Malone Business Seeks Loan From AEDC, Finds Much More

When Brett and Joanne Hazen called the Adirondack Economic Development Corporation for a loan for their business, they expected the usual loan process they would get from a bank. Instead, they found out that AEDC is much more than just a lender.

The Hazens have owned BMJ Midway Market for almost 14 years. Owning a business seemed to be expected by the couple since they owned their family dairy farm for 11 years until Brett became sick which forced them to sell the farm. Brett and Joanne worked in the community for a number of years, until they bought the Midway Market from the previous owners and they could once again be business owners.

BMJ Midway Installed Gas Pumps in 2019 Using AEDC Loan Funds

“They actually handed me the keys on my 52nd birthday.” Hazen said. Since then, they have expanded the Market’s entire operation. First, they installed equipment to create a commercial kitchen. “Before we bought it, it was mostly sandwiches, and now we get to serve some really good food,” Hazen said. Then, in 2019 Brett and Joanne pursued installing fuel pumps at the store. In order to finance the project, they turned to AEDC to utilize its lending programs. That is when they met with Steve Garneau, the Loan Program Manager.

“Steve first came to the business to learn about us and describe the process” Hazen said. “We had some questions and Steve sat with us for a long time explaining everything.” After that, Garneau made numerous visits to BMJ Market. “We had a lot of questions about the process and our business plan and he stopped by several times to help guide us. He assisted us with so much more, giving advice on our business, guiding us through the program and even helped us purchase the computer system for the store.”

Brett Hazen Doing his Best Rockstar Impression- “We like to have fun at work. I think that’s what keeps people around”

The Hazens were happily surprised with the amount of help AEDC gave, after they thought they were just coming in for a loan. “It was much more than we expected,” Hazen said. “We expected some help, but Steve took it to the next level. In one instance, I had a plan for the business and had some questions for him. We put our heads together and decided to go in a different direction, which worked out even better.”

AEDC-Funded Project Provided Revenue During COVID-19 Pandemic

The gas pumps installed using loan funding from AEDC helped maintain sales during the pandemic and kept its employees working. “People still needed gas,” Hazen said. “And we were already doing 90% take-out so they could grab a bite to eat while they were here. We were able to keep our people employed, which is usually between seven to nine people, some of which have been with us seven or eight years.” Hazen continued, ”We try to have fun at work, I think that’s what keeps people around.”

AEDC Available for Businesses Now and in the Future

While AEDC helped BMJ Midway with its last project, the organization will also be there for any future need. The services of AEDC include lending, business planning, classroom training, technical assistance and more. “I will definitely go back to them, if I need help with anything,” Hazen said, “I highly recommend them to anyone.”

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