Smitty’s Liquors

When Barb Higgins, her son Shiloh and his business partner Doug Jorgensen wanted to buy Smitty’s Liquors in Cortez, the first thing she did was call Joe Keck, who she had known for years. She knew the owners of Smitty’s and they were ready to retire. Her son and his partner had run a successful skateboard and clothing store in Las Vegas, but wanted to come back to Colorado.

Higgins and her husband decided to help their son buy the business.

She explains, “Joe walked us through every step of completing the business plan and applying for the loan to buy the business. We couldn’t have done it without him. Every time we called with questions, he was so helpful.”

Whenever they came across stumbling blocks, Keck was there to provide support and guidance. He emailed her a template to use to do their financial projections and reviewed them to see how they could grow the business and make it better. “His help was invaluable.”

Higgins continues, “Joe saved us a lot of time by recommending financial people to go to for help and to banks that would work with an SBA loan. The business plan detailed their analysis and showed that the business was, “a diamond in the rough.” Through diligent scrutiny, they knew it had potential and that they could turn it around.

The process took about eight months, but they have owned the business now for almost two years.

“Without Joe’s support, we probably would have given up. The paperwork to apply for the loan was overwhelming. With Joe’s support, we could plug along a little further,” she explains. “Joe always said, ‘Don’t hesitate to call’. “His knowledge and experience are amazing.”

“Even after the process was finished, Joe would call to see how things were going and ask if we needed anything,”

Higgins recommends using the SBDC staff to anyone who is considering starting or buying a business. “The staff bends over backwards for you,” she concludes.

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