The Haul has become a great place to grab a bite and a brew in downtown Grants Pass. The restaurant has operated out of 121 S.W. H St for almost two years now. It’s the result of a collaboration between three Applegate residents—Jon Conner of Conner Fields Brewing and Fulcrum Dining caterers Chad Hahn and partner, Gabriella Rysula,—who met through local farmer’s markets and became friends.
“We wanted something we could put our stamp on,” said Hahn who is the restaurant’s chef.
Hahn credits the Rogue Community College (RCC) Small Business Development Center (SBDC) with helping them make their business a success.
“It has been an invaluable resource for us,” he added. “I can’t praise them enough.”
The RCC SBDC is one of 19 in Oregon that work with entrepreneurs and existing business owners, said Ron Goss, the center’s director. It helps 300 to 400 clients annually. Among its core services are one-on-one advising and business training/education.
Goss said RCC’s center is ranked third in the state when it comes to the creation of jobs and fourth in assisting businesses to acquire new loans or capital investments. It was also second in Oregon when it came to helping new businesses get started.
“We believe in relationships. That is what our success is based on,” Goss said.
The Haul got involved with the SBDC early on. Its advisors helped them create and develop a business plan.
“They would cast doubts on our business plan and pick it apart,” Hahn added. “It really helped us develop our vision. It was good to have that reality check.”
The SBDC helped get the fledgling business access to non-traditional loans and other start-up capital. The center connected the entrepreneurs with advisor, Tim Busald, who has a successful national reputation in the restaurant industry. Hahn said they still have regular contact with Tim to bounce ideas off of him and to get advice on a range of issues.
Hahn and Rysula run the restaurant and oversee day-to-day operations while Conner operates his brewery. For now, they are keeping their focus on the restaurant, their 25 employees, and customers. If things change in the future and they decide to expand or try a new venture, Hahn said they will definitely take advantage of the SBDC.
“We hold them in the highest regard,” he added. “They are an asset to any local business that utilizes them.”
To get your business started, contact the RCC SBDC at 541-956-7494 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, visit www.roguecc.edu/SBDC.