Christmas City Veterinary Hospital

Dr. Lisa Cawley, a graduate of Lehigh University who earned her veterinary degree from the University of Pennsylvania, has practiced small animal medicine in the Lehigh Valley for 16 years. When she saw an area of Bethlehem in need of veterinary services, she took up the cause to start her own practice. One and one half years later, Christmas City Veterinary Hospital planned to open in July 2011 in a building that was formerly a bank.

Dr. Cawley, after six months into her due diligence, came to the Lehigh University Small Business Development Center (SBDC) seeking assistance with the development of her business and financial plan as well as exploring financing options to fund her business. Kim Edwards, Financing Assistance Program Director, along with a graduate MBA student helped Dr. Cawley draft a comprehensive business and financial plan for presentation to potential funding partners.
 
Working with the SBDC, funding alternatives were explored as Dr. Cawley assessed her total project costs. As a result, Dr. Cawley was successful in securing adequate funding for her project through a creative mix of specialized loan programs offered by Compass Bank and Bank of America, along with gap financing provided through a participation loan with the City of Bethlehem’s FRED Loan Program and The Lehigh and Northampton Counties Revolving Loan Fund.
 
The Mayor of Bethlehem, John Callahan, had this to say about the project, “I’m always proud when we can support projects which bring a new service to the neighborhood. Being able to walk your pet to the vet rather than drive to the suburbs is another livability draw to West Bethlehem.”
 
The veterinary hospital specializes in dogs, cats, and “pocket pets” (such as rabbits and ferrets.) and will target pet owners in the residential neighborhoods of West Bethlehem.
 
With the business expected to open in July 2011, five (5) new jobs will be created and Dr. Cawley is looking forward to a future of brimming success.