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In 2012, Jamie Fox was struck with a vision.  She saw a need in the area for high-quality, gently-used clothing that is both affordable and fashionable.  She understood the importance for a local business to keep up with the trends and fashions of an ever-evolving industry.  She identified a demand for local students to have a venue at which they could sell their lightly-used clothes in order to have a bit of spending money during the year.  And she emphasized the value of offering all of those services and more in the convenience of one location.  This location would be aptly named ecō, because just as an echo returns to its source, these once-purchased and barely worn articles of clothing would be returned to the market to be worn again.

Once Fox realized she wanted to start a business, she went to the Lock Haven Small Business Development Center (SBDC) for help. She attended the SBDC’s “First Step for Starting a Small Business” seminar, where she learned all about the business planning process, including registration information, financial projections, and feasibility studies.  She also learned of the different types of funding that is currently available to small businesses.

Fox met with a SBDC consultant after the seminar, who worked with her in developing a comprehensive business plan, financial projections, and a competitor analysis.  Her consultant also communicated with local agencies, and created a loan package for her that combined both private and public funds to ensure she would be receiving optimal terms and interest rates.

Fox and her consultant collaborated in early 2013 over the course of a few months until her business plan and financial projections were complete.  In April, she received her requested amount of funding, in full, for the project — $60,000 from Woodland’s Bank, $20,000 from the Clinton County Economic Partnership’s Enterprise Zone Loan Fund, and $20,000 from the Lock Haven Revolving Loan Fund.  This funding has helped Fox purchase the building in which ecō will be located; perform renovations to the storefront; and purchase fixtures and shelving, a point-of-sale system, and initial inventory. 

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