Contemporary Millwork & Kitchens

Fearless entrepreneurs implement several strategies to get their family-owned business back on track–and succeed.

Contemporary Millwork & Kitchens manufactures millwork, and crafts custom kitchen and bath cabinets, china cabinets, bars and vanities. Owners Richard and Carmen Chang founded the company in 1992, and they work closely with designers and architects, and serve commercial and residential customers throughout Fairfield County.

In 2013, the company was struggling due to a significant slowdown in business and was facing closure. When Richard and Carmen contacted the Connecticut Small Business Development Center (CTSBDC) in March 2014, they asked for help getting their family-owned business back on track.

Teaming with CTSBDC Business Advisor Christopher Pisarz, the Changs took significant steps to put their small business on solid ground:

  • To improve cash flow, they examined the company’s financial statements, and identified and remedied areas that needed attention to save money and help improve margins. To further ease cash flow, they secured a $20,000 line of credit with First Niagara Bank.
  • To boost their work force and production capacity, they received $45,000 to hire four employees under Connecticut’s Step Up program.
  • To grow revenue, they enacted sales, marketing and website recommendations.
  • To improve manufacturing and meet other needs, they applied for a $130,000 grant and loan for machinery and equipment, hiring and marketing through the DECD Small Business Express Program.

“Richard and Carmen have got their small business back on track,” said Chris. “They’ve worked hard, kept an open mind and were unafraid to do what was necessary to turn things around. It’s wonderful to see their renewed energy as the improvements take hold!”

Richard and Carmen have got their small business back on track. They’ve worked hard, kept an open mind and were unafraid to do what was necessary to turn things around. It’s wonderful to see their renewed energy as the improvements take hold! – Chris Pisarz, CTSBDC Business Advisor

“We can’t thank Chris enough for guiding us on this journey back to profitability. He helped us dive deep into our company, find ways to pare down expenses and create efficiencies, and prepare and complete our application for the DECD grant and loan,” explained Richard and Carmen. “For the first time in a long while we’re confident and excited about our future.”

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