'It was so close to breaking even'

Monday, May 24, 2010

SCARBOROUGH, Maine -Majors Mobility closed the doors on its second location this spring, just shy of celebrating its four-yearanniversary.

"It was so close to breaking even," said President Tyrrell Hunter. "It's too bad, because this year, I think it would have crossed the line."

Majors Mobility, based in Topsham, Maine, opened a large location in Scarborough in 2006, with an eye toward expanding its presence into southern Maine.

Hunter had to close the location in March after failing to line up the financing she needed to continue operations.

"We had been trying since October--there's just no money out there for small businesses," she said. "The banks are using the same financing formulas they've always used. They're not taking into consideration the recession and the affect that has had on profits."

If it weren't for the combination of the recession and the 9.5% cut that went into effect in January, Hunter believes Majors Mobility would still be in Scarborough.

"I believe with my whole heart that we would be OK," she said. "But with those two things, just as we were trying to get our legs under us, we didn't have a chance."

Majors Mobility employed four at the Scarborough location.It laid off two employees; a third employee will work at the Topsham location; and a fourth employee, a service technician, will continue to serve its patients in southern Maine.

"He'll report to Topsham a couple of days a week, but he'll be on the road most of the time," Hunter said.

With a service technician still roaming southern Maine, Hunter hasn't give up on the idea of having a second location in the area.

"We held on to a lot stuff, like the phone system, so we could open another location pretty easily," she said.

What comforts Hunter: The demand is there.

"We felt like we had developed an increasing customer base in southern Maine," she said. "We just need to stabilize right now. Then maybe an investor will come along."