2012 Michael Rasnake and Beth Blansett, Four-Way Fuel Company, Clintwood

In March, 2012, Michael Rasnake requested assistance from the Southwest SBDC with the development of a business plan to accompany a loan application for funding a new business in Dickenson County, VA.

Mr. Rasnake and his wife along with their daughter, Beth Blansett, and her husband wanted to open a gas station, convenience store, and deli that would be managed and operated by Beth Blansett. They were confident that the location would provide an excellent customer base, with economic development initiatives being planned, including a new school complex across the street and a new mining operation opening nearby.

The partners had purchased the 22-acre site and were using personal loans and funds to make renovations and purchase equipment. They were now working with New Peoples Bank to consolidate their personal loans into one business loan for $356,000 that would also provide some working capital for the starting of the proposed business. Their business plan, though, was primarily narrative information with no financials for projected revenues, expenses, COGS, or any financial information for these aspects of the business:

1. Gas station operation offering regular, mid-grade and premium gasoline, as well as diesel fuel, with a full-service attendant. Fully certified underground tanks and gas pumps are owned and maintained by Riggs Oil Company, Big Stone Gap, VA.

2. Deli operation licensed by the US Department of Agriculture serving popular food products such as breakfast items, burgers, hot dogs, sub sandwiches and pizza as well as various other items.

3. Convenience Store operation offering a wide variety of food items such as milk, soft drinks, bread and snacks as well as tobacco products.

4. Limited service garage operation providing maintenance services such as oil changes and tire repairs. New tires and other products such as window washer fluid were going to be sold.

5. Rental properties, including business facilities and residential apartment, which are currently rented, one to a small parts distribution company and the two apartments are currently rented through a one year contract with HUD.

Over the next few weeks, the SBDC Director worked with Ms. Blansett and Mr. Rasnake to prepare financial projections for this proposed business. In May, 2012, their bank loan was approved, and the business is scheduled to open in late June or early July, 2013. The owners expect nine jobs to be created at the start, in addition to the owners themselves.

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