Phoenix Physical Therapy: Rising from the Ashes.

In 2017, veteran physical therapist SueB Earl found herself looking for a new place to call her professional home.

After working for the Mercy system for more than fifteen years, she unexpectedly lost her position. She pursued the private sector but couldn’t seem to find a good fit.

So, she finally decided to open her own practice.

In 2012, she had launched Footworks—a custom foot orthotics business—as a side gig. At the time, she had no idea how to run a business, and she relied heavily on the SBDC for guidance. Through the years, she continued to be an active part of the SBDC community; she attended the annual women’s conferences and a number of workshops.

But, when she decided to launch a physical therapy practice, which was going to be a full-time venture, she found that she needed quite a bit more help with the business side of things.

“I consulted with Mary, and she gave me some reference materials. She was very encouraging, which really helped! I got access to some different tools that helped me start putting the business together.”

Then came the business plan. Not having a background in finance, SueB felt helpless when it came to crunching the numbers.

Mary connected SueB with Laurie Keck, who proved to be a lifesaver. “She spent at least 10 or 15 hours with me and held my hand through the entire process. I got the information, and she organized the numbers in the business plan, which ultimately allowed me to acquire the loan I needed from Region 9. Her expertise was invaluable.”

Once the loan was secured, SueB needed a name for her practice. Her daughter suggested that she use a name that represented herself, and a friend immediately told her, “Well, that’s easy. Phoenix.”

SueB has been no stranger to challenges in her life, from battling cancer to dealing with professional setbacks and personal calamities, and she immediately knew that the image of a Phoenix rising from the ashes beautifully represented her new life and career.

Since opening her doors in November, the business has been a “soaring” success. The schedule is already full, and she has recently hired a new therapist. “I’m going to need to get back with Laurie to create a working business plan, not just one to get a loan. I’m looking forward to having her help me crunch numbers.”

“I would tell any new business owner that the SBDC is an amazing resource. They are there to guide you, support you, and provide resources, so you are making informed decisions and not just shooting in the dark. Also, Region 9 is great for helping small businesses get loans.”

SueB is also grateful to both the Durango and physical therapy communities who have been incredibly supportive. “Knowing that I’m beholden to Durango and appreciated—that feels pretty good.”

Phoenix Physical Therapy
River Rim Teardrop Trailers

By Malia Durbano Tim Rossiter and his wife Peg, love to camp and hike. They bought a cargo trailer and turned it into a camper. In researching their design, they discovered a “big movement for people who wanted a small footprint.” In March of 2013, they started researching and planning a design for a teardrop camper. Their vision was to create a custom product with quality materials and craftsmanship. The Rossiters met with Joe Keck

Read More »
Coffee Bear Silverton

Who doesn’t love a nice cup o’ joe in the morning, afternoon, or evening? Since 2016, Coffee Bear has provided countless cups of coffee and memorable experiences for locals, tourists, and everyone in between. Holly and Sophie were working as baristas at the coffee shop when it went up for sale. After serious consideration, they decided that it “just felt right to buy it together.” Despite the craziness of 2020, Holly and Sophie persisted in

Read More »
Mancos Early Childhood Learning Center

By Malia Durbano Many people and organizations came together to bring the Mancos Early Childhood Learning Center to fruition. Ken Charles, with the Colorado Department of Local Affairs, read about the proposed center in the Mancos Times. He contacted Brian Hanson, Superintendent of Schools for the Mancos School District and encouraged him to apply for a Community Development Block Grant to build the school. The grant comes from HUD, the Department of Housing and Urban

Read More »
WildEdge Brewing

Tucker Robinson once worked as an archaeologist who brewed his own beer at home in his spare time. His affinity for making quality microbrews eventually led Tucker to pursue craft brewing as a profession. In 2013, he wrote an initial business plan with the goal of opening his own microbrewery in Cortez, CO. Several years later as his business plan seemed close to completion, Tucker interned at his friend’s brew pub in Rochester, NY. He

Read More »
Guild House Games: A Game for Everyone

About three years ago, Danny Perez got an idea. He was the manager of Radio Shack in Durango, and the company had recently filed for bankruptcy. Danny’s wife had mentioned that Durango needed a game store, so he started looking into it. He soon realized that this could be a viable new career path. Danny’s first stop was the SBDC. They guided him through the business plan and loan application process, and in May of

Read More »
A Fusion of Expertise: Mind Body Soleil

Fifteen years ago, Marie Soleil fell in love with the healing arts. Like many, she had grown up indoctrinated in western medicine. But, when it couldn’t help her overcome a panic disorder, she pursued more natural means of healing. “When I realized that I could heal myself,” she says, “I was hooked.” She started working as a massage therapist and soon became a personal trainer, yoga teacher, stretchologist, Master Meditation Teacher, and group fitness instructor.

Read More »