The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) recently provided Campkin’s RV Center, based in Myrtle, Ontario, with a loan package of $1.5 million to help with future growth.
The loan was made possible through the Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP), a federal government initiative to provide financing that helps eligible small and medium-sized businesses, according to a news release.
Founded by Laurie Campkin in 1973, the company’s track record of success and durability in a constantly changing sector has been based largely on making customer satisfaction the main focus of attention. While the recent recession was particularly tough on the recreational sector, company President Brad Campkin knows about facing difficult challenges.
“In the early 1980s, interest rates were over 20% and some said that there might be a shortage of gasoline in 10 years,” he says. “At that point, we just decided to work very hard at what we could control, such as creating a strong brand and a loyal client base, and it certainly paid off in the long run.”
Today, the Internet is as important a component of the company’s business strategy, as is adapting to changing trends and demographics. The current trend, for example, is toward smaller and more mobile units which are gaining in popularity over bigger-sized recreational vehicles. “We’re keeping a close watch on the generation known as the echo boom, or the children of Baby Boomers,” says Campkin. “In the years to come, they will be our main customers and I want to make sure we’re able to answer their needs.”
Campkin adds that success also comes from being able to count on solid financial partners, such as BDC. “In the beginning, banks were not very interested in our expansion project. BDC came along not only with a short-term financial solution, but with a long-term understanding of where we were going. The capacity of tailoring the loan to the specifics of our needs has definitely put us in the driver’s seat.”
Dianne Gallo, senior manager at BDC, points out that the BCAP program has provided BDC with more tools to help Canadian businesses continue their development, even when times are difficult. “In this case,” she says, “the challenge was to help the company support its expansion, despite the recession. The aid package has provided Campkin’s RV Center with the confidence to bring the company to the next level.”
BDC is Canada’s business development bank. From more than 100 offices across the country, BDC promotes entrepreneurship by providing highly tailored financing, venture capital and consulting services to entrepreneurs. For more information, visit www.bdc.ca.