Brick House Gym

Carla Heaton and Steve Dell both know physical fitness. And, being avid body builders both felt that none of the current fitness facilities met their needs as body builders. So, rather than continue to travel to Altoona where they currently work out, they decided to start their own gym. Her first step was to find a location, which was resolved when her family decided to purchase the former JC Penney’s building in downtown Huntingdon. 

Carla then contacted her friend Susanne House who was the Business Development Director of Huntingdon County Business and Industry. Susanne advised Carla that their project qualified for financing under HCBI’s Enterprise Zone Revolving Loan Program and in turn directed Carla and Steve to contact the Saint Francis University Small Business Development Center (SBDC) with help developing a comprehensive business plan for better preparing them for running their own business.

Carla and Steve met with one of the Business Analysts at the SBDC’s Huntingdon outreach office.   Carla had general knowledge of running a business having worked for her mother in her construction company. But she wanted to be sure she could demonstrate to lenders that she could apply those same skills to this business. She also wanted to make sure she was prepared in every way for running her own business. The SBDC conducted industry research to help Ms. Heaton and Mr. Dell understand the trends in the industry, challenges, and opportunities. 

Additionally, the SBDC researched the market and provided Carla and Steve with the demographics and market analysis. Once the market research was conducted, Carla and Steve worked with the SBDC to complete their three year business plan and financial projections. As the final part of our consulting engagement, we discussed start-up information such as filing for a fictitious name, obtaining local permits, etc. Once completed, Carla and Steve turned their proposal into several lenders.

In May 2011, Ms. Heaton informed me that she and Steve were approved for project financing for The Brick house Gym through their local bank and through HCBI’s Enterprise Zone Revolving Loan program. Carla advised the business should be open by summer and in addition to herself and Steve, they plan to hire at least one other part-time employee to start.