Thursday, November 08, 2007

Succession Remedy

From Time:
Patrick Rurka's business should be struggling. He owns and manages an independent Value Drug Mart store in rural Rimbey, Alta. (pop. 2,100). He competes with a big regional chain store that offers conveniences like Sunday hours. Rurka stays closed on Sundays--unless a customer calls him with a medication emergency and meets him at the back door for a prescription refill.

But Rurka, a 32-year-old pharmacist, is thriving. Sales have grown 10% each year since he bought the store in 2004. He draws a comfortable salary to support his wife and children. And he's on track to pay off his debt on the business, including a comprehensive renovation, by 2014. "I'm getting exactly what I want out of life," Rurka says. He hopes to buy another Value Drug Mart store in a few years.

Rurka is not alone. Four other rural Value Drug Mart stores have been sold to young Albertan entrepreneurs since 2004. In each case, despite minuscule collateral and a cautious lending environment, pharmacists with big dreams have secured financing in excess of $1 million. In the process, they're building what could be a promising model for helping Canada sustain legions of potentially vulnerable mom-and-pop businesses. ...more

No comments: