How an SBA 504 Loan Helped Laurel’s Design Salon Take Its Next Step

Laurel Zazubec - Owner of Laurel's Design Salon

“This is a continuous journey with so many lessons along the way, I don’t want to jinx things by calling this a ‘success’ yet!” With a career that spans 45 years, and now a space of her own, it’s clear that Laurel Zazubec, owner of Laurel’s Design Salon in Rochester, NY, has found success and is on track for more growth in the future.

Laurel successfully closed on an SBA 504 loan and it’s helping her build financial stability today and a more secure future. Both are achievements worth celebrating and Pursuit is excited to share her story.

Inside the beauty industry

“Salon life is wonderful in so many ways, but it’s really hard work, too,” Laurel admits, acknowledging that she’s been in the industry for 45 years. “Early on, as you’re honing skills and building clientele, stylists often work multiple jobs. I started as an assistant and was determined to learn everything I could about cuts, color, styling and service.”

Laurel explains that in many salons, the stylists are independent businesses with their own d/b/a (“doing business as”) entities who rent chairs and use of the equipment from salon owners. Sometimes, a stylist will buy an existing salon business and continue working with the clientele that they’ve built over many years, as is the case for Laurel. Today, her salon has one employee and two independent stylists, with room for more.

How she secured a loan for commercial real estate

“My business has operated out of this building for 22 years, and for more than 20 of those years, I rented the salon,” Laurel explains. “Eventually, I realized that if I didn’t try to negotiate the purchase of the building, then I might have to start over somewhere else, which was a lot to imagine at this point in my life. I went with my instincts and talked to my landlord and we were able to work out a deal.” Laurel had recently refinanced her house, which allowed her to have money set aside as a down payment to purchase her commercial building.

With more than four decades of experience in her field — including 20 years as a business owner and manager — her own existing business establishment, and funds for a down payment, it would seem that Laurel could meet the criteria needed for a commercial mortgage. Still, she didn’t quite qualify. Fortunately, her representative at Canandaigua National Bank, James Schrader, reviewed her financials and business history and thought she’d be a great candidate for an SBA 504 loan.

They contacted Pursuit to partner on the deal, which closed in March 2021.

“Working with Pursuit was great!” Laurel says. “I didn’t know anything about buying commercial real estate and my team walked me through all the steps and helped when I made mistakes. My advisor, Paul Kaiser, guided me through the process and kept saying, ‘We’re going to get through this, just be patient,’ and we did. It has been an amazing journey and I’m so grateful!”

Multiple financial benefits to buying her building

As Laurel learned, buying the building with an SBA 504 loan had many financial advantages beyond providing stability for her business operations.

“I was amazed when I learned that my monthly payment would actually go down by $600 when I bought the building,” she says enthusiastically. “Plus, the SBA 504 loan only required 10% down, which saved me a lot up front and made this all possible.”

Laurel is putting the savings toward some updates and improvements to the building and once she has those completed, she says that she’ll use the savings toward long-term financial goals.

Building a more secure future

The purchase of the building has given Laurel a profound sense of security. Along with providing more predictable long-term costs for her salon business, there’s an apartment above the salon that generates additional monthly income.

“As business owners, we focus on the things we have to do today and try to stay a step ahead for tomorrow, but we don’t always have the opportunity to focus on what we need to do, personally, to build long-term financial security,” Laurel says.

She continues, saying, “Buying the property has given me such a sense of pride – I’ve worked so hard for so many years and it’s a huge accomplishment. Even more important than the equity that I’m building today, though, is knowing that this great investment can provide ongoing future income. I’ve got a sense of financial security and peace of mind for my family and myself that I’ve never had before.”

How can we help you?

“Buying this building solidifies all the hard work I’ve put in for nearly five decades and I’m so grateful to everyone – my clients, my family, my bank and Pursuit,” Laurel admits. “It’s just been an amazing experience.”

The right business loan can help you strengthen your business and build for your future. Contact Pursuit to learn about our loan options and ways that we can help.

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