R. D. Holder Oil Company first opened its doors on May 1, 1986. Like many small businesses it started very simply in the barn at Bob Holder’s house. “I’d go pick up a load of oil in my truck and then package it off in drums and sell it,” said Bob. The business moved into a regular warehouse in the 1990s. However it has been the last six years that brought the most changes to his business. First a new supply agreement allowed R. D. Holder Oil to change from a consignment agent and start operating as a fuel and lube jobber. Then disaster struck.
On April 19, 2012, multiple fire departments spent more than six hours battling a massive blaze at R.D. Holder Oil Company. The facility was destroyed.
“Before the fire, you don’t ever think it’s going to happen to you, and you don’t think it’s going to be a total loss,” said Bob. The experience taught him several lessons: “Don’t take short cuts. Protect your business and employees. Take the time and find a good insurance agent who will really make you listen — because I did not have enough coverage.”
Additional advice from Bob includes the old adage; “If you don’t ask for it, you don’t get it.” When he went to his banker at Huntington Bank with his needs, Phil Teusink suggested running the loan through SBDC. He informed Bob that with a lower equity injection, SBDC is able to make things able to happen that otherwise couldn’t happen.
“A lot of banks would not suggest this route,” said Bob who was impressed that Phil recommended partnering with SBDC for his company’s loan. “I don’t know anybody who wouldn’t do [an SBDC loan] for the rate and the time I got. I have a 20-year fixed interest rate and that was the most important thing to me,” said Bob. Working with Mark Keating at SBDC and Huntington Bank, Holder Oil was able to obtain a SBA 504 loan plus additional funding from Huntington. The two loans to finance Bob’s new property, new warehouse and corporate office totaled more than $1.5 million.
Bob says the fire that could have wiped out his business ended up helping him. “As mad as I get from something like that, we improved our condition by having such a bad thing happen. Our logistics, our operations and our safety components are [now] the newest. It’s designed to protect our employees and to protect the community.” And he discovered that SBDC is a “great organization” with lots of helpful services for businesses in Clark County.