Caseyville resident and veteran plumber James Dawley and his wife, Dawn, have begun their own residential and commercial plumbing business, AXIS Plumbing LLC.
They successfully secured Small Business Administration financing, thanks to the Illinois Metro East Small Business Development Center at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and Midwest Regional Bank.
The co-owners began pursuing their dream of running their own small business about a year ago. At that time, they met with Illinois Metro East SBDC Interim Director Jo Ann May and Midwest Regional Bank Commercial Loan Officer John Vitale, who specializes in SBA and USDA lending. May referred the couple to Vitale, who guided them through the process of applying for an SBA loan.
“Both Jo Ann May and John Vitale were great to work with,” Dawn Dawley said. “We would definitely recommend both of them to anyone starting a small business. Jo Ann spent time with us fine-tuning our business plan and making it more presentable, and John walked us through how to apply for SBA lending. Their hard work on our behalf resulted in our success in getting an SBA loan and successfully starting our own business, which has been a dream of ours for as long as we can remember.”
Connecting the Dawleys with business experts – including accountants, attorneys and others – was another service provided by the SBDC.
James Dawley said the opportunity to put two decades’ worth of plumbing experience to work and build a company culture based on trust, honesty and quality workmanship is exciting and rewarding.
“Our service territory spans Madison, St. Clair and Monroe counties,” James said. “I’ve been in the plumbing field for more than 20 years and really have a passion for working with homeowners and helping them with solutions that they can afford. Through the past several years, I’ve installed some of the best, most popular and most environmentally friendly products in our own home such as a tankless water heater and an RO (reverse osmosis) system for drinking water, so I’m able to make recommendations based on personal and professional experience.”
The Dawley’s teenage son, Jeremy, is following in his father’s footsteps and working in the family business, as well. The co-owners are grateful for the expertise, both from the SBDC and from Midwest Regional Bank, which came at no cost to them.
“We received loan approval from the SBA on Aug. 23, which was our 14th wedding anniversary,” James said. “And we signed the papers for the loan on our son’s 17th birthday.”
The Dawleys inspired May.
“James and Dawn never gave up on their dream and worked tirelessly to achieve their goal of having their own business,” May said. “They are determined to succeed by learning everything they can about small business practices. I am proud to be a small contributing factor to their success.”
For more information on AXIS Plumbing LLC, see the business’s Facebook page or call (618) 855-9622.
— From the Illinois Business Journal via SIUE news services