Covenant Drug Testing

Sheila Owens and her son Brandon were handed the unique opportunity of taking over an existing business – kind of. They both worked for a drug & alcohol testing company in Cortez – Sheila for eight years and her son for seven. They enjoyed their jobs and the relationships they had with clients all over the country.

BUT… the company they worked for was closing their doors with only two months’ notice to the employees. As they were calling their clients to notify them that the business was closing, they also had the opportunity to say, “We’re opening our own business to provide the same service under a new name. We received an overwhelmingly positive response,” Sheila explained.

The companies they serve are mostly Department of Transportation clients who must have a random drug and alcohol testing program in place to stay in compliance with DOT safety procedures. However, more and more Non-DOT companies are choosing to enter into drug and alcohol testing programs and they manage those as well. Their former employer closed on March 31 and they opened their new business, Covenant Drug & Alcohol Testing, LLC on April First. Sheila laughs, “We were really brave to open on April Fool’s Day, but we didn’t have a choice!”

She can’t rave enough about what a huge asset Advisor Joe Keck was to them. They had never owned a business and didn’t know the first thing about a business plan, but they had an already existing customer base of 250 clients who transferred over with them
.
Sheila said, “Joe Keck came to our office and asked us lots of questions and took lots of notes. He asked more questions and helped us write reports.” They worked together on spreadsheets and documents needed to get a loan through the Region 9 Economic Development Alliance. As a brand new business, they needed new equipment and expensive customized programs and QuickBooks. They wanted to rent the same building since that’s where clients were used to finding them.

“Many times, we would work all day in our existing jobs, then work all night compiling the information Joe told us we needed for the loan. He broke it down into manageable sections. We’d get a few things done, then he’d give us more homework. We were on a very tight deadline due to the Region 9 meeting schedule,” Sheila shared. She explained how usually writing a business plan can take months and they had just nine days to get it done.

“Joe Keck was an amazing asset. Without him, we wouldn’t have known where to start. He held our hands through the entire process.” Keck was familiar with the Region 9 application and encouraged them to provide more detailed information in sections he knew were important.

Sheila can’t say enough about how much she appreciated the help from Joe Keck. “He was very encouraging and made himself available at all times to keep the process going. He checked in with us afterwards and congratulated us on our success.”

Chimayo

Michael Lutfy and his wife, Biergitte, did research for years before they purchased, renovated and opened the Chimayo Restaurant on Main Avenue in Durango. Michael started working in his Uncle’s restaurant when he was 12 years old. He worked his way through college as a chef, and then worked as an Executive Chef for a large restaurant in downtown Los Angeles for many years. Desiring to change careers and become a writer, and then an

Read More »
Durango Running Company

Durango Running Company owner, Brett Sublett had lots of experience in the outdoor retail and athletic shoe industries but had never owned his own store. Sublett had managed Your Running Store for four years and then became the footwear buyer at Back Country Experience for three years. He also knew a lot about running and running shoes since he Coached Cross Country at Fort Lewis. When Sublett decided he wanted his own store, he contacted

Read More »
Impact Fenders: Bracing for Impact

There’s nothing better than spending a day water skiing on the lake. There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to fasten cylindrical fenders to the side of your boat before arriving back at the dock. As California natives, Brian Slaughter and Courtney Gates love boats. One day in 2017, they had just finished water skiing and were trying to attach their boat fenders when Brian had an epiphany: why hasn’t anyone created an easier system? As

Read More »
Toast Mobile Lounge

Carol Clark was an event planner. She coordinated events such as Oktoberfest, the Durango Farmers Market and the Four Corner’s Green Living Expo. With an eye for detail, Carol noticed sizeable crowds but a lack of food vendors to feed them all. This perceived need appeared to be a business opportunity. In 2012, Carol took her idea to pair event planning and mobile food truck services to the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Fort

Read More »
The San Juan Angler

“Have you heard the news? We have a new owner.” Cole Glenn was speaking with one of San Juan Angler’s regular customers. The customer looked up with apprehension. “Oh?” he said. “Do you know anything about them?” “Yeah,” Cole replied. “It’s me.” This has become Cole’s new favorite conversation. As the former manager of one of Durango’s iconic fly-fishing shops, he couldn’t be more proud to be the shop’s new owner. Cole is a Fort

Read More »
Por Dia Preschool & Learning Center

Amy Long purchased Por Dia Preschool & Learning Center sixteen years ago. Por Dia is licensed to serve up to 60 children. They offer daily preschool, toddler care, and before/after school care. Long approached Joe Keck for help in expanding her Toddler program. Beginning in August of 2011, they worked together for six to eight months. “Joe personally came by my business to consult with me, and we met at the SBDC office at the

Read More »
Skip to content