Dixfield business celebrated by state, local agencies

DIXFIELD — When Scott Blaisdell, co-owner of Surry Seafood Co., talked with George Kimball of SCORE about Blaisdell’s new business “it was like heaven,” he said.

Blaisdell, along with his wife, Tracy, and his sister-in-law Tamera Richard took over the seafood business from his sister and her husband in April 2016.

They opened in time for Mother’s Day, Blaisdell said Thursday during Celebrating Our Small Business Successes, a gathering held by the Small Business Administration and Community Concepts Finance Corp.

“But there were a lot of headaches,” Blaisdell said. He did a lot of research and learned that the state required licenses and that he needed financing.

When he contacted banks they told him he’d need to come up with a business plan.

“I tried to come up with a one-paragraph business plan which didn’t quite cut it,” he said. And he had to come up with financing by a specific date because of the purchasing agreement.

And then his restaurant evaporator broke and his walk-in cooler stopped running, which caused mold in a ceiling of a back room, requiring him to have to rip down a section of the ceiling.

“My wheels are spinning and I’m going nowhere,” he said he told himself.

He decided to ask Town Manager Carlo Puiia if there was help through the town.

Puiia told him no, but directed him to contact George Kimball at SCORE.

“I ended up calling George and sitting down and talking to him and it was the turning point for this whole business,” Blaisdell said. With Kimball’s guidance and information, Blaisdell was able to form a business plan and get it down on paper.

And soon after, Kimball introduced him to Jane Mickeriz of Maine Small Business Development Centers. With Mickeriz’s help, he was able to create the “financial piece” of his business plan.

“I don’t know how to predict profit and loss of (the business) for three years; that’s what the bank wants. This place has never been open in the winter so I (didn’t) have a clue as to what the profit is gonna be in the winter,” he said.

By using information Blaisdell had about his expenses and income at that point, Mickeriz was able to create three years of financial projections for him to present to the bank.

“The local bank was actually the ones that got us in touch with Community Concepts. Community Concepts was huge in helping us get our money,” Blaisdell said.

“What really surprised me out of all of that (help) is that it didn’t cost us a penny,” Blaisdell said.