Small Business Development Center
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Contact SBDC

Lynn Oswald, Director
NCCC Small Business
Development Center
3111 Saunders Settlement Rd.
Sanborn, New York 14132

Phone: 716- 210-2515
Email: SBDC@niagaracc.suny.edu
Hours: Mon-Fri, 8:30am - 4:30pm

Entrepreneurial Success Stories

Council Opticians

Council Opticians

Niagara SBDC client Dr. J Todd Demario OD and his partner own two Council Opticians, one in Hamburg and the other in East Aurora, NY. Council Opticians of Hamburg has been at its current location for almost twenty years. With continued growth and customer loyalty, the current location's size was restraining potential growth. Dr. Todd felt that moving to a free standing, self owned property would add increased visibility. He also wanted to enjoy the property management freedom that comes with being a building owner and not a tenant. One of the location requirements was to not move far from his current location. After an extensive search a suitable property was found and a business loan was needed to purchase the land and building and to renovate it into a modern optometric facility.

Dr. Todd enlisted the aid of the Small Business Development Center by talking to one of his patients; Certified Business Advisor, Jack Dezik. One of Dr. Todd's main concerns was that his customers may not be willing to follow him. Jack enlisted the help of the SBDC Research Network, which found several articles about relocating a business and still maintaining your customers. Fortunately, the new location was across the street from his current location, in an old oil change facility. Jack advised Dr. Todd to have an inspector look at the building for any possible environmental problems. Dr. Todd also needed help completing a loan package. Jack worked on the project putting in over thirty hours over eight months to help the client thoroughly vet the project, determine its feasibility, and get the loan package ready for the Loan Committee at Mr. Todd's bank. The bank did a phase one environmental study and offered financing. Dr. Todd put in significant owner equity. The project totaled over half a million dollars and rehabilitated a vacant property.

Dr. Todd not only put in his own money but a lot of sweat equity. He did the painting and used over 60 gallons of paint. He finally moved in early spring 2013. Dr. Todd said, "The Small Business Development Center really helped me with my Business Plan. Jack pointed out things that I did not think about at first".

As always, the counseling services of the Niagara SBDC are provided at no charge and are completely confidential. We thank Dr. Todd for utilizing our services, for investing in our community, and for allowing us to tell his story.

Thunderwolves