For small businesses, tales of pain and gain

Hard hit by the September 2013 floods, businesses in the Boulder Valley and Northern Colorado still are struggling to recover.

WP Manufacturing:
Up from the bottom

Longmont-based WP Manufacturing had thousands of pieces of inventory damaged when floodwaters rushed through Longmont. One year later, the company has recovered significantly. General manager Ted Wrage said the 45-year-old business is about 90 percent back to normal.

“Sales are not back to where they were before the flood, but really close,” he said.

WP Manufacturing provides contract manufacturing services for plastic-injection molding, precision machining, mold making, industrial printing, assembly and packaging and design and engineering.

Wrage said one of the biggest challenges the company faced has been to repair its building, the foundation of which was inundated. Although the firm didn’t shut down, it did take three weeks of intense cleaning to restore operations.

“Our priority is to fix the foundation,” Wrage said. “The Small Business Administration funds were slow to come in. On Aug. 8, we finally got the floor demolished.”

Smokin’ Dave’s BBQ:
Business heating up

Smokin Dave’s BBQ and Taphouse, locations were fortunate because the restaurants oth in Lyons and Estes Park suffered no damage from the flood. However, the stores had about $32,000 in food spoilage when their power failed.

“When the flood came, we don’t think about our business. We think about ourselves. We want to make sure our kids are safe,” said David Oehlman, owner of the business.

Both restaurants were closed for two months after the flood, and were reopened in November.

“We weren’t sure when the stores would reopen,” Oehlman said, “and we were really blessed that we were able to keep our staff.”
A year later, both restaurants have recovered.

“Our sales for the Lyons store have increased about 30 percent in 2014 over 2013,” Oehlman said. “Sales for Estes Park are up 10 percent.
“And we are going to launch a new restaurant in Longmont.”

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