Logging and forestry work is a quintessential Vermont industry, but today’s loggers face challenges that those of yesteryear probably never imagined. The days of low-cost tools like hatchets and hand saws that required manpower instead of costly equipment are largely behind us. Today’s loggers need heavy equipment to be relevant in a highly competitive lumber market.
Few know that better than Everett Thurston, owner of Thurston Forestry in Clarendon, Vermont, which began operations last fall. The company utilizes a rubber tired cut-to-length logging machine that is highly efficient in processing timber from the woods.
“I have always wanted my own business and enjoy the logging industry and being around heavy equipment,” Thurston said. But as one might expect, obtaining an expensive piece of equipment of this size can be a challenge. That’s why Thurston sought the help of Vermont Small Business Development Center Area Advisor Brian DeClue. As he sought funding for the necessary equipment purchase, Thurston said he was surprised by the difficulty of obtaining financing for a start-up business, “especially for logging equipment.”
DeClue and Thurston quickly went to work “writing a business plan that a bank would like” and financial projections for the business, Thurston said. “Brian [DeClue] was very informative. He also introduced me to a banker who would work with me after I had a hard time on my own.”
“I got the financing I needed,” Thurston said, describing his experience working with DeClue as “excellent.” “I would recommend the VtSBDC to anyone looking to start their own business.”