December 12, 2012 was supposed to be the luckiest date on the calendar last year. But while 12/12/12 may have delivered auspicious realities for some, this particular occasion bestowed anything but upon Christopher Sapp and his employees at Golden Isles Linen Service.
“About 8:30 that night I got a phone call,” Sapp remembers. “They thought the building was on fire.” But, alas, it wasn’t the Brunswick, Georgia-based headquarters of his long-time family-owned business that had gone up in flames. It was the company’s aging delivery van.
“The truck was actually burnt to the ground,” Sapp admits. “And to be honest with you, they don’t know why it burnt to the ground… they just thought it was accidental.”
Although there’s never a good time to confront crisis while running a small business, the timing was especially poor for Golden Isles. Christopher had just purchased the business from his father, who owned and operated the popular local linen service company for more than twenty years.
“For about a week we were unable to comfortably serve our customers,” Sapp reveals. “We had to use my father’s pick-up truck. It wasn’t very easy but, you know, we’ve always based our business on service and quality and that’s what we wanted to try to continue doing the best we could.”
Shortly after the blaze, Golden Isles employee Mary Miller learned of Intuit’s Small Business Big Wishes campaign and decided to submit her wish for a new company vehicle.
“We want to continue to service our customers and a newer vehicle would make it easier,” Miller wrote in her wish entry, sharing an image of the charred van. “Our customers are our heart.”
So while 12/12/12 didn’t initially bring much luck to the team at Golden Isles, from the ashes have emerged an opportunity to start over thanks to a granted wish from Intuit.
“I didn’t believe it,” Sapp recalls of hearing the good news. “I jumped up out of my seat and ran outside… Thank you so much!”
Now back in business with some new wheels — a 2008 Chevy van, which Sapp admits is better on gas mileage and “more presentable” than the old van — the young entrepreneur can set his sights on the future of his business.
“I know this money coming through is definitely a blessing to this business,” he says. “Everything is starting to look up and look a little better, so I know this coming in is definitely going to help us. I really, truly appreciate it. We all do.”
Big Wishes Come True for Small Businesses
During the month of December, Intuit granted 15 big wishes to 15 deserving small businesses. Although the Small Business Big Wishes campaign has come to an end, check back soon for Intuit’s next program and perhaps your small business dream will become a reality in 2013.