Last spring, I wrote about how small business owners in Merced County, Calif., were pushing to jump start the local economy. I recently heard from one of those entrepreneurs, Ken Myers, owner of Delhi Mini Storage. I was inspired by his spirit, and hope you are too.
Six months since I met him, Myers has seen his business pick up, and his new two-year-old storage facility has grown to 34% occupied from 18%. But his bank has informed him that his $4.2 million construction loan, which was originally supposed to be rolled over into a 30-year loan in June 2010, will not be refinanced. “So our business is improving,” says Myers, “but I’ll still probably lose it all.” In order to save his company, Myers is considering selling one of his two storage buildings and is trying to secure funds to build a billboard on his property, which he hopes will generate advertising income.
To make ends meet in the meantime, he’s taken a job driving 18-wheelers for a local trucking company while his wife and daughter run the office. Myers knows that without refinancing help from the banks he will lose his business. It seems unlikely to happen anytime soon. But he still hasn’t soured on entrepreneurship. “I’m 52 years old, but I can drive a truck and save some money,” he says. “If I lose this business I’ll start a new company. It won’t be as easy as it was 30 years ago, but I can still do it.”