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INDEPENDENT M A y / j u n e 2 019

Cheers!

A big-name band thrilled the crowd at this year’s show.

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A LOOK AT G R A U E R ’S

STRENGTH IN NUMBERS

HOW TO BE SOCIAL

The Pennsylvania-based shop shares its history .

Some problems are too big to solve alone

Three ways to market yourself

* PLUS

• M I K E ’S MESSAGE • SPOTLIGHT • in d ustry news


Raising the Bar in Arizona

FROM US TO YOU

By Mike Beaudoin, ALLPRO executive vice president

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he ALLPRO Spring Show, held in the Phoenix community of Desert Ridge, was a success and transformative for the entire ALLPRO team. With 1,200 attendees, it was the most attended show in the group’s history. The turnout was even more impressive given the fact that the show was out West instead of in the East, where we traditionally see more participants. To put it into perspective, more people were at this show than at last year’s event held at Disney World’s Swan and Dolphin Resort in Florida. Our shows have increased in attendance as a result of members and suppliers sending more people. Managers, buyers and key associates are attending the shows along with owners. Suppliers are bringing more people to manage the booths and engage members. All of these positive trends made the show more impactful for all. For the first time, ALLPRO became a supplier and actively sold at the show. We merchandised 24 feet of ALLPRO-branded product into planograms, which consisted of several categories to include applicators, abrasives and tape. The intent was to expand market share for the ALLPRO brand, and add value for our members. The booth was manned by our business development team who were armed with aggressive placement deals. The result was that we placed 477 programs of ALLPRO-branded product in member stores. We will

expand this program at the next spring show and include several new suppliers and categories. We also introduced badge scanning technology as part of the ALLPRO show app. The goal was to improve the flow of traffic for members, while helping suppliers document visits and necessary follow-ups. We invested in developing this technology to allow all parties easy access to every aspect of the show. We encourage our members to visit every booth, and the app’s scanning feature lets them keep track of their visits. The feedback has been incredibly positive from members and suppliers, and we’re already working on many upgrades that will make the app even more valuable at next year’s event. To nurture a greater sense of community and keep everyone abreast of ALLPRO initiatives, we also began including suppliers at the pre-show breakfast two years ago. This year, we opened with a two-minute video showing the process of traveling to and attending the show. It included content from our show in Desert Ridge and from the Stockholders’ Meeting in New Orleans. The familiar faces in the video combined with fast-paced music generated a lot of excitement. We then presented the many initiatives we are working on that will continue the evolution of the group, making it more valuable for all stakeholders. The actual show was extremely busy, with attendees racing to fill the 35,000-square-foot ballroom as if

ALLPRO Independent

someone had fired a starting gun to begin the event. Show traffic ebbed and flowed throughout the three days, while excitement for the many peripheral activities was constant. The show totals will not come in until the end of April, but we have every indication that this was our largest event in terms of business as well. The closing party was like no other in group history. We hired Jefferson Starship to perform, and they did a tremendous job. The band was amazing, mixing hits from the late ’60s, ’70s and ’80s, which appealed to many age-groups. The energy was fantastic, and the night was incredible. It was also my honor to introduce the band to the group and to see so many people moved by their music. On to the Stockholders’ Meeting in Los Angeles!

• Volume 2 • Issue 3

ALLPRO Leadership

About ALLPRO Independent

How to Reach Us

President Glen Morosohk

We are a bimonthly publication dedicated to

Write us at ALLPRO Corporation

Executive Vice President Mike Beaudoin

strengthening the ALLPRO community with

4946 Joanne Kearney Blvd., Tampa, FL 33619

Vice President of Merchandising Scott Morath

relevant stories and news. Your suggestions,

Or contact us at 813-628-4800 or by email at allpro@allprocorp.com.

Marketing Coordinator Susie Fontana

opinions and feedback are encouraged.

All publishing services provided by Stevens Editorial.

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Dugan’s Celebrates History of Giving

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Dugan’s owner Chuck Kempton (far right) supports many community organizations, including the local chapter of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.

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ounded in 1871 by Ernest Dugan, Dugan’s Paint & Flooring has a rich history of giving back to the community. Current owner Chuck Kempton began working at Dugan’s as a clerk in 1981, when he was one of the business’s three employees. After opening a store in Osage Beach, Chuck managed four stores and three warehouses before becoming the sole owner of Dugan’s in 2000.

In Memoriam

Seymour Gash

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LLPRO member Seymour Gash passed away comfortably in his home on April 23, 2019, at the age of 96, just 22 days short of his 97th birthday. Gash was born on May 15, 1922, in Winthrop, Massachusetts, and graduated from Winthrop High School in 1939. He served on

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an LST (tank landing ship) as a member of the U.S. Navy in the South Pacific. After the war, he met the love of his life, Shirley, at George Washington University, and they were married in 1948. Seymour joined Soltz Paint in January 1949, where he eventually served as president. Seymour will be remembered as a wonderful husband, brother, father, grandfather, uncle and friend whose presence was a gift to the many who loved him.

Since then, Chuck has helped Dugan’s thrive, thanks to his belief that all customers deserve impeccable service and quality products. He has also been an important part of the local Sedalia community, sponsoring athletic teams, donating to school districts and community colleges, working on the Sedalia Chamber of Commerce’s board of directors, on its executive committee and serving as its president. Among his most notable local achievements are his key role in forming the Sedalia Convention & Visitors Bureau and his position as chair of the Sedalia Area Tourism Commission, where he helped streamline a process to collect taxes as revenue. He has also contributed to many smaller projects, such as supplying carpet to local libraries and providing art supplies to schools. If that’s enough to exhaust you, it’s also a large part of why he was nominated for a distinguished alumni award at Smith-Cotton High School. “[Chuck] is a dynamic worker who will go the extra mile on all projects—he is the definition of an enterprising person,” one nominator says. “He gives back in so many ways and does so quietly. He is a hidden gem!”


Old Masters Expands Distribution Center

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he nationally recognized stains and finishes manufacturer has a good reason to celebrate: Last month, the Iowa-based business opened a new warehouse, doubling its amount of storage space. The new building was under construction since summer 2018. “We are really pleased that increasing customer demand for our Old Masters products has allowed us to add this additional resource for our company,” says Doug Vogel, vice president of marketing and strategic relationships for ALLPRO member company Diamond Vogel, Old Masters’ parent organization. The original Old Masters building opened in 2007 with

4,142 square feet of office space and 25,216 square feet of warehouse space. This renovation adds 25,000 square feet to the building. The company plans to use the space to house and distribute more stains and finishes, as well as other products by Diamond Vogel. The new facility will also benefit the local community. “Orange City appreciates the investment that Diamond Vogel made with the Old Masters distribution center expansion,” says Mark Gaul, Orange City’s community development director. “They have always been a leader when it comes to industrial growth, and we look forward to future projects.”

ALLPRO Supplier Celebrates

50th Anniversary

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etoskey Plastics, an environmentally focused film, bag and resin manufacturer, will celebrate its 50th anniversary in July. To commemorate it, Petoskey plans to hold a private event for top suppliers, customers and

employees, and will film video interviews with top executives and influencers to share at the event and via social media. In addition,

An aerial view of the Petoskey Plastics headquarters in Petoskey, Michigan.

the company plans to release a coffee table book of Petoskey’s history, featuring interviews with executives, industry influencers and other long-term employees. While the main celebration will take place at the company’s headquarters in Petoskey, Michigan, gatherings will also be held at its locations in Morristown, Tennessee; Hartford City, Indiana; and Birmingham, Michigan, according to Pam Colby, Petoskey’s marketing leader.

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Please welcome new member Landmark Paint & Supply. It is based in Carrollton, Texas, and has two locations.

Join us in congratulating a new member who has joined the group and current members who are opening new locations.

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• Colorize added their third store in Queensbury, New York. • Farrell-Calhoun added their 43rd store in Georgetown, Kentucky. • Florida Paints opened their 30th store in Melbourne, Florida. • O’Leary Paint Company added a new store in Detroit, Michigan. • Miller Paint Company opened two new stores, one in Meridian, Idaho, and the other in Silverdale, Washington. • Painter’s Alley opened their third store in Freeland, Washington. • Rodda Paint opened two new stores, one in Ridgefield, Washington, and the other in Emmett, Idaho. • Southwestern Paint opened two new stores, one in Galveston, Texas, and one in Houston. • Spectrum Paint added stores in Cary, North Carolina; Stafford, Virginia; and Wichita, Kansas.

Canpro Decorating Products has added five new locations: Benjamin Moore & More–Hubenig Bros. in Salt Spring Island, British Columbia; Dobson’s Paint & Decorating in Duncan, British Columbia; Chroma Paint & Design in Ladysmith, British Columbia; Benjamin Moore Red Deer in Red Deer, Alberta; and Newmarket East Paint & Decorating in Newmarket, Ontario.


MEMBER PROFILE

Grauer’s Paint and Decorating Founded in 1934, the Lancaster, Pennsylvania–based shop prides itself on providing locals with expert advice and running an honest family business.

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he Newcomer family’s involvement in Grauer’s Paint and Decorating began in an unlikely place: the family farm. Paul Newcomer worked on the farm for a number of years before he realized he needed to make a change. His son, Chad Newcomer, says the work is tough physical labor, and Paul’s doctor advised that it was time he transitioned into a different field. Heeding the doctors’ advice, Paul decided to buy into an established paint contracting business owned by local man Reuben King. In time, Reuben and Paul acquired a venerable southeastern Pennsylvania paint store called Grauer’s Paint and Decorating. Two generations of Newcomers and Kings are serving their customers in Lancaster and Berks counties. Chad is the assistant general manager of Grauer’s, while Reuben’s son, Tyler King, is involved on the contracting side. The folks who run Grauer’s contracting business, called King Painting, are careful to do business only outside of the areas where Grauer’s professional customers operate. “We keep King Painting pretty tight-lipped,” Chad says. “We are not recommending our painting business to our retail customers; we recommend other painters to them. We do some high-end equestrian work, horse barns and the like. We travel out of state. We try very hard not to rub shoulders with the local contractors.” Grauer’s has successfully worked with a

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business consulting firm, which has been a great resource to the Grauer’s team. With two father-son dynamics at play, having a neutral party to talk to has been instrumental in helping the team generate new ideas that benefit all aspects of our business. “My dad and I think along the same lines — we have the same outlook and perspective on things,” Chad says. “That neutral party can ask us questions we aren’t asking ourselves.” For their part, Chad and Tyler know it isn’t always easy for families to work together. “We’re actually in a pretty good spot,’” Chad says. “‘We have been blessed with a situation

Chad Newcomer (left) and Paul Newcomer, March 2019

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Lancaster store manager Al Darrenkamp.

where our parents have always been open with us, sharing different details.’” Chad ran his own contracting business for a few years before joining his dad at Grauer’s, and it was an endeavor

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the elder Newcomer supported. He helped Chad with estimating and to learn the processes involved in running a business. That training has helped Chad relate to every type of customer. “I can say, ‘I’ve been where you are right now. Here are some tips for better products. Here are tips for tools that were helpful for me.’ I can bring added value that way.” Further added value can be found through ALLPRO, Chad says. “ALLPRO has helped us with better buying power, but there are also relationships you can build. The ALLPRO U: Next Gen group has become a valuable resource for me. You can sit down with people in similar situations and say, ‘How did you conquer this?’ You can talk to people with businesses the same size as yours or a little bit larger. You can learn about new techniques that maybe you never thought about before. New products and new services. ALLPRO gives us access to resources and people we know we can trust.”


2019 Spring

Show i n

P ict u r e s

Jefferson Starship performs at the annual ALLPRO event. Drummer Donny Baldwin played in the Jerry Garcia Band during the ‘90s.

Shurtape's Mike Laurenzi scans the badges of Rebecca McKenzie and Walter Rafolski of Adelaide's Paint.

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ALLPRO members learn about new products from Warner Manufacturing.


From left to right, Tyler Hippen of Newborn Bros.; Kent Crowley, Dale Tomazin, Ray Heck, Daniel Chalker and Rob Stannard from the Tower Sealants team.

An ALLPRO member talks with Patrick Smith (center) of Regal Paint Centers and Neil Trenk of Corona Brushes.

ALLPRO members peruse the selection of products at the Ali/Gator booth.

ALLPRO Business Development Manager John Shingledecker (left) presenting ALLPRO brand plan-o-grams to Danny Lawson of Medallion Paint at the ALLPRO booth.

Susan Nichols and Jonathan Garrett assist ALLPRO member Kevin Westfall of Teknicolors.

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MEMBER PROFILE

Paint Depot ALLPRO member Greg Waters overcame a lot of potholes on the road to success.

The exterior of Paint Depot's shop in Bloomington, Illinois.

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n the mid-1990s, after 17 years working in various capacities for two major paint companies, Greg Waters decided it was time to open his own store. He took a gamble and found a building on the outskirts of Bloomington, Illinois, in an area he hoped would grow as other businesses moved in. The road was rough in the beginning. Literally. “About a month after we opened, they closed all the major roads leading to my store for construction,” Greg says. Luckily, Greg’s customers were willing to work a little harder to do business with him. “They put up with road barriers, construction traffic and detours…but my customers came to me anyway.” Eventually, the roads reopened and the area Greg chose for his business became a vibrant commercial district, just as he had predicted. “I didn’t expect it to be this good. Paint Depot is located on what is now one of the most highly traveled streets in the area.” One way Greg has made Paint Depot a thriving business is through color matching. “We’re known in the area for our ability to match stains and paints very well,” he says. “Our knowledgeable color experts enjoy working with our customers to bring their inspiration to life.” Customer service is another

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area in which Greg and the Paint Depot team excel. Greg treats the prospect of greeting customers and interacting with fellow employees the same way he treats the prospect of meeting with friends. “It’s not like going to work; it’s like friends coming in for a visit.” For a while, Greg sold his own blend of barn paint. “Guys


Greg treats the prospect of greeting customers and interacting with employees the same way he treats the prospect of meeting with friends. “It’s not like going to work. It’s like friends coming in for a visit.”

Customers can peruse paint options in Paint Depot's color matching area.

would come up from the South to buy it from me. I have always had an interest in paint chemistry, and I got started by helping a guy in Peoria who was selling his own blend of barn paint. He was getting to the point in his career where he needed someone to help him. Then, when the time came for him to retire, I bought out his share of the business.”

Barn paint proved to be a lucrative way to expand the store’s product mix, a move some stores make in an effort to recession-proof their business. Not that Paint Depot had to worry. “We work in a town where State Farm insurance is an enormous employer,” Greg says. “And at that time, they were solid, so the recession really didn’t affect us very heavily.”

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Customers can count on Zach Williamson, Christie Waters, Greg Waters and Devon Brown for expert advice during each visit to the store.

Greg’s wife, Christie, works in the store as a decorating consultant. She has 30 years of professional painting experience in her own right. In fact, Greg met her when she came into Paint Depot as a customer. “She’d come in with her father, who she worked for at the time. She would say, ‘If it wasn’t for your free Friday doughnuts, I wouldn’t keep coming in.’”

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“We started looking for buying groups and heard only good things about ALLPRO; it just made good sense to join,” Greg says—and they did in 2003. “Membership immediately gave us an advantage with the vendors that we didn’t have before. It was like we suddenly had clout in the industry. They’re very willing to work with and help out ALLPRO members.” Greg plans to expand his ALLPRO brand product offering to meet his customers’ needs. “We like the ALLPRO brand and are trying to put more of it in our store. It makes sense because it’s a great product at a great value and it has its own clout among our customers. They want the quality of ALLPRO brand products,” he says. Greg knows how valuable the ALLPRO shows are to his success. “We send someone to every show. We find the purchasing power extremely beneficial and enjoy seeing new vendors and products. We learn a lot from the workshops, as well as from engaging with other members and sharing ideas.” Greg says they look forward to the shows each year as a time to reconnect with friends and make new ones too. “The members are there for us if we need advice, and we’re happy to help others as well. I try to engage with new people at every show. We’re always learning from each other. We help each other find success.”


B U S I NE S S R E L A T I O N S H I P S

Strength in

Numbers

As Baltimore retailer Bryan Koerber discovered after a fire last year, the benefits of being an ALLPRO member extend far beyond traditional networking events.

Gillian and Bryan Koerber are ALLPRO members and fifth-generation owners of Budeke's Paint in Baltimore.

Budeke's employees John Eurich, Ron Fergusson and Bob Krieger at work.

Budeke’s assistant manager and industrial lacquer specialist Rick Campbell tints an order in the fulfillment center.

ALLPRO Members Jon and Kim Snyder from the Color Store in Des Moines, Iowa.

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hether you’re a supplier or partner, there’s no question that being an ALLPRO member has its perks when the going gets tough. This type of business relationship can help a store bounce back from hardship as well as help generate brand awareness and loyalty within the local community. It’s possible that no one understands this as much as the team at Budeke’s Paints. George Budeke founded

the company at 418 South Broadway in the Fell’s Point neighborhood of Baltimore, Maryland, in 1868, three years after the end of the Civil War. In 2018, the company celebrated its 150th anniversary. And there was much to celebrate: The South Broadway location survived every economic downturn and international incident this country has experienced since “The War Between the States.” But in September of last year, Budeke’s encountered its toughest challenge yet. An electrical fire gutted the business’s

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historic South Broadway headquarters, a devastating end to what had otherwise been an exceptional year. Owner Bryan Koerber lost tens of thousands of gallons of new product, but he also lost things that can never be replaced, like historical documents. “We lost an original copy of our oldest recorded sale, an $11.61 invoice to the City of Baltimore dated September 10, 1880,” he says. “We had the check that was used to pay for it also. We also lost the only known portrait of the founder, George H. Budeke, my great-great-grandfather.” In addition, all the business’s paper records perished in the fire. While some information was stored in the cloud, Bryan says items such as invoices and other business documents had to be reconstructed through laborious means. “Paper docs that were not scanned and backed up had to be remade, involving much research on our part. Some required vendor and customer assistance, including recent shipment receipts, customer color match info, contracts, approvals and regulatory documentation.” ALLPRO provided invaluable assistance in getting the business back on its figurative feet, Bryan says. “The ALLPRO team, led by Michael Beaudoin, jumped right in to help us with time-sensitive needs and helped communicate to vendors about our dilemma. We were able to focus on taking care of our customers, fulfilling orders and maintaining a businessas-usual attitude. Our goal was to make the event as much

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Budeke's original location, prior to the fire.

of a nonissue to those we served as possible.” Eight months later, Bryan is in the midst of building a new commercial fulfillment facility connected to his other retail location in Timonium, Maryland. It will replace most of the functionality of his former location. Bryan lost little business through this ordeal and part of the reason for that is the help he received from ALLPRO and its members. Even local retailers came to his aid. “We had other local


Firefighters work to extinguish the fire at Budeke's on the morning of Sept. 7, 2018.

dealers reach out and say, ‘Hey can we help you,’” Bryan says. “We had support from everyone in our contiguous market. That, to me, was just amazing. That’s the sort of thing that gives me goosebumps. I will be forever grateful for that.” One of those dealers was ALLPRO member Steve Butler of Columbia Paint in Columbia, Maryland. Bryan couldn’t tint industrial coatings and lacquers in the temporary space where he’d set up shop because it wasn’t zoned for that activity. So

Steve gave Bryan and company access to his tinting machines. The loss of the South Broadway building and the resulting blow to Bryan’s business wasn’t just a tragedy for area paint customers, Steve said. It was a tragedy for the city of Baltimore and the northeastern Maryland region. “Budeke’s is an institution in the area, and Bryan is just a great guy. Top shelf. Anytime they would need something tinted up with industrial colorants, they’d just call and I’d say, ‘Come on down. No problem.’” The distance between Steve’s store and Bryan’s South Broadway location is about 20 miles, Steve says. So Budeke’s could be considered a competitor, but Steve doesn’t see it that way. “If I lose an order to him, I don’t love it, but I’m not disappointed,” he says. “I think we coexist very well. We share certain customers, and we have customers who are exclusive to each store.” Kim and Jon Snyder of the Color Store in Des Moines, Iowa, are definitely not competitors: A thousand miles separate the two businesses. But the Snyders know exactly what Bryan is going through. Five years ago, the Snyders suffered not one but two fires in rapid succession. In June 2014, a chemical fire destroyed the 27,000-square-foot building that housed the first Color Store location. “We’d been in the building about 18 or 19 years,” Kim says. “We lost everything. Lost our computers, 100 percent of our inventory, several vehicles …”

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The Snyders set up the Color Store in a temporary location while the original structure was being rebuilt. That makeshift store burned down in November 2014. There was no loss of life in the first fire, but an employee died in the second, Kim says. This would be enough to motivate many entrepreneurs to find a new line of work, but the Snyders did not throw in the towel. “We asked ourselves, ‘Can we really do this again, especially under these circumstances?’’ Kim recalls. “But we powered through, and almost five years later, we’re still standing.” The Snyders were able to retain their contractor and automotive coatings customer bases by reacting quickly and putting mechanisms in place that ensured a smooth flow of transactions. “We had three semipermanent locations, a storage unit and our office was elsewhere,” Kim says. The Snyders were able to give Bryan a lot of very specific advice, including a rough guide for navigating the insurance labyrinth/minefield after a tragedy of this nature. “When you start dealing with insurance on top of running a business and on top of trying to rebuild a business, you gain a third job,” Jon says. Where insurance is concerned in these sorts of situations, the business owner has to be their own best advocate, Kim says. “My insurance agent had never been through a major loss like what we had. So unless you’re going to hire a

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third-party adjuster who is going to take a percentage of the settlement, you have to dig in and roll up your sleeves and get to know your insurance like you never wanted to get to know anything.” She adds that the insurance company is not your friend. They protect their interests, while the policyholder must protect their own. Of course, the Snyders also have a lot of insight into the emotional impact of such an event. “We told him, ‘At the end of the day, you’re going to have to remember to take care of yourself,’” Jon says. “‘You’ve got a lot of people depending on you, looking on you as the hero. You’re running the ship, and it will beat you down and wear you out and you won’t realize that.” Employees react to these sorts of events differently, Kim says. Some rise to the occasion and some fall apart. An owner needs to be aware of, and attentive to, these changes and challenges. One of Bryan’s favorite movies is It’s a Wonderful Life, and all the help and support he’s received has him feeling a bit like George Bailey. “At the end of It’s a Wonderful Life, an angel earns his wings,” he says. “We, too, have had the help of many angels in this process and are very grateful. The amount of support from vendors, colleagues, customers and even competitors has been tremendous and very much appreciated.”


M ar k e tplac e

Thank you

for supporting your ALLPRO Distribution Centers!

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I N D U S T R Y NE W S

Big Banks Step Up

Loan Approvals

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ood news for small business owners looking for loans: As of February 2019, the approval percentage for small business credit applicants hit a record high of 27.2%. “We see the economy as in a good place: Last year was the highest growth we’ve experienced since the financial crisis,” says Federal Reserve

Chair Jerome Powell. That’s due to the confidence that big banks have in the financial performance of small businesses: “Money is flowing to small business borrowers, while the cost of capital is still reasonable,” Powell adds. While loans from institutional lenders climbed one notch in January 2019 (from 65.1% to 65.2%), approval rates at small banks, alternative lenders and credit unions dipped only slightly.

Is It Time To Hire An Accountant?

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hether the motive is to save on operating costs or to maintain a sense of pride in managing every aspect of their business, many ALLPRO owners opt to handle their own finances. But how do you know when you should stop managing the books on your own? Though the thought of working with a third party might seem intrusive, it’s important to remember that bookkeeping isn’t the same as accounting. Not investing in an accountant now could lead to potentially more expensive problems down the road. Your accountant can

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Percentage of Americans who have never checked to see if they were affected by a data breach. ~ Source: Breach Level Index

also help you become a better business owner by interpreting and summarizing an organization’s finances. While it’s OK to handle the finances yourself when you’re starting out, it’s a good idea to ask for help if you have to prepare taxes, restructure your books, acquire licensing or secure more funding. Not sure if you can hire someone reputable on a limited budget? Some accountants work on a retainer, while others charge an hourly rate. If that’s not possible within your budget, look for a consultant who’s willing to meet with you to establish your own process, interpret data and answer questions as they arise.


Upgrade your Cybersecurity

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ere’s another reason small business owners should invest in cybersecurity: A study by intelligence firm 4iQ found that data breaches were up 420% in 2017. Those records exposed a trove of personal information, such as credit card numbers, bank accounts and email addresses. Some other alarming 2018 statistics:

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Ways to be

SOCIAL

• 12,440 new breaches • 15 billion total records exposed • 3.6 billion records exposed for the first time Larger corporations often have an advantage over smaller ones, which were once thought to fly under the radar of cyber criminals. While cybercriminals don’t specifically target small business owners, it’s important to take measures to prevent a data breach. Three easy, inexpensive precautions: Two-factor authentication on all business logins. USB keys, codes sent to an app or verification emails to complement passwords are all good options. Use a password manager. These save passwords and help generate strong ones, so they help users from slipping into bad login habits, such as using the same password for multiple sites or using ones that are easy to guess. Invest in ID and theft monitoring. Often less expensive than hiring a contractor, ID theft and monitoring services can help mitigate the damage a data breach can cause.

Do You Need This Marketing Tool?

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f you own a small business, you know about social media. Even if you’d rather not. The concept is so pervasive, in fact, it has quickly transformed from a quirky side project to an essential marketing strategy, says marketing writer Alaina Brandenburger on radio.com's Small Business Pulse. “Social media has grown from a fringe marketing strategy to a core component of marketing in businesses of all sizes.” But it’s perfect for small operations, she says. “Financial investment is minimal, and if executed correctly, a social media campaign can help you grow.” Brand-building and customer relationships are key areas in which social media can help retailers, Brandenburger says. “People may be more likely to speak up through social media when they have a complaint.” How owners deal with those complaints can help them build a positive image of their brands for customers and non-customers alike.

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ost independent retailers can’t get away with dismissing social media anymore, so here are a few things they should understand before blasting their marketing missives out into cyberspace.

Know Your Audience. Demographics matter. Learn as much as you can about where your customers live, what they read, how much money they make, and if they have kids. It’ll pay off later and often.

Choose Your Platforms. Know the old baseball saying, “Hit ‘em where they ain’t?” In social media, don’t do that. If your customers are on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, you should be too. Create in Bulk. You have a hundred things to do before breakfast, and you don’t need 101. Write a week’s worth of stuff and set it to post automatically. Even Instagram can do that now.

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SPOTLIGHT

R E TA I L E R

R E TA I L E R

Clement’s Paint and Decorating

Southern Paint and Supply

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Texas President Clement Ebbo clementspaint.com

hough he’s worked in the coatings industry since the mid ’70s, Clement Ebbo didn’t open Clement’s Paint and Decorating until October 1986. “When my banker called and told me my loan had been approved, I excused myself from the business I was running, went to a phone booth down the street and told my boss I was resigning,” Clement says. Today, Clement’s has five locations in Austin. While the downtown location specializes in deals with the film, hospitality, hotel and restaurant industries, the Westlake, Koenig and Oak Hill shops enjoy steady walk-in traffic from contractors and retail customers. The newest store, on Interstate 35, opened in November 2018.

Florida Owners Joyce Oehrle Levy and Phil Levy southernpaintandsupply.com

he first location of Southern Paint was founded by Fred Oehrle in 1954 in a small wooden building. Today, the chain has three locations on the east coast of Florida. All are fully stocked with a variety of paint products, and offer personalized service and advice on not only paint but also art and drafting supplies, picture framing, industrial coating systems and roof coatings. The company offers free local delivery, onsite consultations, technical services and specification writing, and ships out of state for special projects.

R E TA I L E R

R E TA I L E R

A&E Paint Centers

Tremont Paint

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Florida President Darrell Young aandepaints.com

ith three Florida locations, in Port Charlotte, Charlotte Harbor and Cape Coral, A&E Paints offers a full array of supplies for commercial contractors, residential home painters and DIY enthusiasts. In addition to selling paints that are made to perform well in the hot, humid Florida climate, the stores carry products that are manufactured locally. A&E offers its customers expert color matching and color consultations, and delivers locally free of charge. The company also employs a technician who is certified to repair and maintain commercial pressure washers and airless spray equipment.

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May/June 2019 ALLPRO Independent

New York President Mark Lipton tremontpaint.com ocated in the Bronx, Tremont Paint was founded in 1907 by Isaac Lipton (and named after the street where it was first located). Even though the store has changed locations, it has remained a family owned and operated premium retailer of paints for 112 years. In addition to selling paint, the business repairs sprayers and offers coating consultations. Owner Mark Lipton, Isaac’s great-grandson, runs the store’s day-to-day operations, while dispensing advice to Bronx, Manhattan and Westchester residents for their most challenging projects.


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ALLPRO Independent May/June 2019  

In this issue: Mike recaps the success of our Spring Show; Grauer’s Paint & Decorating reveals their formula for a successful family busines...

ALLPRO Independent May/June 2019  

In this issue: Mike recaps the success of our Spring Show; Grauer’s Paint & Decorating reveals their formula for a successful family busines...

Profile for allpro