South Mountain Builders Inc. owner Juan Cardenas sees the economic downturn of 2008 as a turning point, after which he pared his general construction company down from over 40 employees to just 3 family members and enrolled in a unique program at Salt Lake Community College.
Things have been looking up ever since, and Cardenas was recently honored at the State Capitol along with other business owners who received “Client of the Year” awards from the Utah Small Business Development Centers network.
“… I had no other choice but to push the reset button,” said Cardenas. “We’ve managed to regroup and move forward, thanks in part to my experiences growing up in a tough Los Angeles neighborhood where I learned to work hard and plan for the future.”
He credits the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program at Salt Lake Community College with giving him “insights” into correcting lingering issues with his business. Advisers with the program, for example, helped him realize that too many decisions were being “funneled” his way and holding up operations at his 17-year-old Riverton-based company.
In the coming year Cardenas plans to hire six new employees and expects sales to grow by 50 percent. South Mountain Builders has also been awarded multi-year projects with Salt Lake City School District, Hill Air Force Base and the Internal Revenue Service.
Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses is a national program where participants receive one-on-one help from professionals who help business owners come up with plans for growth. The deadline for applying to the program at SLCC is May 23 for an August 15 start date.
For more information visit the web site www.slcc10ksb.com or call 801-957-5233.