Vital Signs- Rochester, NY
“At first my goals were just to be my own boss and pay the bills and next thing I knew the company was growing and we were doubling sales very consistently,” says Vital Signs’ owner Josh Palmer. In 2006, Palmer took his passion for designing attractive and professional graphics and opened Vital Signs, a sign company that offers a wide variety of marketing and advertising solutions for businesses and organizations.
Since then, Josh and his business partner Amy Catalano have experienced solid growth within their company.
Soon after the growth started, they began to outgrow their 2,000 square feet of space and Vital Signs was forced to turn down some projects as a result. In order to capitalize on new business, Vital Signs needed to move into a larger space. Thankfully, their landlord had recently built a new building that Josh was planning to lease to own, but Josh needed capital to support the move.
Community Bank referred him to New York Business Development Corporation (NYBDC) and suggested the SBA 504 Program. With this program, Vital Signs was able to purchase the building, allowing them to expand and grow with their business.
“In looking at the work performed by the Company, you could tell that the attention to detail was high and that was a driving factor of client growth and the need for more space,” added loan officer Paul Kaiser.
Today, Vital Signs occupies a total of 13,044 square feet; 2,000 square feet of office space and 11,044 square feet of drive-in vehicle bays. The building provided them with adequate space for existing and projected growth and is 100% occupied by Vital Signs. They currently employ 14 people, and have a professional office space, and a design studio that wouldn’t have been possible at their old location.
The company is also proud to be 3M Graphics Installation Certified which is the highest industry credential for vehicle wrap installations. While this is an impressive credential for a company to have, Josh is also personally certified.
“Because we are 3M Certified, we have gotten many prestigious jobs with companies like Xerox, University of Rochester, and Kodak that we otherwise would not have been asked to work on,” says Josh. Working with these companies gave Vital Signs valuable experience with clients who keep returning for new signs or vehicle graphics.
Josh and Amy both credit a significant amount of their company’s growth to NYBDC and the 504 program. “We would not have been able to make any of this happen or get anyone on board without the help of NYBDC,” says Josh.
Amy also offers a piece of advice to any business owners who are in the process of seeking alternative financing; “I would recommend getting in touch with NYBDC and seeing what they can do for you. It is definitely an investment and it takes hard work on both ends, but it was made possible as a result of the 504 program.”