J. Barker Paving

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J. Barker Paving was established by James Barker in June of 2014. J. Barker Paving’s services include asphalt paving and sealcoating. Jim also offers snow plowing in the “off season” winter months.

Jim brings many years of experience and expertise to the business.  Prior to starting on his own, Jim built over twenty years of experience working in the paving industry, mainly for his brother’s business. With the assistance of the Lehigh University Small Business Development Center (SBDC), Jim was able to obtain the financing necessary to start his own business.

Jim initially contacted the SBDC for assistance with preparing a business plan and to understand the best options to finance the start of his business. SBDC consultants not only helped to sharpen and polish the J. Barker Paving business plan but would address potential issues, and help Jim to develop his startup strategy. Jim took advantage of one-on-one consulting, group workshops, and research assistance from SBDC consultants.

SBDC consultants performed an industry analysis which included an overview of the paving industry, major players, trends, marketing and sales, opportunities, pitfalls, and current environmental and regulatory concerns. Additional research from the SBDC included a competitor analysis of the local area so that Jim was completely aware of what businesses he would be up against. Consultants also suggested exploring the local chambers of commerce as well as industry trade associations in order to exemplify the professionalism of his business. 

Consultants dedicated time to help Jim understand the financial requirements of launching the business and assisted him in developing revenue and expense projections.  Using the SBDC cash flow model, Jim analyzed and compared multiple scenarios of cash flow projections. 

After discussing the options for financing, Jim was connected with the City of Bethlehem Loan Fund. The cash flow models were not only a requirement of the loan fund but had become instrumental in helping him understand the impacts of incremental changes in revenue and expense assumptions on the business’s overall financial picture. The tools provided also would help to ultimately quantify the total financial requirements of the startup.

Milestones during Jim’s time with the SBDC included completion of a business plan and pro forma cash flow projections, referral to the Community Action Committee of the Lehigh Valley, receipt of financing by the client, a business start, and the creation of new jobs.

Jim was approved for a term loan through the City Bethlehem Loan Fund, at an incentivized rate, which he used towards equipment purchases for his business. Jim has already secured jobs and is up and running - hitting the pavement at full speed.