Mrs. Chalkbox

    • mrs chalkbox

Holly Rosenthall has always loved the idea of being a business owner. Several years ago, she and her husband owned and operated their own Subway franchise. Rosenthall would be retiring from her job as a kindergarten teacher in the Altoona Area School District at the end of the school year. She did not want to ride off quietly into the sunset and decided that she wanted to get back into business. A close friend of Rosenthal’s had previously owned and operated an educational supply store in downtown Altoona, and talked with Rosenthall about opening such a store again. After thinking about this for several months, she decided to pursue this business. Her years of experience as a teacher will serve her well in this venture. She will also have the guidance from her friend and former owner of this type of business. Her friend’s expertise in inventory, promotion, what worked well, what did not work well, etc. will be extremely valuable. They began to search the Altoona area for possible locations. They felt the downtown Altoona location of the former store was not a good one for this business. One of the suggestions her friend made was for her to contact the Saint Francis University Small Business Development Center (SBDC) so she could start working on a business plan.

On November 12, 2012, the SBDC met with Rosenthall at the Blair County Outreach Office to discuss the possible start-up of the business. At this time, she had only been reviewing our business planning guide. The SBDC explained to Rosenthal what information they would need in order to assist her in completing the business plan and projected financial statements. The SBDC also explained that the business may be eligible for financing other than traditional bank financing. In turn, the SBDC put her in contact with a lender at the Altoona-Blair County Development (ABCD) Corporation. After meeting with Rosenthall, they were very interested in her project and told her to keep working with the SBDC on her business plan and projected financial statements.

The SBDC assisted Rosenthall in preparing a business plan, three year projected income statement, balance sheet, statement of cash flow and a detailed narrative explaining how she arrived at the projected figures. Upon completion of her business plan and projected financial statements, she approached ABCD Corporation for financing.

On June 20, 2013, Rosenthall informed the SBDC that the financing for her project was approved. She was approved by ABCD Corporation for a $35,000 term loan and invested $5,000 of her own cash. The ABCD loan was money through their Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program (RMAP). This money is geared to projects where the total project cost is under $50,000 and the total employment of the business is ten or less. Rosenthall is now officially retired from her teaching position and working the business, Mrs. Chalkbox, full-time.