. Since Dana leases a former 84 Lumber property and has a number of acres with which to work it was decided to locate two greenhouses between her shop and storage sheds. This would allow her to grow vegetable, herb and flowering plants to retail in her nursery thus improving her bottom line significantly.
The SBDC assisted Dana with preparing two microloan applications, one for each greenhouse. By doing two applications, one through Superior Financial Group and the other through Virginia Small Business Financing Authority, the business was not required to put up collateral and obtained longer repayment periods. By not having to collateralize her equipment and by amortizing her loan payments over a longer payment period Dana was then able to purchase a viable small business, Danville Pet Resort, in Danville, VA. Before committing to the purchase Dana ran the idea by the SBDC staff to make sure she was not forgetting anything.
The purchase and continued operation of the Danville Pet Resort has kept 3 people working. At the nursery she has added two people to assist with running the greenhouses and expects a bumper crop of fresh, healthy annuals to sell. Since 2007 the company has grown by 250% and is on track to have additional growth in 2013. What started as a passion for plants and a desire to instill work values in her children has grown to be a sustaining family business with employees!
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