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Entrepreneurial Spirit Lives On

Posted by: Amy S. Choi on November 23, 2009

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.”

Reader Comments

Cathy Iconis

November 23, 2009 07:46 PM

It is good to see his spirit isn't broken and he is still being responsible. I hear about others that would rather wallow in self pity. He is trying and trying and his character should be awarded. Thanks for sharing!


November 23, 2009 09:48 PM

Any hope Mr. Myers can get any kind of help from the Small Business Administration or utilize the help of SCORE execs?

Carol Cross

November 24, 2009 01:43 PM

The banks and the lenders and the SBA will not loan to a mini-storage facility that is demonstrating only 34% occupancy after two years ---especially in the current recessionary environment.

The banks and lenders and the SBA, the FTC, and the Congress of the US are all aware of reliable statististics that indicate that 50% of all small business startups fail out of business sometime in the first five years --in normal economies.

Obviously, the public policy developed by the Congress concerning "small business" and its importance to the economy doesn't effectively deal with the grim statistics concerning failure because "the small business solution" is a short term solution to jobs for economies suffering recessions.

I, too, admire the spirit of Mr. Myers. Did he personally guarantee his construction loan and will he have to go into personal bankruptcy? or just business bankruptcy? This makes a difference in terms of starting over! Doesn't it?


November 25, 2009 11:02 AM

Kudos to Mr. Myers for maintaining a positive attitude after being thwarted by the bank. I agree that a positive attitude is so much more admired than those "others who would rather wallow in self pity". Compliments to you Mr. Myers for setting a good example for the rest of us to follow.


Thanks and Regards

Lynn from NY Mobile

Brooklyn storage


November 25, 2009 11:05 AM

You are to be commended Mr. Myers for your dedication and integrity. Is there anything that your local BBB can assist you with? My very best to you.

Thanks and Regards

Noel for
a professional graphic design studio

Bill Bromiley

November 30, 2009 02:43 PM

Love your spirit! Be persistant and never call it quits. My advice to you is to get your story published in the local newspapers, on the internet and on the local news so more of the locals will empathize with your situation and come over to store with you.


November 30, 2009 06:37 PM

Find a partner; don't be stingy. If you can continue absorbing an additional 16% each six months, you'll be profitable in two years, or sooner.

The bank will loan something; the challenge is coming up with the balance by June 2010.

Don't lose this one. You can figure it out; seek help; review their inputs critically. My motto: there's always something else you can do.

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What's it like to run your own company today? Entrepreneurs face multiple hurdles new and old, from raising capital and managing employees to keeping up with technology and competing in a global marketplace. In this blog, the Small Business channel's John Tozzi and Nick Leiber discuss the news, trends, and ideas that matter to small business owners. Follow them on Twitter @newentrepreneur.

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