Lincoln City Sporting Goods & Electronics

Diversifying the business helped this former Radio Shack franchise survive in the age of Amazon

When Bruce Polvi started his Radio Shack franchise in 1990, the internet was barely born and televisions were the size and weight of refrigerators. Today, as Amazon prepares to roll out drone delivery, Radio Shack is a name of a bygone era. For Bruce, it was the start to a successful business that has grown and adapted with help from the SBDC.

After starting in an 800-square-foot retail space, Bruce saw an opportunity to develop a former lumber mill site, turning a closed industrial space into prime retail real estate with help from the SBDC. By successfully developing real estate to meet the needs of the local business community while running the electronics business, Bruce has adapted with technology and market shifts.

Bruce saw a need for a firearms dealer to sell to local law enforcement and started the sporting goods business on the side. When the electronics business changed, Bruce was able to combine the sporting goods business with the electronics business to better serve his customers.

Throughout this time, the SBDC has been there for support. After getting help starting the business in 1990, Bruce returned to the SBDC in 1996 and enrolled in the Small Business Management program, graduating in 1998. He continues to take SBDC classes.

“The SBDC is like a tuneup,” Bruce said. “The evening classes are great for retailers, and they help you see the big picture. I have three degrees from universities, and I view the SBDC as my fourth degree. It is that valuable. It helps you keep in mind all aspects of your business.”

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Programa de Extensión Latino

Ayudar a las pequeñas empresas latinas a crecer y prospera

Business Concept & ProductCustomer Relations & BrandingOperations & FinanceOrganization & Human ResourcesIdeaLaunchExpansionRenewExit
¡El SBDC de Oregon da la bienvenida a los empresarios latinos y latinas! Nuestros asesores de habla hispana están aquí para ayudar a que su negocio tenga éxito.

Nosotros podemos ayudar con:

Planificación estratégica
Administración del flujo de efectivo
Operaciones de negocios
Acceso a capital
Investigación de mercado
Formación Empresaria
Recursos humanos
Y más!

También trabajamos con otros proveedores de servicios, conectando recursos que sirven a la comunidad de negocios latinos en todo Oregon.

¿Cómo podemos ayudarle?
Llame a su centro local hoy!

Blue Mountain SBDC

Central Oregon SBDC

Chemeketa SBDC

Clackamas SBDC

Clatsop SBDC

Columbia Gorge SBDC

Eastern Oregon SBDC

Klamath Falls SBDC


Linn-Benton SBDC

Mt. Hood SBDC

Oregon Coast SBDC

Portland SBDC

Rogue SBDC

Southern Oregon SBDC

Southwestern Oregon SBDC

Tillamook Bay SBDC

Treasure Valley SBDC

Umpqua SBDC

Connect with your local center or the Network office to learn more. 

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You’ve got the idea and the business, let us help you take it to the next level.

Umpqua Oats

Grab-and-Go Oatmeal Becomes National and Global Brand with Help from SBDC

When Mandy Holborow and Sheri Price went to a coffee shop and ordered oatmeal for their kids, they found the mush made from a brown paper packet less than appetizing. They wanted something more, something healthier, an honest meal. Later, around the breakfast table as their kids got ready for a soccer match, Umpqua Oats was born. One of their first stops: the Umpqua SBDC.

The Umpqua SBDC started working with Mandy and Sheri in 2008, early in the company’s development.

“The UCC SBDC gave us an understanding of how to implement our idea into a business,” said Mandy. “Our adviser met with us weekly and gave us clear objectives and goals which really guided us to our initial business platform.”

The company developed healthy, delectable, grab-and-go oatmeal first in Sheri’s kitchen in test batches before moving to a production facility. The company’s first customers were coffee shops, before they graduated to grocery stores and internet sales nationwide. Within three years, the company’s products were sold in all 50 states and internationally. Today, Umpqua Oats is one of the largest instant oatmeal brands, competing with the biggest companies in the industry.

“The consultation and guidance we received was invaluable. If you have an idea or dream about starting a business, start with the SBDC,” said Mandy. “There are many professional resources that can make your dream attainable and successful.”

Connect with us today

You’ve got the idea and the business, let us help you take it to the next level.