BY KENDYL HOLLINGSWORTH
Just one neighborhood businesswoman has established that her trials won’t retain her down, and her success tale has gained a place on the radar of the U.S. Small Business enterprise Administration (SBA).
“It is really an honor to have been selected by SBA to share my accomplishment tale,” mentioned Lisa Ditchkoff, proprietor of the Bottling Plant Occasion Center in downtown Opelika. “My business had tremendous struggles for the initial six several years and then all over again in 2020 and 2021 when COVID strike. Perseverance and willpower assisted us through.”
In accordance to her released story, Ditchkoff’s aspiration of running her possess occasion organizing organization and unique location began to choose form in 2003 when she began a smaller function arranging small business from her household. A couple of a long time later, she noticed Opelika’s aged Coca-Cola bottling plant for sale and was struck with inspiration.
What commenced as a desire at some point advanced into the Bottling Plant Celebration Heart, a versatile location that now also features a wine shop and features comprehensive-service, offsite catering.
But finding there wasn’t an simple endeavor. Renovations for the bottling plant would be costly, and in 2008, People in america were being no strangers to financial adversity.
Immediately after facing rejection in her initial research for a mortgage, Ditchkoff was capable to secure one through SBA.
“The U.S. Tiny Company Administration’s mission is enable Us residents commence, mature, develop or get better their business enterprise from a disaster,” spelled out Megyn Rodriguez, an SBA outreach and advertising and marketing professional who worked with Ditchkoff to share her tale. “In Lisa’s scenario, she utilized one of our neighborhood useful resource associates, the Alabama Small Organization Growth Centers … to aid her in obtaining an SBA 504 personal loan, which finally aided her grow her enterprise.”
In 2020 the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and so did an additional spherical of challenges for Ditchkoff and the event heart. She managed to thrust by way of by diversifying her enterprise and utilizing a further SBA bank loan, the SBA COVID-19 EIDL, which seeks to assistance businesses recover from the economic influence of COVID.
From there, the Bottling Plant Celebration Heart was in a position to recover and go on functioning and escalating.
Rodriguez explained SBA does not endorse private companies, but the business does request to spotlight a couple that have identified results by getting advantage of their sources. In Ditchkoff’s case, she demonstrated perseverance and resiliency extra than the moment.
“My total purpose has been to support others in regard to my business,” Ditchkoff explained, whether that be by hosting nonprofits or bringing new clients to downtown Opelika.
“So frequently people today give up on their goals and goals of owning a business enterprise. But had they tried just just one a lot more time to safe funding or attempted 1 far more company enlargement, it’s probable that would have altered the trajectory of almost everything for them. I just hope that the story assists someone out there.”